20 Places To Visit On A Boston To Washington DC Road Trip

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

Explore the northeastern states of the USA on a Boston to Washington D.C. road trip. Solid driving can see you reach your destination in a little over seven hours of drive time, covering 440 miles (708.11 kilometres). This would mean missing out on some great cities, towns, national parks and other attractions along the way. Depending on your route, you could visit eight states, spend some time by the ocean, explore the mountains and absorb plenty of history. The route from Boston to Washington D.C. is historical in nature as you may pass through some of the most important sites in the USA.

Beginning in Boston, you will uncover the birthplace of the American Revolution and discover secrets about the first English Puritan settlers who landed there. Then step into historic Philadelphia, where the USA’s Founding Fathers met and wrote the U.S. Constitution. Finally, arrive in Washington D.C., the capital city of America and explore how these historic events shaped modern-day politics.

Your journey needn’t be fully steeped in history, however. Each city stop reveals culture, cuisine, beauty, nightlife and more. Each location is unique and you might add them to your future travel lists. Avoid the solid drive and take the scenic route. Here are 20 places to explore on your Boston to Washington D.C. road trip.

Boston To Washington DC

Top Tours

20 Places To Visit On A Boston To Washington DC Road Trip

1- Boston, MA

distance from washington dc to boston
A Boston to Washington DC road trip will take you through some exciting spots.

Begin your epic Boston to Washington D.C. road trip in Massachusetts’ state capital.

Boston is packed with history, arts, culture and sports so regardless of who you are travelling with, you will find something to enjoy together.

Book a Fenway Park tour to explore the home ground of the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

Fenway Park is a great place to uncover some baseball history in the oldest ballpark in the league.

Uncover Boston’s local history at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum to learn about the Boston Tea Party through various interactive exhibits and exploring aboard restored tea ships.

If you are in Boston overnight, head to the Skywalk Observatory for incredible views over the glittering city lights.

Recommended tour: Boston Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour.

2- Cape Cod, MA

boston to washington dc drive
Two boats on the Herring River at Harwich, Cape Cod.

Cape Cod is typically a summer destination for travellers and holidaymakers however, visiting year-round is still a great way to explore this stretch of New England coastline.

There are many little towns in Cape Cod, all with stunning ocean views, great restaurants, and laid-back environments.

Explore Cape Cod National Seashore to immerse yourself in the wild beauty of the Atlantic Ocean while strolling along golden sandy beaches.

This stretch of coastline covers more than 40 miles (64.37 kilometres).

While in Cape Cod, try the seafood as its coastal location means seafood is always freshly caught.

Sample lobster bisque or try fried oysters.

Driving from Boston to Cape Cod covers 70 miles (112.65 kilometres) and takes approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Recommended tour: Cape Cod Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour.

3- Providence, RI

distance from boston to washington dc from the far side of the Providence River against a blue sky and white clouds.
When driving from Boston to Washington, check out Providence, Rhode Island.

Cross into Rhode Island to explore the city of Providence, the state’s capital, which you can do on your own with this downtown self-driving audio tour.

Providence is a must-visit city for lovers of architecture. The city is filled with an eclectic blend of art deco, Victorian and modern buildings.

If art is more your thing, visit the RISD Museum of Art, which is packed with works of art from across the globe, including Japanese prints.

New artists’ work is often showcased here as the museum is attached to the Rhode Island School of Design.

Before departing, head to Federal Hill, the city’s Italian district. Here you will find delis with delicious treats such as freshly made mozzarella and soft and fruity panettone.

Driving from Cape Cod to Providence covers 76 miles (122.31 kilometres) and takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Recommended tour: Providence Narrated Boat Tours.

4- Worcester, MA

Venture back into Massachusetts to explore Worcester, the second-largest city in the state, which is packed with exciting things to do on your road trip.

Browse the stalls at Crompton Collective, a boutique and antique marketplace.

Once you have had your fill of unique and unusual treasures, head to Canal District Farmers Market for a bite or to grab some snacks for the rest of your journey.

If you are visiting with children or love animals, visit Green Hill Park Farm. This free-to-enter farm is home to pigs, llamas and chickens. 

Driving from Providence to Worcester covers 39.3 miles (63.25 kilometres) and takes approximately 40 minutes.

