25 fun day trips from Philadelphia


Pop quiz — where can you visit a Revolutionary War battlefield, taste local wines, wander through a concrete castle, and play arcade games by the sea? Outside Philly! Not only is one of the nation’s oldest cities a historical gem, but it’s also a central jumping-off point to the most interesting sites in the country.

There are many places to visit near Philadelphia that you might not know about. Our road warriors have explored the region in and out and compiled a list of ideas for your next city escape. Gather your friends or family, rent a van, and hit up one of these unforgettable day trips from Philadelphia!

1. Linvilla Orchards

Winter, summer, spring, or fall, there will be something unique and unforgettable to do at Linvilla Orchards. It’s one of Delaware County’s last working farms and hosts a plethora of activities that everyone of any age is bound to enjoy.

Upon arrival, dive into fresh fruit and vegetable picking, fishing, mini-golf, and interacting with farm animals. For the little ones, there are opportunities for face painting as well as train or pony rides. 

The expansive 300-acre farm hosts many seasonal events like the Blueberry Festival, Apple Festival, Antique Car Show, and the ever-popular Food Truck Frenzy.

Location: 137 West Knowlton Road, Media, PA

Drive time from Philly: 30 minutes

Best for: Families

Source: Linvilla.com

2. Longwood Gardens

A day in Longwood Gardens is guaranteed to revive the senses and inspire creativity, which is why it’s one of the most popular things to do outside Philadelphia. Wander through lush, bountiful gardens designed to bring each of the four seasons to life. Wonder at the engineering marvels of its artfully manicured Main Fountain District and walk alongside the rolling hills and waterline in the Lakes District. 

More than plants and flowers, Longwood Gardens plays host to live shows and art classes, so check the site’s calendar for any upcoming events. Entry tickets sell out quickly and it’s recommendable to reserve your spots in advance. If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day activity in Philadelphia, this is a great option!

Location: 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA

Drive time from Philly: 55 minutes

Best for: Couples, families

Source: Longwood Gardens

3. Bucks County Playhouse

Cozy, intimate, and entertaining, this historic theater built in 1790 is located on the banks of the Delaware River. If you like theater, you’ll love the Playhouse’s lineup of musical revivals, dramas, and comedy shows. Not to mention, a variety of entertainment created just for kids!

Pair your visit to the Playhouse with a meal at the Playhouse Deck, where you can sip on a specialty cocktail, dine on Mediterranean dishes, and enjoy a beautiful view of the river. 

Location: 70 S Main Street, New Hope, PA

Drive time from Philly: One hour

Best for: Groups of friends, couples, families

Source: PhillyBurbs.com

4. Delaware Canal State Park

Every day of the year, from sunrise to sunset, the Delaware Canal State Park is open for adventure. Visitors in search of fresh air and physical activity can spend hours hiking, biking, boating, and exploring the nearly 60-mile towpath that cuts through farms and along the riverbank. It’s an excellent option for parents researching family day trips from Philadelphia.

For something really unique, take a quick trip to Ringing Rocks Park whose rock formations ring like a bell when hit with a hammer.

Location: 11 Lodi Hill Rd, Upper Black Eddy, PA

Drive time from Philly: One hour and 20 minutes

Best for: Nature enthusiasts, active travelers

Source: Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor

5. Doylestown

Art and architecture buffs will have a blast walking through Fonthill Castle and Mercer Museum, designed by the eccentric Henry Chapman Mercer, whose collection of Americana artifacts and random interior decor is as eclectic as his visions. Take a spin through the many varied works found inside the James A. Michener Art Museum before heading to Peace Valley Farm, where fields of aromatic lavender are a feast for both the nose and the eyes!

Shopping and dining at Main Street Marketplace in downtown Doylestown is a delightful way to end the day.

Location: 22 South Main Street, Doylestown, PA

Drive time from Philly: One hour

Best for: Art lovers, architecture buffs, groups of friends

6. Brandywine Battlefield Park

If you’re a fan of the American Revolution, you can’t miss a visit to the site of the largest single-day battle of the war. Brandywine Battlefield Park is a goldmine of U.S. history and, through guided tours, visitors can explore the battlefield, learn about war tactics, and pop into educational programs designed for both children and adults. 

