May 24, 2024

15 Best Weekend Getaways in Pennsylvania

15 Best Weekend Getaways in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home to some of the nation’s most iconic sites (the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia, to name a few), but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. America’s fifth-most populous state covers around 46,000 square miles and is chock-full of must-visit destinations — all of which make for ideal weekend trips. From an all-inclusive spa resort tucked in the Pocono Mountains to a trendy boutique hotel surrounded by farmland, here are the best weekend getaways in Pennsylvania for all types of travelers, be it wellness-seeking couples, adventure-loving families, and more.

The Wilbur Lititz

Courtesy of The Industrialist

“I recently visited Lititz, Pennsylvania, and was so impressed with this little gem of a town,” says Pennsylvania-based travel advisor Alli Kozloff. When it comes to accommodations, Kozloff recommends reserving a room at The Wilbur, which serves as a hip home base for exploring the charming small town in the heart of Lancaster County. She goes on to describe the hotel — a former chocolate factory — as a “noteworthy attraction” in and of itself since it “showcas[es] its rich history through intricate details and decor.” Industrial-chic rooms have exposed brick and expansive windows to provide plenty of natural light. A handful of noteworthy mom-and-pop restaurants, including Tomato Pie Cafe and Bulls Head Public House, are within walking distance.

River House at Odette’s, New Hope

Courtesy of River House at Odette’s

Located along the Delaware River, the aptly named River House at Odette’s offers cozy vibes all year long. Guest rooms and suites — many with private balconies — are outfitted with plush linens and fluffy duvets ideal for snuggling up, while bold murals, tufted leather headboards, and jewel-toned accents add a chic touch. The common areas, including an elegant eatery, swanky piano lounge, and buzzy rooftop bar, are equally stylish. Be sure to carve out enough time to explore New Hope’s budding arts and culture scene. Don’t miss the New Hope Arts Center, where you’ll find several outdoor sculptures and indoor exhibitions showcasing an array of modern works. The picturesque town also boasts an abundance of boutiques, antique shops, and restaurants, including The Salt House, which serves pub fare inside a fairy-tale-worthy stone building from 1751. Meanwhile, outdoor enthusiasts can spend their days hiking or biking (the hotel has its own fleet of custom bikes). 

The Lodge at Glendorn, Bradford

Courtesy of The Lodge at Glendorn

“I’m enamored with The Lodge at Glendorn,” says Kozloff, who spent some time there this summer. According to her, the 1,500-acre property feels “like a step back in time with all the comforts of modern luxury.” Expect a wide variety of activities, including fly fishing, cross-country skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, and off-roading. Alternatively, sign up for a cooking class or hit the spa for a well-deserved massage. All of the accommodations here exude rustic charm, and a majority take the form of stand-alone cabins, which, per Kozloff, “are equipped to accommodate large families or couples seeking privacy.” (Tip: Spring for one with an en-suite fireplace to make your stay all the more special.) Guests also enjoy amenities like chef-prepared breakfasts, 18 miles of trails, and fun events such as yoga classes and bonfires with s’mores and microbrews. While the expansive property is a destination in and of itself, Kozloff notes that the town of Bradford is rich in history as well. Must-visit attractions include Thunder Rocks and Kinzua Bridge State Park.

The Industrialist Hotel, Autograph Collection, Pittsburgh

Azeez Bakare Studios

Known for its sports teams, steel bridges, and burgeoning food scene, Pittsburgh makes for a great weekend getaway. Next time you find yourself in Pennsylvania’s second-largest city, consider a stay at The Industrialist Hotel, Autograph Collection. The property opened in 2021 and occupies a historic 18-story building in the city’s Central Business District. As an homage to the city’s history, the entire hotel is outfitted with industrial-inspired decor (arched windows, metal chandeliers) as well as striking elements that feel reminiscent of a bygone era (marble walls, black-and-white tiled floors, elaborate gold railings). Accommodations are sleek, with a monochrome color palette, leather accents, and abstract art. Guests and locals alike can be found noshing at the buzzy all-day bar and restaurant, Rebel Room, while the lobby bar and fireplace-equipped lounge is a popular spot for people-watching while sipping cocktails.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Seven Springs

Courtesy of Seven Springs Mountain Resort

Seven Springs Mountain Resort is a ski lover’s paradise,” says Pennsylvania-based travel advisor Christina O’Toole of Travel in Luxury, an affiliate of Avenue Two Travel (a Virtuoso agency). However, it offers plenty to do year-round, too — zipping down the alpine slide, horseback riding, or scaling the 24-foot-tall rock wall. After a day of adventure, retreat to the Trillium Spa, where treatments range from hot stone massages to caviar facials. Then, head to one of the resort restaurants, including Helen’s, which comes highly recommended by O’Toole for its “lively atmosphere.” It’s also worth noting that Seven Springs is just 60 miles from Pittsburgh.

