Dale City, VA is on the outskirts of the DC metro area. If you want to drive up to DC from Dale City, it’s going to take you around 40 minutes. This quick disclaimer is just meant for you to realize that all the popular tourist attractions in the nation’s capital are technically things you can do around Dale City. However, you won’t find the Capitol building or the Lincoln Memorial on this list. Instead, we wanted to focus on things that many people may not be aware of that you can enjoy around this area. In most cases, people don’t know of these attractions, precisely because everything in DC is considerably more popular. If you want to stay closer to the Dale City limits, here are some things that you can enjoy.      

1. Meadowood Recreation Area

If you like hiking, there are plenty of trails that you can enjoy around here. The Neabsco Creek boardwalk is one of these unique places where you can stroll through nature. If you’re serious about hiking, the best spot near Dale City is the Meadowood Recreation Area. There are many different trails to choose from. You’ll also find spots near some of the many bodies of water in the area where you can strap yourself to a kayak and enjoy yourself that way. These trails are great for a walk on a spring or summer day. You could even take a stroll during the winter as well. Of course, you’ll have to come prepared to handle the cold during that time of year.  

2. Boat Tours on the Potomac River

The Potomac River is arguably the most relevant waterway in American history. It is the river that allowed George Washington to survive the British onslaught and subsequently defeat the Brits in the War of Independence. These days, you can mix history with pleasure by renting a yacht to cruise along the Potomac River. Surprisingly, not many companies offer this service, particularly rental boats. It can still be one of the best ways to spend a day with friends. You can have a nice romantic dinner on a small yacht. The tours also cater to friend groups who may be more interested in an open bar experience than the romantic dinner option.          

3. Dinner by the River Near Dale City   

You could head down to the restaurant area within the Potomac Mills Mall if you want. There, you’ll find the usuals: Olive Garden, Outback, the whole deal. If you really want to have a good “local” dining experience, the best places to dine are actually along the Occoquan River. There are different cafés along the riverbed, as well as bars and seafood spots. It’s the place to be if you’re looking to spice up the night a bit.            

It’s true that these “attractions” are a bit outside the Dale City limits. All of these options, however, will allow guests to live out unique experiences in the area. Within the city limits, you’ll find the aforementioned mall and some popular retailers, just like in virtually all cities in America. Don’t worry about not being able to find those types of amenities in the region. As mentioned before, if you’re not convinced by these activities, you can always drive up to DC. It’s only about 40 minutes away from Dale City.