Harpers Ferry, W. Va.
Stay here: Quality Hotel Conference Center, 4328 William L. Wilson Freeway, Harpers Ferry, W.Va. (304-535-6302; qualityinn.com) offers a free continental breakfast, free high-speed internet, and indoor pool and exercise room. Rates start at around $100. Or try the Hilltop House Hotel (304-535-2132; hilltophousehotel.com).
Don't miss this: While thousands pass through every weekend, most drawn by whitewater rafting and tubing, Harpers Ferry has managed to balance capitalism and conservation. To get a bird's eye view of the area's natural beauty, hike to Jefferson Rock and see where the rivers meet. Or go river rafting and immerse yourself in the confluence of history. The rivers led to the town's settlement, to its name (Robert Harper ran a ferry linking Maryland to what was then Virginia) and to the floods that have both erased and revealed pieces of its past.
Get here: Just over an hour from Baltimore, it's an easy day trip, but it's also ideal for a weekend escape: Getting there won't chew up most of the time or most of the gas money. Take Interstate 70 west to U.S. 340 South.
For more information: nps.gov/hafe