Friday Question of the Day – Where is Your Favorite Weekend Getaway?

Photo by PoPville flickr user slightlyworn

I can’t believe it’s already August. With August comes vacations but unfortunately not everyone is able to take a lot of time off – so for this week’s Friday Question of the Day – let’s talk weekend getaways. Where is your favorite spot to go when you wanna get out of dodge? Let’s say within 3 or 4 hours driving distance? Any places that are reachable if you don’t have a car?

69 Comment

  • Virginia Beach. It’s quiet and I know it well. It’s the best beach close to town. It has gotten rather expensive to stay there lately, a Miami trip would cost about the same, but you couldn’t just go to Miami for a weekend.

    • I’m sorry but this place is a horrible place. Last time we went there were cops EVERYWHERE just trying to keep people alive. No thank you.

      • I go to Virginia Beach a few times a year– my cousin lives there so it’s an inexpensive trip for me– and that hasn’t been my experience at all. It does have a Southern Virginia vibe that I’m not crazy about, and it’s certainly not my favorite beach, but it’s a nice enough place. Very clean and peaceful and there’s a lot do do. I especially like to visit on the off-season (the Fall is lovely!) because unlike most other beach towns there are enough locals that the place doesn’t feel completely desolate.

      • You obviously have to choose a good time to go and a good place. There is sketchyness everywhere. If you go for the beach and stay in a decent hotel you don’t have problems, but if you stay in a Motel 8 you know what to expect.

      • bfinpetworth

        Was that 20 years ago? The place is drastically changed now and is quite the family beach. Also, you really should explore the nontourist oceanfront – the north end from about 45th St up to Ft. Story at 86th St. The further north you go the more gorgeous the beaches become. I have been to the ocean up and down the east coast and have never been to a beach so clean, wide, with rows of sand dunes between the beach and the houses. No hotels, just rental properties and full-time homes. And more dolphin than I’ve ever seen anywhere, just 50 yards offshore. You really need to go back and check it out.

      • Being from Hampton, VA, I can tell you that VA Beach is known for their cops and I don’t mean in a good way especially if you happen to look like me. They will lock your ass up in a second if they feel like it, don’t even think of talking back cuz you will straight be hit with a disorderly conduct charge.

    • As someone noted, the north part of the beach is quite nice and removed from the riff-raff of the boardwalk area (which I don’t think is all that bad).

      My favorite thing to do down there is to bike to False Cape state park through Back Bay Wildlife Refuge (can’t drive there, have to hike or bike in), and camp on the beach at False Cape state park. The reward is usually having miles of beach to one’s self.

      • The aquarium is pretty cool as well, also Rudee’s on the Inlet has great outdoor dining (though they’re a bit expensive). I have to admit though i can get better and less expensive crabs at the DC wharf than at VA Beach, That’s a bit of a shame.

  • taking my lady for a bottle of viognier in virginia wine country on saturday and a cruise on skyline drive on sunday.

  • Shenandoah National Park! two hours away – beatiful views, hikes that range from super easy and simple to quite difficult, plenty of overlooks by the road if you don’t want to hike at all, the amazing Skyline Drive to drive down, lots of places to camp or rent cabins…man, that place is amazing. Everyone who lives in the DC area should visit it at least once.

    • Do you have a specific campground that you would recommend? I usually like grounds that are spaced out where you don’t see or notice neighbors. I actually prefer hiking and camping, but my wife insists on having a restroom of some sort on site.

      • hike the white oak canyon trail. its not an easy hike but it follows a stream that has like 6 waterfalls on its way down. goos swimming holes for those hot days.

      • Sky Meadows State Park in Va has nice campsites that you hike into (but not far – only a mile or so of easy hiking). You could easily hike the day in Shenandoah and spend the night at Sky Meadows.

      • Best camping tip ever – for “restroom on site” – a 2 quart wide mouth thermos jug with screw on top – in the corner of the tent. Not having to go outside to pee at night – priceless!

    • For cabin rentals, I recommend Lydia Mtn.

  • For camping/hiking/swimming in a cool river Monongahela National Forest in WV and Ohiopyle State Park in PA.

    • Yes! And maybe this is just us, but we had a great time visiting the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum nearby in Weston, WV.

  • For weekend trips: Gettsyburg, PA is only 2 hours north of DC, which makes for a nice weekend getaway. I agree with the others about Skyline Drive and the Shenandoah National Park for hiking and camping. One weekend my bf and I stayed at a B&B near Fredericksburg, VA and visited wineries around Lake Anna.

    For day trips: Harper’s Ferry, WV is also only about an hour away with lots of river and hiking adventures . Sandy Point State Park and Annapolis, MD is another good destination for a day at the beach and dinner. We have so many wonderful destinations close by!

