We all could benefit from bringing more balance into our lives. Our busy work and social calendars can burn us out and tire us out easily. That’s why we’re bringing you a series of recommendations for the best places to find disconnection and balance. We still believe leaving the city is the best way to recharge, but that’s not always possible, so it’s important to find sanctuaries even in the middle of our cities.
Here are some of our recommendations for our favorite places to find restoration in D.C.
Get in your dose of deep breathing and relaxation at recharjin downtown D.C. With a goal of delivering “peace of mind in a noisy city,” this studio offers everything from meditation classes to power nap sessions. Join a class or schedule a private session and let your everyday stressors roll off your shoulders.
One way to relax is by making sure you get a healthy amount of nature and sunshine. Take a break from the city and stroll through part of this 1,754 acre park. Rock Creek Park was one of the first federally managed parks in the United States and it currently offers hikes, picnic spots, and even horseback riding.
If you’re looking to disconnect by strengthening yourself and your body, book a class with Down Dog Yoga. With four locations in the D.C. area, this studio offers classes in Baptiste Power Yoga, blending “strength, sweat, and spirituality.”
These are all great practices to build balance back into your routine. Sometimes nothing beats a quick and simple escape from the city.
This long weekend, consider spending doing something for your community. Ever since the 1980s, Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been marked a day of service and it now serves as an annual reminder to volunteer in the communities we live and work in.
We’ve picked one volunteer event in New York, DC, and Boston that you can sign up to participate in this Monday.
Public parks are important – they serve as small gateways to the natural world within our cities, and we believe in keeping them clean. Join the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for one of the cleanup projects happening in Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx.
A collection of local volunteer organizations, including The Massachusetts Service Alliance and Mayor Walsh’s Senior Corps, are joining together to create care packages for homeless youth in Boston. Volunteers will work together and learn about youth homelessness.
Lend a helping hand at the annual blanket and toiletry drive. Volunteers will help package and deliver 1,200 kits to people in need in DC, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County. You can also donate blankets, shelf-stable snacks, and hygiene products.
The list doesn’t end there. There are plenty of places that still need volunteers for this Monday and many other ways to support local organizations, national parks, and more. Here at Getaway, we hope everyone has a happy MLK Day.
Owner Laura Levine named her Catskills antique staple after the famous Collyer brothers, who were crushed under their joint accumulation of collectables, and her store is packed to the rafters with truly everything. Her “shrine to clutter” is full of quirky and enigmatic objects, from vinyls and fashion pieces to old cameras, dinnerware, radios, and photographs.
Rive Gauche Bistro feels like a little piece of France just off the Hudson River. Chef Joe Landa worked in NY fine dining before opening his restaurants in charming Athens with partner Brooke Lynski, who designed the restaurant. This little French bistro serves wonderful plates, from apps to dessert from brunch ‘til dinner and beyond. Weekend brunches fill up quickly for the coffee and baked goods and, later in the evening, a great wine menu. The French onion soup is, of course, one of the highlights.
Sitting on a hill overlooking a creek and the Catskills, Gracie’s Luncheonette serves hot comfort food for not only lunch, but well into dinner and beyond. Culinary Institute of America graduates Allyson Merritt and Andrew Speilberg opened the space in 2015 as a commissary kitchen for their food truck, and it quickly became well-known for its American signatures. Meals are leisurely and delicious, and the plates that standout are the fresh donuts, homemade Italian sodas and ketchup, waffles and fried chicken with maple syrup, and their assortment of pies.
Scottish immigrant and land owner John Henry Price began building the Manor House and Stone Kitchen that would become Bald Top Brewing Co. in 1805. He didn’t live to see its completion in 1814, and the 53-acre farming property changed hands five times before it was acquired by Dave Fulton and Julie Haines in 2012. The couple transformed the farm into a family brewery. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Bald Top Brewing Co. serves a diverse assemblage of ales and beers and live music on the weekends.
