Internet free "retreat" on the East Coast(ish)
June 8, 2013 8:44 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for somewhere nice to go for around five days to clear my head. This mainly means no internet for me as I could really do with a break. I'd like it to be sunny, warm, maybe quiet, and rural too although I am not superkeen on nature (such as bugs and dirt :)). I have been looking into monasteries in upstate New York but perhaps there are better options out there? I would like it to be low-budget - and would be happy to work for shelter/accommodation as well. Something to do with my hands, like gardening would also be neat, although I am not into camping. I love travelling by rail, not so much by coach/bus. I don't think I'm gonna wanna be driving as I haven't in many, many years. Any recommendations?

I am booked to go to the U.S. from Europe this summer. Flying in and out of Newark on 5-27 August and staying in New York City for a few days around that time as well. Definitely also going to Chicago (my first ever visit) and perhaps Jacksonville, FL, where a friend lives near the beach and has invited me. Considering going to a gig in Philadelphia on 23 August and a Mets game in NYC on 25 or 26 August before leaving. As you can see, I have some things I wanna do already but my schedule is pretty flexible and I'd definitely be up for adjusting it if I found somewhere great to go.
I am not opposed to meeting new people; it's not solitude I'm after but I would really like to spend maybe five or so days offline and away from all things cellphone and internet related. It just gets too much sometimes, you know? I also find it hard to just switch off devices so perhaps my idea of going somewhere rural and 'far away from civilisation' isn't the greatest idea (and very vague!) but it's a starting point - and all I have so far.
Do any of you know of anywhere that would roughly fit my description? Or you might even have a completely different idea as to how to social media/electronics/internet-'detox' for a bit.
posted by mrsh to Travel & Transportation around United States (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you thought of maybe a nice beach somewhere? Nothing like staring at lapping waves to relax one's mind.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:20 AM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's difficult to get anywhere really rural without a car on the East Coast of the US, and you're going to be traveling during the high summer vacation season, which makes it hard to find someplace low-budget. And given that you're only going to be staying five days, I think it would to be tricky to find someplace that would want you to work in exchange for accommodation - it will be more work to train you than they would be able to get out of you. (You could look into wwoofing, though.)

Since you're planning on going to Philadelphia maybe you could visit Amish country? Looks like there are some places that do farm stays, but it looks like a lot of those places have TV and internet.

Or, yes, go to the beach! But most budget beach lodgings are going to have internet.
posted by mskyle at 10:03 AM on June 8, 2013

It's not low-budget but it's a farm where you can work if you like. It's internet-free and accessible via Amtrak + taxi: Kinderhook Farm.
posted by xo at 10:16 AM on June 8, 2013

How about the Hermitage at the Franciscan Monastery in DC? The Washington Post recently had an article about it. It is accessible via public transportation and you could hit museums during the day.
posted by Morrigan at 2:55 PM on June 8, 2013 - i'm related to the owner (she runs it all herself) and i'm certain she'd do board/food for work around the place.
posted by assasinatdbeauty at 5:48 PM on June 8, 2013

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