When it comes to jumping on a plane and seeing the world… I am no traveler. It is kind of sad, but anyone who knows me well, knows I am not the biggest fan of flying. I mean, my poor husband actually almost obliged to me cancelling our Honeymoon a day before our flight, which was already delayed a week from the scheduled departure (that is another story for another day) to opt for a good ol’ fashion roadtrip. I like cars. Let’s just keep it at that.
Therefore, when you decide to live life seeing the world through the comforts of your car… many may see it as limiting your possibilities. Now I don’t argue, I agree; however, I have learned that there is so much to see and explore in the United States and even more specifically throughout the Eastern United States, that my thoughts of limited possibilities, well they aren’t so limited.
Nathan and I have become quite the Weekend Warriors in our neck of the woods. We use to be better at it but stresses and responsibilities from work tend to get in the way sometimes. While friends and family chat about their upcoming travels to far away tropical islands… we tend to get slightly jealous. I mean I am a sucker for the ocean, sand and a Margarita in my hand and then my mind switches to airports and security and rushing to get to my flight and I am quickly back to my own reality. However, we have found over the years that traveling is what you make of it. Some of our BEST trips have been spur of the moment weekend getaways to Baltimore, MD to catch an Orioles Game followed by a mini food and beverage tour of Fells Point or a random weekend away to a quaint Chesapeake Bay town filled with sightseeing, great seafood and Bloody Marys.
I plan on sharing some of our favorite roadtrip spots in upcoming posts but for now I focus on one that is in our backyard… Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. For the past six years, my in-laws have chose to forgo individual birthday gifts for their children and their spouses and instead rent a Lake House for a long weekend. It is even complete with a birthday cake for us all to share. It was a great idea that originated a few years ago and has now grown into a welcomed tradition.
This year we dug a little deeper into the mountain for a cabin that was off the main roads and as a great surprise to us had a priceless view of the Lake.
The first year we came we had just one little one, my niece, Ava, but now our little one is already five and our nieces and nephews have grown by four more!
The weekend included some skiers taking to the Mountain at Wisp Resort, a pizza take-out competition between Ledo’s and Brenda’s (my vote went to Ledo’s), some Winter Olympics action… oh, wait you thought I meant on TV? No, this weekend including our very own Luge construction on the mountainside, an Italian Dinner complete with homemade Spaghetti meat sauce and meatballs and some general downtime.
As I mentioned, I am blessed that Deep Creek Lake is just 40-minutes away from where I live, so we travel to the area quite a bit. In fact, we even were married there! Over the years our ski weekends have evolved. From multiple days skiing at Wisp to bar hopping along the Lake and from hiking nearby Swallow Falls State Park to local shopping at our favorite boutiques. The beauty of Deep Creek Lake is really that the area has so much to offer the traveler, and as our family expands, it is comforting to know that we can still come to same place for our travel.
If you are planning on making a trip to Deep Creek Lake during the winter here are my “Must Do” suggestions…
- Rent a Home, Condo or Townhome. There are many Vacation Realities in Deep Creek Lake; however, we tend to go with Railey’s year after year. They have a great house selection and are super friendly!
- Make some time to experience Wisp Resort. They really have some great winter amenities, especially if you are looking for a weekend with some adventure. From Skiing and Boarding to Snow Tubing, from Ice Skating to Snowmobiling and much more.
- Food, Food & More Food. I love dining out! Especially at non-chain restaurants that are locally owned. You just get a great feeling and in my opinion, the food is usually much better. So, here are my winter Deep Creek dining suggestions – 1) Mountain State Brewing Co. – Hands down favorite! They brew their own beer and make the best flatbread pizzas. Try the Amber Ale – it is the best! 2) Black Bear Tavern – Don’t be fooled by the local bar feel. They make a Portobello Mushroom stuffed by Crab that is absolutely out of this world! 3) Canoe On The Run – Breakfast or Lunch that is healthy and quality driven – well this is the place. They do have a menu but what I really love is the chalkboard on the wall that lists out their daily specials, which change.
- Nature at its’ finest. Winter at Deep Creek Lake is beautiful. From the frozen lake to the snow covered woodlands, it is truly a relaxing place. Get outdoors at Swallow Falls State Park (below is a picture from Ski Weekend 2013) or visit the hiking trails and Discovery Center at Deep Creek State Park.
- Shop Local. If you have time to get out and spend some money I highly recommend visiting School House Earth, which features everything from dips, oils and sauces to home decor and paintings. Plus, take the kids, because they have a petting zoo complete with Llamas! I also enjoy FireFly Farms located in nearby Accident, Maryland, but I also love cheese, and if you do too – trust me stop! Finally, if time permits, head into downtown Oakland, Maryland. They have boutiques and many antique shops that just make browsing or hopefully buying fun.
Share your favorite Deep Creek Lake gems by commenting below, and happy traveling.