Top 9 Winter Weekend Getaways at Beaches & Water Parks


If you are a beach person like me, then you are likely craving the ocean! The good news is that going to the beach is not only for summer, so bundle up and let’s go for a walk on the beach to these nine DC winter weekend getaways that are just a short ride away from DC. If you prefer skiing, check out 10 options here.

Reasons why going to the beach in winter is a good idea:

  • You will have the beach to yourself
  • Less crowded restaurants and boardwalks
  • Amazing hotel rates and deals during the off season
  • Enjoy the peace and quiet

9 DMV Winter Weekend Getaways (for non-skiers)

Beach Destinations

1. Rehoboth, DE

Distance: 3 hours

Why we love it: Awesome food options, tax free shopping at the outlets, and tons of things to do for little kids on the boardwalk. Check out these 44 fun things to do with kids in Rehoboth.

Food options: Nicola’s Pizza, Henlopen City Oyseter House 

Where to stay: Avenue Inn is just a block away from the beach.

2. Cape May, NJ

Distance: 3.5 hours

Why we love it: Climb up the lighthouse, enjoy the hiking trails and collect shells along the shore, go roller skating at Convention Hall. Watch the sun set in the beach at Sunset Pavilion, visit the Cape May County Park & Zoo where there’s also a playground, train, and carousel for the little ones.

Food options: Breakfast at the Mad batter Blue Pig Tavern and lunch/dinner in a Victorian Era atmosphere at Blue Pig Tavern.

Where to stay: Congress Hall

3. Chincoteague or Assateague Island, VA

Distance: 3.5 hours

Why we love it: Wild ponies! See them on Wildlife Drive or ride one at Chincoteague Pony Centre or at Neversink Bay Meadows Farm. Take the Assateague Explorer cruise. This is a must!  Get a panoramic view of the whole island from the Assateague lighthouse. Get around the island on the Pony Express trolley. Get hands on at the Delmarva Discovery Museum.

Food options: The Ropewalk is great for kids!

Where to stay: Holiday Cottages has a sand area and playground.

4. Ocean City, NJ

Distance: 3 hours

Why we love it: A town that is geared towards family fun! Attend the Ocean City Historical Museum’s annual Children’s Tea party, explore the boardwalk and arcades, play miniature golf in one of these courses, and take long walks on the beach!

Where to stay: Lots of great places here.

5. Bethany Beach, DE

Distance: 3 hours

Why we love it: Walk along the beach, explore the Delaware Seashore State Park and watch the winter surfers catching waves, get frozen custard at Kohrs Brothers on the Bethany beach boardwalk, and go to nearby beaches in Lewes and Rehoboth.

Food options: Bethany Boathouse and Ropewalk have playgrounds!

Where to stay: Sea Colony resort has a private beach and indoor pools.


Water Park Destinations

Besides going to the beach, another great DC winter weekend getaway option is to go to indoor water park resorts. They are complete family vacation spots, offering a wide variety of activities like bowling, mini-golf, spa, and of course, water slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools.

6. Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg, VA

Distance: 2.5 hours

Why we love it: Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor water park that your kids will love for sure! The resort also offers many other activities and there are also lots of kid-friendly things to do in Williamsburg. Check out some ideas here.

Food Options: Food for thought

7. Hershey Lodge, PA

Distance: 2 hours

Why we love it: Hershey Lodge indoor water park gives you the indoor splash activities, kid-friendly events, and access to Hershey Park, all in one. Also, check out our guide to nearby Lancaster, PA, which includes Dutch Wonderland.

Food Options: The Mill in Hershey and Iron Hill Brewery

8. Massanutten, VA

Distance: 2.5 hours

Why we love it: Massanutten Resort offers the best of both worlds – indoor waterpark and outdoor skiing and snow tubing! There is also a small petting zoo where you can ride horses, lots of kids’ crafts and activities, and mini golf.

Food Options: Campfire Grill, Virginia BBQ & Pizza

9. Kalahari, Poconos, MD

Distance: 3.5 hours

Why we love it: Inspired by the beauty of Africa, Kalahari is another great waterpark for kids, with an amazing toddler area. You can also enjoy mini bowling, 7-D motion theater, and Adventurers Club activities.

Food Options: BLux Bar Grill and Kalahari Marketplace buffet

And if you are ready to escape the cold. Check out The Ultimate Guide to Kid-Friendly All-Inclusive Resorts.