On weekends, the house that served as George Washington’s headquarters before the battle is open to the public. On the list of day trips from Philly for history buffs, this ranks one of the highest!

Location: 1491 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA

Drive time from Philly: 40 minutes

Best for: History lovers

Source: Visitphilly.com

7. Asbury Park

Music fans — this one’s for you! The famous birthplace of Bruce Springsteen is also known for its lively boardwalk showcasing art, arcades, and live music performances. Summer is a great time to visit the beaches and water parks, and concerts are on the calendar all year long.

Location: 1300 Ocean Ave North, Asbury Park, NJ

Drive time from Philly: One hour and 20 minutes

Best for: Families, groups of friends who love music

8. Peddler’s Village

A small town with colonial charm and modern amenities, Peddler’s Village is a dreamy afternoon escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are more than 70 independently owned shops and bistros perched along winding brick pathways and flourishing garden plots. 

If you’re planning to visit Philadelphia for a President’s Day weekend getaway, Peddler’s Village is an excellent addition to your historical tour.

Location: Routes 202 & 263, Lahaska, Bucks County, PA

Drive time from Philly: 55 minutes

Best for: Families

Source: Visitbuckscounty.com

9. New Hope

Looking for creative elegance along the East Coast? The quaint riverside town of New Hope has long been a haven for artists, writers, and composers. Today, visitors can peruse art galleries, antique shops, and boutique theaters while enjoying the lovely scenery of the Delaware River.

Nearby is Washington Crossing Historic Park, where President George Washington famously crossed the river on Christmas Day, turning the tide of the Revolutionary War. The park offers activities and lectures to bring the pivotal event to life.

Location: South Main Street. New Hope, Pennsylvania 

Drive time from Philly: 45 minutes

Best for: History buffs, art lovers, shopping enthusiasts

10. Atlantic City

Whether you want boardwalk fries or a whiskey at the blackjack table, a professional surf lesson, or a night out at a club, Atlantic City’s got it. America’s Favorite Playground offers something for all ages and all groups of travelers. 

Families will enjoy rides at Steel Pier and days on the beach. Adults can try a hand at the poker table before dancing the night away with a world-famous DJ. Nature lovers can take a quick drive to the vast Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, just ten miles away and the site of hundreds of bird species.

Location: Atlantic City, NJ

Drive time from Philly: One hour and five minutes

Best for: Families, groups of friends, bird watchers

11. Cape May

Step back into the golden Victorian era with a day trip to Cape May. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride alongside gingerbread-style mansions, climb 199 steps to the top of Cape May Lighthouse, and go for a stroll along the serene shoreline. 

This picturesque seaside town is magical all times of year and is an ideal destination for those looking for a weekend getaway from D.C. or Philly. Cape May is an excellent day trip from Philly, but can also work well as an overnight getaway.

Location: 513 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ

Drive time from Philly: One hour and 30 minutes

Best for: Families, couples, beach bums

Source: SouthernMansion.com

12. Wissahickon Valley Park

Immerse yourselves in a full day of outdoor adventure in the 50 miles of trails making up the natural gorge in Wissahickon Valley. Ranging from easy to rugged, the pathways cut through meadows and forests and are ideal to explore by bike, on foot, or even on horseback. Keep your eyes peeled for a multitude of owls, woodpeckers, eagles, and herons that call this region home.

Location: 120 West Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

Drive time from Philly: 25 minutes

Best for: Outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, bird watchers

Source: Phila.gov

13. Crystal Cave

Mini-golf, nature trails, crystals, and…bats? You heard correctly! Crystal Cave in Kutztown in a glittering underworld of stalagmites and stalactites waiting to be explored. And, of course, a sizable resident bat community. 

Discover the caverns with a guided tour before meandering through the miniature golf course and walking paths located at ground level. Take a quick and easy ride to downtown Kutztown for a meal and some shopping.

Location: 963 Crystal Cave Road, Kutztown, PA

Drive time from Philly: One hour and 20 minutes

Best for: Families, science aficionados

14. Wolf Sanctuary of PA

It has been 40 years since the Darlington family opened its heart and home to gray wolf rescues. There are more than 80 acres of serene wooded land for the animals to roam and guided tours to introduce you to not only the wolves but their daily habits and lifestyle. 

