Travel

How to Plan Your Dream Weekend at the Lokal A-Frame Cabin

Including where to eat nearby and local attractions to check out.


Lokal A-Frame cabin

Consider this your guide to a weekend at the Lokal A-Frame cabin. Photograph by Heidi’s Bridge.

Flying south for the winter is fine, but let us make the case for leaning into the season: flannel, fire pits and gourmet meals in a secluded but tricked-out cabin on a river in New Jersey. This was the vision of builders and hoteliers Chad and Courtney Ludeman, who purchased the ’60s-era A-frame — which sits on 2.5 acres about an hour from Philly — in 2017, then outfitted it with floor-to-ceiling windows and custom countertops, plus the fun stuff: a jacuzzi, a Green Egg smoker, an eight-foot projection screen. And if you should get cabin fever, Cape May is only 30 minutes away.

Cabin Details

The “invisible concierge” model here means the A-frame isn’t exactly a hotel — but it’s not an Airbnb, either. From the printed bathrobes to the seven different types of bitters for mixing cocktails to Duross & Langel soaps and shampoos, you’ll feel you’re in a boutique hotel while also in a cabin in the woods. The home itself is built of California redwood, and with its Scandinavian modern interior and double-height ceilings, it’s no wonder local brands Free People and Franklin & Poe have done photo shoots here. Starts at $250 a night.

What to Do

lokal a-frame cabin

The living room of the Lokal A-Frame cabin. Photograph by Heidi’s Bridge.

The A-frame comes equipped with two fire pits (including one you can tote to the riverfront beach) plus binoculars for bird-watching. (Two bald eagles nest nearby.) Inside, you’ll find board games, cookbooks, and that projector with HBO/Netflix/AppleTV, for a home-theater experience. If you need air, check out the picturesque East Point lighthouse, 15 minutes away.

The Eating and Drinking Sitch

This place is built for staying in. We recommend arriving with groceries (and booze) and taking advantage of the covetable commercial kitchen, which also comes stocked with assorted Rival Bros. coffees and Steap and Grind teas. (You can grab fresh seafood and meat from local spots Bailey’s or Joe’s Butcher Shop.) Venturing out? In Cape May, visit the tasting room of Natali Vineyards or sip cocktails at Nauti Spirits Distillery. The tony Washington Inn and Congress Hall’s Ebbitt Room are just down the Garden State Parkway.

The Can’t-Miss List

lokal a-frame cabin

Cocktails at Nauti Spirits Distiller. Photograph courtesy Nauti Spirits Distillery.

1. Nauti Spirits Distillery
Take a walking tour of the 60-acre farm and facilities where they create rum, vodka and gin.

2. The fire pit by the river at sunset
Bring the portable sound system and toast marshmallows while the sky turns pink.

3. East Creek trail
Just a 10-minute drive away, follow the seven-mile biking or hiking trail through forests with lakeside views. (Bring the cabin’s Lokal-branded Yeti ramblers for hydration on-the-go.)

4. The killer sound system
There are Sonos surround speakers in the cabin and on the porch — play tunes from the custom Spotify account.

5. Breakfast in bed
Whip up some eggs, pancakes and fresh-ground coffee, and carry it all to bed via luxe Peg and Awl serving trays.

Published as “Weekending in the Lokal A-Frame” in the February 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.