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Coronavirus Cancelled Your Spring-Break Plans? Try These Nearby Getaways Instead.

None involve getting on an airplane from DC.

A few days at Primland Resort, stargazing through its observatory telescope, may make you forget about that cancelled vacation. Photograph courtesy of Primland Resort.
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

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Many Washingtonians nixed their spring-break travel plans out of concern about Covid-19. When you are ready to travel again, why not put the money into this region’s economy? There are plenty of travel options in the Mid-Atlantic—and you may even score some deals. Although heading to a resort in the mountains of Virginia or Pennsylvania may not be the same as vacationing in Japan or Italy, it’s still a chance to rest and recharge. Here are some great options.

Solitude—and Stars

If what you’re most after is a romantic getaway in the middle of nowhere, consider Primland, a boutique resort set on 12,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. The property is most known for its observatory, where guests can peer through a telescope to glimpse the heavens and objects beyond our solar system. But there are other away-from-the-crowd activities, including RTV and mountain-biking trails, and fishing. Plus, you can sleep in a lavish treehouse. Visitors who are willing to go by March 31 can take advantage of a special deal for Washingtonian readers that saves about $200 a night off standard rates. To read more about this deal, click here.


Skiing at Snowshoe resort in West Virginia may not be like skiing out west, but it’s close. Photo courtesy of Snowshoe.

A Last Bit of Skiing

We haven’t had much of a winter in the Mid-Atlantic, but don’t let that stop you from a ski trip—most area resorts now have sophisticated snow-making equipment. The region’s best getaway for snow-seekers is Snowshoe. This West Virginia resort may make you feel like you’re skiing out in Colorado or Utah. There are 61 trails, a vertical drop of 1,500 feet, and more than a dozen lifts. A mountain village offers lots of restaurants, shops, and lodging options. Off slope, you can go snow-tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling, or skip the snow entirely and hit the spa or swimming center. To read more about Snowshoe and other regional options for a ski getaway, click here.


The Bellmoor Inn and Spa in Rehoboth offers discounted off-season rates. Photo courtesy of the Bellmoor Inn and Spa.

Beach Bound

While you won’t get Florida sunshine at the shore around here for awhile, you will get an off-season rate through spring. One place to consider is the Bellmoor Inn and Spa, in Rehoboth. The place has been completely redesigned, and is now more airy, done up in white, blue, and light green. If the weather’s not fit for a walk on the beach, settle down with a book in Bellmoor’s renovated library or schedule a treatment in the freshened-up spa. For more on the Bellmoor and other off-season beach bargains, click here.


The yurts at Savage River Lodge come with king-sized beds, high-end linens, a sitting room, and a full bath. Photo by Veronica Varos.

Glamp Happy

Pretend you’re somewhere exotic while ensconced in a yurt at Savage River Lodge in western Maryland. This is not roughing it: Each domed yurt comes with a king-sized bed, heated floor, private bath, and sitting room. For more on yurts in this region, as well as other unusual hideaways—including Frank Lloyd Wright houses, a converted train caboose, and a vintage Airstream, click here.


Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort has a wildlife habitat with bears, a Bengal tiger, lions, and other animals. Photo courtesy of Nemacolin.

If It’s Good Enough for Bette Midler

The “Divine Miss M” is one of the celebrity guests to have stayed at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, a grande-dame of a place in the highlands of Pennsylvania. Like Midler, Nemacolin is fun and a bit over the top—it boasts a multimillion-dollar art collection, a private airfield, and a wildlife sanctuary with lions and tigers and bears, mostly rescued from closed zoos. More typical resort offerings include a posh spa, trail rides, sporting clays, and 36 holes of championship golf. Nearby, you can tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. For more on this and other other getaways near DC where you’ll be treated like a VIP, click here.


Photograph of Sagamore Pendry Courtesy of Sagamore Pendry
It may not be a babymoon in Paris, but the Sagamore Pendry in Baltimore is a sweet retreat. Photograph courtesy of Sagamore Pendry.