Bizou, 119 West Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Chefs and co-owners Vincent Derquenne and Timothy Burgess opened Bizou in 1996 with a commitment to local and sustainable food sourcing to cook up their classic VA creations prepared with French culinary techniques. Visitors can dine outside on the patio and people watch or inside in the restaurant’s vintage dining room that, complete with jukeboxes, old film posters, and classic booths, oozes an old-timey character and ambiance in this lively college town.
This brunch-obsessed restaurant opened its doors in 2001 and rolled out its American, Southern-style breakfast and brunch plates. All bread, biscuits, and pastries are homemade and the menu is vegetarian friendly, even though the owners admit to their obsession with bacon on everything. UVA students cite Bluegrass as a “before you graduate” staple, and the banana and red velvet pancakes will make you wish you lived closer to Charlottesville so you could eat here every weekend. Heads up: they are cash only, so come prepared.
This adorable cafe opened in 2016 to serve breakfasts and lunches of sweet and savory crepes and waffles. Owners Melina Ambargis and Cristina Hoppe began The Little Crêperietogether when they struggled to find good places to grab lunch while working office jobs. Their restaurant offers unique yet familiar tastes to Concord, such as the classic Nutella-banana crepe or a macaroni-and-cheese waffle. Alongside lemonade, cold brew, mimosas, coffee, and tea, fresh ingredients fill each pastry with plenty of vegan options. You can even create a custom crepe to try something different with every visit.
The Farmer’s Kitchen is the definition of a mom-and-pop eatery. Owner Duane White began cooking at age 4, and he returned to New Hampshire after restauranteering in the Midwest to open a cozy eatery, complete with a 1910 cook stove. It’s a must-stop for breakfast and lunch, serving up great food and big portions at a good price. Everything down to the coffee is delicious, and the gluten-free and vegetarian options are no exception. Approaching 10 years in operation, this restaurant treats everyone like family and is loved by locals and visitors alike.
Lewis and Stacey Eaton began making wine in 2008 as a hobby, and it quickly grew into a family business. Growing up in New Hampshire instilled in them a love of fresh produce from the local orchards and farms, and the family decided to incorporate these tastes into their wines. Their 8-acre location in Hampstead hosts year-round tastings of their award-winning bouquets, reds, whites, and fruit wines.
Falling on November 17 this year, National Take a Hike Day is all about exploring the over 60,000 miles of trails throughout the United States. We’re sharing our favorite paths from each of our Outposts. Wear some sturdy shoes, pack extra water and snacks, and bring along a friend to celebrate with us.
Hightop Mountain is a pleasant 3.2 mile round trip hike that offers a 180-degree southwest view of Shenandoah National Park. Follow the Appalachian Trail for a slow and steady climb with switchbacks that build anticipation until the end. Even in cloudy conditions, the view at the peak reveals layers of the Blue Ridge mountains extending into the distance. Especially beautiful during steamy sunrises or during autumn months, Hightop Mountain is one of those hikes that even the most experienced climbers return to over the years.
After a gradual 2.5-mile uphill trek, the skeletal ruins of an 1920s-era hotel await hikers before they continue towards the summit of Overlook Mountain. Breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley and infinite swaths of foliage await. If you’ve got the energy and your quads aren’t burning too badly, climb the stairs to the top of the old fire tower for an unobstructed 360-degree perspective of the surrounding scenery.
As one of the largest developed parks in New Hampshire, Bear Brook State Park’s 10,000 acres contain over 40 miles of trails at varying difficulties for every kind of hiker. Many lead to quiet summits, marshes, bogs, and ponds, where you can fish, swim, or boat. Mountain bikers and equestrians are also welcome to practice their sport. Our favorite path is Catamount Trail, about 2.2 miles roundtrip. It’s a difficult uphill climb along a rocky and steep trail. However, after winding through a red pine forest, the reward is one of the best lookouts in the entire park.
Backpack packed and boots laced? Book a cabin and explore these local hikes.
