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(Image: Aparna Krishnamoorthy / DC Refined)

Take a two hour drive to a Getaway in the middle of nowhere

Does the thought of driving down to a tiny house in the woods, locking away your cell phone, and having no predetermined plans sound fantastic to you? Or are you skeptical? Either way, you need to read on.

By now you have probably seen a show, read a story, or heard something about the tiny houses that are seemingly all the rage. You also constantly hear about the importance of being un-tethered from our devices and getting away from looking at a screen at least occasionally. While it’s easier said than done, we all crave (maybe even unknowingly) a chance to truly disconnect from the distractions of modern life and the stresses of urban living. That’s why I was especially excited about the prospect of Getaway– rent-able tiny cabins within two hours of the city designed to help us escape, unplug, and unwind.

Getaway was started by a couple of Harvard alumni and are available near Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. Just don’t ask me where exactly they are located – they only tell you that a week before your stay to deliberately keep you from making plans and researching outings, keeping it spontaneous instead. Suffice it to know that they are all within two hours of the city, and can be accessed by public transit if needed.

About the cabins

Available in two person or four person configurations, these cabins are tiny in the true sense, coming in at about 160 square feet. From spending time in one of these, I can say they are compact but practical, and cozy in a good way. There are queen sized beds, linens provided, bathrooms with a toilet and shower (and hot water), heat and electricity. Every cabin also has a fire pit, picnic table, lounging chairs, and firewood to grill/make s’more’s , or just lounge around.

There is no Wifi – that would defeat the purpose. In fact there is a cell phone lock box, and guests are encouraged to lock up their cell phones at least for a bit to truly disconnect and have no temptation. While I did have cell phone service, this definitely varies by location and carrier. (Don’t worry, there is a landline in the cabin for emergencies).

The D.C. cabins are located on private ground surrounded by trees, and while you can see the houses, they are far enough apart that there is a sense of privacy, and you don’t really see/hear people.

My favorite part was the large windows that you could perch at and read a book – it was truly incredible to wake up to those views and soak it all in. I can’t imagine waking up and staring out at nature at home in the District instead of just reaching for my phone!

The kitchen area was stocked with essentials- a few pots and pans, mugs and cups, and a few provisions – pasta, sauce, almond milk, snacks, popcorn,etc, which you will be billed for based on usage. There was also single cup pour-over coffee pods, which were surprisingly good. I’d recommend taking groceries or stopping at a market on the way to pick up stuff.

What to do

The idea is to do nothing, even be bored and see where it takes you. We took books, there are also some games in the house (Cards, dice), and just lounged around the fire pit with a bottle of wine. Being away from the city, the stars at night are also plentiful, and I spent quite a bit of time just looking at them. Again, not something that even crosses my mind at home! It was pretty chilly when we went, so we made dinner in the kitchen and enjoyed it indoors, before going to sleep. The bed was super comfortable and we were asleep before we knew it! I will say there are hiking trails close enough to the D.C. cabins if you need to get away, and even a winery.

Overall, we had an awesome experience with Getaway. It was just my husband and I who went, but this would be great for families or a small group of friends as well. Dogs are welcome too, for an additional $25 fee.

I know that I am attached to my devices to a large degree, and stepping away from them is hard, but I felt incredible after just a day of being unplugged, and I know I’ll be doing more of this.

Check out their website for more details – two person cabins start at $125, and four person cabins at $150.

Tips:

  1. There is no ice in the cabin, so if you need ice for cocktails or water make sure to carry it along with a mini cooler.
  2. Water from the sink is drinkable in the D.C. cabins, but best to reconfirm as this was not too clear when we booked.
  3. Remember you are in the woods, so be aware of water usage and save that 20 minute shower for when you get home.
  4. We didn’t see any utensils that could be used to cook on the grill, so check about this before going, or take your own.
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