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Great Escapes


Mount Airy Casino Resort

44 Woodland Road,
Mount Pocono

Drive time: 90 minutes.

Cost: Rooms $99-$279; higher on holiday weekends.

The scoop:
Forget about the heart-shaped tubs, threadbare carpeting and noisy radiators. This is not the Mount Airy Lodge of your youth. That was supplanted three years ago by a ski-lodge-on-steroids-style luxury resort. This summer, the casino—positioned somewhat discreetly on the second level—is scheduled to add table games to its more than 2,500 existing machines.

Amenities: Rooms feature pillow-top beds, oversized bathrooms with walk-in showers, and flat-screen TVs. On-site restaurants serve diner, buffet, steakhouse and Italian fare. The Spa at Mount Airy offers a full menu of pampering, and a round on the 18-hole golf course (the sole holdover from the old lodge) is a must. A pool and tennis courts are planned for next summer.

Don’t miss: A show at the resort’s intimate Gypsies Lounge & Nightclub. Venture into nearby Stroudsburg for a quaint stroll and a divine—and surprisingly cheap—breakfast or lunch at Mollie’s.

Contact: (877) 682-4791, mountairycasino.com

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Inn at Leola Village

38 Deborah Drive, Leola.

Drive time: One hour.

The scoop: Lancaster County’s first boutique hotel features more than 60 thoughtfully decorated rooms and suites in settings that include an authentic former wine cellar, gardener’s cottage and tobacco barn. Others are furnished to capture the country warmth of Pennsylvania Dutch and Tuscan farms.

Many rooms and suites have oversized whirlpool tubs and fireplaces. Continental breakfast is included. Also on-site: a popular, upscale Italian restaurant; a full-service day spa; shops, galleries and an Amish farmers market; an outdoor pool; and a fitness room.

Cost: Rooms and suites $139.95-$189.95 weekdays; up to $239.95 weekends.

Don’t miss: Interactive demos and hands-on cooking classes for adults and kids at Les Roses Culinaires (ask about accommodations-and-cooking-class packages).

Contact: (877) 669-5094, theinnatleolavillage.com

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Hickory Bridge Farm

96 Hickory Bridge Road, Orrtanna.

Drive time: Two and a half hours.

Cost: Farmhouse rooms $135 weekdays, $165 weekends; cottages $115, $125; private farmhouse $125, $135.

The scoop: Set on 65 acres surrounded by apple orchards 9 miles west of Gettysburg, this historic farmhouse—part of which dates back to the 1700s—offers two guestrooms with whirlpool baths and a three-bedroom, two-bath accommodation for up to six. For the ultimate in privacy, book a streamside cottage in the woods.

Amenities: Guest rates include a full hot breakfast served daily—except for Sunday, when an extended continental breakfast (including homemade sticky buns) is brought to your room.

Don’t miss: Housed in a circa-1840s barn, the on-site restaurant has long been famous for its homey, family-style, appetizer-to-dessert country dinners (available Friday-Sunday). June’s 10-day Gettysburg Festival features more than 100 music, art and cultural events, many of which are free. Just for fun, visit Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum, with its more than 6,000 collectibles.

Contact: (717) 642-5261, hickorybridgefarm.com.

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Whistling Swan Inn

110 Main St., Stanhope, N.J.

Drive time: Two hours.

Cost: Rooms $115-$129 weekdays, $129-$159 weekends; mini-suite $179 weekdays, $199 weekends; suites $189 weekdays, $249 weekends.

The scoop: Bordered by two national parks, with more than 60,000 acres, sparkling lakes and rivers, historic small towns and a multitude of other charms in between, the Skylands of northwestern New Jersey is a great getaway spot any time of year. And the Whistling Swan’s centrally located, beautifully restored Victorian home is the perfect base from which to enjoy it all.

