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10 Drivable Getaways Perfect for Spring

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The Lodge at Woodloch // Photo Courtesy of The Lodge at Woodloch

Drive Time: 2-3 Hours

The Lodge at Woodloch

What to Expect: Whether you’re looking for a getaway that’s packed with recreation or one that’s just plain relaxing, this Pocono Mountains resort offers both. Beautifully appointed rooms and suites have sweeping views of the 400-acre property’s woodland gardens, 15-acre private lake or rock-garden waterfall.

Take a refreshing dip in the indoor pool, or pamper yourself with the hydromassage waterwalls, indoor or outdoor whirlpool, steam room or sauna. For a more romantic option, try the Couple’s Float Therapy. It can be customized to improve sleep and concentration or for pain relief in muscles and joints. Overnight stays include three luxurious meals daily, beginning with dinner on the evening of arrival and lunch on the day of departure.

What to Do: Take a hike on six miles of woodland trails, with hammocks strategically placed along the way. The resort’s TREE restaurant will pack a picnic lunch to take along. Or set a tee time at the Country Club at Woodloch Spring’s 18-hole golf course.

Guests can also choose from more than 35 classes and activities, including yoga, mindful meditation, painting and drawing, sensory and photo walks, pilates, t’ai chi, geocaching, gardening, journaling, birding, cooking, Zumba, wine and chocolate pairings and more. Or forage with a certified herbalist to discover edible and medicinal plants.

109 River Birch Lane, Hawley, Pa. (800) 966-3562
Rates: Rooms $350-$639, suites $559-$789

Baltimore’s Ivy Hotel // Courtesy of Ivy Hotel.

The Ivy Hotel 

What to Expect: At the Ivy Hotel, pampering begins the moment you arrive—with a glass of champagne. An on-call concierge can help with everything from restaurant reservations to arranging for complimentary car service to anywhere within three miles of the property.

The lovingly restored 19th-century mansion has multiple cozy common rooms furnished with décor finds from around the globe. It’s a convenient headquarters for exploring Baltimore, a world away from urban hustle and bustle.  Other amenities include breakfast (don’t miss the lemon ricotta pancakes), afternoon high tea and a self-serve cocktail bar. There’s also a full-service spa, and pets are welcome.

What to Do: Baltimore is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own history and distinctive character. Embark on a culinary adventure with Bite of Baltimore (www.biteofbaltimore.net), which offers tours of the Fells Point waterfront or the culturally vibrant Mount Vernon neighborhoods. Tours visit five community dining and drinking establishments, which serve small plates (including the city’s famed crab cakes) or a craft cocktail.

Be sure to take in the collections of world art spanning thousands of years at the Walters Art Museum. Admission is free, and it’s an easy walk from the hotel. For a truly unique experience, visit the American Visionary Art Museum, which highlights unusual media works (think toothpicks, mirrors, boxes and bottle caps) created by self-taught artists.    

205 E. Biddle St., Baltimore, Md.  (410) 514-6500
Rates: Starting at $595

 

Rehoboth Beach Del.’s Boardwalk Plaza Hotel // Courtesy of the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel.

Boardwalk Plaza Hotel

What to Expect: From its lavish lobby to its rooms furnished with Victorian-era antiques and reproductions, this oceanfront hotel is Old World elegant without the stuffiness. Deluxe suites offer private balconies with water views and whirlpool baths for two. The concierge level is reserved for adults only and offers extra amenities like evening turndown service and a later checkout time. A heated indoor-outdoor pool is open to families during the day and exclusively to adults at night, when the whirlpool jets come on and cocktails are served poolside.

What to Do: Dinner at the on-site Victoria’s restaurant is accompanied by a live piano serenade and ocean view from every table. The upscale menu features specialties like duck two ways and strip steak with a Jack Daniels sauce. Or indulge in prime rib on Sunday nights. Victoria’s Sunday brunch is also a treat, thanks to a wide variety of small plates and entrées like crab Benedict and a salmon croissant. Monday-Saturday, you can reserve afternoon tea (24-hour notice required) with petit sandwiches, scones, sweets and fruit.

For added fun, spend an evening taking in a performance at Clear Space Theatre, which puts on two lavish musicals and one play during the spring months.

2 Olive Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del. (302) 227-7169
Rates: $84-$339 late March-early April, $179-$569 mid-April-early June

 

Washington, D.C.’s Embassy Row Hotel // Courtesy of Embassy Row Hotel.

