The best thing about day trips – you don’t need to plan it too heavily plus no need to book accommodations. If you are in Philadelphia, you have it even easier. From historical sites to modern attractions, food markets, and parks; there is no dearth of choices in and around the city. Its proximity to states such as New York, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware also make Philly an excellent city to live and visit. There are numerous options for day trips near Philadelphia, which you can explore on any given weekend or even as spontaneous trips. You can consider the following options.
Lancaster, Lancaster County
One of the best day trips near Philadelphia offers sightseeing combined with a distinct cultural experience. Head to Lancaster in southern Pennsylvania to witness first-hand the ways of the Amish Community (Pennsylvania Dutch). You will know you have arrived at your destination when you start seeing more horse-drawn carriages as opposed to automobiles. The place is also dotted with farms. The Amish people do not use electricity or modern amenities. They also have a very distinct and simple way of dressing up every day.
On this day trip from Philly, explore the Lancaster Central Market. This market is the oldest (continuously-operated) farmers’ market in the US. You can buy fresh goodies such as baked items, jams, pretzels etc. here. You can also visit Hamilton Watch Complex, Fulton Opera House, and Lancaster Arts Hotel on this fantastic day trip from Philadelphia.
Tip: Sample a meal at Shady Maple Smorgasbord for an authentic Amish County experience.
Approximate distance from Philly: 64 miles; approx. travel time: 1.5 hrs.
Poconos, Northeastern Pennsylvania
Drive to the Poconos Mountains for a wonderful day trip near Philadelphia. Spend some time at the Delaware Water Gap, which is great for swimming or kayaking from the surrounding beaches. The Poconos is a great place to visit in the fall for hikes. Inside the state parks (the area where it is spread over), you can ride bikes and, in the winters, try skiing as well. There are several attractions in the area for adventures.
Sit by the famous Bushkill Falls and relax with the sound of gushing water. Go to the farms and pick berries or spend time sampling fresh produce. There is plenty to do here in the beautiful Poconos.
Tip: Visit the Pocono Indian Museum when you are in the area or the lakes in the area such as Poconos, Lake Henry, Penn Lake etc.
Approximate distance from Philly: 100 miles; approx. travel time: 2 hrs.
Also Read: Travel Deals From Philadelphia to India
Winterthur Estate, Delaware
Check this 175-room mansion-turned-museum for one of the best day trips near Philadelphia. It was once the house of the famous American horticulturist Henry Francis du Pont. He was also a collector of art. The mansion, which was transformed into a museum in 1951, now houses the family’s decorative art collection. Visit it with family or friends and appreciate the paintings, metalwork, furniture, glassware, ceramics, and textile arts from different places.
The museum has a peripheral garden – 1000 acres of plants, forests, meadows, and streams. After the museum tour is over, you can spend some nice time amidst this beautifully-decorated green landscape.
Tip: Winterthur hosts several events and classes throughout the year. So, check its website for the program schedule before your trip.
Approximate distance from Philly: 34 miles; approx. travel time: 42 min.
Hershey, Derry Township
How about a day trip near Philadelphia to ‘the Sweetest Place on Earth’? Drive to Hershey, the chocolate city near Philly for an exciting excursion (with or without kids). The place is named after Milton Hershey, the founder of Hershey Chocolates. Drive around to check chocolate-shaped street lights and other interesting things. The places are marked as Cocoa Avenue or Chocolate Avenue.
You can go for rides in the Hersheypark. The amusement park here has many exciting rides. Upon entering the park, the first attraction you will see is the Hershey’s Chocolatetown. Go there to sample everything that is chocolate-flavored.
Also, visit the Chocolate World for a delicious ‘chocolatey’ tour.
Tip: Create your own chocolate or candy bar during the tour. You can personalize it in many ways.
Approximate distance from Philly: 96 miles; approx. travel time: 1 hr.
Cape May, New Jersey
Drive down to New Jersey to spend some fantastic time in the coastal town of Cape May. In the fall, you can bike around the golden-sand shores and admire the various old structures in town made in the Victorian architecture style. Climb some 200 steps to see the gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean from the Cape May Lighthouse.
Tip: You can drive down to Atlantic City nearby before you head to Philly.
Approximate distance from Philly: 94 miles; approx. travel time: 1.45 hr.
If you are visiting from India, you can catch flights from Philadelphia to India. You can also take flights to India from nearby airports in NY or Washington DC.
You can book your tickets easily from the Indian Eagle website. Look for cheap flights or the best deals on India-US flights.
So, are you all set for your day trips near Philadelphia?