You reach car horn quota and the urban heat island effect gets to be too much—cue the quick weekend getaway. To help mini-break planning, we’re rounding up idyllic inns and relaxing resorts a short drive (i.e. two hours or less) from major cities. Next, we pick properties along North America’s East Coast.
Chatham Bars Inn
Just under two hours from Beantown is the charming Cape Cod town of Chatham. A championship golf course behind it, the beach in front, this inn is resort-like. Play an oceanfront game of chess with three-feet-high pawns or zip over to Martha’s Vineyard in their Hinckley jet boat.
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
This Lower Keys destination takes closer to three hours to get to, and you’ll have to boat or seaplane in once you reach Little Torch Key, but it’s so worth it. Your reward: peace, quiet and privacy. The West Indies style bungalows don’t have phones or TVs to harass you, perhaps that’s why presidents and celebs fancy it.
New York City
c/o The Maidstone
There’s no getaway quite like a Hamptons getaway, and this c/o hotel injects Scandinavian pep into the prep. There are just 19 rooms, even one named for Edvard Munch. Enjoy complimentary yoga in their Buddha Garden, free beach parking permits and Kronan bikes. Also, pets are welcome.
The Castle on the Hudson
There’s no need to book a flight to France to feel like old royalty. This century-old, medieval-style castle in the countryside is thirty minutes from Manhattan. Old world decor, such as four-poster beds, meets modern amenities, including an outdoor pool and in-room spa treatments.
One of Kiwi Collection’s top rated hotels in North America and native New Yorker Jean Marie Healy’s favorite weekend escapes, this 150-acre estate is an opulent country home turned luxury hotel. Babe Ruth and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were repeated guests back in the day; you will be too once you’ve experienced it yourself.
Touchstone on Lake Muskoka
You don’t need a cabin or a friend’s cabin to find yourself lakeside in 90 minutes. This resort will put you up in one of its two to four bedroom cabins and you don’t need to clean up when you leave. To while away the hours, there’s swimming (lake or infinity pool), boating, biking, golfing and sunning in a Muskoka chair, among other things.
A 90-minute drive will also get you to Niagara-on-the-Lake where wine tours and the Shaw Festival await, as do the cozy, quaint rooms of this boutique property near the marina.
The Inn at Perry Cabin
Maryland’s Eastern Shore is just under two hours from DC, and that’s where you find this historic gem. The restaurant and spa here are lauded by the locals. Spend some of your other hours antique shopping in St. Michaels or partaking in a nautical adventure in Chesapeake Bay.