Direct flights that make it easy to reach these 6 destinations from DC

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Nonstop Fun Key West is now easier to get to thanks to a new nonstop flight.

Berlin

Cultural Capital

Germany’s thriving metropolis continues its march into the future even as it embraces its past. Take the new Humboldt Forum, which combines ultra-modern design with the reconstructed sculptural facades of a former baroque palace. Two large museums have moved in: the Ethnological Museum and the Asian Art Museum. Add to that an already overwhelming number of world-class arts institutions, including the cluster of five in Museum Island. There are a number of events including design week in May and Berlin pride in July plus final stops like that Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platzand the strong and moving Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Street to stroll: Spend a lovely afternoon in the cafés and shops of Kastanienallee, lined with chestnut trees.

Take off: Berlin, Germany. Photo by Wolfgang Scholvien/visitberlin.de.

Tasty bite: Currywurst is grilled pork sausage that is sliced ​​and seasoned with ketchup or tomato paste and generously mixed with curry powder. Try it curry 61.

Sustainable stay: Centrally located, the Intercity Hotel am Hauptbahnhof is within walking distance of many sights. A free public transport ticket is included with every stay.

nature correction: In Berlin you are never far from the water. Dive into the Schlachtenseeknown as the cleanest bathing lake in the city, southwest of Berlin.

Non-stop new: From Dulles with United Airlines (seasonal from May to October).

Ashville

mountain high

This hip, nature-loving, and cultured city in western Appalachian North Carolina has long attracted independent thinkers, including George Vanderbilt, whose Biltmore estate put Asheville on the map. “A creative spirit is nurtured in the mountain air of the Blue Ridge, which roams the restaurants, breweries, galleries and music venues,” said Victoria Isely, a former Washington resident who is now CEO of Explore Asheville. Neighborhoods to check out besides downtown include the River Arts District and the up-and-coming neighborhoods of West Asheville and South Slope, known for their quirky shops. The summer program is already packed: Asheville Beer Week is late May to early June; mean Saturdays in June art in the park; and in early August, one of the nation’s longest-running folk music gatherings takes place – the Mountain dance and folk festivalalmost 100 years celebration.

Street to stroll: The area around Eagle and South Market streets, once the trading hub of the African American community, is now once again a hub for black-owned businesses and makers. Stroll through the Block, a rehabilitated neighborhood of shops, restaurants and creative spaces.

Endless Sky: Asheville. Photo of Asheville by Dave Allen/ExploreAsheville.com.

Local bite: Pulled pork sandwich. Try it Barbecue at Buxton Hallwhere pigs are smoked eastern North Carolina style with a vinegar-based sauce.

Sustainable stay: The Cottages on Biltmore Estate— with their solar panels and butterfly-friendly landscaping — continue Vanderbilt’s ecological legacy.

nature correction: The summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, rewards visitors with views of some of the world’s oldest mountains. Access is via a short but steep walk from the parking lot or a strenuous two-mile climb.

Non-stop new: From Reagan National on American Airlines (seasonal May through October).

key west

Floribbean beat

At the tip of a 125-mile chain of islands connected by the Overseas Highway, Key West is closer to Cuba than mainland Florida. This tiny island — just over seven square miles — has an outsized personality, from the nightly sunset celebrations at Mallory Square to the haunts of famous residents like Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett to adrenaline-pumping sea activities like sport fishing. This year the island is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its first permanent settlement and year-round activities are planned.

Street to stroll: Whitehead Street – parallel to the main street of Duval Street and running from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean – has Mile marker zero (Starting point of US Route 1, which leads to Canada), the Hemingway House Museum, Mallory Squareand the marker for the southernmost point of the continental United States.

Local bite: A slice of lime pie, well. Try it Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppewhich also sells a gluten-free version.

Sustainable stay: Key West Marriott Beach Hotela Florida Green Lodging designated property.

nature correction: Kayak through the mangroves and spot ospreys, clams, small sharks and stingrays through a tour outfitter such as Blue Planet Kayak Eco Tours.

