Feb
07

Best Day Trips from Philadelphia, USA

How fun would it be if you have enough places to go around every weekend. Philadelphia is one such place from where you have innumerable options to explore that too as day trips.

With its proximity to NY, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, it’s a jackpot.

So now you don’t have to fret over not doing hotel bookings or planning well ahead of time. Just grab your cup of coffee and head out.

Most of these day trips can be easily turned into weekend trips. So there are some recommendations for hotels as well for the benefit.

Complete guide by a local to best day trips from Philadelphia to neighboring states of New jersey, Maryland, Delaware and of course in Pennsylvania you don't want to miss. From beaches to gardens, from mansions to museums. Family friendly day trips from Philadelphia. weekend trips from Philadelphia | day trips in New Jersey | Beach trips from Philadelphia | beaches around philadelphia . #philadelphia #daytripsfromphiladelphia #daytripsnearphiladelphia #daytripsaroundphiladelphia #usadaytrips #pennsylvaniadaytrips
Complete guide by a local to best day trips from Philadelphia to neighboring states of New jersey, Maryland, Delaware and of course in Pennsylvania you don't want to miss. From beaches to gardens, from mansions to museums. Family friendly day trips from Philadelphia. weekend trips from Philadelphia | day trips in New Jersey . #philadelphia #daytripsfromphiladelphia #daytripsnearphiladelphia

Day Trips in PA (Pennsylvania)

Day Trips to Maryland

Day Trips in New Jersey

Day Trips to Delaware

Day Trips in PA (Pennsylvania)

1. Herr’s Chips Factory

Oh how much I loved taking the factory tour of Herr’s. Guess more than my kids I looked for any opportunity to visit Herr’s.

Herr’s is a popular brand of potato chips and snacks based out of Nottingham, PA. Started as a small business done door to door, it is a major player now.

The 1- 1 ½ hour tour winds through the journey from getting the potatoes to cooking to packing them and even serving you warm fresh chips straight out of the fryer.

Never have I tasted such delicious chips. Don’t hesitate to ask for a second serving. 😉

The tour ends on a sweet salty note with free samples of chips for all. There is also a shop inside to buy souvenirs and to fill your bag with a variety of snacks.

Note: Cameras and Mobile phones are not permitted on the tour.

Pro Tip: If you plan to visit during the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New year, the tours happen until late evening and the premises are beautifully decorated with Christmas lights. Don’t miss it.

Herrs chips factory christmas lights

Address: 271 Old Baltimore Pike, Nottingham, PA 19362, USA

Timings: Mon- Thu: Every hour from 9- 3 pm. (Thursday might not have production running, better to check before booking)

Tickets: Adults – $4 and children (4-17 years) – $3. Do book them here in advance or by calling.

Time to reach: 1 hour

Time to spend: an hour to 1 ½ hr.

2. Longwood Gardens

Calling it a paradise in PA won’t be an exaggeration.

It is a beautiful botanical garden spread over 1000 acres consisting of fountains, flowers, exotic plants, lakes, treehouses, meadows and so much more to nourish your eyes and soul.

The garden map helps to explore and unravel the gems.

Philadelphia Longwood Gardens Italian fountain
Longwood gardens flower decorations

The conservatory is one of the world’s greatest greenhouse with a wide variety of flowers, plants, exquisite flower decorations, extensive bonsai display, rose house, orchid display, cactus house, fruit house with plants of nectarines, pineapple, grapes, fig and many more.

As you walk out of the conservatory you can view a massive fountain garden.

It is engineering showmanship that can be experienced during the musical fountain show and next level spectacle during the illuminated sound show at night.

Swaying on the tunes and infinite colors, it is mesmerizing to watch this 30-minute show.

Philadelphia Longwood gardens light show

Talking about fountains, the Italian water garden is also a pleasure to view. Walking across the garden, inhaling the enticing aroma, green fresh trees, watching the fishes in the pond, hearing the birds chirping is just a perfect day to have.

Address: 1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348, USA

Timings: 9 a.m – 5 p.m. (varies according to season and day, gets extended till 10 p.m. in summers on weekends). Refer to the Longwood gardens website for updated hours.

Tickets: Adults – $25, Youth (5-18 years) – $13.
If you plan to visit multiple times a year, then the Annual membership is totally worth.

Time to reach: 45 mins- 1 hour

Time to spend: 3-4 hours

3. Lancaster- Amish Village and Kitchen Kettle.

If you drive through the PA countryside and see lush green farms, horse carriages, silos then you know you are in Lancaster, the Amish land.

