After the harsh winter Pittsburgh experienced this year, you may be feeling desperate for a weekend getaway. What better time to pack your bags and venture away from the city than over Memorial Day weekend? Don’t stress if your finances don’t exactly allow for the getaway of a lifetime. There are plenty of entertaining, affordable and accessible destinations scattered within two hours of Pittsburgh that provide the escape you desire. Whether you want adventure, romance or family-friendly fun, these five retreats are ideal for your Memorial Day getaway.
1491 Mill Run Road
Mill Run, PA 15464
Drive just about an hour and 20 minutes southeast of Pittsburgh and you’ll be greeted by one of the county’s most stunning homes: architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Situated in the beauty of the Allegheny Mountain’s Laurel Highlands, this award-winning home features unique modern designs built into the surrounding natural beauty of waterfalls and lush forestry. Tour its grandeur in just about two hours with its thorough guided group walking tour, which leaves plenty of time for exploring Fallingwater’s grounds or the nearby Laurel Caverns, Ohiopyle State Park and Fort Necessity National Battlefield later in the day. Rest up with a stopover at the nearby Nemacolin Woodlands Resort (1001 Lafayette Dr. Farmington, PA 15437) located about eight miles south of Fallingwater. Book your Memorial Day stay by calling (724) 329-8555.
Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
15 Visitors Center Drive
McHenry, MD 21541
For a romantic weekend escape for you and your sweetheart, the two-hour drive to Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake is well worth it to experience picturesque views of the lake that combine the pleasure of outdoor activities with tranquil seclusion. Deep Creek Lake offers the best of both worlds for nature-lovers as well as those who crave a calming, pampering getaway. Kick off Memorial Day by biking the wooded trails, spend the afternoon boating on peaceful water and end your evening strolling hand in hand around the lake. Get swept away with a weekend of luxury and relaxation at Lake Pointe Inn (174 Lake Pointe Dr. McHenry, MD 21541); reserve one of the inn’s three private suites or seven rooms by calling (301) 387-0111.
8091 Peach St.
Erie, PA 16509
The chances of the western Pennsylvania’s weather being warm enough for swimming on Memorial Day can be pretty slim, which is why Erie’s Splash Lagoon is the perfect spot for the whole family. This humungous indoor waterpark is a fun way to kick off Memorial Day and the summer with its free fireworks display, waterslides, gigantic wave pool and an indoor ropes course. Kids will love the cool laser tag area, Adventure Bay swimming space and Treasure Island Arcade. Parents will appreciate the park’s lazy river, soothing lava pool and the adults-only Paradise Cove. Splash Lagoon is located about two hours north of Pittsburgh, a quick and accessible drive up I-79, and offers several lodging options attached directly to the waterpark. Consider booking at its Holiday Inn Express & Suites Erie (8101 Peach St. Erie, PA 16509); book your stay by calling (888) 465-4329.
14000 International Road
Cumberland, OH 43732
You won’t believe you’re just two hours west of Pittsburgh when you hop aboard a safari vehicle at Cumberland, Ohio’s The Wilds. Get up close and personal with beautiful birds, unusual amphibians, creepy crawlers and a diverse collection of African animals, including deer, giraffes, cheetahs and even rhinos, on your personal safari tour. If you’re feeling adventurous, don’t miss the Wild Zipline Safari or, if you’d rather relax this Memorial Day, perhaps the laid-back Fishing Safari is more your speed. A clean, affordable hotel option is Hampton Inn Cambridge (8775 Georgetown Rd. Cambridge, OH 43725) that is located about 30 minutes northeast of The Wilds; reserve your room by calling (740) 439-0600.
200 Caverns Park Road
Farmington, PA 15437
You only need to drive 50 miles south of Pittsburgh to find the state’s largest cave, Laurel Caverns. This mysterious and majestic underground passage is composed of a three-mile maze that offers caving/spelunking, cave rappelling, a cavern-themed mini golf course, fossil/gemstone panning and much more. At Laurel Caverns, you’ll be led deep into 46 stories of mountainous interior that features soaring rock formations and the famed optical illusion called Gravity Hill. The Lodge at Chalk Hill (2920 National Pike, Chalkhill, PA 15421) is a close five-mile drive northeast of Laurel Caverns; reserve your stay by calling (724) 438-8880.
Related: Memorial Day Weekend Travel Tips
Jessica Wasik lives in Pittsburgh where works as a full-time figure skating coach sharing her passion with todays generation of young skaters. A graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies, Jessica is also a contributing writer for Allegheny West Magazine. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.