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Best day trips from Philadelphia

Discover the top day trips from Philadelphia, each offering a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, all within a short drive or train ride from the city.

September 20, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Apr 5
A view of the Philadelphia skyline, with Philadelphia City Hall in the background.

We know you're as passionate about exploring as we are. So, we've put together a list of the top day trips from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. These gems are sure to ignite your wanderlust and empower you to make the most of your time in this historic region. So, buckle up, and let's hit the road together!

New Hope, Pennsylvania

Just a stone's throw away from Philadelphia, New Hope beckons with its rich tapestry of art, culture, and pristine landscapes. As you walk through its quaint streets, you'll be greeted by a delightful array of art galleries showcasing local talent. The town offers more than just a visual feast; immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds it. A must-do is the scenic ride on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, which promises breathtaking views and a journey back in time. Whether it's the vibrant arts scene or the tranquil natural settings, New Hope offers a refreshing day trip for individuals of all ages.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Step into a world of simplicity and charm as you visit Lancaster, a gateway to the unique culture of Amish country. Here, you can experience a slower pace of life with horse-drawn buggy rides, offering a glimpse into a world untainted by modern hustle and bustle. The culinary enthusiasts will find joy in the homemade Pennsylvania Dutch treats, a true representation of the region's heritage. Lancaster stands as a testament to a time of simplicity, offering a refreshing break from the daily grind, and inviting visitors to step back in time and embrace the charm of yesteryears.

Hershey, Pennsylvania

Prepare yourself for a day of sweet delights in Hershey, affectionately known as Chocolate Town USA. The town offers a plethora of attractions, including the exhilarating rides at Hersheypark that promise fun for the whole family. But the adventure doesn't stop there; dive into the world of chocolate at Hershey's Chocolate World, where you can indulge your senses with mouthwatering treats and even create your own candy bar. Hershey offers a day trip filled with joy, excitement, and of course, a lot of chocolates, making it a perfect getaway for families and chocolate enthusiasts alike.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Immerse yourself in the poignant history of Gettysburg, a site that echoes with tales of bravery and sacrifice. As you tour the iconic Civil War battlefields, you'll gain a deeper understanding of a pivotal moment in the nation's history. The National Military Park stands as a tribute to those who fought, offering a rich educational experience through its well-preserved sites and informative exhibits. A day trip to Gettysburg promises not only a lesson in history but a chance to pay homage to the heroes of the past, making it a meaningful journey for all.

The Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

Nature enthusiasts will find their paradise in the Pocono Mountains, a region brimming with outdoor adventures. The mountains call out to adventurers with a myriad of activities including hiking trails that wind through picturesque landscapes, fishing spots rich with aquatic life, and kayaking adventures in pristine waters. The Pocono Mountains offer a day trip that brings you closer to nature, allowing you to recharge and rejuvenate amidst the tranquil settings of this stunning mountain range.

Cape May, New Jersey

Escape to the idyllic shores of Cape May for a day of relaxation and exploration. This seaside haven is renowned for its pristine beaches where you can soak up the sun and enjoy the refreshing ocean breeze. Beyond the beaches, Cape May boasts historic lighthouses offering panoramic views of the surrounding area, and charming Victorian houses that transport you to a bygone era. Whether you're indulging in a leisurely stroll through the historic streets or enjoying a tranquil moment by the sea, Cape May offers a rejuvenating retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

New York City, New York

A world of excitement awaits just a train ride away in the iconic New York City. This bustling metropolis offers an endless array of attractions, from towering landmarks like the Statue of Liberty to world-class museums housing priceless works of art. Dive into the vibrant neighborhoods, each offering a unique cultural experience and a chance to discover hidden gems in the city that never sleeps. Whether it's the dazzling lights of Times Square or the tranquil spaces of Central Park, New York City offers a day trip filled with adventure and discovery, promising something for everyone.

Baltimore, Maryland

Venture to the vibrant city of Baltimore, where a rich tapestry of history and modernity coalesce. The historic Inner Harbor serves as a focal point, offering a range of attractions including fascinating museums and delightful dining spots where you can savor the famous Maryland crab cakes. The city's arts scene is a hub of creativity, with galleries and performance venues showcasing a diverse range of talents. A day trip to Baltimore promises a vibrant and enriching experience, where history meets contemporary culture, offering a delightful blend of experiences for visitors of all ages.

Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania

Nestled in the picturesque settings of Pennsylvania, the Brandywine Valley offers a haven for art and nature enthusiasts. The region is home to the stunning Longwood Gardens, a sprawling space of lush landscapes and vibrant floral displays that promise a visual feast for visitors. Art aficionados will appreciate a visit to the Brandywine River Museum of Art, where a rich collection of art awaits to inspire and captivate. The valley, with its scenic beauty and rich cultural offerings, promises a day trip that nourishes the soul and ignites the spirit of discovery in every visitor.

The Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania

For those seeking adventure and a close encounter with nature, the Delaware Water Gap offers a perfect getaway. This natural wonder offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from hiking trails that traverse rugged landscapes to canoeing adventures in the pristine waters of the Delaware River. Bird watchers will find a rich diversity of avian life, offering a chance to connect with nature in a profound way. Whether it's setting up a camp under the starry sky or embarking on a hiking expedition, the Delaware Water Gap promises a day trip filled with adventure and the joy of discovering the great outdoors.These fantastic day trips from Philadelphia that are sure to satisfy your wanderlust. So, get out there, explore, and make some unforgettable memories. Happy travels!

*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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