Most Impressive Home : Built by brothers Augustine and Lawrence Washington and developed into an estate worthy of a president by their half-brother George Washington, Mount Vernon  is the finest and most famous colonial farm still in existence, on 500 well-tended acres overlooking the Potomac River.
Best Off-the-Beaten-Path Site : The home of the forgotten Founding Father George Mason is one of the area’s most unsung colonial structures. Gunston Hall  has many of the trimmings of Mount Vernon — waterfront, gorgeous grounds and trails, beautifully restored interiors and a gift shop — without the crowds.
Best Way to Enjoy the Sunset : Climb aboard a 74-foot schooner and enjoy a sailboat tour  at dusk on Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis. Sister ships Woodwind and Woodwind II set sail for two-hour excursions.
Nearest Civil War Battlefield : Skirmishes and battles took place across the region between 1861 and 1865, but on July 21, 1861, the first major land battle of the Civil War occurred just a morning’s ride from Washington at Manassas National Battlefield , otherwise known as the Battle of Bull Run.