The nation’s capital city has all the makings of a great date night, from award-winning restaurants and historical museums to theater performances and sporting events. However, sometimes you might crave a change of pace and scenery. Washington, D.C. is surrounded by exciting states, so with only a few hours’ drive, you can look forward to sunbathing in Cape May, New Jersey, or snapping pictures of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Book a stay at one of many Washington, D.C. vacation rentals today. Check out seven fantastic getaway cities within proximity of Washington, D.C.

1. Hershey, Pennsylvania

lake garden
Source: Facebook

Surprise your sweetheart with a weekend visit to The Sweetest Place on Earth, one of Pennsylvania’s most popular vacation destinations that’s only two hours and 30 minutes north of D.C. Begin your trip with a stroll through Hershey Gardens, the 23-acre botanical garden and arboretum that includes an indoor butterfly atrium. Pamper yourselves with a cocoa massage or chocolate fondue wrap at the Chocolate Spa at Hotel Hershey, then wind down with a wine tasting at Cullari Vineyards and Winery. Ride a few roller coasters at Hershey Park, see the animals at ZooAmerica, or find out how candy bars are made at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Explore underground caves at Indian Echo Caverns, and have a cozy dinner at Fenicci’s of Hershey, a romantic Italian eatery.

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2. Richmond, Virginia

historic city center
Source: Flickr/Bill Dickinson

It’s only two and a half hours south to historical Richmond, The Capital of the South. If you and your significant other love museums, this is the spot for you. Check out the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Edgar Allan Poe Museum, American Civil War Museum, or Science Museum of Virginia to get your fill of arts, culture, and education. Take a morning jog or afternoon stroll along the Virginia Capital Trail, or ride the antique paddlewheel steamer on the James River, which flows throughout downtown Richmond. Tour the Hollywood Cemetery, where thousands of Confederate soldiers are buried, as well as U.S. Presidents John Tyler and James Monroe. Enjoy an incredible dinner at Lemaire Restaurant.

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3. Lewes, Delaware

seaside boat marina
Source: Flickr/Bob Mical

Travel two hours and 20 minutes to the east to your Lewes, Delaware, vacation rental to enjoy its relaxed atmosphere and historic downtown. Walk the trails, ride a bike, or have a picnic at Cape Henlopen State Park, then stop by Hopkins Farm Creamery for some incredible homemade ice cream. The Zwaanendael Museum may be small, but it’s free and filled with interesting artifacts and impressive exhibits. Tour Beach Time Distilling, then share a spirit flight in the tasting room or sample some wines at Nassau Valley Vineyards. Stroll the Historic Lewes Farmers Market hand-in-hand, and select fresh ingredients to cook a delicious dinner together back at your cozy vacation rental.

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4. Cape May, New Jersey

beachside bridge
Source: Flickr/Pat M2007

Three and a half hours to the east puts you in The Nation’s Oldest Seashore Resort, Cape May, New Jersey. Enjoy playing in the sand, swimming in the surf, or lounging in the sun with your sweetheart during your romantic getaway to this seaside town. Walk the well-manicured streets to see the incredible Victorian mansions that make their homes in Cape May, then have a scrumptious seafood lunch at the Lobster House on Fisherman’s Wharf. Spend an evening at Morey’s Piers, where you can ride the Ferris Wheel, play some carnival games, and eat shaved ice along the boardwalk. Tour the Cape May Lighthouse, or see the animals at the Cape May County Park and Zoo. Be sure to plan an afternoon at Sunset Beach, so you can see the remains of the concrete ship and shop for souvenirs at the quaint boutiques.

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5. Chesapeake Beach, Maryland

seaside pier
Source: Flick/Mr.TinDC

Make the short 50-minute drive to the southeast to spend a few relaxing and romantic days in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. Spend the day at Chesapeake Beach Water Park to feel like kids again; lounge in the lazy river or race down water slides. Adventurous hikers head to the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail, and aid anglers can set sail with Katherine’s Charter Fishing. Art-loving couples can check out some beach-inspired art at Bruce Snake Gabrielson’s Surf Art Gallery and Museum. For a real thrill, rent from DMV Jetskis to splash in the waves together. If you’re craving seafood, Rod ‘N’ Reel Restaurant has amazing food and stunning bay views.

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6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

pennsylvania city skylinePack your bags and make the two and a half-hour trip northeast to The City of Brotherly Love to make some memories in Pennsylvania’s largest city. See the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, then tour the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Have lunch at the Reading Terminal Market, then watch the Phillies play at Citizens Bank Park. Snap some photos of the animals at Philadelphia Zoo, appreciate the architecture and plants at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, or see Al Capone’s cell during your tour of Eastern State Penitentiary. For upscale Italian, have dinner at Vetri Cucina.

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7. Morgantown, West Virginia

fall leaves home
Source: Facebook

Morgantown, West Virginia, is a welcoming city three and a half hours northwest of Washington, D.C., and it makes an ideal vacation destination for couples seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Walk the trails at Core Arboretum to discover the plants and birds that make their homes here. Couples who share a love of sports can watch the West Virginia University football team play at Mountaineer Field or catch a college basketball game at the WVU Coliseum. Sample some reds and whites at Forks of Cheat Winery, a romantic little vineyard set in the mountains, and shop for fresh, local produce and baked goods at the Morgantown Farmers Market. If you’re a fan of tapas, Tin 202 is an ideal dinner option.

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Ready to go?  Check out these amazing Washington, D.C. vacation rentals on Tripping.com.