These 10 Mountain Getaways Are an Easy Drive from the Philly Suburbs

Heading to a higher elevation may not be your first thought for a spring (or summer) getaway. It's time to think again.

The Lodge at Woodloch

Drive Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes.

Stay Here: All rooms at the Lodge have undergone a refresh to provide a tranquil ambience. Private verandas overlook either a rock-garden waterfall or the lake. Be sure to take a soak in the resort’s signature rosemary mint bath provided in your room.

Rates: Starting at $529 (per person).

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Do This: De-stress and rejuvenate with activities that are both engaging and relaxing at this Pocono Mountains destination. More than 50 unique options provide ample opportunities for delving deeper into yourself or broadening your horizons with something new. Fill your day with inspirational speakers and workshops, creative arts, group fitness and mind-body classes, and outdoor adventure excursions. Take a dip in the indoor pool or make use of the various fitness amenities.

Lake Teedyuskung and 500 acres of surrounding woodlands are perfect for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, fly-fishing, birdwatching, guided forest bathing, and hiking or biking on six well-tended trails. You’ll find hammocks for resting, and the on-site restaurant will pack you a picnic lunch. Woodloch’s chef offers cooking demonstrations twice daily. Or check out a wine and cocktail tasting hosted by the resort’s sommelier.

At the spa, relax your tired muscles under hydromassage water walls or in the whirlpools, steam rooms and saunas. Recent additions include a therapeutic Himalayan salt sauna and a Tyrolean cold-bucket shower. For a gentler cooldown, try the snow room. Book a spa treatment, aquatic fitness class, yoga session, vibrational sound bath, or a personal consultation on anything from holistic nutrition to discovering your hidden creative talents.

The Lodge at Woodloch
The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Andrea Killam.

Eat Here: The chef harvests from three gardens on the grounds to craft delectable menus at TREE Restaurant. Wake up to shakshuka or smoked duck confit hash, take a midday break over a Vietnamese meatball bánh mì or a beet Reuben, then savor three evening courses featuring the culinary team’s take on seasonal specialties. Recent selections include free-range chicken breast saltimbocca and pepper-lacquered Chilean sea bass. Kosher menus are also available.

109 River Birch Lane, Hawley, Pennsylvania, (570) 685-8000, thelodgeatwoodloch.com.

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Bear Creek Mountain Resort

Drive Time: 1 hour.

Stay Here: The Hotel at Bear Creek offers a variety of spacious rooms and suites suitable for two or the entire crew. Some are equipped with cozy fireplaces, kitchenettes or majestic mountain views.

Rates: Starting at $169.

Do This: Not ready to give up your favorite winter sports just yet? Snowmaking may still be happening on the mountain. You can wear fewer layers, avoid lift crowds and turn easier on the soft snow. For the best conditions, be sure to hit the mountain early in the day.

Bear Creek Mountain Resort.
Courtesy of Bear Creek Mountain Resort.

Beginning April 1, seven miles of scenic cross-country trails and rugged terrain offer a challenge for hiking and biking. There’s also disc golf, archery and axe throwing. Thrill seekers can take a ride on a giant swing to get a bird’s eye view of the wooded acreage—or tour from the ground on a side-by-side offroad vehicle. If you’re looking to wind down, bring your mat along for an outdoor yoga class on the mountain, or visit Bear Creek Spa for a full menu of head-to-toe treatments.

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Eat Here: The mountainside Grille at Bear Creek pairs seasonal local fare with an impressive selection of wine and craft beer. Outdoor seating is available at this lodge-style casual dining spot during spring and summer months. A recent menu featured chicken with apricot and thyme dumplings, lobster ravioli, and jumbo shrimp stuffed with crab imperial.

resort dining
Courtesy of Bear Creek Mountain Resort

Start the day with a breakfast sandwich at Bear Creek’s bistro-style Trail’s End Cafe, or go all out with the Hungry Bear platter. Lunch highlights include a pickle pizza with bacon and ranch dressing, and the Jersey Devil pie drizzled with hot sauce and hot honey. The crispy fish-and-chips basket is also a crowd-pleaser.

101 Doe Mountain Lane, Macungie, Pennsylvania, (866) 754-2822, bcmountainresort.com.

The Lodge at Glendorn

Drive Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes.

