5 Best Day Trips From Philadelphia

best day trips from philadelphia

While there is no shortage of things to do in Philadelphia, there are many places in the surrounding areas that are worth exploring while visiting. From the beautiful horticultural Longwood Gardens, the quirky Main Street of New Hope, or a view of a simpler life in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, learn about different cultures, sample amazing food, and escape the city life for something a little more laid back. Make it a romantic day of exploration, or take the kids for a day of family fun. With so many unique places within such close proximity, rent a car and get out of town!

1. New Hope Main Street

Posted by Visit New Hope on Saturday, 25 November 2017

About 45 minutes drive from Philadelphia, New Hope is a cute, trendy area, with Main Street filled with funky shops, bars, and restaurants. Eat a delicious Creole-style meal at Marsha Brown’s, built inside a 125-year-old stone church, grab a drink and jam to some music at Karla’s, then head to Nina’s for some fresh homemade ice cream. Peak into Love Saves the day, a quirky store specializing in vintage oddities, including everything from one-of-a-kind clothes and old board games, to creepy dolls and toys.

Take in a play at the famous Bucks County Playhouse and maybe see a future Broadway star early in their career. In addition to their numerous events throughout the year, it is worth going to New Hope during Halloween season, when there are ghost tours, and both haunted and kid-friendly trick or treat train rides on the historic Ivyland Express.

New Hope Main Street

Address: 1 S Main St, New Hope, PA 18938

Website: New Hope Main Street

2. Longwood Gardens

Two parterre gardens surround the tree, each filled with clusters of brush cherry (Syzygium paniculatum) topiaries,...

Posted by Longwood Gardens on Monday, 4 December 2017

Photo by Daniel Traub.

Posted by Longwood Gardens on Sunday, 19 November 2017

Longwood Gardens is a gorgeous botanical garden with gardens, meadows, and woodlands. Open year round, this indoor/outdoor botanical garden is host to many events, performances, and educational programs. Enjoy breathtaking flowers and plants as you inhale the fragrant scents. If you go in the spring or summer, you can enjoy a picnic on the beautiful grounds or see the incredible illuminated fountain performances.

However, the place takes on a magical feeling during Christmas time. Over 50 trees sparkle with garlands, lights, and ornaments, couples cuddle near fire pits, and carolers walk around singing songs of Christmas cheer. This is a great place to bring older children, but the walking may make little ones cranky. The gardens are open daily at 9am, though closing times vary seasonally. Tickets are 23 USD for adults and 12 USD for children ages 5-18.

Longwood Gardens

Address: 1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348

Website: Longwood Gardens

3. Peddler's Village

Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours from our Peddler's Village Family! Today, we would just like to thank you for your...

Posted by Peddler's Village on Thursday, 23 November 2017

Peddler’s Village, though also located in New Hope, is a very different experience than the previously mentioned New Hope Main Street, and deserves a day to itself. This unique historic outdoor shopping area has colonial-style buildings that make you feel like you are stepping into a simpler time. While it is home to many restaurants serving up classic American tavern food, the Cock ‘n Bull Murder Mystery Dinner Theater is worth taking the trip for. Occurring Friday and Saturdays at 7pm, reservations are needed and children under 14 are not permitted.

For those with children, be sure to check out the Giggleberry Fair, an indoor family activities place, which includes the Painted Pony Café, a carousel, and Giggleberry Mountain, a six-level obstacle course. Open at 10am everyday, closing times vary. Check their website for various ticket prices and daily specials. If you are in the area during the Christmas season, be sure to check out the annual gingerbread competition display, with more than 50 impressive gingerbread structures.

Peddler's Village

Address: Routes 202 & 263, Lahaska, PA 18931

Website: Peddler’s Village

4. Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Pennsylvania Dutch Country
Source: Photo by Flickr user Nicholas A. Tonelli used under CC BY 2.0

Lancaster County, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch Country, is a place untouched by many modern conveniences because of the beliefs of its citizens. Home to Amish, Mennonites, and Brethren, many people find the lives of “Plain People”, interesting due to their isolation from many technologies, including television, telephones, and automobiles. While most are farmers, they still use horses over tractors to maintain their farms.

Learn more about their fascinating lifestyle by immersing yourself in Pennsylvania Amish culture. Tour the farmlands, stuff yourself with local specialties such as shoofly pies, whoopie pies, soft pretzels, and cider doughnuts, and take a horse and buggy ride. This is a great place for children.

Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Address: Lancaster County, PA

Website: Pennsylvania Dutch Country

5. Atlantic City

Atlantic City
Source: Pixabay

Atlantic City, depicted in Boardwalk Empire, is quite different than the Prohibition-era show you may have seen it in. The east coast version of Las Vegas, Atlantic City even has their own slogan: Do AC. Which is worth doing if you are in the Philadelphia area. Whether dancing, gambling, concerts, or family fun is your goal, Atlantic City has it all. Walk from one casino to another, being mesmerized by the lights, sounds, and the themed décor. Eat at one of the many famous restaurants, and enjoy complimentary drinks while you gamble at the slot machines. Or take the kids on a walk on the boardwalk, where there is shopping, carnival rides, and Jersey Shore specialties like handmaid fudge and salt water taffy.

Make a night of it and check out one of the many clubs in the casinos, where you can dance the night away while sipping on a fun, fruity cocktail. Atlantic City is also home to many venues, including the House of Blues and Boardwalk Hall, where many big name musicians and entertainers take the stage.

Atlantic City

Address: 3109 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Website: Atlantic City

Make a day of it

While you can easily spend a week in Philadelphia and not run out of things to do, this list of day trips is perfect for people who want to get out of the city and explore surrounding areas. From adult entertainment in Atlantic City, to the Giggleberry Fair geared just for kids, there is something for everyone on this list!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Perri Lerner is a freelance writer based in Portland, Or. In her free time she loves to run, do yoga, travel, and eat amazing vegan food.

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