Image by Patrick Rohe; view Flickr photostream here
Head an hour west of D.C. and you'll find... outlet shopping.
But drive another 90 minutes, and you'll discover seven Natural Rock Chimneys (94 Natural Chimneys Lane, Mt. Solon, Va.), formed when the Shenandoah Valley was once an inland sea.
These mammoth limestone formations, some reaching as high as 120 feet, resemble an old castle from a distance. You can pay a quick visit during a journey farther west, or camp overnight at a 145-site seasonal campground. The site also has a pool for those balmy summer days, should you put off your trip for another couple of months.
If you choose to camp, you may also want to bring your bike -- the Shenandoah Valley is known for its splendid biking trails. Numerous biking events taking place throughout the season.
Reservations are recommended as it is a first come, first serve basis. Weekday camping $22/night and weekends are $30/night. The season usually starts around May 1.
Call 540-350-2510 or firstname.lastname@example.org for camping and visitor info.
Image by Patrick Rohe; view Flickr photostream here.