Best Weekend Getaways from Philadelphia

Condé Nast Traveler logo

Home to a vibrant culinary scene, thousands of larger-than-life works of public art, and—no big deal—the actual home of American democracy, Philadelphia has plenty going for it. Add to that the city’s location: right between New York City and Washington, D.C. and conveniently well-positioned for so many road trips. Charming small-towns, secluded mountain cabins, cultural hubs and coastal retreats—they’re all less than a five-hour drive. If you’re longing for a change of scenery a short drive away, read on for our favorite weekend getaways from Philadelphia.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Maurice River, New Jersey 

Philadelphians searching for a restorative getaway should look no further than the Lokal A-Frame (from $300 per night), located less than an hour from Philly by car in Cumberland County, New Jersey. The homegrown Lokal hotel group, run by husband-and-wife creatives Chad and Courtney Ludeman, introduced the area to a new style of lodging when they opened their first hotel in Old City in 2017. The “invisible service” hotel—one that replaces an onsite staff with technology and intuitive design—is perfect for these times of social distancing. And the three-bed, two-bath A-Frame vacation home, set on a wooded 2.5 acres, takes it to the next level. Besides groceries, the home is stocked with all the necessities for a secluded break. Fire up dinner in the Big Green Egg grill, screen a movie on the 8-foot projection screen, soak in the wood-fired hot tub, and take your morning coffee (made with locally brewed beans you can find in the kitchen) to the private river beach. In the unlikely event cabin fever hits, break the off-the-grid illusion with a visit to the nearby East Point Lighthouse, or with a scenic drive to one of the New Jersey shore towns. Avalon, Stone Harbor, and Cape May are only a short drive away.

(one-hour drive from Philadelphia)

New Hope, Pennsylvania 

Just 40 miles north of Center City in bucolic Bucks County, Pennsylvania, New Hope is as charming and small-town as Philadelphia is (charmingly) bustling and gritty. River House at Odette’s (from $389 per night) opened on the edge of town in late September. Named for the cabaret run by French singer Odette Myrtil who once occupied the same site, the 36-room boutique hotel overlooks the Delaware River and is a short walk from Main Street’s antique shops and eateries. Pack a picnic lunch with provisions from the Ferry Market—a salad from Little Radish, made with produce from nearby farms, or a vegetable empanada from Lima Fusion—before pedaling two miles down the canal path to explore what’s in season at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve. End the day at the hotel’s member’s only rooftop lounge, with a local beer from Free Will Brewing and panoramic river views.

(one-hour drive from Philadelphia)

Baltimore, Maryland 

Baltimore may be best known for its tourist-thronged Inner Harbor, but fan out from Charm City’s unofficial epicenter to find much quieter, quirkier neighborhoods. Spend a weekend in a restored 19th-century brick mansion in Mount Vernon at The Ivy (from $595 per night). Plenty of historic sites are in walking distance—the stunning Peabody Library and the Walters Art Museum—but no one would blame you for forgoing it all to stay cloistered in what can feel like your own private estate. Start the day in the courtyard with made-to-order lemon souffle pancakes, take afternoon tea in the library, and in the evening, pour a glass of wine at the serve-yourself Mansion bar. Inside each of the plush 18 rooms and suites is a gas fireplace and complimentary mini-bar stocked with local snacks and drinks. In the Fell’s Point neighborhood along the Patapsco River, the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore (from $295 per night) sits on Recreation Pier. Opt for a harbor view room where floor-to-ceiling windows show off the scenic waterfront. Try a whiskey tasting at the Cannon Room (named for the 17th-century cannons unearthed on site during the hotel’s construction), and come back in the summer, when the pool set on the edge of Rec Pier opens for sunbathing and socializing.

