Roadtrippin' in basically winter. Where to?
November 14, 2013 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Imagine you're leaving New York City in a rental car. You have one week—November 30th through December 7th. You're first spending a few days with your Grandmother near Washington DC. Where would you go after that?

Some considerations:

1. We'll have my small dog. So, it needs to be pet friendly.
2. It will be as cold as all get-out. So, winter activities and indoor fun is preferred.
3. We like museums (we'll be visiting a few in DC), music, art, big cities, small towns, delicious food, flea markets, bars, outdoor adventures, historical sites. Think of a few Brooklynites, and we're pretty much that.
4. We need to be back in about a week, and want to enjoy the actual driving. So, no hauling ass to Florida for the warmth.
5. Money isn't the hugest factor—within reason. We're on a basically New York middle class budget, so the less expensive the better. But I will spring for something truly extraordinary.

Our first idea is renting a cabin near Asheville, NC—as I have a friend near there. But we could go literally anywhere.

Our second idea is to just not have a plan at all. But the more I think about it, the more challenging it sounds, with the dog.

posted by ulfberht to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Asheville is nice, and from there, Gatlinburg. Do check the roads though, can be trecherous off the interstates.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:27 PM on November 14, 2013

Maybe on your way out of DC you can drive through the Shenandoah Valley (I-66 to I-81 South). There are lots of places to hike in the Asheville area, cute shops and restaurants in the downtown area, and you've always got the Biltmore Estate if you need an American "palace" to visit. And there's always the drive along the Blue Ridge Skyline. Gorgeous at any time of the year.

Perhaps on the way back you can spend a day or two in Baltimore and/or Philadelphia? Baltimore has great dog parks, museums, and cool neighborhoods to walk around in (Hampden, Fells Point).
posted by singinginmychains at 1:36 PM on November 14, 2013

posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:57 PM on November 14, 2013

Head down the Carolina coast? Charleston is fantastic, with some good museums, a great historic vibe, lots of culture.
posted by LarryC at 11:10 PM on November 14, 2013

Best answer: If you want to spend a little less of your 1-week road trip on the road, Berkeley Springs, WV is a nice place to relax for a few days--it's about 90 minutes from DC. It's got kind of a hippy/boho vibe, with lodging choices from full-on resort spas to B&Bs to lots of rental cabins, good food, some historical sites, hiking, etc. Probably one of the few state parks in the country with a massage service ;-) There's a pretty big indoor flea market/antique mall nearby in Hancock MD. Harper's Ferry is a nice historical site and about an hour away. It could easily be combined with a few days' stay in Baltimore, Lancaster County PA or the Poconos on the way back (where there's a good change that the biggest resorts will be open for skiing by early Dec. if you're into that).
posted by drlith at 5:46 AM on November 15, 2013

Just FYI, if it affects your decision, DC and its environs in late November/early December are pretty unlikely to be "cold as all get-out." In fact, it's most likely to be in the mid-40s, and may even be in the 50s or 60s if you're really lucky. It's supposed to be 66 here tomorrow. So you may be able to do a lot of neat fall outdoor activities that time of year in this area. Hiking, walking tours, skating, sporting events, etc. Here's a list of DC-area (defined pretty broadly) events in December.
posted by decathecting at 6:39 PM on November 16, 2013

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