Local Travel Bargains

Save $120 on a round of golf. Enjoy nice savings at a waterfront resort. Pay just $38 to stay in a mountain lodge. Best of all, these deals are a quick drive away.

By: Sherri Dalphonse

On the Water

Tides Inn, a low-key resort on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, is celebrating its 60th year with a splash.

An anniversary package offers waterfront accommodations plus the choice of one of the following: two 60-minute spa treatments; lunch and a round of golf at its Golden Eagle course; or dinner for two including tax, tip, and a $50 wine credit. Rates vary from $159 to $323 a night a person—on an August or September weekend, expect to pay about $350 a couple a night.

Tides Inn, 800-843-3746; tidesinn.com.

Savings on the Green

Love to golf? Through August 31, Virginia’s Homestead Resort is offering a twilight golf special to overnight guests: Play on the Old Course after 5 pm and it’s just $35 a person, including cart. The greens fee is usually $155 for guests.

The Homestead, 866-354-4653; th­eh­­o­­m­estead.com.

Blast From the Past

The rooms at Skyland Resort, in Shenandoah National Park, were renovated last year, but the woodsy lodge still has a timeless appeal. Now so do the prices.

On September 3, 4, and 5, Skyland is rolling back to a 1920s-era rate: $38 a night. The views—Skyland sits at one of the park’s highest points—are still priceless.

Skyland Resort, 800-778-2872; visitshenandoah.com.

Rolling Back Prices

One of the best bike trips on the Eastern Shore is the Tred Avon Circle, a 35-mile ride that begins in Easton, passes through the waterside town of Oxford, crosses the Tred Avon River by ferry, and rolls into St. Michaels before doubling back.

The 84-room Historic Tidewater Inn is offering cyclists the chance to enjoy the ride and save money. Ask for the Washingtonian Magazine Easton Riders Getaway and pay $183 a night per room, 20 percent off the $229 rate. Additional nights are $99.

For $183, you get snacks and bike maps plus a $100 gift certificate to adjacent Restaurant Local, where the menu includes such choices as Maryland lump crab cake with habanero aïoli and smoked-corn-and-tomato salad.

This offer is good through September 15. For reservations, call 410-819-6606 and mention the Washingtonian package. For more on Historic Tidewater Inn or Restaurant Local, see tidewaterinn.com. ➝

Five Tips to Smarter Travel

Keith Bellows, editor of National Geographic Traveler, is on the road for work or pleasure three months of the year. Here are ways he suggests saving money:

Live like the locals. “Rent a villa or a condo,” Bellows says. He and his wife are renting a villa in Capri with two other couples in September. “It will cost us, for a week, less than $800. We’ll have our own kitchen and an incredible view.”

Don’t get locked to an itinerary. “Let’s say you’re going to Africa. Book your first night and last. Then go to a travel agent there and say, ‘ I want to book a safari.’ You’ll get a safari much cheaper than if you book it from the States. The way you get deals is to get as close to the place as you can.”

Check out Farecast.com. Many Web sites offer discounts on travel, but few offer analysis like Farecast.com does. “What’s great, if you want to go to Italy in September, it will say you’ll get a better deal if you wait until the third week.”

In New York, stay at B&Bs. “In our May/June issue, we did a story on bed-and-breakfasts. You can stay at 83 Horatio in Greenwich Village for $190 a night. That’s unbelievable in New York. You can go to Sugar Hill Harlem Inn—Harlem isn’t a scary place anymore, it’s a cool place—for $125 a night. On the Upper East Side, 1871 House—$225 a night.”

Head north. “A place I recommend—I’m biased, because it’s where I grew up—is Montreal. It offers a bit of Europe. Terrific food. It’s a city of neighborhoods. A festival city—there’s a jazz festival, a comedy festival. You’ll have a much more inexpensive weekend in Montreal than New York.”

More Travel Bargains Online

Click here for more bargains—including fall cruises out of Baltimore.