The following is a list of favorite flying destinations, contributed by TSS members. Although a few longer trips are included, most of these are close enough to allow you to go out and back the same day while still enjoying what the location has to offer. Note: distances are direct from KGAI and do not take into account the need to navigate around the Washington FRZ or other restricted airspace.
Martin State, MD – KMTN
Take a sightseeing tour of downtown Baltimore on the way to one of the biggest runways you will find at a non-commercial airport. 7000 x 180. You’ll need to pay a $15-20 landing fee if you park, but then walk 12 minutes /1 mile and eat outside at a great waterfront restaurant called Carson’s Creekside.
Kentmorr, MD – 3W3
Well maintained grass strip on Kent Island a short walk from the marina. Walk a few minutes to the nice, upscale restaurant called Kentmorr with great crabs and a sandy beach area with a tiki bar, hammocks, chairs, and tables. Bring your swimsuit and a couple of towels and spend some time on the beach. Very kid-friendly. Pets only welcome at the outdoor restaurant tables. The airpark is closed in the winter and after rain – so check NOTAMS.
Bay Bridge, MD – W29
Walk a few blocks to the Crab Shack and eat fresh Maryland Crabs and Oysters outside on picnic benches. Walk a little further to Hemingway’s for bayfront dining and fun. A fantastic Bed and Breakfast is less than a half mile walk or they pick you up if you call. Great view of the Bay Bridge during the flight. Or stay the night at a new hotel that just opened up nearby. Check out the non-standard noise abatement procedures for take-off and landing on the website.
Hagerstown, MD – KHGR
There is a nice restaurant at the field, closed on Sundays. Outlet malls are nearby.
Easton, MD – KESN
A nice flight over the Bay to get there, and Sugarbuns Airport Café in the airport is reported to have great burgers and baked goods. They offer outdoor seating, so a great lunch spot if you have a dog. If you have more time, rent a car and head into St. Michaels for the day or a weekend at the Inn at Perry Cabin.
Cambridge, MD – KCGE
Kay’s Restaurant on the field in the red brick terminal has great crab cakes, soups, and sandwiches. If you call ahead, the FBO can also arrange transport to the (relatively) new Hyatt on the water, which has a nice restaurant. It’s about 5-10 minutes from the field. Downtown Cambridge has some interesting shops and restaurants – maybe a $10 cab into town.
Cumberland, MD – KCBE
The Hummingbird Cafe recently opened on the field and an inexpensive stop for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Closed after 2pm on Sunday. FBO reportedly has a loaner car if you want to drive into town for lunch. In the fall fly low over the river all the way there.
Salisbury MD – KSBY
FBO has a courtesy car available on a first come first serve basis. You can take the car and drive down to the town for lunch. Goin’ Nuts Cafe has good food. If you buy fuel there, you do not pay any landing fee.
Crisfield, MD – W41
Call a cab or uber and head into this cute bayfront town for lots of options for fresh seafood.
Garrett County Aiport / Deep Creek – 2G4
Head to Deep Creek Lake in the summer or Ski Wisp in the winter. Arrange a rental car in advance at 301.746.8599 because cabs are rare. It is 3 miles to McHenry where you can rent a boat, or 8 miles to Deep Creek State Park where you can hike, swim, hang on the “beach area, paddleboard. Wisp Resort is 4 miles from the airport if you are skiing or mountain biking.
Ocean City, MD – KOXB
A great beach day trip. Airport is located about 10 minutes from the boardwalk, so you can either take a $15 cab or rent a car on-site for $25-$50 depending on the season (they will negotiate if you are nice). Stop off at Seacrets or Fish Tales for lunch on the bay. Crab Alley near the airport has great crabs and seafood for dinner on the way back to the airport. Alternatively – you can take a rental car and visit Assateague Island which is 10 minutes in the other direction to see unspoiled beaches and wild horses.
Luray Caverns, VA – KLUA
FBO provides a free shuttle to the caverns and other area attractions and restaurants. Pretty flight down a valley in the Shenandoah Mountains.
Sky Bryce, VA – VG18
Great place to go skiing, or hiking and mountain biking in the summer. Bryce Mountain is a short walk across the runway and creek. Ski lodge is there with a full menu and a Sunday brunch in winter. The approach is a lot of fun and is great exposure to short field ops. The airstrip is private so shoot them a note in advance to tell them you are coming.
Charlottesville, VA KCHO
Fly into Charlottesville regional airport. Although serviced by commercial traffic, the airport is generally pretty quiet and easy to navigate. You can park at Landmark aviation, and arrange a rental car through them or cheaper with an agency at the terminal. A 10 minute drive into town gets you to downtown Charlottesville for shops and restaurants, visit one of the many vineyards in the area (you can spit) and don’t forget about a tour of TJ’s Monticello.