Learn about wolf biology and conservation efforts, and how the sanctuary works to dismantle the unfortunate myths that have put survival of the great species in danger.

Location: 465 Speedwell Forge Road, Lititz, PA 

Drive time from Philly: One hour and 25 minutes

Best for: Animal lovers, families

Source: Wolfsanctuarypa.org

15. Princeton

One of the most prestigious universities in the world is also one of the country’s most historic. Princeton University played a significant role in America’s past, serving briefly as the nation’s capital in 1783. Architectural wonders like Firestone Library, Nassau Hall, and Princeton University Art Museum’s extensive collection of artifacts are on its romantic campus and open to the public. 

Don’t skip a stroll down Nassau Street, home to Princeton’s top restaurants, cafes, shopping, and entertainment venues. 

Location: Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ

Drive time from Philly: One hour

Best for: Families, history enthusiasts, architecture aficionados 

16. Valley Forge National Historical Park 

A fascinating find for American history lovers, Valley Forge served as the Continental Army’s encampment site during one winter of the Revolutionary War. It now serves as an open-air museum of monuments, exhibits, and artifacts memorializing the nation’s fight for independence. 

Aside from sightseeing, visitors can hike, bike, paddle, kayak, or participate in educational programs with onsite rangers.

Location: North Outer Line Drive, Valley Forge National Historical Park, PA

Drive time from Philly: 35 minutes

Best for: History buffs, active travelers

Source: VisitPhilly.com

17. Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

For a family-friendly summer activity, why not plan a day trip to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom? From high-intensity roller coasters to bobbing peacefully down the lazy river, a visit to one of Pennsylvania’s most well-known theme parks is one of the best things to do outside Philadelphia. There are rides for all ages and adventure levels, as well as live shows and seasonal events.

Location: 3830 Dorney Park Road, Allentown, PA

Drive time from Philly: One hour and 15 minutes

Best for: Families

18. Hersheypark

Rides + live music + chocolate. What more could you want out of a day’s escape from the city? Add to that a huge water park, a bustling boardwalk, and an on-property zoo and you’ve got the ideal outdoor family outing. Hersheypark is a two-hour drive that passes through Pennsylvania’s Dutch countryside and offers plenty of roadside attractions if you want to make a mini-road trip out of it.  

Location: 100 W. Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, PA

Drive time from Philly: Two hours

Best for: Families

Source: ChocolateWorld.com

19. Bucks County Wine Trail 

Philadelphia is known for a lot of things — history, sports, cheese steaks — but what many don’t know is that there is a flourishing wine scene just a short drive north of the city. The Bucks County Wine Trail is made up of eight family-owned wineries, each with its own taste and style. 

Enjoy seasonal festivals in the vineyards, like Summer Sip & Savor, grape stomping, and pumpkin wine tasting in the fall. Bring as many of your wine-loving friends as you want; Greenvans passenger vans are spacious and available at our rental offices in Philadelphia, and designated drivers can be hired through apps like Driver.

Location: Buckingham Valley Vineyards & Winery, Buckingham, PA

Drive time from Philly: One hour

Best for: Groups of friends, wine enthusiasts

Source: VisitPA.com

20. Sesame Place

One of the most magical attractions in the great state of Pennsylvania is Sesame Place, where family-friendly rides, interactive experiences, and entertainment abound. Young children will be captivated by meetings with favorite characters like Elmo and Big Bird, and parents won’t have trouble finding special events to enjoy, like Christmas shows, holiday celebrations, and fireworks displays. 

Sesame Place is one of the most popular day trips from Philadelphia, so make your reservations in advance!

Location: 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, PA 

Drive time from Philly: Thirty-five minutes

Best for: Families

21. Amish Country

Lancaster County, also known as Amish Country, is a cultural immersion so fascinating you’ll feel for a moment that you’ve gone back in time. Roll past horse-and-buggies taking residents to and from their working farms, stop at roadside stands selling local dairy and fresh produce, and pop into a traditional schoolhouse on a guided tour. 

