Our Favorite Open-Air Activities in the DMV
Wendy Kedzierski
April 18, 2022 — Read in 4 mins · 809 words

The weather is warming and you’re ready to revel in the DMV’s great outdoors. From the athletic fields to strawberry fields, here are some great ways to explore nature – all within a short drive.

The sporting life

Baseball

Got “Natitude?” Head to a Washington Nationals game! How much more American can you get than baseball, beer, and big league cheer? Check out this site online for MLB news, calendar and ticketing information:

https://www.mlb.com/nationals

Soccer

D.C. United, the “Black-and-Red,” soccer season runs through October. Wear your team colors at Audi Field in D.C.

https://www.dcunited.com/

Washington Spirit, the women’s soccer team, also comes to life at Audi Field. Let’s hope 2022 is a repeat of their 2021 first NWSL championship.

https://washingtonspirit.com/

Polo

Whether you just want to watch or learn to play, Virginia is the perfect place to experience the fascinating teamwork of horse and rider. Twilight Polo season in The Plains (30 to 60 minutes from D.C.) runs from May to September. Each evening typically includes three matches, picnicking, wine, food trucks, and games for kids. Admission tickets are available online for $25 per vehicle (5 people), or you can pay $30 cash per vehicle at the gate.

https://twilightpolo.com

For more equestrian entertainment, visit nearby Middleburg – known as the Nation’s Hunt and Horse Capital:

https://visitmiddleburgva.com/middleburg-equestrian-events/

Agriculture/Viticulture

Farmers Markets

Shop local. Shop fresh. Farmers markets abound throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

National Farmers Market Directory:

https://nfmd.org/

Pick-your-own

If you want to feel even closer to nature, connect with the earth while supporting your local farmers by picking your own produce.

https://pickyourown.farm/

Vineyards

Virginia is the birthplace of American wine. Not only will you taste award-winning varietals, but you’ll also drink in beautiful views. Many offer great food pairings. Virginia is home to over 300 wineries and more than a dozen wine trails. The best way to enjoy the day? Hire a driver.

https://www.virginia.org/things-to-do/food-and-drink/wineries/wine-trails/

Breweries

If you’re more of a beer sommelier, there are plenty of microbreweries to explore. Many have outside seating.

https://washington.org/visit-dc/breweries-in-washington-dc

Parks

Hiking

You can hike and bike the banks of the Potomac River on the C & O Canal Towpath from Georgetown to Cumberland, Md. for a total of 184.5 miles!

C & O Canal Towpath

Founded in 1890 by the U.S. Congress, Rock Creek Park is 1,700 acres of hardwood trees, asphalt trails, a brook, and rocky outcrops. What else? A planetarium, a 19th century gristmill, equestrian trails, a tennis center, and a golf course!

Rock Creek Park

Great Falls National Park is a beautiful 800-acre oasis that is only 15 miles from D.C. You can go hiking, bicycling, bird watching, climbing, fishing, horseback riding, and more.

Great Falls National Park

Once called Mason’s Island, now named Roosevelt Island, the landscape of this once-overgrown farmland was transformed by architects in the 1930s into a living memorial to Theodore Roosevelt. You can join a park ranger to explore the miles of trails and swamps while honoring the legacy of the outdoorsman and conservationist. 

Roosevelt Island

For a map of other hiking trails in the DMV – and reviews from other hikers – visit:

https://www.alltrails.com/lists/dmv–526

Camping

Maybe you like to rough it, or maybe you’re more of a glamper. Either way, getting back to nature when you live in the Metro area is not as out of reach as you might think. 

Greenbelt Park, Md. is an urban oasis inside the beltway.

https://www.nps.gov/gree/index.htm

Shenandoah National Park in Virginia has more than 500 miles of trails and offers several options for sleeping under the stars.

https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

Bull Run in Centreville, Va. offers 1,500 acres of natural space with lots of activities. Choose to camp or stay in a cottage. 

https://www.novaparks.com/parks/bull-run-regional-park

Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro, Md. offers camping, swimming, fishing, boating, hiking. 

https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/greenbrier.aspx

Water Parks

Have kids? Need hot weather entertainment? Waterparks are a sure-fire way to beat the heat and wear out the kids! Here’s a list of H2O fun in the DMV. (Check websites for opening days.)

Atlantis Waterpark in Centreville, Va.

Franklin Park Pool in Purcellville, Va.

Great Waves Waterpark in Alexandria, Va.

Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Ida Lee Waterpark in Leesburg, Va.

Ocean Dunes Waterpark in Arlington, Va.

Pirate’s Cove Waterpark in Lorton, Va.

Signal Bay Waterpark in Manassas Park, Va.

SplashDown Waterpark in Manassas, Va.

Volcano Island Waterpark in Sterling, Va.

Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole in Reston, Va.

Waterpark at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, Md.

Waterworks Waterpark in Dale City, Va.

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