Rappahanock River, Hummel Field, VA (W75)
Walk 15 minutes to Merrior Restaurant on the Riverfront. Owned by the Rappahannock Oyster Company, they consider themselves an oyster tasting room. Everything is fresh and seasonal, served either raw or grilled outdoors. Mostly outdoor seating with great views. Another closer restaurant with great German food is called Eckhards.
Tangier Island, VA – KTGI
An island in the Chesapeake Bay accessible only by boat or airplane, with a very interesting “waterman” history you can learn about in the museum. A very nice summertime flight for crabcakes and beaches. The island is fun to explore by walking, bicycles, or a golf cart rental. Beaches are pet-friendly and uncrowded. BYOB for friends – it is a dry island. There is a lot of restricted airspace around the airport.
Windward Fly-In Resort/Canaan Valley
On-site restaurant Amelia’s is open Wednesday – Sunday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Basic, inexpensive lodging ($80-$100) for access to activities in Cannaan Valley such as skiing, hiking, fishing, whitewater, golf though you will need to reserve their rental car $48/day. They have grills and volleyball courts on site. 3000ft paved, lighted runway.
Morgantown, WV – KMGW (Hart)
Ali Baba Restaurant at the terminal has good Mediterranean food. Park at the Morgantown Jet Center. Rent a car from Hertz or Avis on-site, or arrange a quick cab into town (3 miles).
Hot Springs VA – KHSP
Interesting approach to a high elevation among the mountains, the golf resort/spa lodge Omni Homestead is nearby where you can go into the Jefferson Pools (Hot Springs), ski a bunny hill, hit the massive spa, and most importantly – get proficient in falconry.
New River Gorge, WV – WV32
Private 3000′ paved airstrip 1 mile from the Lower New River in West Virginia featuring some of the best white water rafting in the country. Prior permission is required to landing at WV32, so please contact the owner Garry Kessler at (615) 585-6114. Book your rafting trip and/or stay the night at adventuresonthegorge.com – just over a mile away. They should be able to pick you up on a free shuttle, but you can walk if worst case scenario.
Gettysburg, PA – W05
A nice flight because you can circle the battlefield. According to AOPA website the airport is frequently unmanned and there is no easy way to get to town or the battlefield. One TSS member reports a fine dining restaurant, Herr Tavern & Publick House, 1/2 mile east of the airport on Rt. 30 (very walkable) but not too much right at the airport. The battlefield and National Monument are only about two miles away if you can figure out a way to get there, there are some reports that transportation is not easy to find. Be mindful of P-40 if it is “hot.”
Capital City (KCXY)
They have a crew car. Short drive to Carlisle Pike or the Front St. by the river has many good restaurant options. Even if the crew car is not there, Nick’s Cafe is in walking distance (less than a mile) from the airport.
Lancaster, PA – KLNS
Italian restaurant in the terminal, which is a nice place to go for lunch or dinner. There are rental cars in the terminal if you want to visit town or Amish country. An excellent pilot shop is located at the airport – If you’ve been looking for a new headset, they have a whole wall of demo’s to try out. There is also an IMAX theater across the street. A perfect dinner and movie date.
Reading PA – KRDG
The on-field restaurant – MaliBooz Bar and Grill — has received mixed reviews from TSS members. The Mid Atlantic Air Museum is located at the field, with more than 40 different aircraft. Rental cars are usually cheap and it’s a fun day at the outlet malls.
Philadelphia, PA (KPHL)
Brush up on your class B skills at this GA friendly and relatively inexpensive big city airport. Call ahead to confirm fees, but typically the FBO waives the $40 facility fee with fuel purchase so you’ll only pay a $10 landing fee. Nice crew car (when available) for 1-2 hours or take a 15 minute taxi downtown and go to the Reading Terminal Market or Rittenhouse Square for lunch. Jim’s > Pat’s or Geno’s
Butter Valley, PA – 7N8
Butter Valley Golf Port is a fly-in golf resort in Pennsylvania, 30 miles NW of Philadelphia. One of the greens also has a runway on it. Reserve a tee time before you go.
Nemacolin, PA – PA88
Land right in the center of a sprawling five-star resort. You have a free shuttle waiting for you and at your disposal to take you around to various activities including pool, spa, golf, mini golf, pet resort, jeep off-roading, climbing walls, zip lines, fly-fishing, and many others. Have a cigar at the cigar lounge. If you shoot, they’ll ferry you to the best sporting clays course in the mid-Atlantic. Call security for landing permission and airport updates before you plan to go 724-329-6121.
Latrobe, PA KLBE
No need to leave the airport for great food overlooking the runway at Denunzio’s, which offers a all you can eat Sunday brunch. Buck the upscale microbrewery trend and go visit the industrial brewery where they used to make Rolling Rock.