Amenities: The nine rooms and suites are thoughtfully decorated with period antiques and reproductions. Some have two-person Jacuzzis, and gas or electric fireplaces. A lavish country buffet breakfast, home-baked snacks all day, and evening sherry are included.

Don’t miss:
Take in the splendor of the Paulinskill Valley Trail on a guided ride with the nearby Spring Valley Equestrian Center. Join passionate food artisan Jonathan White for a cheese-making class at his Bobolink Dairy—and unbelievable bread from his wood-fired outdoor hearth.

Contact: (973) 347-6369, whistlingswaninn.com

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General Sutter Inn

14 E. Main St., Lititz.

Drive time: A little more than an hour.

The scoop: Location, location, location. This 1764 inn is right in the middle of downtown Lititz, just steps from dining, shopping and attractions. Each of its 16 individually decorated guestrooms is furnished with antiques, European goose down comforters and high-thread-count sheets.

Cost: Rooms and suites are $105-$115 weekdays (double occupancy), $119-$129 weekends; two-bedroom, two-bath apartment $169-$189.

Amenities: Casual and fine dining restaurants on-site serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Room rates include continental breakfast on weekdays and a $5 certificate for full, cooked-to-order breakfast on weekends.

Don’t miss: Aficionados of historic covered bridges and scenic back roads should grab a sandwich to-go at Sutter, then set off for a car or bike ride.

Contact: (717) 626-2115, generalsutterinn.com

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New York’s Strand Hotel

33 W. 37th St., New York, N.Y.

Drive time: Two hours.

The scoop: Just opened in late 2009, this 20-story boutique hotel is located within easy walking distance of Times Square, Broadway, the Empire State Building and other popular Manhattan attractions. The luxe lobby features a water wall, and the contemporary rooms are the perfect balance of comfy and chic.

Cost: Special March rates range from $229 to $279 for a standard king or queen room. Standard rates $259 and up.

Amenities: Complimentary “European-style” buffet breakfast featuring pastries and bread, charcuterie, cheeses, and all kinds of cereals. Savor the spectacular city skyline from the Top of the Strand rooftop bar and lounge, with its retractable glass ceiling and walls.

Don’t miss: Get the lowest rates ($229/night, double occupancy) Sunday-Monday or Monday-Tuesday through March 16.

Contact: (212) 448-1024, thestrandnyc.com

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Baltimore’s Inn at 2920

2920 Elliott St., Baltimore.

Drive time: A little less than two hours.

The scoop: This contemporary boutique hotel is housed in a late-19th-century row home that was once a brothel. It’s located in a quiet residential community just a few blocks from the water taxi and local bus, both of which go to Baltimore’s popular Inner Harbor.

Cost: $180-$225, depending on the season.

High ceilings, large windows and thoughtfully restrained décor make the three rooms and one suite bright and airy. Most have Jacuzzi tubs. A full hot breakfast is served—even for early risers—and special dietary restrictions are cheerfully accommodated. Personal concierge service is also available.

Don’t miss:
A stroll through historic O’Donnell Square, a rejuvenated former industrial area, with its eclectic collection of one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants. Be sure to check out Jack’s Bistro, if only for the intriguing mac-and-cheese-and-chocolate appetizer.

Contact: (410) 342-4450, theinnat2920.com

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The Alexander House Booklovers’ Bed & Breakfast

30535 Linden Ave., Princess Anne, Md.

Drive time: Just under three hours.


The scoop: Themed rooms named after literary luminaries like Jane Austen, Langston Hughes and Robert Louis Stevenson make this B&B on Maryland’s Eastern Shore a real treat for voracious readers. Innkeepers Peter and Elizabeth Alexander encourage stimulating conversation in front of the fireplace in the Mark Twain parlor and library, amid shelf after shelf of classics from every era. No phones, TVs or computers makes for a truly relaxing retreat.

A full breakfast (featuring crêpes and other French-style fare), afternoon tea, and evening liqueur and cordials are all served at the in-house café named for French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. Meals low in fat, sugar and salt are available upon request.