Embassy Row Hotel

What to Expect: Dupont Circle is known for its diverse and handsome architecture­—and this sophisticated hotel is no exception. Accommodations mix traditional and contemporary décor with lots of colorful original art. A light continental breakfast is included with overnight stay, and dogs are welcome. The hotel is just steps from the metro line, making it convenient to just about everything in D.C.

What to Do: This year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place March 20-April 12 and you won’t want to miss the annual Blossom Kite Festival (March 28), featuring kite-makers and competitive fliers from around the world. Petalpalooza (April 11) is an extravaganza of interactive art installations and larger-than-life games and activities. It also features live music, a beer garden, and a fireworks show. Catch the Grand Parade (April 4), with its giant helium balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands and other performers.

While in town, get a taste of authentic Latin food at La Cosecha. A 20,000-square-foot cross-cultural marketplace showcasing food and goods from more than a dozen countries, it opened last fall in the Union Market District. There you can savor South American flavors in the form of sandwiches, empanadas, platters and desserts at Peruvian Brothers, or try the Pan con Chicharrón, a sandwich of salted pork loin with sweet potato.

2015 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 265-1600
Rates: $210-$239 weekdays,  $148-$195 weekends

 

Alexandria, Va.’s Hotel Indigo // Courtesy of Hotel Indigo.

Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria

What to Expect: Alexandria is a great walking city, with numerous shops, dining spots and historic sites lining its cobbled streets. Park the car and explore by foot, using the city’s first riverfront hotel as a hub. Celebrating its third birthday, Hotel Indigo was designed to match Old Town’s charming Colonial architecture. Inside, though, it has colorful contemporary furnishings and décor. Certain rooms have balconies overlooking the Potomac River, and some suites and executive rooms offer whirlpool tubs.

The on-site Hummingbird Bar and Kitchen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. And the hotel is dog-friendly.

What to Do: Old Town Alexandria is home to the nation’s largest collection of working artists’ open studios. More than 80 are housed at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, a former World War II munitions plant. Its resident artists work in a wide range of media, from painting, photography, prints and sculpture to jewelry, stained glass and fiber. Guests can visit seven galleries, including one dedicated to enamel works and another to fiber arts.

For dinner with a decidedly French accent, make a reservation at Le Refuge, known for its escargots, bouillabaisse and other traditional fare. Live music fans should come early to the Birchmere Music Hall, an intimate performance venue featuring both famed headliners and up-and-comers. Many nights, it’s standing room only.

To delve into Alexandria’s rich history, visit Old Town’s Carlyle House. Built in 1735, this manor house offers a look at the lives of merchant and town founder John Carlyle.

220 S. Union St., Alexandria, Va. (703) 721-3800
Rates: Rooms and suites $220-$315 weekdays; rooms and suites $185-$300 weekends         

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City

What to Expect: This music-centric venue overlooking Atlantic City’s iconic boardwalk and ocean is an entertainment destination unto itself, thanks to more than 20 on-site restaurants and lounges; a casino with over 2,000 slots, 120 table games and sports betting; performances by headlining musical and comedic talent; and a full-service spa. The hotel’s stylish décor, a custom in-room soundtrack and “Sleep Like a Rock” bedding provide first-class accommodations. And spa treatments utilize musical vibrations and beats to refresh and renew.

What to Do: The indoor pool with walk-up bar offers a sand-less alternative for year-round waterside lounging. Purchase a spa day pass for access to heated hydrotherapy and ambient temperature tubs, a steam room, sauna and three different shower experiences.

Dining options range from the seafood-centric Council Oaks Steaks & Seafood to Japanese cuisine at Kuro, which also offers the occasional sushi class. And if you’ve always wanted to be a rock star, now’s your chance. You can have a genuine Fender guitar delivered to your room. Prefer to see rock stars on stage? Head to the Etess Arena for major national talent. Or have a laugh at Howie Mandel’s Comedy Club.    

1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J. (609) 449-1000
Rates: $69-$99 weekdays, $159-$399 weekends

Robert Morris Inn

What to Expect: Not many places can say that the first president of the United States slept there—but this charming Maryland inn can. So did author James Michener, who wrote the outline for his classic novel Chesapeake while staying here. Built in 1710, this Eastern Shore landmark is America’s oldest full-service inn. Stay in the original house or one of the large guestrooms in the cottage. Many rooms and suites afford expansive views of the river, the Chesapeake Bay or historic downtown Oxford. Pet-friendly accommodations are also available.