Stay Here: Recently upgraded with new furniture and restored hardwood floors, the rooms and suites in the Main Lodge offer the timeless charm of a luxury mountain hideaway. Most accommodations are private cabins with outdoor fire pits, and some are dog friendly. Book the log-and-plank-sided Miller Cabin to experience the resort as it was in its early days, though it’s still outfitted with today’s amenities. For a romantic getaway, ask for the Forest Hideout, perched on a hilltop surrounded by woodlands.

The Lodge at Glendorn
Courtesy of The Lodge at Glendorn.

Rates: Starting at $635.

Do This: Bordering the Allegheny National Forest, Glendorn’s 1,500-acre property blends nature with luxurious accommodations. Your stay includes tennis, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, paddle boating, and hiking and biking on 18 miles of trails. On Saturdays, guided nature hikes are offered in the morning, and a campfire is lit in the evening for enjoying s’mores and microbrews.

Five ponds and over four miles of private brooks and mountain streams are teeming with several varieties of trout for fishing or guided excursions. Take a peaceful glide on a drift boat and fly-fish in the Clarion and Allegheny rivers, then enjoy lunch on a secluded island.

Cruise the picturesque grounds on a Jeep or dive into the heated outdoor pool, which opens at the end of May. If you’d like to hit the links, Pine Acres Country Club offers a challenging 18-hole track, or a special temporary membership can be purchased at the exclusive Pennhills Club.

Take a hands-on cooking class with the resort’s acclaimed chef to learn some new techniques, or relax at the Forest Spa with a full-body massage and facial. For some more traditional outdoor action, try trap or skeet shooting.

Eat Here: The chef harvests herbs and over 60 varieties of organic vegetables from the resort’s garden. For an elevated dining experience, enjoy your meal amid the outdoor surroundings of the Main Lodge’s sunporch or in the cozy intimacy of the wine cellar. A made-to-order breakfast is included with your stay, and you can break from your day of activities with a three-course lunch. At dinnertime, the kitchen offers a lavish four-course meal. Cocoa-seared scallop risotto, braised lamb cheeks and Florida mahi-mahi were among recent menu offerings.

Glendorn’s wine cellar stocks over 350 selections to pair with your meal. Stick around with a glass after dinner for live music in the Main Lodge dining room on Friday and Saturday evenings.

1000 Glendorn Drive, Bradford, Pennsylvania, (814) 362-6511, glendorn.com.

Great Wolf Lodge

Drive Time: 2 hours.

Stay Here: Providing an extra element of fun for the younger crowd, accommodations at the woodland-inspired Main Lodge and Mountain Tower Suites are themed. Concepts include a log cabin, a wolf cave and a tent.

Rates: Starting at $199.99.

Great Wolf Lodge
Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge.

Do This: Known for family fun, the Poconos outpost of this national chain just completed a multimillion-dollar renovation to make more play space. The star attraction is the expansive indoor water park, with wet and wild activities for all ages. Highlights include a four-story interactive water-fort treehouse, a wave pool, a lazy river, a raft slide and 40-foot-high water slide, and a basketball pool.

For MagiQuest, your inner wizard will guide you on an immersive, live-action adventure filled with challenges. Journey through the lodge to find clues and secrets by opening treasure chests and making crystals glow. The game is recommended for players over 5, with a Mini Magic Mode designed for younger wizards.

Throughout the day, all ages will find plenty of complimentary activities, including yoga, character visits, arts and crafts, dance parties, family fitness workouts, arcade games, mini-bowling, a ropes course, and indoor illuminated mini-golf.

Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge.
Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge.

Eat Here: Great Wolf Lodge has a few family-friendly restaurants with menus that should satisfy everyone’s tastes. The newest addition is Fireside, offering fun pickings for breakfast, lunch and dinner in an inviting outdoorsy atmosphere. Try the nacho mountain—a deluge of cheddar cheese sauce, salsa-braised chicken, scallions, diced tomatoes, barbecue sauce and ranch dressing over warm, house-made chips.

At Hungry as a Wolf, hand-stretched Brooklyn-style pizza is the house specialty. Build your own, or try one of the menu’s special creations. Family meals offer economical options, with pizza, pasta, wings, salad and garlic bread available.

