Embrace your inner winter weekend warrior at these 6 Eastern Pa. getaway spots

Embrace your inner winter weekend warrior at these 6 Eastern Pa. getaway spots

Photo courtesy of Daniel Knoll for Visit Philadelphia

By Kalena Thomhave

January 3, 2024

Yes, it’s cold outside. But winter is often the most affordable season for booking vacation travel in and around the eastern part of Pennsylvania.

Though it gets pretty cold in Pennsylvania during the winter season, you can still book a fun getaway to enjoy what our state has to offer even when the temperatures drop below freezing. After all, winter is often the most affordable season for booking vacation travel in and around eastern Pa. Whether you’d prefer enjoying nature in state parks, experiencing urban attractions in Philadelphia, or relaxing at upscale inns, there’s surely a winter getaway with your name on it.

Modern Cabins in Pennsylvania State Parks – Various state parks

If you’re in search of an affordable getaway in nature, it’s hard to beat our Pennsylvania State Parks. While you can always rough it in tents or camping cabins, you can also book modern cabins, which feature amenities like full kitchens, bathrooms, electric heat, and master bedrooms, in addition to the camping usuals of picnic tables and fire pits. And during the off-season, the nightly price is cheaper than during the warmer months. On the eastern side of the state, Nockamixon State Park, French Creek State Park, and Ricketts Glen State Park all have modern cabins available to book during January and February. Besides the cabins, you’ll be able to enjoy wintry hiking trails and the quiet of the woods. Note that all cabin guests need to bring their own bedding, towels, dishes, and cooking utensils. Make your reservation on the Pa. State Parks’ reservation website.

Cost: Starting at $64 per night 

Smoketown Inn – Smoketown

For a quiet getaway in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, take a trip to Lancaster County and book a stay at the Smoketown Inn. You can relax on the inn’s three acres, which are surrounded by working fields. January through March is the slow season at the Smoketown Inn, and you’ll benefit from lower rates, which start at $74 per night. Also enjoy complimentary coffee and pastries before setting off to explore the rest of Lancaster County. Visit cute towns like Lititz for great shopping amid historic buildings, see a show at Lancaster City’s Fulton Theatre, or take a ride on the Strasburg Rail Road. If you’re visiting toward the end of February, you can also make a plan to visit a mud sale, that is, one of the Amish auctions held only in Lancaster County.

Cost: Starting at $74 per night

President’s Day Family Camp Weekend at the Pocono Environmental Education Center – Dingmans Ferry

Start making your plans for the three-day weekend over President’s Day. Travel to Northeastern Pennsylvania to stay in the lovely Pocono Mountains for a President’s Day Family Camp Weekend at the Pocono Environmental Education Center. From Feb. 16 through 19, PEEC is hosting three nights of wintertime family fun with daily programming like cross-country skiing, interpretive hikes, bonfires, and much more. You’ll arrive on Friday afternoon and stay until after lunch on Monday. The price includes three nights of lodging (private cabin or yurt) as well as all meals and activities. 

Cost: Adults $260; children and commuters pay less; day rates also available 

The Logan Hotel – Philadelphia

The winter months are slower months in Philadelphia, so if you are seeking a more affordable urban getaway — or a staycation — prepare to bundle up and book a hotel stay in Philly. The upscale Logan Hotel has a special for three-night stays in which you can buy two nights and get one free. As you may have guessed, the Logan is located downtown in Logan Square, and is a quick walk to historic areas, museums, and restaurants — necessary when the temperatures are low! Walk just a few minutes to places to see like the Franklin Institute, visit the rooftop bar at the Logan for an incredible view, and then warm up at Victory Brewing’s nearby taproom.

By booking the Logan, you can stay at a 5-star hotel for three nights with average nightly rates as low as $141. If you’d rather visit Philly for a briefer stay, third-party sites like TripAdvisor advertise roughly the same price even for one-night stays.

Cost: Roughly $141 per night

The French Manor Inn and Spa – South Sterling

The French Manor Inn and Spa may sound fancy, and you’d be right — the inn is a luxury bed and breakfast in the Pocono Mountains with fine dining and incredible views. The prices usually match these amenities, but the inn is hosting a special seasonal sale: You can get 15% off for midweek stays throughout the month of January. As a night at the inn includes the use of the indoor heated pool, hot tub, and sauna; complimentary snowshoeing; as well as a gourmet breakfast, teatime snacks, and a cheese and fruit plate to welcome you, we think that the price — especially the discounted price — is worth it. Plus, if you stay for only one night, you can get all of the above for just the price of one night. Just be sure to check in as early as you can so you get to soak up as much of the experience as possible!

Cost: Starting at $209 per night 

Fire and Frost at the Golden Plough Inn at Peddler’s Village – Lahaska

Located between Doylestown and New Hope, Peddler’s Village is an old-timey “village” of brick pathways lined with shops and restaurants that regularly hosts seasonal activities and events. The village regularly attracts visitors from Philadelphia, which is just 45 minutes away, as well as visitors who spend much of their time in charming New Hope. But you can spend your days as well as your nights entirely within Peddler’s Village, especially if you stay at the village’s Golden Plough Inn. The holiday season extends into January within the village, and you can continue to celebrate during Peddler’s Village’s Fire and Frost Fun event, held Jan. 5 through 13. More than a million holiday lights continue to decorate the area, in addition to dozens of ice sculptures on the weekends. Fire artistry performances will also take place on the weekends, amid a general festive atmosphere with food, drinks, and a live DJ. The Golden Plough Inn’s “Fire and Frost Package” includes breakfast for two at a nearby restaurant, a s’mores making kit, and “Fire” and “Frost” drink vouchers that can be redeemed at Peddler’s Village restaurants and bars.

Cost: Starting at $169 per night

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CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY | THINGS TO DO

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