The Amish community is the traditional Christians with German origins. They lead a very simple life following strict rules for dressing up and things to use.

To date, they do not use electricity or ride cars. Instead, they ride horse buggies. Can you believe it?
They are a very closely-knit community.

Phiadelphia Lancaster Amish village

The best way to put into their shoes and experience their lifestyle is to visit The Amish Village, the authentic replica.

It includes a school, barn, shops and even a market, where you can shop for original Amish foods and products.

There are many tours available that take you through the Amish countryside that can be booked from the following:

Highly recommend: If you are interested in the authentic Amish shopping experience of homemade jams, jellies, salsas or Amish quilts then head over to kitchen Kettle Village. We were awestruck at seeing the enormous variety of jams, salsas, etc. It’s an experience in itself going on a tasting tour.

Read our blog post Kitchen Kettle Village in Lancaster, PA – Glimpse into the Amish Traditions to plan your visit.

Kitchen Kettle Village in Lancaster, PA

Are the kids feeling bored? Are they missing some fun?
Then you gotta visit the Strasburg Rail Road for a historic train ride that still runs on a steam engine.
Note: There are special Holiday trains and the kids favorite Thomas train that run seasonally. Check out the schedule at the website.
Tickets: range from $8 – $21 depending upon the coach.

Address: Kitchen Kettle Village 3529 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, PA 17534, USA
Amish Village –  199 Hartman Bridge Rd, Ronks, PA 17572, USA
Strasburg Rail Road – 301 Gap Road, Ronks, PA 17572

Tickets: Amish village tour – $10 Adults

Time to reach: 1 – 1 1/2 hour

Time to spend: Half – full day

4. Gettysburg

For history buffs, Gettysburg National Military Park is a must-visit.

It is the site of a turning point in the Civil War where the battle was held and that era can still be experienced from the characters that are dressed up like old times.

There are tours of the battlefield and other historic sites.

Behind the fame of the battlefield, National Military Cemetery gets ignored, where Lincoln gave the famous Gettysburg address.  
If you are interested in some spooky fun, there are ghost tours as well.

Book any of the following tours:

Time to reach : 2 ½ – 3 hrs

Time to spend: 3-4 hours

5. Poconos

It is the mountainous area that one desires to cater to varied interests – resorts, lakes, waterfalls, winter sports, adventure and so much more.

It is famous for its Bushkill falls. Calling it the Niagara of PA is a little exaggeration though.

Philadelphia Bushkill falls poconos


For adventure lovers, there are many options like Car Racing or skiing in winters. A lot of farms have a wide variety of berries that can be picked or wild blueberry plants where you can go picking.

Pro Tip: If traveling with kids, another great option to stay is Great Wolf lodge or Kalahari with its indoor water park.

This is a fun place to be with or without kids in any season. It was so tough to make our kids leave Great Wolf Lodge.

Read the reviews of Great Wolf Lodge at Tripadvisor
Book a wonderful stay at Great Wolf Lodge

Read the reviews of Kalahari Resorts at Tripadvisor

Philadelphia Poconos car race

Are you an antique lover?

There are many shops where you can find some interesting things if you have an eye for it.

Another interesting activity is the No. 9 Coal mine and museum tour where you can experience the hardships the miners used to face. The train takes 1600 feet inside the mountain tunnel to the mine.

Philadelphia coal mine Poconos

Address:
Bushkill falls 138 Bushkill Falls Trail, Bushkill, PA 18324, USA
Pocono Raceway 1234 Long Pond Rd, Long Pond, PA 18334, USA

Time to reach: varies according to the attraction. 2 – 2 ½ hr approx.

Time to spend: 1 -2 days

6. Hershey

Hershey, ‘The Sweetest place on Earth‘ cannot be missed if in PA, especially with kids. The chocolaty city welcomes you with candies and chocolates (Look at the street lights, even they are in shape of kisses chocolate). Named after Milton Hershey, the creator of Hershey Chocolates, one of the world’s largest chocolate company.
The city has so much to do from chocolates to theme parks to beautiful gardens.

Hershey chocolate World entrance PA
Hershey chocolate world candy

If you are a chocolate lover or not even a lover, you must visit the Hershey’s Chocolate World. Ride on for the free Chocolate tour that takes you on a sweet musical journey of chocolate making right from collecting cocoa beans, processing them and mixing with milk and sugar and finally packaging your treat. The sweet and nutty aroma wafting throughout is so inviting that it’s hard to resist a sweet treat.

