If you are looking to explore the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, Manassas, Virginia would serve as an ideal location. Located near the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., but far enough away to not be burdened by the congestion of city life, Manassas is the ideal go-between. Historically, Manassas played a fairly large role in the American Civil War, but now the city continues to grow as people are looking toward more affordable, less city-living lifestyles. Manassas is recognized as an independent city and does not belong in any county.
If you are looking to explore northern Virginia (NOVA), then you will have no problem driving around in your Manassas RV rental by owner. However, if you are looking to spend some time in the D.C. area, you may want to rely on public transportation as the streets are relatively narrow and often congested. Manassas’ major train station supports Virginia Railway Express trains. These are commuter trains that go into D.C., as well as to the other nearby towns. There is also a bus system that covers Manassas and the neighboring Prince William County called OmniRide that will also take commuters into the city. If you are looking for local transportation, Potomac & Rappahannock Transportation Commission has bus routes in and around Manassas and Prince William County.
While it is part of the D.C.-Baltimore-NOVA metropolitan area, Manassas still feels removed enough so that you aren’t constantly under the stress of an urban atmosphere while still feeling as though the more natural parts of the region are easily accessible. When you book an RV in Manassas, you open up a great amount of opportunity for you to explore.
The Great Outdoors
When it’s time to retreat into nature for a little while, head south of Manassas to Prince William Forest Park. With over 35 miles of hiking trails for hiking, almost 20 miles of streams for fishing, and a strong presence of native NOVA wildlife, the park is so rich and full that you’ll forget you’re only about 30 minutes from Washington, D.C. You can even drive your Manassas camper rental down and park in one of the RV-equipped campsites and spend a night or two in close proximity to city life, but among some of NOVA’s pristine wilderness.
If you’re looking to retreat a little farther into nature and feel even more removed from everything, make the three-hour trek to George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, near Roanoke. Spread out over not only Virginia, but West Virginia and Kentucky, the national forest is the ideal place to go in Virginia to enjoy the Appalachian Mountains. You can relax by Sherando Lake, go looking for waterfalls, or hike up one of the several trails that go up the mountains. In the winter, this is an ideal place to go cross-country skiing. However, the most beautiful time to visit is likely autumn. Just north enough to get the captivating reds and golds of the fall colors, but south enough so that the weather still stays fairly mild, you can hike along the vibrant trails and feel the crisp air as you explore this pristine Virginian landscape.
If you want to learn more about the Chesapeake Bay, you can travel three hours south with the Manassas motorhome to the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Chesapeake. Don’t let the name deter you, this protected marshland is what remains of a once massive landscape. Here, you can see wildlife in their natural habitats, enjoy the network of rivers and tributaries, and reimagine what historic Virginia may have looked like.
When you rent an RV in Manassas, you’re going to need to find somewhere to call home for the duration of your stay. Luckily, many of the nearby state and national parks have RV-equipped campgrounds. So, for instance, if you enjoyed visiting Prince William Forest Park, you can stay there a night or two.
If you want to get a feel for the bayside lifestyle of the mid-Atlantic region, you can head south of town about 30 miles to Stafford, to the Holiday Harbor RV Park and Marina. Situated on the Potomac River, this RV park offers powered sites, water, a bathhouse, and easy access to the Potomac.
Explore the City
After you’ve driven your Manassas RV rental by owner all over Virginia and back again, it may be time to explore the city and the surrounding area.
Two major battles of the tumultuous Civil War were fought nearby Manassas. Just north of town is the Manassas National Battlefield Park and the Bull Run Regional Park. You can visit these two parks and learn more about one of the first battles of the Civil War.
If you want to head into the city, Washington D.C. has a wealth of opportunities to explore. However, if you only want to spend a day in the city, the Smithsonian Institution is the probably the best place to go. With nineteen museums (covering art, history, and science) and a zoo (featuring giant pandas), there is so much to learn, see, and do simply by walking through the museums or attending a class or two. With most of the Smithsonian museums located in the National Mall, you’ll be able to walk from monument to monument all while visiting some of the world’s best museums.
After all of your exploring and adventuring, you may have to reward yourself with a famous Chesapeake Bay crab cake. Made with breadcrumbs, Old Bay spices, and plenty of fresh crabmeat, these crab cakes are almost worth the trip to NOVA by themselves.
Manassas, VA is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Manassas. Outdoorsy's Manassas RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.