Recommended tour: Let’s Roam’s Worcester Scavenger Hunt: Wiggle Round Worcester!

5- Old Sturbridge Village, MA

Step back in time at the living museum of Old Sturbridge Village and spend a few hours immersing yourself in history before continuing your road trip.

The museum recreates life in the 1830s through 40 historical buildings and costumed historians who bring the village to life.

Open to explore in the village is a blacksmith, shoe shop, bank, sawmill and, of course, homes.

Each building is appropriately furnished and decorated to reflect the time.

There are also many animals living in the village. As part of the village reflects a working farm, expect to see heritage breed cows, pigs and chickens.

Driving from Worcester to Old Sturbridge Village covers 21.8 miles (35 kilometres) and takes approximately 25 minutes.

6- Springfield, MA

Boston to Washington DC Springfield at night
Springfield, Illinois, is a smaller city to visit on a Boston to Washington DC driving vacation. Pictured here is the old State Capitol Building.

Springfield is a must-visit stop to explore on your Boston to Washington D.C. road trip if you or a travelling companion are a basketball fan.

Springfield is known as the City of Firsts, and it was here that basketball was first invented.

Head to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

This museum honours James Naismith, a PE teacher who created the game of basketball, and legendary players, coaches and teams.

Within the Hall of Fame, expect to see interactive exhibits such as shooting games and memorabilia from basketball history.

Stop by the Dr Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden to relive childhood memories by reading the author’s famous books.

Five bronze sculptures within the garden reflect the author and some of his characters.

Driving from Old Sturbridge Village to Springfield covers 37.2 miles (59.86 kilometres) and takes approximately 40 minutes.

Recommended tour: Springfield Showdown Scavenger Hunt.

7- Stafford Motor Speedway, CT

Stafford Motor Speedway makes for a great stopping destination on your road trip from Boston to Washington D.C., particularly if you arrive on a race day.

The track consists of a semi-banked oval track covering 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometres).

Stafford is the home of the SK Modified races, which feature heavily modified cars.

While Stafford is no longer part of NASCAR, it still shows adrenaline-fuelled races both in person and through a streaming service.

The race season runs from April to September, with most events on Fridays.

Driving from Springfield to Stafford Motor Speedway covers 21.1 miles (33.95 kilometres) and takes approximately 35 minutes.

8- New York City, NY

Boston to Washington DC New York City at sunset
You’ll need more than a few days to explore New York city!

You’ll need a few days to explore New York City.

This sprawling metropolis will certainly leave you wanting more than the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Check out the incredible views over the New York City skyline at night and during the day and discover the stories of the millions of immigrants who arrived in the United States through this corridor.

Explore the beauty of New York from above and walk along The High Line; the former section of the elevated railway has been transformed into a garden and pedestrian walkway.

While in New York, seek out some bagels (you might enjoy this New York City bagel tour).

A great New York bagel has a firm golden crust and a soft yet chewy centre. Order plain, with toppings, or packed with smoked salmon and cream cheese or pastrami.

Driving from Stafford Motor Speedway to New York City covers 143 miles (230.13 kilometres) and takes approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes.

Recommended tour: New York CityPASS.

9- Newark, NJ

drive from boston to washington dc
Jersey City and New York City with the Manhattan Skyline gleaming over the Hudson River.

Take a short drive from New York to explore the state of New Jersey, beginning with Newark.

Newark offers one of the best opportunities to see the full Manhattan skyline.

Visit Newark Riverfront Park for the perfect photo, particularly at night as the building’s lights are reflected over the Hudson River.

If you are visiting in the summer, sample some authentic Italian gelato at Nasto’s. This family-ran Gelateria has been open since 1939 and also serves the best tiramisu and tartufo.

Branch Brook Park is a great natural escape after exploring several cities.

It’s a great spot to take the time to relax and unwind as you stroll by the water’s edge or, if visiting in April, below the delicate pink cherry blossoms.

Driving from New York City to Newark covers 10.5 miles (16.89 kilometres) and takes approximately 25 minutes.

10- Allentown, NJ

distance boston to washington dc
Allentown, Pennsylvania downtown city scenes.

Allentown is the ideal location for a short stop on your road trip.

This quaint historical village is packed with stores, restaurants offering delicious lunches and dinners, and beautiful architecture.

Explore the town on foot taking in its history.

