| Follow Us:


Why We Love This Charmed City -- Daytripping

Jessica Leonard - Arianne Teeple
Jessica Leonard - Arianne Teeple

Day trips and weekend getaways are the perfect way to de-stress and recharge your personal battery. A quick trip offers a breather that won't have you gone so long that your in-box is even more full when you get back. Even better is that Baltimoreans have found Charm City to offer easy access to a slew of choices from winter sports to shopping to sightseeing, without breaking the bank.

"Baltimore is a gateway to anything," says Baltimore native and Pasadena resident Laura Rye. "There is so much within two hours of hopping onto 95 or 83. If you just open your mind to an hour or so of relaxed driving on the weekends as opposed to the stressful commuter driving, there is a lot that you can do."

Pa. or bust...

Rye says one of her favorite stress relieving getaways is to drive to the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There, she and her husband Tim like to visit the Root's Country Market and Auction, home of a year-round indoor farmer's market held every Tuesday. "They have everything from meats, veggies, cheeses, and homemade pies. We take a day off work and go about four times a year and just spend the day," she says. "The prices are phenomenal so we get all our grocery shopping done and then stop at one of the outlet centers in Lancaster County for some shopping on the way back."

Another Rye favorite is the UnCork York Wine Trail, a year-round wine tasting experience in Pennsylvania. "You start at the beginning and they give you a map and tell you how to get from one winery to the next and each winery offers free wine tastings," she says. The route travels to 13 wineries in the York, Lancaster, Gettysburg, and Harrisburg areas. "We get a group of people together and make a whole day of it."

Headin' west

Federal Hill resident Jessica Leonard also likes to make her getaways a group affair. "I'm getting ready to go to Deep Creek Lake for the weekend with a big group of friends. We'll stay in a cabin with a pool table and a hot tub and really relax," she says. And although a lot of her friends will go skiing at nearby Wisp Resort while there, Leonard says for her the trip is just about being with friends. "We'll pile in the car on a Friday afternoon and come back on Sunday. It's only about a three hour drive."

Dave Testerman, who lives in the Locust Point neighborhood, agrees with Leonard that Deep Creek is enough of a mini-vacation on its own for people who aren't into winter sports. "It's so comfy and cozy that you can just go and hang out." But for Testerman, he tries not to miss a snowboarding opportunity during the winter months. "When the weather cooperates, I'll go to Ski Roundtop or Ski Liberty or even Whitetail once a week until I can't go anymore. They're all only about an hour away or less and if you have your own equipment it's just the price of a lift ticket."

NYC on the cheap

Testerman also likes to head up to New York City for the weekend on occasion and says that now is a really good time to do it. "I'm a big fan of the Bolt Bus because you can pay about $20 to get to New York City. They have free WiFi on the buses which seals the deal for me. Before you know it you've got enough stuff sold on craigslist to pay for your trip." While in New York, Testerman likes to do some shopping and try out different restaurants. "There's just something about New York in the wintertime," he says.

Jon Zawodny, who lives in Sparrows Point, also thinks that New York is a great pick because there are some really economical travel options. ""It's so easy to go up for the weekend and right now you can take the Megabus out of White Marsh for really cheap." But even though he enjoys New York City, for true relaxation, Zawodny says he likes to get away from the busyness of major cities altogether.

"Twice a year I go with some buddies from work on a camping man-cation out to Green Ridge State Park in Flintsone, Maryland. It's only about two hours away," he says. "But usually when I get away I like to go to Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. They have falls, hiking paths or I'll go to the Virginia Safari Park once it gets a little warmer. You buy a bucket of feed and drive through the park and the animals will come up and eat from the bucket right out of your car."

Just the right spot

For Zawodny, he says the best thing about getting away is that there are so many choices and it's so easy to get in and out of the city. "You have train stations in several places that will take you out of the city, a major airport, and buses running everywhere or you can just hop in your car" he says. "I'm right next to 695 and the Key Bridge so it's really convenient to get to any connecting roads and go just about anywhere."

"Baltimore is very strategically located on the east coast," adds Leonard. "You can go to Harpers Ferry, Annapolis or plenty of other places that are easy to get to. I don't drive a lot during the work week because I walk to work so I don't mind driving on the weekends." When not at Deep Creek with friends, she'll go to Ocean City, Philadelphia, or even take a short flight to Boston.

For an inexpensive and nearby day trip, Rye says don't forget Washington, DC. "You can get there in about 45 minutes and once in DC it's essentially free to walk around the museums or just explore." Or for the gambler at heart, Rye recommends Dover Downs or Charlestown, West Virginia for a day trip or a four hour drive to Atlantic City for a weekend getaway.

"The one thing about city living is that it's hard to plan to get away for a long vacation, but getting away really eases the pressure of the city," says Testerman. "The nice thing is that you can easily plan something for a day or a weekend."

So next time you feel your stress level rising, jump in the car for a day of fun or pack your overnight bag and catch a plane, bus or train and make it a weekend. You'll be ready to dive back into city living once you do.

Signup for Email Alerts
Share this page
Signup for Email Alerts