August has a bonus treat for us this year: an extra weekend. And if the city’s getting you down, remember that Baltimore is ideally placed for all sorts of day- and weekend-trips along the east coast and into the mountains. Below, our picks for the best places to escape Baltimore:
(1) Berkeley Springs, West Virginia (2 hours from Baltimore). How many trips to the state park involve soaking in your own private, heated pool? Once you’re done being decadent, chug a ton of water (lounging is dehydrating!) and explore the antique stores. Even the drive out there is pretty!
(2) Hershey, Pennsylvania (1 hour 43 minutes from Baltimore). A town built around an industry we can all support: chocolate. There’s Hershey Park, of course, but there are also Hershey’s Chocolate World and The Hershey Story Museum. Restaurants in town feature such delicacies as hazelnut chocolate mustard, chocolate ketchup, and chilled cucumber and white chocolate soup. How could you go wrong?
(3) Richmond, Virginia (3 hours). Okay, so I’m biased — it’s where I grew up. But sometimes Richmond feels like a slower, prettier Baltimore, with more trees and better restaurants. I recommend brunch at Kuba Kuba and a walk to Belle Isle, a former Confederate prison that’s now a lovely island park.
(4) Amish Country, Pennsylvania. Lancaster is the famous city, but I recommend stopping off in the smaller towns (Intercourse! Bird-in-Hand!) for the real experience. Even better if you time your trip to coincide with one of the fire companies’ auctions, where you can buy baked goods, buggies, and draft horses.
Where are your favorite places to escape the city?
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