Great news to cure your winter blues: you don’t have to wait until spring or summer to pack up the car and get out of town. We’ve got four road trip destinations perfect for an upcoming long weekend or mid-winter break.
Photo: Avalanche Express
There is much more to Lancaster than buggy rides. For outdoorsy types, try snow tubing or ice skating at Avalanche Express. The slope and rink are located at the Heritage Hills Athletic Club where you’ll also find a spa and laser tag when you’re ready to come in from the cold. If you’d rather stay indoors, check out the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, featuring rooms of antique cars plus an old drive-in movie replica, an old fashioned diner and the Hershey Kissmobile Cruiser.
Speaking of old fashioned diners, start your day at DJs Taste of the 50s for breakfast. It’s a 50s-style diner with all of the classics. Then go a bit more upscale later in the day at Iron Hill Brewery for a great kids menu and, of course, plenty of beer.
Finally, kid-friendly is the name of the game for Lancaster hotels, like the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn offering family suites, farm tours, a petting zoo, an indoor pool and hot tub, and a family restaurant. If you’re looking for something a bit more resort-like, book a suite or villa at the Best Western Eden Resort & Suites and enjoy the kids play and water zones plus 2 onsite dining options.
Photo: mama! mia! via flickr
If a trip to Williamsburg doesn’t fit into your summer vacation, try planning a winter trip. With average highs in the mid 40s, it might be a little chilly but you can break up the typical outdoor tours with stops in any of the area’s museums. The musicians among you will enjoy the Virginia Musical Museum and history buffs will enjoy the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Stay at the ever family-friendly Great Wolf Lodge, with a ginormous indoor waterpark, arcade and bowling alley, for even more to do if the weather is bad. And try Food for Thought for a fun and entertaining meal.
Great Wolf Lodge
Food for Thought
Photo: janhatesmarcia via Flickr
Richmond and Virginia Beach, Va
It’s always tempting to head south in winter. While you won’t find significantly warmer temperatures at the end of this four-hour drive, you will find a true winter beach experience. Rudee Tours will take you out on the ocean to watch Humpback and Fin whales making their seasonal migration along the Atlantic Seaboard. You can also go horseback riding on the beach, if you are brave (or bundled!) enough.
And, since you’ll pass through Richmond on your way to the beach, make it a double road trip and spend a day there on your way. You’ll get to take in the Children’s Museum of Richmond or the Science Museum of Virginia.
When in Richmond, stay at the Courtyard Marriott Richmond Downtown for its incredibly convenient location. When in Virginia Beach, stay at the Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach for its indoor lazy river and pool.
Citrus, famously featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, serves up great beach food year-round. And don’t miss The Dairy Bar in Richmond.
Photo: Massanutten Resort
If you’d rather a simpler road trip with just one stop, head for the Shenandoah Valley and book a room or villa at Massanutten Resort. While you’re there, you can head out to the slopes for skiing, ice skating or snowboarding. Or pretend it’s summer at the indoor waterpark. Enjoy the resort’s Beer Lover’s Dinner or try to please everyone at the local Virginia BBQ and Pizza.
Photo: padraics_travels via flickr
Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, WVa.
One of several Civil War history hot spots in the region, Harper’s Ferry National Park has the most to see and do, not to mention its location along the famed Appalachian Trail. While standing on the fields of Antietam or Gettysburg offers great perspective on the bloodshed of the Great Rebellion, this town instead tells the story of what it was like to live during that time. Online: nps.gov
Where will you road trip to this winter? Tell us in the comments below.