Don’t miss:
The historic district of Princess Anne, with its restored Colonial, Federal and Victorian homes, small boutiques, antique and coffee shops, and fun dining spots.

Contact: (410) 651-5195, bookloversbnb.com

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Annville Inn

4515 Hill Church Road, Annville

Drive time: 90 minutes.

Cost: $129-$249.

Amenities: Of the five individually themed guestrooms, the most spacious is the English Suite, with its three-sided fireplace, Jacuzzi, private porch and skylight facing the Big Dipper. Most fun is the Secret Room, with its mystery-movie-like hidden entrance. Innkeeper Rosalie George serves a full breakfast in the candlelit dining room, and keeps beverages and homemade treats available all day.

The scoop: More than your typical B&B, this private-residence-turned-posh-mini-resort is a surprisingly sumptuous Shangri-La 6 miles east of Hershey. Situated on three very private acres, it’s surrounded by preserved farmland and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Don’t miss: Take in the stars through the telescope in the Garden Room. Watch a movie on the 64-inch high-definition screen in a home theater with stadium seating and popcorn. Enjoy some live music at Annville’s restored Art Deco Allen Theatre and MJ’s Coffeehouse.

Contact: (717) 867-1991, annvilleinn.com

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Celie’s Waterfront Inn

1714 Thames St., Baltimore.

Drive time: About two hours.

$139-$239 (book online for the best rate).

The scoop: Located in the historic Fells Point neighborhood, just a short ferry ride from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and downtown attractions, this seven-room late-19th-century B&B offers boutique amenities in a setting that reflects the city’s nautical past.

Each room has its own distinctive décor and view of the garden, atrium, harbor or city. Some have wood-burning fireplaces, hydro-massage tubs/showers, and/or private balconies. Continental breakfast includes fresh fruit and house-baked goodies. Enjoy your meal by the fire in the dining room, or try the rooftop deck, with its breathtaking views of the Baltimore skyline and harbor.

Don’t miss:
Strolling the 18th-century cobblestone streets of Fells Point—Maryland’s first designated National Historic District—and poking around the charming mom-and-pop shops.

(410) 522-2323, celieswaterfront.com

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Hurst House Bed & Breakfast

154 E. Farmersville Road, Ephrata.

Drive time: A little over an hour.

Rooms $130-$180 (includes full breakfast).

The scoop: Perched atop what’s known locally as Cat’s Back Hill, this Victorian-style B&B affords spectacular views of a pristine portion of Lancaster County dotted with Amish and Old Order Mennonite farms. The six-bedroom mansion was built by Rich and Bert Hurst, and is filled with antiques and exotic finds from the couple’s travels around the world.

Amenities: All rooms have fireplaces, refrigerators, microwaves, DVD players, free wireless Internet, and private balconies. The pristine grounds feature a small lake and two water gardens teeming with fish.

Don’t miss: A fall performance by the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra (lancastersymphony.org) at the historic Fulton Opera House (opening night is Oct. 9). Head to nearby Lititz (home to the Wilbur Chocolate Factory) for a stroll along shop-lined Main Street and lunch at Café Chocolate (chocolatelititz.com), with its selection of organic and fair-trade sweets, rare single-origin coffees and high-altitude teas.

(717) 355-5151, hursthousebandb.com

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c/o The Maidstone

207 Main St., East Hampton, N.Y.

Drive time: A little over four hours.

Cost: Rooms $275-$445, suites $445, cottages (some with wood-burning fireplaces) $495 and up.

The scoop: This newly renovated, pet-friendly boutique hotel is just a mile from the ocean and within easy walking distance of the picturesque village of East Hampton. It’s a mix of Long Island’s South Fork chic, Scandinavian sophisticated (the bathrooms are dedicated to Greta Garbo and Ingmar Bergman) and haute homey.

