The Inner Harbor of Baltimore, MD.

Six Great Romantic Getaways in the Mid-Atlantic

A romantic getaway is a great way to take a vacation away from the cares and stressors of everyday life.    Unlike traditional vacations, a romantic getaway is often possible throughout the year and can be easily fit into a weekend.  Short getaways are like mini vacations.  They are a great way to help recharge the romance in a relationship and strengthen its bonds.  Regardless of where a couple might reside there are often many choices to consider for possible getaways.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, there are number of excellent getaway destinations.  Regardless of the tastes, interests, and desires, there are great possibilities.   From the historic sections of Philadelphia, the lively casinos of Atlantic City, the waterfront shops of Annapolis, to the quiet waterfront of St. Michaels in Maryland, there are great locations to explore for a romantic getaway.

Here are a few suggestions for potential getaway spots to help spark the interest of different couples:

A Historical Getaway:  Philadelphia

Independent Hall in Philadelphia
A view of Independence Hall. Photo by Bruce Emmerling.

As a bustling, urban environment with a rich tapestry of history, Philadelphia holds many wonders to explore.  From its historic downtown district to the hundreds of outstanding restaurants, the city offers a wide range of attractions for couples with different tastes.   Visitors can explore the many museums throughout the city while learning about the city’s role in the founding of America.  There are many types of tours are available including historic tours of Independence Hall and beyond.  Traveling to the city is relatively easy with many options including travel by air, train, car, bus, and even boat.

Recommended areas to visit

Old City

Horse Carriage
A horse drawn carriage in the historic area of Philadelphia. Photo by Bruce Emmerling.

A great place to stay is the Omni Independence Hotel.  Featuring a fine dining restaurant and a full spa, the hotel offers a luxurious experience for any couple.   Located just a block down from Independence Hall, there are numerous historical attractions within easy walking distance of the hotel.  Almost every type of fine, casual, and exotic dining can be had nearby.  Restaurants such as the Budakkan, the High Street on Market, the Red Owl Tavern, Campos, and other choices can be easily found with a short stroll.  Casual diners may also like the Bourse Market, which features numerous eateries and souvenir shops.

Couples can take a stroll through the numerous historical sites and enjoy the revolution era architecture. During the summer months there are gardens and many walking paths to explore.   The historic area is also brilliant during the fall with the many colored leaves of the season.  Independence Hall is open year around along with many historical buildings.

The Avenue of Arts

Avenue of Arts
The Avenue of Arts in Philadelphia. Photo by Bruce Emmerling

Philadelphia is not only home to a great tapestry of history, but also a lively theater district.  Located on South Broad Street right below city hall, the theater district is home to a multitude of live performance venues featuring current Broadway and independent theater hits.   Popular theaters such as the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, The Academy of Music, Merriam Theater, Wilma Theater, and the University of Arts can be found in Philadelphia.

The Theater district offers a splendid number of venues to watch live performances and musicals without having to travel to Manhattan.  Philadelphia has one of the more active theater communities outside of Broadway and its nearby location to the mid-Atlantic region.

The bustling South Broad Street is very accessible with a subway line running underneath and ample taxis for transportation purposes.  Tickets to popular shows can be purchased online or directly from a theater.

For couples seeking a nearby hotel, the Doubletree on South Broad Street can easily fit the bill.  The Doubletree Hotel is within easy walking distance to many of the highly acclaimed theaters in the area.  An onsite restaurant and a bar can be utilized for convenient dining and dozens of restaurants are located within walking distance.

Other areas to stay include Rittenhouse Square and Penn’s Landing.  Both locations have ample restaurants and nearby hotels.

The Relaxing Atmosphere of Cape May

Cap May
A view of Cape May, NJ. Photo by Bruce Emmerling.

Seeking a beach side atmosphere without the crowds?  Cape May in New Jersey is a great destination.  Located at the southern tip of the Jersey Shoreline, Cape May offers a wide variety of hotels and B&B spots to explore.  Travelers can lounge on the beach and take leisurely strolls through the historic town.   The town is also close to nearby parks and fishing piers.  Unlike more elaborate cities along the Jersey Shore, Cape May has many hidden attractions such as golf courses, spas, restaurants, and biking routes.

A great place to stay is the Inn of Cape May.  The Inn is a historic, Victorian hotel with a fine dining restaurant onsite.  Vacationers can walk to the beach, enjoy the hotel pool, and relax in the hotel’s number of wooden, rocking chairs.

Travelers can also utilize the car ferry which runs from Cape May to Lewes Beach in Delaware.  The ferry runs year around and offers awe inspiring sights.

Lively Nightlife and Gambling:  The Casinos of Atlantic City

The Beach at Atlantic CIty
The majestic beach in Atlantic CIty. Photo by Bruce Emmerling.

Often known for its numerous casinos, Atlantic City offers a great deal more than gambling.  While the city’s casinos are the main attraction, couples can find many types of nearby attractions.  Perhaps the best known attraction is the historical boardwalk, which runs for miles along its sandy beach areas.  Couples can walk or take push cart rides up and down the boardwalk while visiting beach front casinos and stores.  Some of the better attractions to see along the boardwalk include the major casinos, the pier shops, and the steel pier.  The boardwalk is easily reached from other casinos such as the Borgata and Harrah’s with many nearby parking facilities.

The Water Club in AC
The Water Club in Atlantic City, NJ. Photo by Bruce Emmerling.