Glasbern, Fogelsville

The quaint village of Fogelsville — a suburb of Allentown — puts you within close proximity of the region’s best wineries, antique shops, and historic attractions. You’ll also find the Glasbern hotel, a former working farm, here. A stay at this 150-acre adults-only hotel — which spans pristine ponds, rolling hills, restored cottages, and converted barns — feels like a trip back in time. Accommodations are packed with historic charm thanks to rustic plank flooring, exposed beams, and cathedral-style ceilings. For a splurge, opt for a suite with a whirlpool tub, fireplace, or private outdoor patio where you can bask in the postcard-worthy surroundings. Before heading off to explore, enjoy a made-to-order breakfast featuring locally grown and sourced ingredients; otherwise, stick around to enjoy a rejuvenating spa treatment (lemongrass massages, anyone?).

The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley

Courtesy of Lodge at Woodloch

“Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, The Lodge at Woodloch is one of Pennsylvania’s best spa destinations,” says Kozloff. O’Toole echoes this sentiment, describing the adults-only all-inclusive resort as a “stylish retreat [that] will delight your senses.” The property is spread across 500-plus acres of pristine woodland and offers gourmet cuisine, workshops, cooking classes, and dozens of health- and wellness-centric activities (hiking, yoga, meditation, pickleball, journaling, farm tours, and so much more). Out-of-the-box offerings include fire making, sound baths, and fly casting. However, the true star of the show is, of course, the award-winning spa facilities, which are free to all guests and feature several serene lounges, pools (including an outdoor infinity-edge whirlpool overlooking the towering trees), a snow room, and a Himalayan salt sauna. Last but not least are the recently renovated rooms and suites with private balconies facing the lake or rock garden, oversized marble showers, and contemporary decor.

Woodloch Resort, Hawley

Courtesy of Woodloch Resort

Just down the road from The Lodge at Woodloch is its family-friendly sibling property, which is also all-inclusive. This year-round resort is home to more than 160 rooms and suites with rustic sleepaway camp vibes (light wooden furnishings, plaid curtains) plus private balconies or patios. Additionally, there are more than 30 activities to choose from, including archery, bumper cars, a climbing wall, disc golf, ice skating, and tennis. Meanwhile, meals are served in one of three dining rooms and offer something for both kids and adults (think: cider-braised pork with sweet potato mash for mom and dad and chicken tenders for little ones). Although you may be tempted to stay on property for the duration of your trip, Kozloff recommends taking some time to explore the nearby art galleries and boutiques for a “taste of local culture and craftsmanship.” Similarly, while the food here is delicious, Kozloff suggests having at least one meal at the historic, locally loved Settlers Inn or The Dock on Wallenpaupack, which offers picturesque lake views.

Cork Factory Hotel, Lancaster

“Most people associate Lancaster with Amish country, and horses and buggies are a common sight. However, Lancaster has undergone a bit of a resurgence in the last few years,” says Philadelphia-based travel advisor Jennifer Schwartz, who notes the Cork Factory Hotel as an excellent example of this. The 19th-century buildings that now make up this contemporary hotel once housed the Armstrong Cork Company. In addition to “minimalist decor contrasted with the punchy red brick walls,” design touches include original brick interiors and exposed wood ceilings. Don’t miss Cork & Cap, the dinner-only restaurant with plush leather banquettes, a rustic bar, a seasonal outdoor patio, and brick and stone walls for a rural, old-timey feel. The food and drink scene is strong off property, too: “Don’t miss Luca and Bar 1888,” says Schwartz. According to her, Lancaster is also home to one of the nation’s oldest indoor farmers markets, Lancaster Central Market. Meanwhile, beer aficionados can sample some of the region’s best brews via the Lancaster Ale Trail.

Nemacolin, Farmington

Courtesy of Nemacolin

“For a resort-style getaway just 90 minutes from Pittsburgh, Nemacolin takes the cake,” says Schwartz, who also calls out the property’s “choose-your-own-adventure vibe and notable spa and wellness program.” She adds, “The activities are endless, and what makes Nemacolin so unique is the variety of options.” This includes a private ski slope, a bowling alley, a field club for hunting, fly fishing, clay shooting, archery, an equestrian facility, and two golf courses. Additionally, as part of the Wildlife Adventures program, visitors can see sheep, tigers, lions, wolves, and more. And when it comes to accommodations, keep in mind that Nemacolin is comprised of five distinct hotels, including the all-suite Grand Lodge (set to open in November). While you may be tempted to spend all your time on property, Holmes recommends venturing 20 minutes north to visit Fallingwater, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home that’s now a National Historic Landmark. 