Match your meal to your mood. Dine in the casual rustic tavern, the more formal dining room, or (weather permitting) the patio, veranda or river terrace. The same menu is offered throughout. A full breakfast is included with overnight stay.

What to Do: Celebrity chef and inn partner Mark Salter offers two-hour field-to-table demonstration lunches, which include a three-course meal and a glass of wine. At seasonal events, Salter might show guests how to make his signature honey-and-tarragon-glazed shank of lamb with vegetables or a Pavolva with mixed berries and chantilly.

Be sure to get out and explore. Rent a bike at Dockside Boat Rentals and pedal through town. And don’t miss a
chance to take the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry across Tred Avon River to nearby Saint Michaels and Tilghman Island.

314 N. Morris St., Oxford, Md., (410) 226-5111
Rates: Rooms $160-$225 weekdays, $190-$265 weekends; suites $195 weekdays, $220 weekends

Related Article: 27 Drivable Weekend Getaways

DRIVE TIME: OVER 3 HOURS

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Polymath Park // Courtesy of Polymath Park.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Polymath Park

What to Expect: You can tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, the much-visited landmarks in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, but you can’t sleepover at either. It’s a different story at Polymath Park, where visitors can get the full Wright experience at two homes (Duncan House and Mäntylä) designed by the master himself and two others (Balter House and Blum House) designed by his long-time apprentice Peter Berndtson. Built in 1952 and 1964, they honor Wright’s signature integration of nature and contemporary design. Two of the houses were transported from locations in other parts of the country. Accommodations include three and four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and kitchens with microwaves and refrigerators. The Balter and Blum houses also have functional fireplaces.

What to Do: With its décor and seasonal menu, the on-site Treetops restaurant perfectly reflects the Wright sensibility.

187 Evergreen Lane, Acme, Pa. (877) 833-7829
Rates: $299-$399 weekdays, $349-$475 weekends

 

Los Gatos Bed & Breakfast // Courtesy of Los Gatos Bed & Breakfast.

Los Gatos Bed & Breakfast

1491 State Route 14A, Penn Yan, N.Y. (315) 536-0686

Rates: Rooms $179, suites $199, log cabins $219.

What to Expect: Located in New York’s picturesque Finger Lakes, Los Gatos Bed & Breakfast is a comfortable home-away-from-home and just a short drive from the area’s famed wine trails. Choose from two rooms and a suite that spans the entire upstairs floor in the main house. There are also two private log cabins on the property. An abundant homemade breakfast is included.

What to Do: Los Gatos offers a hot-air balloon package, with a launch from its property. In spring, rainbow trout and salmon are plentiful in local waterways. Learn the ropes with classes from Summit to Stream Adventures, or venture to one of the area’s premier spots for fly-fishing.

If something a little faster is more your speed, test yourself on the 3.4-mile Grand Prix circuit at the racetrack at Watkins Glen International. The season kicks off in early April.

For dinner, head to Veraisons Restaurant and order a local cheese sampler to go with your wine. Other highlights include barbacoa empanadas, chimichurri tacos and cider-braised goat. Known for its stunning views, the restaurant overlooks Seneca Lake and the vineyards at Glenora Wine Cellars.

Judy’s Cottage & Carriage Home Rentals

What to Expect: For ultimate privacy, Judy’s is tucked away on a hill within easy walking distance of downtown Berkeley Springs, which boasts plenty of shopping. A cozy nest for two, the carriage house features a hot tub on the deck. A queen-size sleeper sofa offers extra lodging for kids or another couple. The cottage has two bedrooms, plus a living room and formal dining room. Both properties have full kitchens.    

What to Do: Built around warm mineral springs in its tiny downtown state park, Berkeley Springs offers head-to-toe pampering, with nearly 10 spas. Choose from over 55 massage and skin treatments ranging from centuries-old Roman baths to more state-of-the-art offerings at upscale facilities.

In downtown Berkeley Springs at Tari’s Premier Café, you can enjoy innovative twists on home-style favorites like shrimp and pimento cheese grits, smoked bison meatloaf, and pig (caramelized pork belly and crispy bacon) and waffles.

122 and 154 Johnsons Mill Road, Berkeley Springs, W.Va. (304) 258-4974
Rates: Carriage house $120 weekdays, $145 weekends; cottage $140 weekdays, $165 weekends

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