The entire Getaway team spent two nights at our Outpost in Virginia and celebrated Thanksgiving a little early. It’s rare that the team is all together in one place, and we got to know each other a little better while huddling and laughing under the stars. We prepared our own Friendsgiving meal over the campfire. Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
Add butter to a medium-sized skillet and place on the campfire, stirring butter begins to bubble
Add the sugar and brown sugar, continuing to stir until smooth and glossy
Take your skillet off the campfire and chill for 10-15 minutes, otherwise your eggs will scramble (as we learned the hard way)
Add eggs and vanilla and stir well
Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt
Mix in chocolate
Place the lid onto the skillet and put it back onto campfire
Check the cookie as infrequently as possible until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center (the inside will still be gooey)
Remove skillet from fire and let cool and set before cutting individual pieces
We squeezed together on picnic tables covered in flowers, pumpkins, and pickles to feast on our dishes, almost all of which, as amateur camping chefs, turned out deliciously. Under the birch trees, we toasted to Getaway and to what we’re thankful for: tiny cabins in the woods, nature, and each other.
Have a simpler holiday. Take a few days with yourself or with loved ones this holiday season in a tiny cabin nestled in nature.
Your Getaway is about finding time to disconnect in order to reconnect—whether with family, friends, or nature. After a restful break at one of our cabins, there’s plenty to do on your way home to explore. From art museums to state parks, each of our Outposts is surrounded by plenty of relaxing and fun activities, whatever may pique your interest.
Here’s our DC Outpost guide to nearby attractions and things to do along the way:
Exploring Nearby Spend your day further afield and come back to your cabin to relax after your adventures.
Skyline Drive – Shenandoah National Park Just 15 minutes away from your tiny cabin is the Swift Run Gap entrance to Shenandoah National Park. Skyline Drive is a 105-mile National Scenic Byway through the park, and the entire length of the park takes around three hours, so it’s an excellent day of exploring. Stop at one of the many scenic overlooks for incredible views, and keep an eye out for wildlife, such as deer, black bears, and wild turkeys.
Luray Caverns The largest caverns in the Eastern United States are less than an hour’s drive away. Feast your eyes on towering stone formations and amazing optical illusions on a guided tour offered about every 20 minutes. Purchase of admission also includes access to the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum, Toy Town Junction, and the Luray Valley Museum.
Walks in the Woods
Want to remove the walls between you and nature? Take a trip down one of these nearby hiking trails just a short drive away.
Hightop Mountain Distance: 5.6 miles, about 3 hours Difficulty: Easy Dogs allowed on-leash An easy hike up the highest peak in the South District of Shenandoah National Park, Hightop Mountain offers excellent view to the south and west from the second overlook.
White Oak Canyon Trail Distance: 9.5 miles, about 4-5 hours Difficulty: Hard Dogs allowed on-leash If you’re in search of waterfalls, head out on White Oak Canyon Trail. It can be a strenuous hike, but you can also adjust your mileage and make it shorter by skipping some of the sections.
Graves Mill Trail Distance: 2.2 miles Difficulty: Easy Dogs allowed on-leash For a hike along the Rapidan River, this is the perfect trail. This is a popular fishing spot as well, so you’re likely to spot a fisherman or two on your hike. This is a great trail for families as several trails connect, so if you get going and decide you’d like to go on a longer hike, you can do so—or you can return after the initial 2.2 miles if you’re ready to head back to your cabin.
South River Falls Trail Distance: 4.6 miles Difficulty: Moderate Dogs allowed on-leash This trail features the South River Falls, which you’ll see for the first time only a mile into your hike. This gorgeous waterfall will really get you into the Getaway spirit, as its sound and beauty will welcome you into the nature offered by the Shenandoah Valley. This trail is best visited between April and October.
Old Rag Mountain Distance: 9 miles Difficulty: Hard Dogs not allowed The Old Rag Mountain trail is Shenandoah’s most popular—but also most dangerous—hike. Round trip this hike is almost nine miles long, with narrow passages, and even some rock scrambling. However, once you make it to the top, the views are worth the time and effort they take to see.
Blue Hole Distance: 2.5 miles, about 1.5 hours Difficulty: Easy Dogs allowed on-leash For even more water, hike Moorman’s Trail to Blue Hole and spend some time soaking in the swimming hole before heading back to your cabin.
Road Trip Curiosities Start to disconnect from your daily life and explore something new before you even reach your tiny home by visiting these destinations along the way.