Complimentary beach parking, passes and towels; special treats and room-service options for pets. A concierge can recommend scenic bike routes and arrange for pet walkers and groomers, babysitters, massage therapists, and other services.

Don’t miss:
Swedish pancakes with cloudberries and whipped cream for breakfast, and seasonal, sustainable, slow-food dining Scandinavian-style at the on-site Living Room restaurant.

Contact: (631) 324-5006, themaidstone.com

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Herrington Harbour Inn

7149 Lake Shore Drive,
Rose Haven, Md.

Drive time:
Just under three hours.

Cost: $109-$169 weekdays, $139-$299 weekends; suites begin at $249.

The scoop: Part of an “Eco-Lifestyle Resort” (based on sustainable living practices and ecological sensitivity) on Herring Bay, less than an hour from Annapolis, this beachfront, circa-1950s inn and marina is Caribbean cool without the kitsch.

Hot-tub rooms have private patios. An on-site pastry chef bakes up treats for the complimentary Continental breakfast. The property’s restaurants specialize in Chesapeake and global cuisine with locally sourced ingredients.

Don’t miss:
A visit to Herrington Harbour North’s Historic Village, an ongoing project to restore a collection of 19th-century structures, including a residence, school, log smokehouse, meetinghouse and dairy. Ask about the inn’s Eco Family Package, which includes a two-hour kayak tour of the bay, a box lunch and a 2-mile eco-walk.

Contact: (800) 213-9438, ext. 100, herringtonharbourinn.com

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Cameron Estate Inn

1855 Mansion Lane, Mount Joy

Drive time: 90 minutes.

Cost: $129-$299.

The scoop: Built in 1805 by President William McKinley’s great-grandfather and situated on 15 wooded acres, this truly gracious hideaway in the heart of Lancaster County is on the National Register of Historic Places. For a truly authentic experience, ask for a room in the original part of the building.

Many of the 17 rooms and suites have fireplaces and original woodwork. All are furnished with period European and American antiques and offer views of the property’s streams, stone bridge, lush lawns and rose garden. A hot breakfast in the Sun Porch Dining Room is included with your stay.

Don’t miss:
The chocolate-rubbed lamb or pan-seared salmon with applejack brandy maple glaze at the inn’s dinner-only white-tablecloth restaurant (make a reservation when you book your room).

 (888) 422-6376, cameronestateinn.com

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Hotel Dolce Villa

ion: 63 DePasquale Square, Providence, R.I.

Drive time: About five-and-a-half hours.

Cost: $199 for a one-bedroom suite; two-bedroom suites start at $249. The hotel recently offered a “name your own price” promotion, and it guarantees to beat any online rate.

The scoop:
You can’t miss the sunny, yellow façade of this three-story, all-suite boutique hotel in Providence’s Federal Hill “Little Italy” district. Suites combine Old World Italian countryside warmth with South Beach contemporary chic.

Amenities: Kitchens with full-size appliances; whirlpool tubs; custom-made furniture; memory foam beds; pullout sofas; and complimentary biscotti, hot chocolate and popcorn. Some suites have balconies and fireplaces. Owner/restaurateur Gianfranco Marrocco offers guests 10-percent discounts for his three dining establishments just steps from the hotel.

Don’t miss:
Mangia your way through the eateries, bakeries and artisan chocolate shops along the city’s restaurant row.

Contact: (401) 383-7031, dolcevillari.com

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Blue Heron Inn Bed & Breakfast

14614 Solomons Island Road, Solomons, Md.

Drive time: About three-and-a-half hours.

Cost: $179-$249. All rooms and suites offer water views, full gourmet breakfast and an evening glass of wine.

The scoop: Solomons Island is a quiet fishing village in Southern Maryland where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay. This intimate, harbor-side Georgia Colonial inn is steps from the scenic Riverwalk and all other recreational activities, dining and shopping. Children over 16 are welcome.