Don’t miss a quick visit to downtown Lancaster, where you can contrast the Amish lifestyle with modernity with a walk through the lively Lancaster Market. Check out some art galleries before dinner in a gourmet restaurant on Penn Square.

Location: Penn Square, Lancaster, PA

Drive time from Philly: One hour and 45 minutes

Best for: Families, history lovers, culture enthusiasts

22. Wilmington 

A tiny, often-overlooked city, Wilmington’s got all the perks of an urban hub with a noticeable small-town atmosphere. There are museums, shops, historical sites, and ethnic events like the famous Italian Festival every June. 

Check out DuPont Environmental Education Center and Hagley Museum And Library before fueling up at one of the downtown restaurants upscaling Wilmington’s vibrant dining scene.

Location: Wilmington, DE

Drive time from Philly: 45 minutes

Best for: Groups of friends, couples

23. Wildwood Boardwalk

This 38-block, nationally-famous boardwalk is brimming with everything one might expect from a seaside resort town — amusement piers, water parks, arcade games, funnel cake, and so much more. If a well-rounded family day trip from Philadelphia is what you’re after, look no further!

Soak in the morning sun on its beaches before a long day of pure fun and entertainment amid the pulsing vibe and neon lights of Wildwood’s crowned jewel.

Location: 3500 Boardwalk Avenue, Wildwood, NJ 

Drive time from Philly: One hour and 30 minutes

Best for: Families, groups of friends

Source: WildwoodsNJ.Com

24. Jim Thorpe

Nestled among the Poconos Mountains is the picturesque Lehigh Gorge, home to the colonial town of Jim Thorpe. The location boasts a perfect blend of outdoor recreation, historical charm, and cultural experiences like the Old Jail Museum and a scenic railroad ride. 

Whether you want to go whitewater rafting on the Lehigh River or shopping on historical Stone Row, you’ll have a laundry list of available activities on a getaway to this lovely mountain village. 

Looking for more to do while you’re in the area? Here are 20 things to do in the Poconos.

Location: Jim Thorpe, PA 

Drive time from Philly: One hour and 45 minutes

Best for: Families, outdoor enthusiasts

Source: TravelandLeisure.com

25. Tannersville

Outside Philly are tons of opportunities for outdoor recreation, though few towns offer more to do in Mother Nature than Tannersville. Home to Devils Path, one of the most challenging hikes on the East Coast, and the Tannersville-Hathaway trail system made for mountain bikers, visitors are guaranteed an action-packed getaway upon arrival. 

Aside from trails, the town is surrounded by waterfalls, waterparks, and world-renowned Camelback Mountain, a paradise for skiers and snowboarders.

Planning a snowy escape? Rent a van from Philly, bring your own skis, and head out for the ultimate winter road trip!

Location: Tannersville, PA

Drive time from Philly: Two hours and 15 minutes

Best for: Families, outdoor sports enthusiasts

Common questions about day trips from Philly

Have questions? We have answers. When it comes to road trips, it’s best to be prepared. The first step is knowing where you want to go. Below are popular cities within a two or three-hour drive from Philadelphia. 

What cities are a two-hour drive to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?

Cities that are a two-hour drive to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are Baltimore, Maryland, and New York, New York. Since both these cities boast an extensive variety of attractions and sights to see, it’s not recommended to take day trips. An overnight or weekend trip to Baltimore or New York is a more realistic time frame. 

What cities are three hours from Philadelphia?

Cities that are three hours from Philadelphia include Washington, DC and Ocean City, Maryland. Because of the endless things to do and see, a day trip from Philadelphia to either of these cities isn’t encouraged. We suggest a long weekend getaway to give you ample time to enjoy their vibrant atmospheres.

No matter where you go, go with Greenvans

There are a few essentials to a successful mini-road trip — good people, great plans, and impeccable transportation. That means your vehicle should be comfortable, spacious, and, above all, well-maintenanced. 

We want your getaway to be easy, which is why we guarantee plenty of legroom, packing space, and modern technology in our passenger vans. Expect a smooth ride and the peace of mind that comes with around-the-clock emergency service. A secure vehicle means you can pay attention to what really matters — a memorable day trip from Philadelphia with the people you love the most. 

Discover your ideal Philadelphia day trip with Greenvans. Get a quote today!


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