If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that on most of the trips I take, I’m pack into my schedule and attempt to see as much of the place I’m visiting as possible. However, sometimes it’s just nice to get out of town without an agenda, which is exactly why I’ve enjoyed my weekend at Wisp Ski Resort the past two winters. I head to the mountains with my about 20 of coworkers, and we bunker down for a chill weekend filled with junk food, dips in the hot tub, and afternoon naps. It’s been my first trip of the year both this year and last, and it’s been a fun way to kick off travel for the year.
Located in western Maryland on Deep Creek Lake, it’s an easy weekend escape from DC. Without traffic, it’s about a three hour drive—enough time to enjoy some road trip jams, but not enough time you spend your whole day in the car to get there. I’ve actually been lucky enough to spend a weekend at Deep Creek Lake in the summer—I went for July 4 in 2016 as seen here, here, here, and here over on Instagram!—and it’s an equally great place in warm weather, too.
As such, today, I wanted to share a few quick insights on visiting Wisp in case you’re interested in planning a similar trip this winter or want to file it away for next!
WHERE TO STAY /
Both times I’ve been to Wisp in the winter—in the summer I stayed at my friend’s private lake house—we’ve rented chalets through Railey Mountain Lake Vacations. Since I go with a large group, we are less concerned with exact location in relation to Wisp and more-so with the accommodations the house offers. On our must-have list are an indoor pool and a hot tub, and we make sure the house sleeps at least as many people are going.
This year, we stayed at Timberlodge and last year we stayed at Cedar Chateau. Both are a quick ten minute drive to the base of the ski resort and come ready to go with linens for everyone, which is especially nice on a short weekend trip. This year, the person picking up the keys for our home did have to be 30 years old, so prior to booking, I recommend making sure you meet any age restrictions. Before checkout, you have to do minor cleaning—emptying the trash, making sure all the dishes are clean, wiping down counters—but the major stuff is taken care of by a cleaning company after you leave. We’ve never had an issue getting our security deposit back and really enjoyed the houses we’ve rented! Since so many of us go, the cost of lodging per person is usually around $200, so very reasonable for a weekend trip, especially considering we eat most of our meals “at home” while we are there.
This year, our house was right on Deep Creek Lake, which personally, I don’t think is necessary for this time of year since it’s so cold! However, when we were there, the lake was completely frozen over so there were people snowmobiling and walking on it. I was too nervous to partake, but still very cool to see.
WHAT TO DO /
If y’all remember my trip to Park City, Utah back in 2016, you know that skiing isn’t my thing. So while I don’t partake, several of my coworkers have skied each year. Lift tickets are all under $100—though they are more expensive on Saturdays than any other day—and snowboarding is allowed. Lessons and rentals are also available. From my understanding, skiing at Wisp isn’t anything compared to the runs out West, but it gets the job done for a close-to-DC ski resort.
My favorite thing to do while in town is to go to snow tubing! Passes are sold in two-hour increments—this year they were $34—and it’s basically the most relaxing winter activity I’ve ever done. You grab your snow tube, ride the magic carpet up to the top, and then enjoy the 30 second ride down to the bottom. Our favorite thing is to link multiple tubes together so we can get more speed going down. It is pure JOY. I never went snow tubing as a kid, but man, I love it as an adult! We bought our passes day-of, but you can buy them online ahead of time, too, which I recommend for holiday weekends. There’s also cross-country skiing, a mountain roller coaster, and ice skating at the resort, too.
WHERE TO EAT /
After tubing both years, we’ve eaten at Archie’s BBQ. It’s a delicious and casual place less than a mile from the base of the resort that really hits the spot after a few hours out in the cold. It’s also right near a liquor store, gas station, and grocery store, so a convenient place to go if you need to run other errands while you’re out. I also recommend the Honi Honi Bar for if you want a fun spot with tropical drinks—added bonus for the summer, you can park your boat right out front!
So there you have it! My weekends at Wisp are always very laid back vacations in every sense of the word and the perfect weekend escapes from DC this time of year. x