Yoder’s Country Market 2105 S. Seminole Tr., Madison, VA 22727 Whether you’d like to grab some soup or a sandwich from their café, explore their market and stock up for your Getaway, or spend some time meeting the animals housed in their petting zoo, Yoder’s Country Market has it all. Kids will love to pet the goats, sheep, and cows housed on Yoder’s farm, and you’re sure to get a laugh out of these fun moments.
Moo Thru 11402 James Madison Hwy, Remington, VA 22734 Stop by this barn in the middle of nowhere that serves excellent ice cream. Enjoy a cone of your favorite flavor to help fuel the rest of the drive to your cabin.
Bald Top Brewing Company 1830 Thrift Road Madison, VA 22727 You can stop at this great craft brewery for a pint or two just a couple of miles from your Getaway cabin. Bald Top Brewing Company is housed on Woodbourne Estate, a manor built between 1805-1814, for a Scottish immigrant named John Henry Prince. The owners of Bald Top Brewing Company even created a beer named Ghost Girl Pale Ale inspired by the his niece who is said to haunt the upper west bedroom of the manor. To appreciate the historic architecture and learn a bit more about the area, while enjoying some of their great brews this is a must-see location.
Greene Great Value and Feeding Greene 8271 Spotswood Trail, Stanardsville, VA 22973 To stock up on any food you haven’t already brought with you for your Getaway, you can make a pitstop at Greene Great Value to grab those last few items. Then, before you head home from your Getaway, you can also stop at the Feeding Greene food pantry, where you can donate any of the extra food you didn’t eat while on your Getaway to those in need.
If you’re looking for wifi free places in the ever-connected DC, there are a few gems available. Even as schools close, Congress goes on recess, and things wind down for the summer, work in the capital can be hard to escape.
Here are a few places you can relax and enjoy yourself, laptop free.
THE BISHOP’S GARDEN, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington DC Open Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 5 PM; Saturday 10 AM – 4 PM; Sunday, 8 AM – 4 PM
Part of the National Cathedral grounds, this so-called secret garden is a picturesque place for quiet reflection.
THE WYDOWN, 1924 14th Street NW, Washington DC Open Monday – Friday, 6:30 AM – 7 PM; Saturday – Sunday, 7 AM – 7 PM
There’s an outright ban on wifi at this busy café conveniently located next to Trader Joe’s. Also check out their sister coffee and cocktail bar on H Street.
In the spirit of connecting back to what really matters, our tiny cabins are named after the grandparents of our team members or guests. We hope that our cabins can become a familiar space to which our guests look forward to coming back. From the Lorraine to the Sultan to the Ingeborg, each grandparent we’ve named our cabins after has a fascinating story—we’ll be exploring their stories here in our Journal.
First up: meet Lenore ‘Grandy’ Feldman, whose namesake is The Lenore at our DC Outpost.
Lenore Feldman (née Spiewak) was a passionate feminist and organizer, and ‘Grandy’ to Zach Feldman who leads the tech team at Getaway.
A child of immigrants from Russia and Poland to Brooklyn, Lenore grew up surrounded by her hard-working family and their business, I. Spiewak & Sons. The brand lives on in the Spiewak brand name today as manufacturers of coats, bags, and other products. Lenore was also the wife of George Feldman, a prominent Dentist and hobbyist welder.
Her own career included heavy involvement with the local Jewish community—she even served as the President of the National Council for Jewish Women and spoke at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 1989 at the Mobilize for Women’s Rights Rally, on behalf of NCJW (scroll to 1:55:20):
One of Zach’s favorite memories of Lenore:
“Every time we had dinner with her as kids, she would enforce very strict table manners. She said, ‘you never know who you might be having dinner with, you need to be prepared!’ I later found out that she attended a dinner with the Secretary of Defense and the Prime Minister of Israel at the White House, which is where this habit came from!”
‘You never know who you might be having dinner with, you need to be prepared!’
Book a tiny cabin vacation at our DC Outpost and you might end up in the company of Lenore—but we promise we won’t enforce table manners around the campfire.