The town was a key strategic location during the Revolutionary War and the battle for the Delaware River.

Explore The Old Burial Ground, where many gravestones date back to this time.

Driving from Newark to Allentown covers 49.2 miles (79.17 kilometres) and takes approximately 50 minutes.

11- Trenton, NJ

washington dc to boston ma
The State Capitol Building in Trenton, New Jersey.

Trenton is New Jersey’s capital and a great destination to spend a day or two on your Boston to Miami road trip.

Pay a visit to the New Jersey Statehouse, designed by Jonathan Done in 1792.

When inside the statehouse, be sure to look up. The painted ceiling room features a staggering depiction of the history of New Jersey in incredibly intricate artistic detail.

Step back in time at the Old Barracks Museum, originally built to house British soldiers during the French and Indian war and later served as a military hospital.

It is the last remaining British barracks in the USA.

Driving from Allentown to Trenton covers 13.1 miles (21.08 kilometres) and takes approximately 15 minutes.

12- Atlantic City, NJ

boston ma to washington dc
Two bicycles parked on Atlantic City beach boardwalk.

Round off your time in New Jersey by spending a couple of days in Atlantic City.

Well known for its casinos, the city also has inviting beaches and an excellent boardwalk.

The Boardwalk is a great place to start your time in Atlantic City. There are many shops and restaurants and unrivalled views across the ocean.

If you fancy a game of chance, head to Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa.

This golden-clad hotel has a casino floor packed with machines, table games and more to keep you entertained, while its hotel rooms all have floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking views.

Driving from Trenton to Atlantic City covers 90.7 miles (145.96 kilometres) and takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

13- Philadelphia, PA

Boston to Washington DC Philadelphia city skyline at sunset
Philadelphia is a fabulous city to explore for a few days when driving between Washington DC and Boston.

Explore the historical city of Philadelphia on a themed walking tour to absorb as much history and knowledge as possible.

Your guides take you to important historical sites and share some of the greatest tales in American history.

Pose for an Instagram photo by the LOVE sign, a popular typography-based sculpture designed by Robert Indiana and located in John F. Kennedy Plaza.

Join a food tour that will take you to Reading Terminal Market.

This marketplace is one of the oldest farmer’s markets in America. It is packed with stalls selling everything from fresh vegetables to piping hot dishes, including their famous hot roast pork sandwiches.

If you’re planning on staying over, here are some things to do in Philadelphia at night.

Driving from Atlantic City to Philadelphia covers 61.8 miles (99.45 kilometres) and takes approximately 1 hour.

Recommended tour: Philadelphia Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour.

14- Wilmington, DE

washington to boston
Another smaller city to visit while on a Boston to Washington DC road journey is Wilmington; its waterfront is pictured at night.

Wilmington is a great place to spend a day on your road trip to Washington D.C.

A must-visit destination in Wilmington is the French chateau-style Nemours Mansion and Garden.

This sprawling abode was once the home of the DuPont Family. The rooms are richly decorated and attractively furnished.

If nature is more your cup of tea, visit the DuPont Environmental Education Centre.

The centre is surrounded by 200 acres of natural and undisturbed marshland and gardens.

The centre is free to visit and is a great destination for families, with interactive exhibits and many pathways leading around the grounds.

Driving from Philadelphia to Wilmington covers 31.1 miles (50.05 kilometres) and takes approximately 35 minutes.

Recommended tour: Half-Day E-Bike Tour of Wilmington’s History, Haunts & Breweries

15- Susquehanna State Park, MD

Susquehanna State Park offers the ideal natural escape on your road trip.

Shut out the noise of the traffic or the bustle of the cities visited prior and immerse yourself in the woodlands.

The park runs alongside the Susquehanna River. It is formed of dense, thick forests filled with hiking and cycling trails.

There are also fishing piers and launches to access the river.

Camping is available with campsites kitted out with electricity and restroom facilities, all sporting hot running water.

Driving from Wilmington to Susquehanna State Park covers 40 miles (64.37 kilometres) and takes approximately 40 minutes.

16- Gettysburg, PA

boston to washington dc
Farm and fences at Gettysburg National Military Park, which is an interesting place to explore when road-tripping from Boston to DC.

Cross back into Pennsylvania to explore the historic city of Gettysburg, famous for the Gettysburg National Battlefield.