(one-and-a-half hour drive from Philadelphia)

Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania 

About 100 miles north of Philadelphia, the Poconos have been a sanctuary for city dwellers since the early 19th century, when the region’s first hotel opened. Surrounded by lake-dotted forests, the area is still a draw for camping, skiing, and other year-round outdoor entertainment. Bypass the sprawling resorts and instead book a cozy Airbnb, like the Midcentury A Frame (from $275 per night) near the village of Hamlin. Nestled in a leafy enclave just a few minutes walk from a lake, the jewel of this lovingly restored home is the soaking tub, framed with a wall of windows to showcase the surrounding nature. Venture out to walk Main Street in nearby Honesdale, and stop for a cup of coffee at Black and Brass, made with beans roasted on-site, or plates of handmade fettuccine and whole roasted trout at Native.

(two-hour drive from Philadelphia)

Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 

Southern Delaware draws year-round visitors for its 25-mile-stretch of family-friendly beaches, scenic biking trails, and thriving culinary scene. Stay at the Dogfish Inn (from $119 per night), a boutique hotel run by Dogfish Head brewery on the edge of downtown Lewes, looking out over the Lewes-Rehoboth canal. Stroll down 2nd Street—stopping in Edie Bees for penny candy and Biblion Books for paperbacks—before tapping the Inn’s gear shed for beach cruisers, binoculars, Woolrich blankets, and other essentials for a trail ride. Return to sit by the fire pit, sampling house beers brewed just down the road. At the Bellmoor Inn + Spa (from $199 per night) in downtown Rehoboth, take your breakfast into the quiet courtyard, read by the fire in the Jefferson library, or schedule an in-room massage. Just two blocks from Rehoboth beach and boardwalk, find a host of restaurants in walking distance, including Egg and Henlopen City Oyster House.

(two-hour drive from Philadelphia)

Amagansett, New York 

While “out east” for sun-seeking Philadelphians typically means the Jersey Shore, in under four hours from Center City, the Hamptons are a refreshing change of coastal scenery. Book a private cottage at recently opened The Roundtree (from $395 per night) in Amagansett. Room designs reflect the low-key luxury that defines the region, with a subdued color palette, Frette linens, and Grown Alchemist bath products. In winter, snuggle under a blanket by the fire pit during a s’mores-filled happy hour. Come back in warmer weather to take one of the property’s beach cruisers for the mile-long spin to the ocean (they’ll also give you towels, umbrellas, and all the other essentials for a perfect day at the beach). Or, tour nearby vineyards and shop the town’s farmer’s markets, like nearby Amber Waves, for fresh peaches grown on their 25-acre farm.

(four-hour drive from Philadelphia)

Richmond, Virginia 

Virginia’s capital is home to a vibrant art scene, and there’s no better place to soak it in than at Quirk (from $179 per night), located in the Arts and Design District—about four hours south of Philly. Light and airy guest rooms are imbued with character thanks to plenty of artwork, but perhaps none mirrors the neighborhood’s dynamic and design-minded vibe more than the Mural Rooms. Each one is painted by a different local artist, and a portion of the room rate will go to Make Space, a mentorship program for young female artists. Check out the neighborhood’s myriad galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, and don’t miss the hotel’s own Quirk Gallery, which showcases exhibitions by established and emerging artists.

(four-hour drive from Philadelphia)

Irvington, Virginia 

Set on the Northern Neck peninsula between the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay is the tiny town of Irvington, right in the midst of Virginia’s Oyster Trail. Less than five hours by car from Philadelphia, The Tides Inn (from $199 per night) has a distinctly retro-seaside resort feel, with tennis courts, lawn games, and dockside crabbing—a perfectly peaceful spot to refresh and feast on local seafood. Book a long weekend in one of the newly designed Ashburn suites, with harbor views and soaking tubs, and make time to cruise Carter’s Creek in one of the hotel’s electric Duffy boats, or borrow a stand-up paddleboard to venture out solo. The resort can arrange an Oyster Academy experience, too, where you can tag along with a local waterman to learn about the bivalves before sampling the haul, or hit the trail on your own. First stop: Merroir at Rappahannock Oyster Company for fresh-harvested oysters al fresco.

(five-hour drive from Philadelphia)

Source: Read Full Article