Amenities: Park your boat in one of the inn’s slips or take out a complimentary kayak (or bike). You can also crab or fish from the dock. Innkeepers Amanda and Chris Comer offer a lovely wine list, a beautiful picnic on their water-view lawn, and a private guests-only dinner upon request (Amanda was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and the Culinary Institute of America).

Don’t miss: The extensive prehistoric fossil collection and a tour of the Drum Point Lighthouse at the Calvert Marine Museum—or find your own fossils at Calvert Cliffs State Park.

Contact: (410) 326-2707, blueheronbandb.com

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Three Village Inn

150 Main St., Stony Brook, N.Y.

Drive time: Three to four hours.

Cost: $199-$235; rates include a hot breakfast.

The scoop: Situated on Stony Brook Harbor just steps from the village, with its historic homes, museums and boutiques, this circa-1751 New England-style inn offers main house and cottage accommodations.

Amenities: Chef Guy Reuge is preparing to move his four-star Mirabelle Restaurant—a Long Island institution for 25 years—to the inn. He’s also opened the more casual Mirabelle Tavern on the property.

Don’t miss: A wetlands cruise on the glass-bottom boat Discovery. Feed the ducks in the pond at the working Grist Mill, and be sure to visit the Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages.

Contact: (631) 751-0555, threevillageinn.com

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Speedwell Forge Bed & Breakfast

46 Speedwell Forge Road, Lititz

Drive time: 85 minutes.

Cost: $125-$225/night, includes three-course breakfast and freshly baked sweets in the evening.

The scoop:
This restored 18th-century mansion is tucked away in a valley on 120 acres between a lake and a park, just minutes from Pennsylvania Dutch Country attractions.

Three rooms in the main house and two private cottages are furnished with family heirlooms and local Amish quilts. Most have fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and meticulously maintained hardwood floors; cottages have kitchenettes. Especially popular is the Paymaster’s Office, with its magnificent fireplace, vaulted wood ceiling and creek view.

Don’t miss: A weekend visit to the more than 40 rescued wolves residing in the adjacent 22-acre sanctuary.

Contact: (717) 626-7260, speedwellforge.com

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1825 Inn Bed & Breakfast

409 S. Lingle Ave., Palmyra

Drive time:
90 minutes.

Cost: $114-$239/night, including full breakfast and late-day refreshments.

The scoop: Located in Palmyra, just a few minutes up the road from the Hershey attractions, this 184-year-old former country home offers low-key, comfy accommodations. Rooms are furnished with antiques, reproductions and locally selected “plain old stuff” from the owner’s personal collection. Breakfast is served on the screened-in porch or in a cozy, stenciled dining room lit by candles and oil lamps.

Amenities: Most rooms have fireplaces; cottage rooms feature whirlpool tubs for two, two showerheads, small fridges and private entrances. Special packages include chocolates and roses, or an in-room massage.

Don’t miss: Chocolate-covered February at the Hershey resort properties, a month-long celebration featuring themed dinners, brunches, afternoon teas, wine and rum pairings, chef demos, and
family-oriented classes.

Contact: (877) 738-8282, 1825inn.com

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The Independent

1234 Locust St., Philadelphia

Drive time: 30 minutes

Cost: $139-$169.

The scoop: Center City convenience meets B&B coziness in this new urban getaway housed in a restored Georgian Revival building. The 24 rooms and suites are anything but cookie-cutter; some have Cathedral ceilings, exposed brick, French windows, fireplaces and loft bedrooms.

Amenities: Complimentary local and long-distance phone service, business center, concierge, continental breakfast in the fireside lounge, and weekday wine-and-cheese reception.

Don’t miss: The lobby’s three-story mural of Independence Hall, hand-painted by local artist Kim Senior. Jan. 26 is the Chinese New Year, so head to Chinatown for the festivities, then to Joe’s Peking Duck restaurant, where Joe Poon will cook up a traditional holiday feast (Jan. 1-March 31).

Contact: (215) 772-1440, theindependenthotel.com

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