Head to the battlefield to explore either independently with the help of an interactive iPad tour or book one of their guide-led tours.

The battlefield is vast and is dotted with artefacts from the American Civil War, including cannons.

Keeping history at the forefront of your visit, venture into the city and visit some available period dining options.

Farnsworth House offers a Civil War-era atmosphere paired with unique dishes from the time.

Driving from Susquehanna State Park to Gettysburg covers 90.7 miles (145.96 kilometres) and takes approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Recommended tour: 2-Hour Gettysburg Battlefield Guided History Bus Tour with a National Park Guide

17- Catoctin Mountain Park, MD

Another opportunity to explore nature on your road trip comes from Catoctin Mountain Park.

The mountain park has a visitor centre that provides maps, guidebooks and restroom facilities.

From here, venture out onto one of the park’s 25 miles (40.23 kilometres) of hiking trails.

The trails vary in difficulty allowing you to choose the best one for you and your travel companions.

If you fancy spending the night here, there are camping spots available and a number of historic wood cabins.

Driving from Gettysburg to Catoctin Mountain Park covers 23.7 miles (38.14 kilometres) and takes approximately 25 minutes.

18- Baltimore, MD

washington dc to boston massachusetts baltimore aerial view
Baltimore is one of the exciting cities to explore on a Boston to Washington DC road trip.

Get back into the city and explore Baltimore, where an excellent restaurant scene is set among historical and modern buildings.

If art interests you, a must-visit spot in Baltimore is the Baltimore Museum of Art, which houses the world’s largest collection of Matisse paintings.

Crabs are a local delicacy in Baltimore, with the best being served at LP Steamers. This crab shack offers crab and other seafood steamed and flavoured to perfection.

For impressive views over the city, particularly at sunset, climb the 227 marble steps of the Washington Monument at Mount Vernon Place.

Driving from Catoctin Mountain Park to Baltimore covers 69.7 miles (112.17 kilometres) and takes approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Recommended tour: Signature Spirit of Baltimore Lunch Cruise with Buffet

19- Annapolis, MD

boston to washington dc distance
The Maryland State Capitol Building in Annapolis.

Annapolis is the capital of Maryland and is filled with beautiful pastel buildings, 18th-century homes, and an excellent waterfront.

Annapolis is the home to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Its campus buildings are open to the public on guided tours.

Visit the iconic dome chapel to see the ornately decorated crypt of U.S. Navy father John Paul Jones.

For a unique breakfast experience, visit Chick & Ruth’s Delly.

If you visit at 8.30 am during the week or 9.30 am at weekends, enjoy your breakfast and join in with the daily Pledge of Allegiance.

Try their famous Delly potatoes that can be added to your breakfast dish.

Driving from Baltimore to Annapolis covers 32.4 miles (52.14 kilometres) and takes approximately 35 minutes.

20- Washington D.C.

washington dc to boston
The Capitol building in Washington D.C.

End your road trip in U.S. capital, Washington D.C.. Washington D.C. is filled with political landmarks and history, however, there is so much more to the city.

For some tranquillity, visit Rock Creek Park.

This 1754-acre patch of green is a great place to get back to nature, with 32 miles (51.5 kilometres) of hiking trails to discover either with maps or on a guided tour.

Immerse yourself in modern art at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, which was built to house Joseph Hirshhorn’s large collection of 20th-century art and sculptures.

Look for Yoko Ono’s ‘A Wish Tree for Washington D.C.’ to tell your secrets.

Driving from Annapolis to Washington D.C. covers 31.9 miles (51.34 kilometres) and takes approximately 40 minutes. 

Recommended tour: Washington DC Monuments by Moonlight Tour by Trolley

Looking for a road trip? Here are some epic driving vacations.

Previous article20 Places To Explore On A Boston To Miami Road Trip
Next article20 Things To Do In Taipei
sarah holmes travel writer
Sarah Holmes is a travel and fashion writer living in the heart of England. From family adventures in numerous parts of the UK and Europe to exploring cities as an adult, Sarah has a wide knowledge of the best areas, sights and local tips that the UK and the neighbouring continent can offer. Sarah grew up in the North East of England, with incredible sights and landmarks only a short drive away. Her favourite places to visit include Seaham Beach, the Lake District and Alnwick Castle. Sarah has written for a range of fashion and travel blogs and print publications.