Pennsylvania Grand Canyon – KLHV to N38
The PA Grand Canyon, or Pine Creek Gorge, is part of the Tioga State Forest. KLHV (Piper Memorial) is near the southern end, and N38 (Wellsboro Johnston) is near the northern end. Fly the length of the canyon for the view.
Wilmington, DE – KILG (New Castle)
There are about 5 to 8 restaurants (mostly chains, but one nice Italian place) within walking distance of the terminal. Several are open very late. Be mindful of TFRs if Vice President Biden is in town.
Georgetown, DE – KGED
The Lighthouse Landing restaurant at the field is reported to be good. This airport can also serve as the landing location for a day or weekend at Rehoboth or other Delaware beaches.
Cape May, NJ – KWWD
The Jersey shore, boardwalks, Wildwood and Cape May. Cab to downtown Cape May is $18. Eat at the Blue Pig Cafe for a great lunch downtown. Don’t forget to pick up some freshly made olive oil, peanut butter, or fudge from the shops. Rental cars available for $40 with some arranging.
Ocean City, NJ – 26N
Walk to the beach from the airport! Nice, small but busy restaurant on the field. Easy walk to boardwalk and restaurants in Ocean City but may need a cab to get to the ‘downtown.’ There is also a low-end, 12-hole golf course right by the airport.
Atlantic City, NJ – KACY
Fly in and spend the afternoon – or the weekend – at the casinos or beach. Cab ride is ~$35 to get to the strip. Reminisce about how you could land at Bader field and walk. Go often and gamble degenerate enough and you might not have to pay for hotel rooms, which end up being pricey on weekends.
Medford NJ – Flying W Airport Resort – N14
Delightfully cheesy resort with swimming pool shaped like an airplane, and a motel of uncertain quality. The Runway Café serves breakfast and lunch. The Golden Pheasant Golf Course is nearby. They get some oddball acts there on occasional Saturday nights, like Kenny Vance and the Planotones.
New York City – Option: Teterboro
New York City – Other Options
New York City – Hudson River Tour
Take a bucket list trip up the Hudson river for some breathtaking views along or over New York City. You can cruise up at 1000-1300 with mandatory self reporting on CTAF. Or you can get a Class B exclusion from 1300-2000. Or just fly over at 7500. You’ll need to take the SFRA course, but here is a kneeboard cheat sheet. Keep flying up the hudson for great views along the Hudson and over Westpoint.
Freefall Oz (also called Oz’s homestay) – 06PA
A rustic little “resort” located in northern PA on the NY state line. A 3000′ perfectly kept grass field is on premises. The owners, Ash and Celeine Easdon-Smith are friends of the Club. TSS members should tell them who you are! There’s a B&B, camping, hunting, fishing, skydiving, relaxing, and hanging out! Ash is a fantastic cook. A favorite spot of TSS members for a weekend fly-in.
Kill Devil Hills, NC – KFFA (First Flight)
This airport on the Outer Banks is a “must do” pilgrimage for every pilot. The Wright Brothers National Memorial is right by the field. You can walk to the beach, hotels, etc. AOPA has a nice facility in the airport. 20 minute walk to the Outer Banks Brewing Station, a lively bar and restaurant. A good trip report from flying magazine.
Cleveland, OH – KBKL (Burke Lakefront)
Great airport and FBO and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a short walk. Be careful about football schedules, game time means TFR over KBKL.
Niagara Falls, NY – KIAG
Fly in, arrange a car and take the sightseeing tour of the falls.
Niagara Falls, Canada – CYSN (St. Catharines)
Spend a weekend in Canada just north of the falls at Niagara on the Lake. Great food and wine. Land at St. Catharines and have a car rental company deliver a car.
Block Island, RI KBID
It’s a general aviation dream to get to this island just past the tip of Montauk. Fly along the coast of long island and land at the airport. Walk 15 mins or catch a $10 cab into town where you can rent bicycles or mopeds to get around the island. There are great beaches, shops, and restaurants. Book ahead for hotels or B&Bs during prime summer weekends.
Nantucket Island, MA – KACK
Fly by Philadelphia, NYC, and up the coast of Long Island and you’ll soon be on the summer hot spot of Nantucket. A 10 minute cab ride puts you in the middle of town where you can rent a bicycle for the weekend or week.
Hilton Head, SC – KHXD
Hilton Head is home to world-class beaches, golfing, and dining. The airport is a quick 10 minute ride away from great beachfront hotels. Something for everyone makes this a great weekend trip.
Black Rock City, NV 88NV
Grab your closest friends and trek across the country to the temporary airport created for Burning Man each august. Explore the playa with some of the craziest art installations and people you will ever meet. Hope your airplane survives the Fury Road style dust damage, and don’t forget your IMSAFE checklist before you head back home.
Please send updates, corrections, and additions to Randall Eliason,