One-tank getaways

Readers share stories of favorite regional spots

Readers share stories of favorite regional spots

August 01, 2008|By JULIE E. GREENE

We asked what some of your favorite getaways are if you had a tank of gas just to get there. You responded with several suggestions, including some familiar favorites, some nearby surprises and some distant pleasures reachable with good mileage.

Some of your getaway ideas were one tank away, round-trip.

We had 37 entries and randomly drew two winners of $50 gas cards. The winners are Tammy McCardell, 37, of Waynesboro, Pa., and Lois J. Mason, 69, who lives near Rohrersville.

Mason hopes to use her gas card to revisit Watkins Glen State Park in New York again this fall.

McCardell's favorite one-tank getaway was a recent drive to Grantsville, Md. - the long way.

"I like to go and do these road trips where you can just read these historical markers and see oddities along the road," McCardell said.

She drove along U.S. 40, otherwise known as National Pike, stopping frequently to check out things along the way, and taking 7 1/2 hours to get to Grantsville where she photographed the historic Castleman's River Bridge, a stone arch bridge built in 1813.


McCardell wants to use the gas card to go on another trip, probably driving along U.S. 30 west of Bedford, Pa.

A few people submitted some pretty distant destinations that they were able to make on one tank with good mileage.

Kelly Weller and her girlfriends made it from Funkstown to Niagara Falls, Canada, and back (approximately 680 miles round-trip) on one tank of diesel fuel, driving a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, she e-mailed The Herald-Mail.

She has since sold the car to her father, but occasionally borrows it for road trips.

Here are some highlights from the submitted getaways. Distance listed with each location is from Hagerstown.

Ocean City, Md. - 199 miles one way

Sand in their toes, a warm sun and the smell of ocean air enticed eight readers to name Ocean City, Md., as their favorite one-tank getaway. Rosemarie Marker, who lives north of Hagerstown, likes "washing away the cannot-do-it-alls of life." Hagerstown-area resident Connie Cramer's favorite O.C. activities include renting a bike and eating Thrasher's french fries or Fisher's popcorn.

To learn more go to, or call 800-626-2326.

Belleville, Pa. - 102 miles one way

Seven readers said their favorite getaway was Amish country, often Lancaster County, Pa. (Approximately 112 miles). Jeanne L. Ward submitted this photo of buggies in Belleville in Mifflin County, Pa., which is southeast of State College, Pa., and about 80 miles from her Warfordsburg, Pa., home. She enjoys visiting the town on Wednesdays, when there is an old-time market with an auction, livestock sale and Amish food in addition to the scenery.

To learn more about Lancaster County, Pa., go to or call 800-723-8824.

Hersheypark, Hershey, Pa. - 87 miles one way

Hersheypark is the Arnold family's favorite getaway "because where else can the whole family scream together without someone ending up in timeout?!" wrote Ernst Arnold of Hagerstown. To get there, the family takes their 2002 TDI Jetta, which gets 52 mpg on the highway.

To learn more, go to or call 800-437-7439.

Watkins Glen State Park, New York -266 miles one way

"It's 19 waterfalls in this 2-mile hike," said waterfall fan Lois J. Mason, who lives near Rohrersville. "It was just overwhelming to see that many." Mason took the 275-mile trip to the falls southwest of Ithaca, N.Y., last September with relatives in her brother-in-law's Ford van.

To learn more, go to or call 607-535-4511.

Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pa. - 128 miles one way

"We just like the area and it's a nice day-trip," said Anna Garrett of Halfway. She and her husband, Richard, have visited the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house built over a waterfall every year for the last 25 years.

To learn more, go to or call 724-329-8501.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va. - 164 miles one way

This "spectacular" place has a classic conservatory, fabulous flowers, trees, a lake and a children's garden with a treehouse (below), wrote Wilson Shearer, who lives north of Hagerstown and drives a 2006 Kia Spectra 5. "We discovered it while looking for a unique experience to celebrate our 53rd anniversary."

To learn more, go to or call 804-262-9887.

Great Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. - 463 miles one way

Carmen and Mark Fox are able to reach the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., with one tank of gas from Cascade thanks to their Honda Insight hybrid. They enjoy fresh mountain air, the hazy smoke of the mountains, waterfalls, fishing and the laid-back atmosphere.

To learn more, go to or call 800-251-9100; or go to or call 865-436-1200.

Other one-tank getaways submitted by readers included:

o Bedford Springs Resort Hotel in Bedford, Pa.

o Caledonia State Park, east of Chambersburg, Pa.

o Taylors Island Family Campground on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay

o Assateague Island in Maryland and Virginia

o Rocky Gap State Park, northeast of Cumberland, Md.

o Niagara Falls, Canada

o Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.

o Lakemont Park & The Island Waterpark in Altoona, Pa.

o Skyline Drive, which runs from Virginia to North Carolina

o Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster County, Pa.

o Sight & Sound Theatres in Lancaster County, Pa.

o A drive along W.Va. 45 west to the top of the mountain near Gerrardstown, W.Va.

o The beach at Rehoboth, Del.

o A tour of historic stone arch bridges of Washington County

o Rockville Pike area in Montgomery County, Md., to visit international shops such as a French café, a market that offers Middle Eastern food, a Korean market and a butcher shop that sells Latin American sausages.

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