A camping compromise an hour from Pittsburgh

Find a quick escape with Getaway’s tiny cabins

by Stephanie Brea
September 29, 2020

Are you thinking about a getaway?

Let’s start with some background information: Last summer, I saw an article by Bob Batz Jr. of the Post-Gazette highlighting some new cabins in Lisbon, Ohio. But these weren’t just any cabins; they were bright and clean and air-conditioned. They had beds with pristine white sheets and it seemed like the lighting was always perfect for photos. For days afterward I kept seeing ads on social media, which is pretty much a siren’s call to just book a trip already.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B73oPSTgyg0/

And so I did. My partner and I have very different ideas about camping. In short, I am not a fan and he is. This trip presented an opportunity to compromise, and we were able to take our dog on his first overnight trip.

Happy about hot dogs

For a girl who likes showers and who has terrible seasonal allergies, the Getaway Pittsburgh + Cleveland outpost in Lisbon, Ohio, offers the means to experience all the fun parts of camping (A fire pit! S’mores! Lightning bugs!) without the need to bury your poop because of bears.

We took a hike with the dog, we made a charcuterie plate and drank some beers. I read a book, we made a bunch of hot dogs and s’mores. But I also got to pee in a toilet, take a shower before bed, and watch the lightning bugs through the huge window in each cabin. We returned home, and I immediately rebooked for New Year’s Eve. Yep, I hit a milestone birthday this year, readers, and I wanted to start the decade with some quiet introspection. Little did I know what 2020 would bring.

What about food and drink?

Sort of like a well-stocked minibar, the cabins do have extra dry goods available for purchase, but who are we kidding, you are doing this for the char marks on your burgers and hot dogs and steaks. Just pack a small cooler with your groceries, and the on-site cooking pans and utensils make everything else easy. You can even just accept the charge for firewood on the credit card you used for booking and you won’t even have to stop along the way to purchase some. With a travel time of about an hour from our house on the Northside, there really wasn’t any reason to stop along the way, although we bought some extra Hershey’s chocolate bars at a mini-mart just in case. With the dog anxious to get out of the car, we didn’t stop at Two Smart Cookies, the bakery/cafe just down the road from the cabins, but it’s on the list for next time. Their menu has sandwiches and wraps. It is literally on the entrance road to Beaver Creek State Park, which makes it a good stop for pre-hike fuel.

Getaway’s marketing materials shouts out The Vineyards at Pine Lake, but we are beer people who always come prepared and bring our own to a party. They’ve done the research to compile a more extensive list, but do you really want to drive 20 minutes for pizza?

What sort of actual nature can I explore nearby?

For the allergy-ridden, leisurely walker such as myself, there is plenty of nature and a nature trail around the cabins. There’s no shame in just posting up around the firepit; this is a mini-vacation. The closest outdoor recreation is Beaver Creek State Park with multiple trail loops. It doesn’t really offer much in the way of strenuous hiking, although the dog liked jumping in the creek. A longer option is the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail, which is 12.5 miles long. Since it’s paved it can be used as a bike trail, and the trailhead is only 15 minutes from the cabins.

Getaway Ca

Alternately, you could stop at Raccoon Creek State Park in Hookstown, Pennsylvania, on your way there or on the way home. Getaway has also posted what they call “Sidetrips” on their website, with activities such as a visit to a berry farm. But for the three people reading this who love antiques and flea markets as much as I do, remember that the Getaway Beaver Creek cabins are close to the Rogers outdoor flea market if you happen to plan your trip on a Friday. There’s also multiple antique shops in East Liverpool, Ohio. You shouldn’t miss out on The Church Hill Road Covered Bridge — “the shortest covered bridge in the United States” (but do not get it confused with the world’s shortest covered bridge in Geneva, Ohio).

