In mid-January, with the hustle and bustle of the holidays over and the bulk of winter still looming, an extended weekend getaway is just the ticket to stave of the blues. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend (January 16–19, 2015) is the perfect time to reconnect as a family or couple, or to enjoy a little “me” time with friends. Time constraints may not allow for traveling great distances, but thankfully, there are a number of splendid getaway destinations not far from the City of Brotherly Love. Whatever your leisure-time interests, you’re sure to find a destination you’ll love on this list of top Martin Luther King Day getaways near Philadelphia.
French Creek State Park
843 Park Road
Elverson, PA 19520
With roomy, dry and warm cabins to protect you from the elements, you’ll enjoy winter camping at French Creek State Park. The rustic cabins may be primitive, but they’ve got all the basics covered. Just an hour’s drive from Philly, French Creek State Park is not only convenient, it’s comfortable too. Cabins come equipped with electric lights and bunk beds that sleep five, but if you want an experience that’s more like a tent (without being a tent – after all, it’s still winter) you can opt instead for a yurt, a kind of “hybrid” tent/cabin. With plenty of activities – sledding, hiking in the snow and perhaps a little cross-country skiing – you’re sure to work up an appetite for some camping grub, so don’t forget to pack the marshmallows and hot chocolate.
Great Wolf Lodge Poconos
1 Great Wolf Drive
Scotrun, PA 18355
Just a couple hours from Philadelphia, Great Wolf Lodge Poconos is the perfect wintertime getaway. Who needs sand and sea when you’ve got lazy rivers and thrilling water slides to enjoy? The popular 79,000-square-foot park is housed completely indoors, and the water is kept at a balmy 84 degrees year round. Once you’ve had your fill of rides, lazy rivers, slides and wave pools, there’s plenty more to do, both on the Great Wolf Lodge grounds and in the nearby Poconos. From abundant dining and shopping options as well as entertainment options nearby, like skiing and snowboarding, families don’t have to leave to enjoy the weekend as the venue has, in addition to the water attractions, an arcade, a game room, mini golf and more — all indoors.
800 16th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
In honor of Dr. King’s memory, many parents will take their families to our nation’s capital. Overlooking the White House and Lafayette Square, The Hay-Adams offers convenient two- and three-night family packages, as well as the option to create your own getaway package. Washington D.C. is home to countless destinations and attractions that are sure to keep the entire family busy. At the top of the list for many is to check out the White House and Capitol buildings, as well as the many monuments and memorials on the mall. The Smithsonian, the FBI building and the U.S. Treasury are also great destinations.
Holiday Inn Washington DC
1501 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
Because it is so close, just a three-hour drive from the City of Brotherly Love, and was the backdrop for Dr. King’s most famous “I have a dream” speech, Washington DC comes highly recommended as an excellent nearby getaway option. Budget travel at its best, visitors to Washington DC can even visit the zoo for free. The Holiday Inn has a number of weekend and extended-stay packages, some designed specifically for families with children, and the kids are always happy to receive a complimentary breakfast at this venue.
The Hotel Hershey
100 Hotel Road
Hershey, PA 17033
What could be sweeter than spending the weekend together as a family? Enjoying that time together in the “Sweetest Place on Earth.” Hotel Hershey provides a number of packages for two- and three-day getaways, and even though the Hershey Park Themed Amusement Park may not be open and running, there is still plenty to do, including swimming, outdoor activities and even “ice” skating on The Hotel Hershey’s synthetic ice skating rink. And it’s indoors, so you’ll all stay nice and warm.
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.