  • Wine tasting in the Charlottesville area. We buy nearly our entire wine stock for the whole year when we go.

    • I have to agree with this one. You can stay in a budget hotel like the Holiday Inn, and its still a great trip, mainly because with the right amount of wine, you won’t care where you’re sleeping. We bought so much wine in April that we literally couldn’t fit anything else in our trunk 🙂

    • I completely agree. We recently went to the Barboursville and Keswick Vineyards and had great wine at both.

    • Can you recommend a place that has decent wine at a good price? Too many of these VA wineries think they’re amazing. I dont want to pay 25 bucks for an unremarkable bottle of wine. I like the experience of going out to vineyards, but I hate buying much of anything. I can get better tasting wine from the store for half the price.

      • Horton is less expensive than some. Not the best wine, but good and a change of pace from some of the more ‘polished’ vineyards. Also, they are a little experimental and have some varietals that nobody else has (the one I’m thinking of now is called Rkatsetelli). Barboursville is my overall fave; some of their whites might be in the sub-$20 range but I don’t remember. Many wineries will give you a discount if you buy a tasting. Other vineyards I’ve visited are White Hall, Jefferson, Pollak, First Colony, Sugarleaf, and a couple of others. I would say on average we buy about 20 bottles and probably average about $15-$20/bottle overall, so it is certainly more than possible to not spend a fortune. We’ll spend about $30 on a bottle if we feel it is going to be our ‘Thanksgiving dinner’ bottle for the year.

  • Morgantown

  • Berkeley Springs, WV.

    Easy to get to, and if you have a small group of people, there are lots of cabins to rent, some are pet-friendly, and when you get tired of sitting and watching the river go by, you can go into the cute, kind of artsy town. There are also some very good restaurants especially Tari’s Cafe right in town, and Panorama at the Peak, which looks out over the Cacapons. Then of course you can go take a soak in the hot springs.

    A group of us has been doing a yearly weekend in Berkeley Springs, and it’s been a great place to get away!

  • Chincoteague Island Va: Very quiet, almost too quiet so no distractions from your book or needlepoint. Great library. Fantastic beach: Assateague Island Nat’l Sea Shore. Great for walking and riding bikes. Intersting mix of high tech and red neck (NASA’s Wallops Is Facility & NOAA are down there.) CHEAP rentals.
    Cons: You need a car. Town and beach are not dog-friendly, but rentals are for some reason. Wine is really expensive.

    • halfsmoke

      Heading there tomorrow for some surf fishing…great town.

    • Was just there last week. One of the highlights was a 10 dollar kayak tour in toms cove given by a park ranger. And the lighthouse. Restaurants kind of sucked though.

    • Right on both counts: amazing surf fishing and mediocre food. But Sea Star has good sandwiches and there is a great seafood market (“Little Bay”?) on Chicken City Rd., right at Maddox.

    • anonymouse_dianne

      Seconding Chincoteague / Assateague . I’ve gone a few times the week of the pony round up and it goes from deadly quiet to bustling busting with tourists and then back to quiet. Great fresh seafood – oysters, shrimp “with the haids on”, fresh corn. You do need a car, but can also rent bicycles everywhere. And don’t forget the Off!

    • any of you all have a recommendation for where to stay nearby? would prefer a quiet b+b off the beaten path to something in ocean city 🙂

      • halfsmoke

        There are several renovated Victorian Houses on main street that are really nice..and quiet. Go to the chamber of commerce page..

      • For Assateague – if you don’t want to camp, I just discovered Long Acres Motel & cabins. On route 50 just before the turn-off to Assateague, so 15 min. drive to the beach. Also 5 min. drive to OC. Old and worn but clean and sweet. 2 bedroom cabin was $150.00/night.

        But camping on Assateague in the National Park is also great – and mosquitos have not been horrible for several years when I’ve been there.

        And the group campsites are only $40.00 a night. Nice and private right on the beach just behind the dunes.

  • Pittsburgh (4 hours). Warhol museum and Primanti brothers sandwiches!

    • gertie_wickler

      I second this. Really love spending time in Pittsburgh – The Paris of Appalachia!

    • Going to Pittsburgh this weekend!

    • Pittsburgh’s a funny place. I love visiting and there are a million touristy things to do, but it was a downright miserable place to live for three years. Winter sucks there, traffic is always terrible, and people are kind of unfriendly if you aren’t a native.