When staying in Atlantic City, one of the best locations is the Borgata.  The Borgata offers two amazing hotels with  services such as full spas, swimming pools, and valet parking.  While the newer Revel Casino is also worth checking out, the Borgata still offers a wonderful blend of ambiance as well as outstanding restaurants.   Perhaps the best hotel at the Borgata is the Water club.  The Water Club offers an amazing luxury of services and atmosphere.  Its spa is simply breathtaking with separate men and women’s bathroom facilities and a wonderful lookout pool area offering views of the city.  The Water club is connected directly to the Borgata’s main premises, including its casino and restaurant areas.   Couples can wind down with a facial in the spa and then eat at Wolfgang Puck’s or another restaurant for fine dining.  Due to its popularity, advanced reservations are often recommended for the Borgata hotels and restaurants.

Other nearby attractions within fairly easy driving distance include, golf courses in Galloway, the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Brigantine, and the areas south of the city.

Secondary recommendations include the Revel Casino and the restaurants at Tropicana.

The Waterfront Experience of Annapolis

A view of the waterfront area of Annapolis
A view of the waterfront area of Annapolis. Photo by Bruce Emmerling.

In Maryland, the state’s capital offers a great vacation spot complete with historic buildings, ships and excellent seafood.   Visitors can take a tour of the US Navy Academy, conduct an on board ship tour of the Severn River, view of the Chesapeake Bay, and shop at many of the town’s eclectic waterfront shops.

For a special place to stay, the Academy Bed and Breakfast offers an exemplary experience for anyone looking for a special getaway location.  The rooms are decorated in historic motifs and offer a top notch setting for relaxing along the waterfront.  Each bedroom offers distinct decorations schemes and many rooms offer stand-alone bath tubs.  History and art buffs will notice many original as well as replica furniture pieces throughout the building.  The owner even offers boat tours of the nearby water ways.

Anyone visiting Annapolis will want to check out at least one boat tour of the area.  A trip to the Chesapeake Bay at night is especially nice during the sunset hours.

 The Charm of the Inner Harbor of Baltimore

The Inner Harbor of Baltimore, MD.
A view of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD. Photo by Bruce Emmerling.

Baltimore offers a splendid blend of history, waterfront amenities, and countless neighborhoods to explore.  The city is rich in American history including highlights from War of 1812, the Civil War, African American history, and the Civil Rights movement. Much of those histories can be explored through local museums and exhibits such as those found at Fort McHenry, the Reginald F. Lewis African American museum, the B&O museum, The Museum of Industry, the Frederick Douglas-Isaac Myers Maritime Museum and the historic home of Edgar Allen Poe.  City gazers and photographers will find a great view of the city from Federal Hill, a park located directly across from the inner harbor.  The Inner Harbor is home to several hotels, shopping complexes, and the U.S. Constitution.  Other great sites to explore include the National Aquarium, neighborhoods such as Little Italy, Canton, and Camden Yards.  Baltimore is famous for its crab cakes and seafood.  The city also is home to numerous parks such as Patterson and Druid Hill.  Druid Hill Park is comparable in size to New York’s Central Park and is home to the Baltimore Zoo.

For a romantic place to stay, try the 1840s Carrollton Inn on Albemarle Street.  The bed and breakfast hotel offers historically decorated rooms with marble fireplaces and antique furniture.  What makes this hotel unique is its ability to create a small oasis inside a major city.  The rooms make travelers feel like they have taken a time travel trip back in time.  Nestled within the hotel is an elegant dining room where a local chef creates scrumptious breakfast feasts for guests.  Outside there is a lovingly decorated patio complete with chairs and tables. The hotel is well known for hosting wedding ceremonies and there is a banquet hall located on a sister property next door.  A plethora of restaurants can be found nearby including many in Little Italy which is literally a few steps away.

Baltimore offers a delightful combination of sophisticated urban attractions together with distinctly historic venues to explore.

A Quiet Getaway in St. Michaels of Maryland

The Eastern Shore waters
A view of the quiet waters of St Michaels. Photo by Bruce Emmerling.

St. Michaels is a quaint historic waterfront city on the eastern shore of Maryland.   Located along the Miles River, the riverside city offers a number of restaurants and attractions to explore.  Couples can stroll down the Main Street and peek in local shops for antiques and artwork.   During the warmer months, boat tours can be arranged to visit the local waterways.   A great place to learn more about the area is the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on South Talbot Street.

Couples will find a home away from home at the St. Michaels Harbour Inn Marina & Spa situated directly on the waterfront.  The hotel offers a full range of luxurious services including a spa and direct boat access.  A fine dining restaurant is located onsite.  Other restaurants are located close by in the harbor.

Perhaps the biggest charm of St. Michaels is the quiet and relative calm one can experience while visiting.  Many residents were former travelers that simply fell in love with the area for this reason.   Nearby small fishing towns such as Neavitt offer the opportunity to view rustic areas and even talk with local fishermen.

 Other Suggestions

Many of these locations are great spots to visit and try out.  However, there are a number of alternatives located throughout the Mid-Atlantic area.   Couples may also wish to look at areas such as Lancaster Pennsylvania for a scenic and quiet getaway or Atlantic Ocean beaches of Delaware or Maryland.  Those that love the mountains might want to take a small trip to the Poconos, which has some amazing spots to view as well as countless lakes.  History buffs may want to visit the Gettysburg National Park in  Pennsylvania.  Washington, DC can also host many opportunities for visits.  The choices are almost countless and these first suggestions are ideally the spark to create further interests in finding that perfect romantic getaway.

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