Pregnant Pauses

Was the trip you had to cancel a babymoon? Resorts and hotels in this region also offer babymoon touches. One place to consider: Sagamore Pendry, in Baltimore. Housed in a former warehouse in the harborside neighborhood of Fells Point, the Pendry not only features luxe rooms, but it partners with a spa, a block away, where trained prenatal-massage therapists can not only help relax muscles but also teach pregnant partners how to reduce swelling and leg cramps. For more on this and other babymoon options, click here.


A restored spring-fed pool at Bedford Springs dates to 1905—when musicians used to serenade swimmers. Photograph courtesy of Omni Beford Springs.

Into the Pool

If what you—and your kids—were most looking forward to while visiting your parents in Florida this spring was some pool time, don’t throw in the towel. A number of hotels and resorts in this region have indoor swimming pools, including: Wintergreen Resort in Virginia; the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina on Maryland’s Eastern Shore; the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania; the Omni Homestead Resort in Virginia; Lansdowne Resort near Leesburg; Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania; Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg; and The Jefferson hotel in Richmond. If you really want to make a splash with the kids, don’t forget resorts with indoor waterparks, such as Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg and Virginia’s Massanutten.


It may not look like much from the outside, but inside, Lockhouse 21 is bright, refurbished, and decorated in a circa-1916 retro style.

Back to a Simpler Time

Along the C&O Canal are seven lockhouses available for overnight stays. The newest to be refurbished is Lockhouse 21, also known as the Swains, after the family of lockkeepers who owned it until 2006. The house comfortably sleeps up to eight and has heat—unlike some of the more rustic rehabbed cottages that are part of the Canal Quarters program.

The Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels. Photo courtesy of the Inn at Perry Cabin.

New on the Eastern Shore

The Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels was already one of the region’s premiere properties. Now it’s upped its game by adding an 18-hole golf course designed by Pete Dye as well as eight high-def simulators in its pro shop. For more on the inn, as well as other recent revamps that have made some longtime destinations worth another look, click here.


Mindfulbliss: Vaucluse Spring. Photograph by Jumping Rocks Photography.
Mindfulbliss: the Inn at Vaucluse Spring. Photograph by Jumping Rocks Photography.

Check In to Check Out

If the coronavirus, the presidential primaries, and the stock market have you addled, perhaps a mindfulness retreat is in order. Physician Tiffany Niide and her husband, Derrick, own the Inn at Vaucluse Spring, a lovely property near Shenandoah National Park; their mindfulness training aims to teach even the most distracted how to be in the moment and chill.


Virginia’s Pembroke Springs Retreat offers a taste of Japan, literally—it served both an American and Japanese breakfast. Photo courtesy of @lfpsr.

Taste of Japan

If you had to say sayōnara—at least for now—to that dream trip to Japan, you can soothe some of the disappointment at Pembroke Springs Retreat, in the northwestern part of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The Japanese-themed inn has two large Japanese baths, and guest rooms come with Japanese bathrobes, or yukatas, and tatami mats; some also have shoji screens. In the morning, you can choose from an American or Japanese-style breakfast. Occasional Japanese-fusion dinners are also offered.



A staycation at the Intercontinental at the Wharf means you simply have to go downstairs for dinner at the excellent Kith and Kin. Photograph by Rey Lopez courtesy of Kith and Kin.

Think Local

Maybe you’d prefer to be hyper-local with your dollars. You could help out local hotels while helping yourself to a staycation—possibly at a great rate. Still haven’t explored the Wharf ? At the InterContinental, you not only get a water-view room, but you can pop downstairs for dinner at the excellent Afro-Caribbean Kith and Kin. To read more ideas on staycations and other romantic nearby hideaways, click here.

This article was edited since its original posting.



Editor in chief

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986 as an editorial intern, and worked her way to the top of the masthead when she was named editor-in-chief in 2022. She oversees the magazine’s editorial staff, and guides the magazine’s stories and direction. She lives in DC.