Zombie is originally from central Virginia. How long will you have?
A day or two in Washington DC.
A day or two in Charlottesville, VA (Zombie's home town) home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence. His home, Monticello, is well worth a visit. A few hours up on the Skyline Drive.
Two or three days in the Williamsburg / Jamestown / Yorktown area. Colonial Williamsburg is fascinating. Jamestown is the site of the first permanent British settlement in the New World. Yorktown is the site of the surrender of Gen. Cornwallis, ending the war for Independence.
Then down along the North Carolina coast. Pop over onto the Outer Banks.
That's as far as Zombie's personal knowledge takes her but she's happy to give any more info on the suggestions she's made if you'd like.
We go to Charleston every Easter and have done it lots of ways including flying into DC and driving down via Williamsburg and Durham. I much prefer flying out of Charlotte than Atlanta. Go on the Rand Mcnally website and you can plan your trip - it has really good maps and you can add stop off points.
Beaufort, NC is a really pretty sea side town and was the home of Blackbeard allegedly. It is at the start of a series of islands that form the outer banks. Big lighthouse on one of them - I think cape hatteras?
Consider a stop in Virginia Beach if you fancy sand and sea and relaxing for a couple of dads- only about 3 hrs from DC. You could also take in Busch Gardens if you are into theme parks. DC is fab and I agree you must go to Outer Banks and Roanoke- fantastic history and so pretty. Williamsburg worth a day trip too