This fall, before the crisp, cool air turns to frost and snow, is the perfect time to get away from the hustle and bustle of the back-to-school and pre-holiday madness. Whether you love the outdoors and can’t wait to take in the fall colors, want to get in some serious pre-season shopping or just want to kick back and relax, you’ll find the perfect destination right in your own backyard. No need to hop on a plane or pack for a long car ride, because these perfect fall getaway destinations are less than two hours from the City of Brotherly Love.
Bear Creek Mountain Resort
101 Doe Mountain Lane
Macungie, PA 18062
The 86 acres of terrain parks, slopes and trails at Bear Creek Mountain Resort are perfect for skiing and snowboarding in the winter, but you don’t need snow to enjoy this getaway gem. Bear Creek Mountain Resort hosts its own Oktoberfest each fall as well as a Harvest Wine festival. Resort guests can celebrate the autumn season with spa packages, relax in the pool or hot tub and enjoy the great outdoors with hiking, biking and golfing nearby. Packages can be bundled with discounted tickets to nearby Dorney Park amusement park, which is open weekends during the fall. The package includes overnight hotel accommodations and a $25 dining gift card, as well as two adult one-day passes to both parks and the option to add additional passes at a specially reduced fee.
French Creek State Park
843 Park Road
Elverson, PA 19520
What better way to experience the beauty of fall than out in the great outdoors? French Creek State Park’s 7,730 acres of rich biodiversity, that includes a number of rare animals and plants, is the largest block of contiguous forest to be found anywhere from NYC to our nation’s capital. Year-round camping accommodations include more than 200 wooded sites, warm showers and a number of cabins and yurts available for your outdoor adventure. Horseback riding, fishing, hiking and bird watching are popular at Fresh Creek, and you couldn’t ask for a better seat to the annual show of colorful fall foliage.
Great Wolf Lodge Poconos
1 Great Wolf Drive
Scotrun, PA 18355
With just under 80,000 square feet of aquatic-themed family fun, this indoor water park is a popular getaway destination for Philly families in the fall. The water always feels “just right” with its steady, year-round temperature of 84 degrees, and the slides, rides, lazy rivers and swimming pools provide fun for all ages. When not diving into fun in one of the pools or water slides, other on-site and nearby attractions abound, from shopping, arcades, a game room, mini golf, plenty of dining options and more. Guests can also venture out to explore the Pocono Mountains, beautiful with vibrant color in the fall, and perfect for hiking, golfing, horseback riding and zip-lining.
The Hotel Hershey
100 Hotel Road
Hershey, PA 17033
Hershey, Pennsylvania is known as the sweetest place on earth, and for many families, couples and groups, it is a favorite getaway destination. The Hotel Hershey is definitely in a sweet spot, near a world-class theme park and minutes from shopping, golf and numerous outdoor activities including hiking, biking and horseback riding. The hotel itself boasts a number of on-site activities to delight guests, including an all-weather synthetic skating facility, a spa, tennis, year-round swimming and golf. Hershey’s Chocolate World is nearby, a favorite destination not just because it’s free to visit, but because of the seemingly endless assortment of Hershey candy-themed shops, attractions and places to eat.
The Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center
2300 Lincoln Highway E. (Route 30)
Lancaster, PA 17602
There is no fall getaway destination quite like Pennsylvania Dutch Country, where couples, families and groups will find something for everyone, from golfing to amusement parks, shopping, theater entertainment and unique dining experiences. Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center is in the thick of it, nestled in the heart of Amish country just across from top-ranked children’s amusement park, Dutch Wonderland, which is open weekends during the autumn. If shopping is your passion, you’ll love being just a hop, skip and a jump from the popular Tanger Outlets, where shopping choices abound, ranging from luggage and cookware to clothing and jewelry. Visitors to the Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center can enjoy on-site amenities, including indoor swimming, tennis and golfing at the resort’s very own historic 18-hole course. Getaway packages are available year-round and can be tailored to suit your family or group’s needs.
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.