  • Charlottesville, VA and the surrounding area. It’s two hours from Washington and has amazing restaurants and bars. There’s great hiking 20 mins away (some trails with swimming holes) in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the opportunity for wine tasting. I often go there for one night and spend hours just browsing the used book stores downtown and hanging out in cafes and restaurants. I also recommend heading to Blue Mountain Brewery west of the city on US Rt 151, grabbing a table on their patio, getting the $8 beer sampler, and watching the sun set behind the blue ridge.

  • Old town, Annapolis , Baltimore, Frederick, the beach, Asheville and Georgetown are all my favorite getaways

  • Assateague Island: “hike” 4 miles down the beach to their “back country camping” site at Little Levels (these designations seem a bit silly when it’s just a beach). Generally deserted or just a few other campers – like having your own private beach:

    Renting a cabin from the PotomaC Appalachian Trail Club: they have both rustic and modern cabins for really reasonable rates along the AT from VA to PA.

    Philadelphia: I’m from there, so I’m probably biased. But I love spending weekends there for the food and arts/culture scene. Check out Reading Terminal Market, any of the amazing BYOBs, Mural Arts Tours, the Art Museum, etc.

    • I too am from the City of Brotherly Love. Don’t forget the Mutter Museum! Best place to gross out your unsuspecting friends!

  • Pumpkin or apple picking in the Shenandoah Valley.

    Skyline Drive is awesome and I hope to go hike there eventually. My boyfriend and I just drove through and stopped to take pictures often.

  • My friend’s private island with boat dock and cabin.

  • To quote Warren from the tv show Greg The Bunny, “Wine Country. Which is what I call the apartment above my grage.”

  • Even though I’m a Maryland girl, my recommendations would be Charlottesville and Virginia Beach. Charlottesville has a great farmer’s market and wineries, as well as things to do for history buffs (Monticello, etc), and the downtown pedestrian mall is full of cute stores and places to eat or drink (or go to one of the restaurants in the Belmont section of town). I like VA Beach because it’s less party-oriented than Ocean City, and my friends who used to live in Norfolk would always steer us towards the beaches to the north of the commercialized strip b/c they’re more relaxed and less crowded. I wouldn’t recommend Norfolk as a destination per se, but the neighborhood of Ghent is cute (Naro movie theater, Fair Grounds coffee, Azar’s, etc) and now that I think about it there was a great Italian restaurant I went to in VA beach (Aldo’s?). I’m surprised that few people have mentioned Philly (my friend drove us up there to see the Barnes Collection right before it moved and to eat at Distrito, their tasting menu was one of the best meals of my life!)

  • Has anyone ever been to Solomon’s Island in Maryland? Considering a birthday trip there, and visiting the AnneMarie Sculpture Garden. Would love to hear people’s experiences… Is it worth it, in the face of all of these other rec’s? Thanks!

    • I grew up near Solomons… It’s really a nice place to visit. Visit the beach by either hiking through the forest a Calvert Cliffs State Park or Flag Ponds State Park. You can find sharks’ teeth and other fossils at both locations if you know how to look. Visit Annmarie Gardens for art, and the Calvert Marine Museum has nice aquariums with Chesapeake life and other cool exhibits. Have dinner on a deck over the water at Stoney’s followed by drinks at the Tiki Bar. There are also a few funky shops on Solomons Island. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Well, I have been going home to Hampton, VA lately over the weekends and I am really surprised by how nice Buckroe Beach is. If you want to get away for a weekend, you might give it a shot. It isn’t the best water in the world (well, I haven’t been in that water since I was a kid, I only fish there) but it isn’t bad like that. You can also go fishing on the pier for a small price, plus you can rent everything you need, just bring yourself. 45 minutes or so away, you can hit Busch Gardens in Williamsburg or you can go across the water to VA Beach/Norfolk…and check out their offerings.

  • Anyone else not give a shit about wine? I just dont understand what the big deal is. Kind of like golf, I guess. No offense. To each their own.

    I’d like to know of a camping syle place but with cabins or cottages, pet friendly. All this heat makes me want to go north.

    • I’m not into wine either. You’d think I would be, since I’m obsessed with food and cooking, but I just don’t have the palate for it. I’d rather drink a cheap wine so I have more money to spend on quality ingredients.

      I don’t get the appeal of golf either! But I have a lot of obscure interests that I wouldn’t expect other people to understand.

  • Been going here for 3 years now – 1.5 hour drive to Front Royal, with 6-7 adults & 3 kids. Near horseback riding, apple picking, Skyline Drive – but mostly we just sit around and eat and drink and look at the river.

  • Philadelphia! Check priceline for a last minute hotel deal, take megabus or the train, wander through Rittenhouse and Old City, hit up the Barnes Collection or the Rodin Museum, and experience a foodie’s heaven that can only rival NY or New Orleans. And the food and drinks are cheaper than DC.

Comments are closed.