Non-stop new: From Dulles to United (all year).

Nantucket

dune dreams

This 48-square-mile spit of land off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a popular getaway for Washingtonians — famous and not — perhaps for its deserted, dune-fringed beaches; cedar-shingled, weather-beaten buildings; and landscapes that drive away worries. “It’s surrounded by water and it’s 30 miles from the mainland, so it feels cut off from the world in a good way,” says Washington resident Susan O’Keefe, whose family has vacationed there for decades. “You leave chain stores and traffic lights behind and enter a seaside village of rose-covered cottages and uninterrupted white-sand beaches — all with public access.” The city’s cobblestone streets are lined with boutiques, restaurants, and galleries — all great, all expensive. Be sure to visit the whaling museum to understand the island’s role in the 19th century whaling industry.

Street to stroll: Main Street has cafes, a pharmacy with a soda fountain, and historic wooden homes of sea captains and whale oil merchants.

Local bite: Boiled lobster with all sides. Try it Nantucket Lobster Trap.

Sustainable stay: The Cottages in the Nantucket Boat Basin participates in hotel recycling and reuse programs and promotes oyster recovery off Nantucket Island.

nature correction: Cycle to Siasconset, a former fishing village about ten miles from town, where a hidden escarpment offers sweeping sea views and sprawling summer houses with steps leading to ‘Sconset Beach, as the locals call it.

Non-stop new: From Dulles on United (seasonal June to September).

Bozeman

Great Gate of Heaven

Seeding an old west cow town with creative millennial makers has transformed Bozeman, Montana into a cool town. Cafes, bike shops, upcycled furniture stores and breweries line downtown, and an old flour mill has been converted into a gallery and workshop. A striking Art Deco building from 1941 is today Kimpton Armory Hotel. All this is not even the main attraction. The city with 53,000 inhabitants is surrounded by nature. Make that great: half a dozen mountain ranges and Yellowstone National Park practically in his backyard. Wild to mild, every activity is possible, from hot spring hopping to ziplining.

Street to stroll: Make it to Main Street with its mix of architectural styles and storefronts selling everything from hand-sewn leather boots (boot barn) to hand-brewed espressos (Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot).

Tasty bite: A burger made with Montana beef or bison. Try it Backcountry burger bar.

Sustainable stay: In the heart of downtown, the Lark Bozeman used recyclable materials in the redesign of a 1960s property and opted for digital directories.

nature correction: A horseback ride through the sagebrush meadows of the Gallatin Range is classic Montana. Try it 320 guest ranch.

Non-stop new: From Dulles on United (seasonal July to September).

savannah

Southern comfort

Despite being Georgia’s oldest city, Savannah has a youthful and visionary aesthetic. That’s thanks in part to the renowned Savannah College of Art and Design, or SCAD, whose alumni have helped shape the city’s culture and economy over the past four decades. Set against the backdrop of America’s largest National Historic Landmark District—22 city squaresincluding attractions like the oldest black church in North America—the creative spark of Hostess City shines everywhere, including the contemporary art museum, Jepson Center; the high-end Downtown Design District; and a dining scene that ranges from down-to-earth eateries to Michelin-starred restaurants.

Street to stroll: Often cited as the prettiest street in Savannah, the red-brick Jones Street is lined with southern live oaks and Victorian houses.

Tasty bite: Fingerlickin’ fried chicken and hoecakes (cornmeal pancakes). Try them the grayHoused in a restored art deco former Greyhound bus terminal.

Sustainable stay: Kimpton Brice Hotel is certified by the Green Key Eco-Rating Program and works with Clean the World, which collects and recycles discarded soap.

nature correction: Stretch out on a sandy beach Tybee Islanda barrier island 20 minutes from downtown.

Non-stop new: From BWI with Southwest Airlines (all year).

This article appears in the April 2022 issue of The Washingtonian.

Noria Quintos

Alexandria-based Norie Quintos travels the world as a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler. She is also a content strategist, advising destinations and travel companies on how to tell their stories. On Twitter and Instagram she is @noriecicerone.

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