Get Away: Spring 2016

Plan a spring thaw with a weekend trip to one of these Mid-Atlantic destinations.

Check In to a Work of Art

Art-inspired Quirk Hotel opened last September in the heart of Richmond’s arts district on revitalized West Broad Street. Owners Ted and Katie Ukrop transformed a historic Italian Renaissance-style building that once was a department store into a 74-room hotel featuring high ceilings, original ironwork, a coffee bar with locally roasted beans, and guest rooms in a warm palette of gray, walnut brown and a Benjamin Moore pale pink called “Love and Happiness.” Four penthouse-level terrace suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony. A rooftop bar with glass walls and sweeping views of the city opens in April. Maple & Pine, the hotel’s restaurant, is presided over by chef David Dunlap, who previously was at The Inn at Little Washington. Works by local and national artists are featured throughout the hotel (both in guest rooms and public spaces) and in the Quirk Gallery off the hotel lobby, near an intriguing Susie Ganch piece made entirely of recycled coffee lids arranged to mimic historic trade routes across the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to art, Quirk Gallery’s gift shop sells books, stationery, handmade jewelry and ice buckets in the hotel’s “Love and Happiness” color. Rates begin at $199 per night.

201 W. Broad St., Richmond, Virginia; 804-340-6040;

Choose Your Adventure

With a new oceanfront hotel and two new adventures nearby, Virginia Beach is a good option for a close-to-home spring break. Don a jumpsuit for a free-fall adrenaline rush at indoor iFLY Virginia Beach, which opened last year. Vertical wind tunnels (in giant tubes) create wind speeds that give you the sensation of skydiving. Opened in 2014, The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium ( has multiple zip lines and aerial trails through the forest that vary in difficulty for thrill-seekers ages 5 and older. A harness and two hooks ensure that you’re tethered to a cable at all times. Alternately, you can stay closer to the ground on a guided horseback ride along Virginia Beach’s coastline (available October-May,, or see bottlenose dolphins on a kayak tour through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, where the bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Rest on cushy sofas overlooking the boardwalk at the Hilton Garden Inn. The hotel, which opened in 2014, features 167 large oceanfront rooms and suites, an indoor/outdoor pool and Lager Heads, a beachside pub-style restaurant with a patio. Rates from $179 per night.

Live the Suite Life

The Inn at Bowman’s Hill, a nine-time AAA four-diamond award winner in New Hope, Pennsylvania, sits on five gorgeously manicured acres next to a wildflower preserve that’s awash in vibrant colors during the spring. Each of the four rooms and four suites at the inn features a king-size featherbed, fireplace and opulent bathroom. The Penthouse Suite—one of two newer suites at the property—has a shower that earned a spot on USA Today’s 2015 list of the “10 Hottest Hotel Showers for Two.” Its oversize bathroom also includes a two-person steam shower and a corner heated whirlpool tub with a ceiling that features 300 fiber-optic stars. Slightly more formal, the General Washington Suite features plump leather reading chairs and a heated whirlpool tub beneath windows overlooking the grounds. Additional inn perks include a gourmet fireside breakfast, swimming in the outdoor heated pool (opens in March), and an in-suite couple’s massage. Off-property, visit Bowman’sTavern (different owner) a half mile down the hill for live music nightly. Inn rates range from $395 to $895 per night.

518 Lurgan Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania; 215-862-8090;

Explore a National Park

The National Park Service, created on Aug. 25, 1916, through an act of Congress signed by President Woodrow Wilson, is celebrating its centennial this year with special events and a #FindYourPark social media program for sharing personal park adventures. Though many parks offer free admission year-round, take advantage of no-fee entry at all 400-plus spots during National Park Week, April 16-24. Special spring events in the mid-Atlantic region include the Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-mile Run in Pennsylvania, West Virginia’s Wildflower Weekend at New River Gorge and hundreds of other opportunities to explore iconic landscapes, volunteer on Earth Day or take in a history presentation. Search for listings by state. Kids can participate in Junior Ranger programs (adventure guidebooks for the Appalachian Trail are available at and earn badges for hikes, art projects and even dressing up as a Continental soldier. In addition, the White House’s Every Kid in a Park youth initiative ( offers a free National Park pass, good through Aug. 31, for all fourth-graders and their families.

Categories: Travel