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Northwest

40 miles W of Annapolis; 40 miles SW of Baltimore; 8 miles NW of Washington, D.C.; 110 miles SW of Wilmington

The northwest section of the Capital Beltway is accessible by I-270, which connects to Frederick. Bethesda is home to the Discovery Channel, the National Institutes of Health, and the Bethesda Naval Hospital, and you'll find offices for a number of other federal agencies among the high-rises. It's also home to the Music Center at the Strathmore. The C&O Canal Historical Park, Clara Barton's home, and Glen Echo Park are close enough to each other to plan a day's outing with the kids. Brookside Gardens offers another respite for weary tourists. Prefer shopping? Get new stuff at White Flint Mall or old stuff on Howard Avenue in Kensington.

Northeast

30 miles W of Annapolis; 30 miles SW of Baltimore; 9 miles NE of Washington, D.C.; 100 miles SW of Wilmington

Connected to Baltimore by routes 29, 1, and I-95, this section is dominated by the University of Maryland's main campus in College Park and Fort Meade. Laurel is home to a mill-turned-antiques center, and a resting place of George Washington. The science-minded may be interested in the Goddard Space Flight Center, while those of a fanciful bent of mind may want to pay homage to the creator of the Muppets. Prefer a picnic or roller-coaster ride? This area's got them, too.

Southeast

40 miles SW of Annapolis; 50 miles SW of Baltimore; 15 miles SE of Washington, D.C.; 115 miles SW of Wilmington

These sites are accessible from exit 7A, Route 5 South. This section of the Washington suburbs is the least congested. Although more and more housing developments are popping up on farmland, you can still see vestiges of the agricultural past, perhaps even a tobacco farm or two (though few are in use around here anymore) and the fields of farmland John Wilkes Booth rode through to make his getaway. Six Flags is the exception. It is accessible from Route 214, off of I-495 or Route 301.

National Harbor

47 miles SW of Annapolis; 10 miles SE of Washington, D.C.; 55 miles SW of Baltimore; 115 miles SW of Wilmington

On the banks of the Potomac River, downstream from the nation's capital, a brand-new 300-acre development offers a weekend getaway on its own with restaurants, nightclubs, and waterfront activities. It can easily serve as a base for tourists visiting sights in D.C. or Mount Vernon. A short drive over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge or a water taxi ride will take you to Georgetown, George Washington's Mount Vernon, or Union Station, where you can catch a subway to anywhere in Washington.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.