The Hotel Hershey, Hershey

Courtesy of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts

Hershey is best known as the home of Hersheypark, which attracts families from all over the country in search of a sweet time. O’Toole recommends staying at The Hotel Hershey. The 276-room property — the city’s most luxurious — offers elegant accommodations and activities ranging from hiking to chocolate bingo. After visiting the bustling theme park, unwind with a stroll through the 23-acre Hershey Gardens. Alternatively, head to the Chocolate Spa, where treatments include a whipped cocoa bath, chocolate bean polish, or cocoa facial. Should you need a break from all that chocolatey goodness, head to one of the on-site restaurants, including Trevi 5 (for modern Italian cuisine) or Harvest (for mouthwatering American fare). End the night at Iberian Lounge, where you’ll have access to an extensive menu of chocolate cocktails and 100-plus whiskeys from around the world.

Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Bedford

Omni Hotels & Resorts

About 110 miles from Pittsburgh lies the beloved spa town of Bedford, home to the sprawling Omni Bedford Springs Resort. According to Kozloff, the historic hotel has “been a favored destination” among travelers since its inception in 1806. (Fun fact: it has hosted 13 U.S. presidents.) O’Toole also loves this resort, telling T+L, “You can hear the history in the walls and rooms.” Both advisors are quick to call out the award-winning spa, famous for its mineral pools. Beyond that, O’Toole says, “Families will love the outdoor fire pits and lawn activities.” Golfers, meanwhile, can tee off at one of the country’s first courses before retreating to their lavish room or suite, which features a private balcony for taking in the serene surroundings. The town of Bedford itself is also rich in history: Visit the Fort Bedford Museum, check out one of the region’s 14 covered bridges, or indulge in the local food scene at restaurants like Horn O Plenty and Jean Bonnet Tavern — both come highly recommended by Kozloff.

Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, Philadelphia

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts

Schwartz describes this luxury property as “Philadelphia’s crown jewel” thanks to its rooftop infinity pool, gorgeous rooms, and swanky bar, SkyHigh, which she calls “the hottest bar in the city.” The property is located on the top floors of the iconic Comcast Center, so you can expect postcard-worthy city vistas from all angles. Even better, you don’t have to get out of bed to bask in the views as rooms and suites offer floor-to-ceiling windows. The centrally located property is also near some of the city’s best museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rodin Museum. As for the city’s dining scene, Schwartz says it’s “endless and ever-changing. “The hot spots are Zahav, Irwin’s, Pizzeria Beddia, Via Locusta, and The Love.” Can’t snag a reservation? Take it easy at the hotel and dine at one of the two on-site restaurants: Jean-Georges Philadelphia or Vernick Fish.

Hotel Rock Lititz, Lititz

Courtesy of Hotel Rock Lititz

Hotel Rock Lititz is a favorite of Philadelphia-based travel advisor Allison Holmes, who says the property “tends to fly more under the radar.” It’s located on the campus of Rock Lititz, a major rehearsal and entertainment production facility. (Some of the biggest names in music — Taylor Swift, U2, Ariana Grande, and Aerosmith — have all visited and worked with the crew here.) The hotel is noteworthy in its own right, too, with effortlessly cool interiors (including an indoor-outdoor lounge with a fireplace, a pool table, and comfy couches), a sleek indoor pool area, and a buzzy all-day eatery. For a fun excursion, Holmes recommends renting a bike from Lititz Bikeworks and visiting Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, the country’s oldest pretzel bakery. Finally, retreat to your room or suite, all with farm views and some with bonus features like kitchenettes and handmade coffee tables.

Hotel Fauchère, Milford

Courtesy of Hotel Fauchere

The splendid small town of Milford is perched along the Delaware River in the Pocono Mountains, near the borders of New Jersey and New York. It’s also home to famous attractions like the Grey Towers National Historic Site and The Columns Museum of the Pike County Historical Society, which is where you’ll find the American flag used to cushion Lincoln’s head after he was shot. Stay in the heart of town at the historic 1852-era Hotel Fauchère, situated inside a three-story Italianate-style building with 16 rooms and suites. Grab a drink or meal out on the expansive covered porch where prime people-watching opportunities abound. Just a few steps away, you’ll find a handful of eclectic shops, including BetterWorld, Willow, and Broad Street Trading Post.