This year is the centennial of the National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20–April 27), which kicked off this week in D.C. For travelers headed to see the flowers, T+L's Sarah Spagnolo presents easy weekend getaways from the nation's capital on the Weather Channel's Wake Up and Go.
1. Sporty College Town: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
A five-hour drive south on I-85 will get you to Chapel Hill, home to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, located on 729 leafy acres. This weekend is a great time to visit: join students as they watch the school’s Tar Heels basketball team play in the NCAA Tournament on Friday night in St. Louis. WHERE TO STAY The Siena Hotel, a Tuscan-style retreat, has French doors, circular tubs, and balconies that overlook Franklin Street, the city’s main artery. PRICE $120 a night. BOOK NOW
2. Family Seaside Escape: Chesapeake Bay, Virginia
This waterfront destination, three hours southeast of D.C. on Virginia’s Northern Neck, is great for kayaking, paddle boating, and golf. Plus, it’s within driving distance of Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. WHERE TO STAY Tides Inn, a 2012 T+L 500 hotel, has creekside rooms, a George Cobb-designed golf course, and s’mores on the beach. PRICE $275 a night. BOOK NOW
3. Wine Trip: Lynchburg, Virginia
An undiscovered town in Central Virginia, Lynchburg is home to two of the state’s top wineries, both framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains. The historic destination, just a three-hour drive southwest from D.C., is also filled with museums, charming boutiques, and orchards. WHERE TO STAY Craddock Terry Hotel, set in a converted shoe factory, pays homage to the site’s roots with unique touches, such as room service served in an antique wood shoeshine box. PRICE $189 a night. BOOK NOW