The District's Best Day Trip

Posted on Saturday, Aug 05, 2017

With so much to do in D.C- world-class museums, great food, wonderful parks- it’s easy to sometimes forget about the many possibilities and day-trips that exist right outside of D.C. Several weeks ago some friends and I decided we needed a quick break from the hustle and bustle of the district and spent our Sunday at Shenandoah National Park, about an hour and half west of D.C. in Virginia.
Shenandoah National Park is a verdant oasis that follows parts of the Appalachian Trail through the Shenandoah River Valley and parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Coming from Texas, you just don’t see lush, green landscapes like the ones of Appalachia. The park has water falls, hills, mountains, valleys, meadows, bears (BEARS!!) and much more; any type of outdoors-person would enjoy a trip to Shenandoah National Park, and even those who are more inclined to stay indoors (see: bugs) could have a wonderful trip to Shenandoah by just driving the length of the park, and soaking in the expansive views.
“But I’m just an intern, I don’t have a car!!” Fear not my friend, there are several easy ways to get ahold of a car and make the quick drive west.
  • Car rental- being next to the airport is extremely convenient for renting a car. Rentals are usually cheaper than car sharing services with daily rates. Big con of renting a car is the stipulation that the renter usually has to be 25 or older (any fellow interns in grad school?)
  • Car sharing- my preferred method. I signed up for car2go, was approved in a day, and drove to Shenandoah the next day. Although usually more expensive that daily rental services, car sharing is even more convenient, and most have lower age requirements.
All this said, I’d encourage you to go experience Shenandoah National Park while you’re here, especially if it is the fall (changing leaf colors!!!). Just remember, leave no trace behind!

Blake Welborn
Environmental Protection Agency - Office of Water
Washington, D.C. | summer 2017