Things I think are great:

  • A minifridge so you don’t have to obsess over bringing enough ice to avoid getting food poisoning.
  • A long leash for the dog and a water bowl (seriously, another thing you don’t have to pack).
  • There’s not only a shower, but also soap and shampoo.
  • I didn’t get cell much cellphone reception and on New Year’s Eve, we listened to the radio.
  • The door locks, so it feels very safe for someone to get away alone, without worrying about someone slashing through the side of the tent (yeah, I probably listen to too many true crime podcasts).

Some COVID-19 updates

The cabins are spread far apart, so you are never within 6 feet of the next campsite. They have a tracker on their website that shows you how many of the campsites are currently booked that day, if you are feeling really spontaneous. Things were always set up to check in and out via emails and a text message with a code, so you never have interaction with a conventional front desk. While the cabins were pristine, they have added additional cleaning protocols and reduced reservation capacity. You can read the rest of their company response here.

Vacation all I ever wanted, vacation had to get away

Think of this more as your overnight getaway, not a weeklong vacation. Reserve a cabin, pack some food and alcohol, jump in your car. The beauty of this is that they really take all the work out of things, so you can ignore your phone and dig into your book (and if you forgot your book while packing, they have a couple of those in the cabin too). You can enjoy all the things that make a traditional camping trip fun, without the need to pack and plan. After two trips, both my partner and the dog have decided they want a more traditional camping experience, but I would gladly take a solo trip and get away any time.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFvO9v6JbmB/

Book a Getaway Cabin

Cabin rentals from $119/night. See availability and book online here.

 

📸 Header photo by photo by Michelle Watt, courtesy of Getaway.

Stephanie has been organizing events since 1998, starting with a series of motorcycle rides through the Arizona desert to support her father’s business. She’s probably crossed your name off a presale ticket list or served you a beer somewhere around town. An undergrad degree in poetry means she has lots of unpractical knowledge about iambic pentameter, while a brief stint as a copy editor for Alternative Press taught her that twenty one pilots is stylized in all lowercase letters. Wanna throw a party in a vacant parking lot? She’s interested. At the onset of COVID-19, Stephanie took on the role...

More Local Stories

Top 407: the best hot dogs in Orlando

We tried Chicago Dogs, Spicy Chili Dogs, Buffalo Dogs, Reuben Dogs, and more across the Orlando area to find the best hot diggity dogs.

A guide to must-do summer events in New Orleans

Now that we’re back outside, let’s take a look at the events to do in New Orleans for the summer.

What’s On the Menu?: Greenville Food Trucks

What’s On The Menu Greenville is serving up barbecue, Latin, vegan and Thai food from mobile kitchens on wheels. Find out what’s cooking inside these fantastic Greenville food trucks.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Sanford

On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando explore what’s new in the Northern part of town. Sanford has a plethora of breweries, bars, and delicious dining options to choose from.

Hometown Tragedy: The Pike County Massacre

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

Cheap Date Orlando: Punk Rock & Pooches

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

Exploring the history of Pittsburgh’s Chinatown

At one time, there was even an informal Chinatown mayor to act as a community liaison.

Painting My Way Through Life: Pittsburgh (And Beyond) Through The Eyes of Artist Ron Donoughe

Ron Donoughe has spent over 30 years painting the Pennsylvania landscape, especially Pittsburgh. When you don’t find him capturing the spirit of his paintings on location, you’ll likely find him in his Lawrenceville studio – where he’s watched the neighborhood transform through his windows.

With a potential sale of his building looming in 2022, we chatted with Donoughe about his artistic journey thus far, what might come next, and Pittsburgh through his eyes.

“Better than a tent” this Greensburg Airbnb is only $15/night 

The accommodations are minimal, but the price can’t be beat. This Airbnb shed is available just outside of Pittsburgh in Greensburg for just $15/night.

Pittsburgh Underwear Bike Ride

Pittsburgh Underwear Bike Ride: Join a few hundred cyclists for a bike ride in your underpants (Updated for 2022)

The monthly Pittsburgh Underwear Bike Ride promotes positive body image and safe cycling.