1 Great Wolf Drive, Scotrun, Pennsylvania, (800) 768-9653, greatwolf.com.

More Mountain Magic

Canyon Ranch

At this mind-body wellness retreat set in Massachusetts’ Berkshires, 200 luxurious activities help you welcome the spring season with a much-needed reset. Thoughtfully crafted meals and snacks will keep you fueled, while hiking, biking, yoga, aquatics, racquet sports and painting keep you busy throughout the day at this all-inclusive resort. Healthcare professionals combine Western and Eastern healing techniques to create a program customized to your needs. With 88 spa and beauty services available, you’ll have a hard time choosing from their extensive menu of facials, hair and nail care, body treatments, massages, and more.

Canyon Ranch
Courtesy of Canyon Ranch

Rates starting at $950. 165 Kemble St., Lenox, Massachusetts, (413) 637-4100, canyonranch.com.

Crystal Springs Resort

Home to Grand Cascades Lodge and the Minerals Hotel, this destination offers a one-of-a-kind island-inspired experience. Both accommodations boast lavish spa experiences. The former is home to the unique Tropical Biosphere, a lush oasis filled with indoor pools, a 140-foot slide and an underground aquarium with a grotto-like hot tub. At the Minerals Hotel, you’ll find the Minerals Pool Complex, complete with a sauna and steam room, cliff jumping and a waterfall cave. Six championship-caliber golf courses and an 18-hole putting course provide golfers a paradise of their own.

Crystal Springs
Courtesy of Crystal Springs.

Rates starting at $589 at Grand Cascades Lodge and $377 at Minerals Hotel. 1 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg, New Jersey, (855) 977-6473, crystalgolfresort.com.

Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa

Resting on the shore of Mirror Lake, this Arts and Crafts-style inn boasts sunny rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing lake and mountain views. The natural surroundings provide a peaceful reset, and there are plenty of activities to fill your days. Zip-line, tour Lake Placid via boat or try your hand at a ropes course. For fun that’s a bit more educational, visit the Lake Placid Center for the Arts or the Lake Placid Olympic Museum Experience. Sports fanatics will enjoy touring the site of the 1932 and 1980 Olympics.

Mirror Lake Inn
Courtesy Mirror Lake Inn.

Rate starting at $399. 77 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid, New York, (518) 523-2544, mirrorlakeinn.com.

Mohonk Mountain House

You’ll get the royal treatment at this Victorian-era National Historic Landmark situated on 1,200 acres adjoining an 8,000-acre nature reserve. Embrace the spring air with rock climbing, hiking, archery, horseback riding and other outdoor activities. Beginning in late April, you can explore Lake Mohonk on a rowboat or paddleboat, taking in the stunning forest views that surround the water. While the little ones enjoy the Kids’ Club, slip away for some relaxation at the spa.

Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House
Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

Rates starting at $1,118. 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, New York, (855) 883-3798, mohonk.com.

Reluctant Panther Inn

This petite family-owned luxury hotel offers 20 suites with king featherbeds and lovely views. Full breakfast in the Main House dining room is included, but dinner is what you’ll look forward to most. Chef Sigal Rocklin highlights the best local cuisine, collaborating with the region’s farmers, cheesemakers and other purveyors to bring fresh and innovative dishes to the table. Golf, fly-fishing and hiking are just a few of the activities available. The Manchester Designer Outlets offer some of the finest shopping in Vermont, and the beloved Northshire Bookstore is a must if you’re a big reader. For a dose of the arts, visit the nearby Weston Theatre Company, the state’s oldest professional theater.

Reluctant Panther Inn
Courtesy of the Reluctant Panther Inn.

Rates starting at $199. 39 West Road, Manchester Village, Vermont, (800) 822-2331, reluctantpanther.com.

Skyland Resort

Located at the highest mountain point in Shenandoah National Park, this famously scenic, phone-free resort offers peace and natural surroundings. Explore on horseback while keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife—there’s abundant birdwatching throughout the 500 miles of trails. The Pollock Dining Room is known for it tasty comfort food, with options like venison stroganoff and pan-seared campfire rainbow trout. For dessert, don’t miss the signature blackberry ice cream pie. After dinner, head to the Mountain Taproom for a nightcap.

Skyland Resort
Courtesy Skyland Resort.

Rates starting at $134. Skyland Drive, Mile 41.7, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, (877) 847-1919, goshenandoah.com.

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