Still looking for summer vacation trip ideas but short on funds? No need to break the bank to enjoy an inexpensive getaway. Philly-area residents can choose from an array of affordable mini vacation and staycation options no further than a hop, skip and a jump from the City of Brotherly Love. So pack your bags and head out to one of these nearby destinations for an adventure!
Bear Creek Mountain Resort
101 Doe Mountain Lane
Macungie, PA 18062
Not only is Bear Creek Mountain Resort a popular destination in the winter with over 86 acres of terrain parks, slopes and trails for skiing and snowboarding, it’s a great place to get away for weekend fun during the rest of the year as well. During the summer, Bear Creek Mountain Resort partners with the nearby amusement and water park destination, Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, to offer guests a discounted package. The package includes overnight hotel accommodations, a $25 dining gift card and two adult one-day passes to both parks, with the option to add additional passes at a specially reduced fee. When not out braving the slopes or the roller coasters, Bear Creek Mountain Resort guests can enjoy abundant outdoor activities including hiking, boating, golf, tennis and more.
Great Wolf Lodge Poconos
1 Great Wolf Drive
Scotrun, PA 18355
Who needs an all-inclusive beach resort when you live near the Great Wolf Lodge Poconos? A favorite destination for both families and couples, at the Great Wolf Lodge, you won’t worry about the weather ruining your weekend because the popular 79,000-square-foot water park is indoors and boasts a year-round water temperature of 84 degrees. There are rides, pools, lazy rivers and slides for every taste, and from wave pools to thrilling water slides, there’s plenty to keep everyone in the family happy. After a day of splashing away your cares, there is plenty of shopping, dining options and entertainment in and near the resort, including an arcade, game room and mini golf. There is plenty to do outdoors as well with options for hiking, fishing and whitewater rafting nearby.
Holiday Inn Washington DC
1501 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
A trip to our nation’s capital is just a three-hour drive from Philadelphia – even quicker by train – and comes highly recommended as an excellent nearby getaway option by Helene Singer of Singer Travel in Wyomissing. You can’t beat the price of many of the attractions in Washington DC (most, including museums and the zoo, are free). And according to Singer, the Central/White House hotel, located just blocks from the sights and museums, is an excellent home-base from which to explore all the city has to offer. The venue has a variety of packages available for family fun, and an added bonus for the budget conscious is that children eat free in the hotel’s full-service restaurant.
The Hotel Hershey
100 Hotel Road
Hershey, PA 17033
Take your sweet time enjoying the rides at Hersheypark theme park. It’s a great deal when you use one of a wide variety of coupons and online discounts available to help you save. Located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the Sweetest Place on Earth, the hotel is near the theme park, shopping, golf, hiking, biking and offers a number of on-site fun family activities, including an all-weather synthetic skating facility. The hotel is also near another family favorite attraction, Hershey’s Chocolate World, where fun meets scrumptious at an assortment of Hershey candy-themed shops and eateries. And did we admission to this attraction is completely free?
Philadelphia Trolley Works and 76 Carriage Company
1350 Schuylkill Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Why not make a staycation out of your weekend by taking up temporary residence at your favorite local hotel – using one of the many deals and online coupons available, of course? Or even let your home be your base camp as you explore the City of Brotherly Love. The entire family will have a blast seeing Philly from the eyes of a tourist as you embark on an adventure with “tickets to ride” from the Philadelphia Trolley Works and 76 Carriage Company. With packages for everyone’s taste and budget, you can choose enchanting horse-drawn carriage tours through the historic neighborhoods of Society Hill, Old City and Independence National Historic Park. Treat the family to tales of days gone by and historic moments narrated by your guide as you traverse the city from atop a double-decker bus or from the comfort of a deluxe motor coach. There are Segway tours that depart daily from Arch and 3rd streets and walking tours that will let you retrace the footsteps of our forefathers. Tours can be combined with special add-on options that include Duck rides or museum packages to include ghost tours, art and mural tours and more. Want to keep it simple yet have a blast? Take the trolley, which lets you hop on and off all day, as you explore all the sights and sounds that make up Philadelphia.
Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.