For the outdoor enthusiasts
Lodge at Woodloch (Hawley, Pa.)
From Trenton: 2h 30m
Ok, the Lodge at Woodloch is technically a “destination spa” but it provides so much more—including three meals a day. This all-inclusive resort in the Poconos offers sweeping wood and lake views, luxurious suites, and a menu of outdoor activities that’ll keep you and your friends on the move from sunrise to sunset. Guests can engage in hikes, horseback riding, guided walks, kayaking, mountain biking, as well as all of the outdoor adventures like ziplining and rock climbing at the property’s sister site Woodloch Pines. Of course after a day of hiking, climbing, and biking, you just might find yourself in need of a 100-minute Delaware River Stone Massage. Best part, children under the age of 16 are not allowed.
For the Zen masters
From Trenton: 2 h 45m
If you and your group are in need of some centering, head to this ashram in the lovely Catskills. Situated on 77 wooded acres, gal pals can enjoy an all-inclusive weekend immersed in yoga, with daily yoga classes, meditation, vegetarian meal and other relaxing activities. You can also sweat out your stress in the Russian Banya Sauna or unwind with Ayurveda body treatments at its wellness center. The ashram offers various accommodations, including a shared apartment option for three to four guests.
For the epicures
Brandywine Valley (Brandywine, Del.)
From Trenton: 1h 10m
Nestled just south of Philadelphia along the Delaware border, the Brandywine Valley is like Pennsylvania’s very own Napa. The region is littered with small, family-owned vineyards, perfect for groups who want to spend the day enjoying a low-key day tasting wines. Or, with pre-arranged transportation, you can hop from vineyard to vineyard on the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail, or you can pick just one—say, Chaddsford Winery or Va La Vineyards—and enjoy a picnic on the grounds. Not surprising given the Brandywine’s bucolic setting, you’ll also find a number of excellent restaurants in the Brandywine, many of which draw inspiration from the surrounding area. Buy a bottle of your favorite wine from one of the vineyards and dine at Catherine’s Restaurant, a BYOB in Unionville, or try to secure a coveted reservation at the farm-to-table restaurant Talula’s Table. For an overnight excursion, book a room at the Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast, home to the Brandywine Country Cooking School, which offers private cooking classes followed by an intimate dinner party.
For the budget urbanista
From Trenton: 30 mins Yes, Philadelphia is an obvious backyard destination, but that’s part of the appeal. For a quick getaway that requires little travel, consider an overnight escape to the City of Brotherly Love. Philly has many of the draws of New York City—great restaurants, luxury hotels, diverse nightlife, excellent shopping and plenty of people watching—at a fraction of the cost. If you want to indulge your group, book a room at the Rittenhouse Hotel (if it’s good enough for Oprah…) so your in the heart of the urban activity.
For a good workout and river views, take the Schuylkill River Trail to Kelly Drive—along the way you can take a detour to the Art Museum for the requisite sprint up the steps a la Rocky. In the afternoon, grab a bite to eat at the always-bustling Reading Terminal, or wander in and out of shops like Athleta, Loft, and Lululemon along Walnut Street, or catch a matinee at the Kimmel Center. In the evening, you have your pick of restaurants from celeb chefs, including Jose Garces, Eric Ripert, and Kevin Sbraga. End the evening channeling the speakeasies for the Prohibition Era with an excellent cocktail at Franklin Mortgage & Investment.