WHEN IT COMES to accommodations in this neck of the woods, harbor no great expectations. Whatever you do find will probably be clean and magnificently modest.

The following southward-marching list outlines a few dependable places to stay, should you decide that day-tripping makes for too long a day. Prices and quality of hotels remain generally consistent on both sides of the Potomac River Bridge.

HOLIDAY INN -- Route 301, Waldorf, about 1/2 mile south. $42-$45. Pool, cable, senior citizen rates, 18-hole golf course, health club privileges. Picnic tables, grills, entertainment and dancing Friday and Saturday. 301/645-8200.

ECONO LODGE -- Route 301 and Md. 6, La Plata. $28-$36. Pool, cable, continental breakfast. Adjacent cafe is open 24 hours. Some oversize beds. Private patios. 301/934-8196.

BROWN'S MOTEL -- At intersection of Routes 301 and 17 in Port Royal. $28-$40. This one also advertises trucker and military special rates. The sign outside reads: "A most congenial place to stay." 804/742-5523.

WASHINGTON AND LEE -- On Va. Rte. 3, 1 mile south of Montross, Va. This is recommended as the best bet for the area near George Washington's Birthplace National Monument, although it is a 20-minute drive. $26-$35. Cribs, cots $4; cafe open 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. 804/493-8093.