Travel: One-Night Stands

Jaunts that are worth it — even for a quick sleepover and banana pancakes

Upper Black Eddy 1:38 Head to the top of lovely Bridgeton House, where the Penthouse room has a lofty, romantically lit feeling, a marble bathroom, sherry on the sideboard, and a wall of French doors looking out over the Delaware River and across to Milford, New Jersey. The view is especially beautiful at dusk, when you can perch on the large balcony if it’s warm, or light the room’s log-burning fireplace on cool evenings. The Garret Room next door is adorable and features the same views and its own tiny porch. Breakfast means baked apples bubbling with brown sugar and walnuts, banana pancakes and plump omelets in the dining room, or muffins and coffee delivered to your door (610-982-5856;; from $139 per night).

Jim Thorpe 1:36 In the "Switzerland of the Poconos" — because it’s cute and mountainous — there’s one place to stay: the Inn at Jim Thorpe, a tall, proud brick hotel restored from its turn-of-the-century resort days. From there, ski at nearby Blue Mountain, or during warmer days, take advantage of local biking and whitewater rafting (Inn at Jim Thorpe, 800-329-2599;; from $83 per night).

Havre de Grace 1:23 This beachy Chesapeake Bay village has a boardwalk along the Susquehanna River, a walkable downtown, several inns (including the amazingly ornate Spencer Silver Mansion Inn), and the Baysail School and Yacht Charter, where you can take classes and learn to rig, hoist and set sails, or just hire a yacht and your own skipper, and kick back (Spencer Silver Mansion Inn, 800-780-1485;; from $70 per night. Baysail School, 410-939-2869;

Mount Joy 1:52 The Cameron Estate Inn is an old-fashioned 1805 mansion full of poster beds, chintz, antiques and general good cheer; the inn’s restaurant serves classics such as steak au poivre and stuffed pork tenderloin (and Coppola wines). Fifteen acres of gardens and woods surround the manor house, and nearby are Nissley Winery, Hershey, and many of Lancaster County’s covered bridges (717-492-0111;; from $119 per night).

New Castle :52 This small port town was Delaware’s Colonial capital and still has plenty for history buffs, including Colonial houses to visit, and exhibits at the Old Library Museum, designed by Frank Furness. Jessop’s Tavern evokes the old days in an original 1724 building, with servings of Swedish apple cake, from the state’s original Colonial masters. After too many handcrafted beers, head to the just-renovated William Penn Guest House (206 Delaware Street, 302-328-7736; from $85 per night).

Adamstown 1:21 Prowling the three massive antiques markets here — Renninger’s, Stoudt’s Black Angus, and the crunchier Shupp’s Grove — will leave you longing for an eiderdown-covered night at one of the town’s two antiques-filled bed-and-breakfasts, the Amethyst Inn and the Adamstown Inn, which are both ornately Victorian (and both owned by a dog-loving couple who offer a $10 discount to guests who bring the Old English sheepdog in residence a toy or biscuits) (717-484-0800;; from $79 per night).

Cape May 1:43 Wherever we stay — at the Star Inn, at the retro-cool Marquis de Lafayette, at the elegant Mainstay Inn, at the rambling Chalfonte Hotel or the jewel-toned Southern Mansion hotel — we always end up in the bar at Congress Hall (where we love to stay, too), with its roomy brown sofas, zebra carpet, and New York-meets-the-beach vibe (, or for Congress Hall, 609-884-8421; rooms from $69).

Ephrata 1:26 If you require high-end shopping and crab galettes when on a rural retreat, Doneckers is your inn, since it’s also a fabulously extensive enclave of shops and a restaurant. Here you can buy BCBG dresses, paintings and Baker furniture; have an excellent dinner; and then sleep in the cozy guest quarters (North State Street, 717-738-9500; rooms from $65).