Best Cheap Long Weekend Trips Near Baltimore

August 9, 2014 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Quick vacations are sometimes difficult to enjoy. By the time you plan, pack and travel, it seems like the weekend is over. Our advice? Enjoy a few of these weekend trips where the activities are practically planned for you for an affordable price.
Jellystone Park
16519 Lappans Road
Williamsport, MD 21795
(301) 223-7117

Yogi Bear is a Hanna Barbera classic character that may not be as recognizable to today’s generation of kids. In the cartoon, Yogi lived in the fictional Jellystone Park, no doubt a surreptitious reference to the famous Yellowstone National Park. Apparently this fictional park was too good of an advertising opportunity to pass up, as Hagerstown has its very own Jellystone, with Yogi Bear as the mascot.

Fun for the whole family, Jellystone is a brilliant combination of campsite and theme park. Come stay in the affordable cabins or campsites and enjoy camping activities such as time spent around the campfire. During the day, hang out at the water park, play a game of kickball, spend time on the mini-golf course or relax on the beach. During the evening, attend a dance or enjoy an outdoor movie hosted by the camp.

Jellystone’s staff works overtime to make certain there are a wide variety of events available each day to keep you entertained. And, of course, the kids can meet and get their photo taken with the Yogi Bear gang.

Ricketts Glen
695 State Route 487
Benton, PA 17814
(570) 477-5675

About a three-hour drive from Baltimore, Ricketts Glen sits in the heart of the beautiful Pennsylvania wilderness. Once a Native American resort, Ricketts has a rich history and some of the most scenic hiking trails this side of the Appalachians. The trails will lead visitors to lakeside beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, moss-covered cliffs, natural tunnels, an old abandoned lumber camp and far more beautiful sites.

You may choose to rent one of the 10 on-site cabins furnished with electric heat, two or three bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bath; but a far more affordable and immersive experience would be to rough it on one of the 120 campsites. Don’t worry, it’s not too rough. Each campsite has access to washhouses with flush toilets, showers and laundry tubs. 

From March to November, take advantage of the guided hikes which inform visitors about the natural wetlands, old-growth forests, geological formations and the “ghost towns.”

Shenandoah Valley
Allstar Lodging
803 E. Main St.
Luray, VA 22835
(866) 780-7827

About a three-hour drive from Baltimore sits the famous Shenandoah Valley and its scenic Skyline Drive. Drive through the natural Mary’s Rock Tunnel and take in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Try staying at one of the hundreds of high-quality cabins run by Allstar Lodging. Each cabin sits in its own stretch of beautiful woodland and offers visitors the best of both worlds – easy access to the natural wonders of the Valley area such as arts and crafts, rock climbing, horseback riding, hunting and shooting while still being close to civilization so visitors may enjoy a game of basketball, a variety of live entertainment, shopping, swimming, tennis, volleyball and local wineries.

Allstar Lodging has cabins starting at $135, so this is an affordable vacation with a load of options.

Related: Best All-Inclusive Tropical Family Vacations

1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 338-1243

About an hour’s drive from Baltimore, you will find the historically rich town of Gettysburg, PA. In this city, visitors may enjoy camping, a night out at the elegant silver screen, the Majestic Theatre, a game of golf on the Links at Gettysburg or the miniature variety of golf at Mulligan MacDuffer Adventure Golf.

However, if you’re coming to Gettysburg, you’ll want to explore the Civil War history. Get started at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center which will educate you in the basics of local history. Then see if you can catch one of the frequent re-enactments. The Gettysburg Diorama presents the Battle of Gettysburg in miniature depicting the fight in all of its glory and horror. Take in the live adventure known as “Lincoln’s Lost Treasure,” which takes visitors on a madcap romp across the streets of historic downtown Gettysburg as visitors follow historic clues and meet actors playing historic characters in a search to see who can uncover Lincoln’s gold. Get your final education at the American Civil War Museum.

While there is no shortage of lodging options in Gettysburg, try out the affordable Gettysburg Campground for a fun weekend camping experience to relax between historical touring.

Tilghman Island
Black Walnut Point Inn
4417 Black Walnut Point Road
Tilghman, MD 21671
(410) 886-2452

Tilghman Island on the Chesapeake Bay is a quiet little getaway with a variety of relaxing activities. While relaxing is its own reward, and an activity in and of itself, for those more ambitious visitors, Tilghman offers cycling, kayaking, canoeing, fishing and trails. The island offers a variety of affordable lodging options. One you might try is the beautiful Black Walnut Point Inn. Watch as flocks of porpoises, monarch butterflies and a variety of exotic water and marshland birds migrate past the island at various times of year.

Tilghman was settled in 1659 and has remained entrenched in the past, looking every bit the quaint fishing village it has been for centuries. So proud are they of their long maritime history that in 2007, the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum was opened to preserve the trinkets and tales of the ancient sailors the island is proud to have hosted.

Come to Tilghman, relax and enjoy a simpler life while still remaining cozy and pampered.

Related: Best Budget Vacation Destinations

Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.

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