Writing retreat for East-coast cheapskates?
May 4, 2009 8:14 PM   Subscribe

We've a gallon of Rebel Yell, a tupperware of pesto pasta, and 200 pages to go. But where to? Where in the DC area can we get away from people on Memorial Day weekend for cheap?

My buddy and I have been talking for years about holing up somewhere to polish off some writing. We finally have time this Memorial Day Weekend but, then again, it's Memorial Day Weekend and, worse, we live in the DC-Baltimore area (plagues of humans).

We have a plan -- we'd like to try for a camping spot or a cheap cabin and, if that fails, wait till the last second for a super deal on Hotwire.

Help us narrow down West Virginia or Virginia or Maryland or where. We'd like to go somewhere cheap but somewhere cool, comfortable. Activities not required. A view would be nice as would electricity.

I once stayed in a bayou cabin in Louisiana overlooking gator-infested swamp for $30/night. The place was quiet with fishermen, had a mini-fridge and outlets. Something like that would be perfect.

Other options (including city options) are welcome. Sketchy hotels? Hotwire hotels with views of Baltimore? Maybe we could watch your penthouse while you're out? We'll be awake for 72 hours straight but we promise not to play with fire this time.
posted by metajc to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
West Virginia is a good bet, I think. It may be a popular destination for Memorial Day but is still so sparse that you won't be overwhelmed with people. There are a number of state (and maybe commercial?) parks/resorts out that way that I believe are reasonably priced. Very peaceful and conducive to writing I would imagine.

I stayed in Bluestone State Park a few years ago and it was really nice and peaceful as I recall. Your gallon of Rebel Yell may be a problem, however:
Possession of beer & other alcoholic beverages UNLAWFUL within the boundaries of Bluestone State Park.
If drinking is a big deal to you, camping and/or state parks in MD, VA, PA and WV may be problematic. Personally, I think a gallon of liquor might just get in the way of that 200 pages, although I'm not much of a drinker myself. If drinking is important, looks like Shenandoah National Park allows alcohol. I guarantee you that the park will be super crowded, however.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:43 PM on May 4, 2009

Possession of beer & other alcoholic beverages UNLAWFUL within the boundaries of Bluestone State Park.

Er, ahem. If you and your buddy don't plan on raging around the campfire in a whiskey-fueled hoopdeedoo, then you shouldn't run into to much trouble with the alcohol. Keep it in the tent/cabin, drink only from cups, and keep the noise down and no-one will be the wiser. It will be a lot quieter in a campground that prohibits alcohol, because all the other drinkers will be doing the same thing. YMMV, but I've never had a problem with it in other dry campgrounds.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:06 AM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Alcohol is not important to the mission.

Any more suggestions -- good views, few people, low prices?
posted by metajc at 5:46 AM on May 5, 2009

Best answer: Go to Canaan Valley, West Virginia! It's beautiful, out-of-the-way and is always quiet/uncrowded. You can also camp or rent a cabin there inexpensively.
posted by MorningPerson at 7:11 AM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]

after the fact, but where did you decide to go?
posted by knockoutking at 10:01 AM on June 29, 2009

Response by poster: @knockoutking

We kind of failed here. There were so many natural spots to choose from that we couldn't choose. We ended up staying in a weird little town near Gettysburg that need not be named. We decided on that because we ran out of time and all the places on VRBO had been rented.
posted by metajc at 10:03 AM on August 4, 2009

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