Indulge in many other activities like Creating your own Candy bar with your personalized packing, watch a chocolaty movie or go for chocolate tasting. And yes don’t forget to shop at the biggest Hershey candy store.

Highly recommend: Creating your own candy bar. But personally didn’t find the 4D movie worth.

Ticket: Entry to the Chocolate World is free, but many activities are ticketed.

Hershey world chocolate bar making
HersheyPark rollercoaster Pennsylvania

After the sweet treat head over to the Hershey Park for adventurous rides and thrill including a waterpark. There are advance tickets and season passes available to save money.

Time to reach: 1.5 hrs – 2 hrs.

Time to spend: half- full day

7. Crayola Experience

“As the sun colors the flowers, so does art color life” ~ John Lubbock

A one of a kind experience to delve into to get creative with colors. So let’s get coloring.

Crayola Experience Pennsylvania

Learn how the crayons are made, make your creations with the play dough, melt and mold the wax into interesting things like cars, rings. The activity room is full of multiple activities from free drawing to making your own puzzles.

Highly recommend: The Drip Art was an interesting activity to do.

Time to spend: Full Day

Time to reach: 1.5 hours

Tickets: Save on Regular price – $22.99 by booking online at $19.99. Annual Passes also available.
Pro Tip: Look out for 50% off deals that are available. The tickets can be used in future dates as well.

Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (weekdays), 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (weekends)

Address: 30 Centre Square, Easton, PA.

8. Dutch Wonderland

There is no dearth of fun activities for kids around Philadelphia. And for families who want to have complete fun, Dutch Wonderland is the place to be in summer. This theme park specially caters to young kids with over 35 rides and shows to keep you entertained.

Dutch Wonderland roller coaster

So this summer, plan an exciting day at Dutch Wonderland. There are rides for small kids, roller coasters and family rides as well. Summer fun is incomplete without the splash in water. So head over to the water park for some fun slides and water playground where everyone has a blast.

If you feel tired or want to have an areal view of the park, then there are the sky ride trolleys or the monorail to take you from one end to other.

Highly recommend: Besides the rides, do watch the show that had some extraordinary water dives.

Dutch Wonderland show

Tickets: One day ticket -$38.99, 2 day flex ticket -$64. Season passes are also available.
Pro-Tip: The 2 day Flex ticket is a great option if you plan to visit the park more than once in a season. We loved it.
Pro-Tip: If you buy the 1 Day ticket, you can visit the park 3 hours prior to closure on the day before of visiting.

Hours: 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Jun – Aug), 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (May, Sep-Oct)

Address: 2249 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, PA 17602

Time to spend: Full Day

Time to reach: 1.5 hours

Day trip to Maryland

1. Annapolis

The capital of Maryland is a beautiful quaint little city that you fall in love with instantly. Located by the bay it is a great place to have a day out.

It is famous for the US Naval academy. It is a National historic place home to many historic buildings and monuments.

Nicknamed as the Midshipmen, there are tours available of the yard (called by the insiders) where you get a glimpse into the lives of the hard-working men that protect the country.

The interesting stories, the photographs of grit, the grandeur of the memorial hall, a beautiful chapel, keeps you intrigued all the time.

Annapolis US Naval Academy

US Naval Academy Tours – The guided walking tours begin (every hour for most of the days) from the Visitor Center from 10 am – 3 p.m. and walk you around the campus sharing interesting details.

The fees for the 1 ½ hour tour is under $15. A Valid Govt issued photo ID and passport for non-US citizens is required.

Annapolis US Naval Academy

Annapolis is one of the oldest towns, some 300 years old and the 18th-century charm can be felt while walking across the downtown. The brick-clad buildings, now home to cafes and shops sing the old sagas.

Time to reach: 2 hours

Time to spend: Half – Full Day

2. Ocean City

The beach city of Maryland is very popular among families and travelers, especially during summertime. Open your beach mats, play beach volleyball or swim in the ocean, you will love it here.

Time to reach: 2 1/2 hrs

Time to spend: Half – full day

If you plan to stay at Ocean City, then we highly recommend these hotels:

1. Hilton Suites Ocean City Oceanfront. The best part is that it’s by the ocean and you have a full kitchen in your room. Just enjoy and relax.

Read the reviews of Hilton Suites at Tripadvisor.
Book the hotel

2. Residence Inn by Marriott Ocean City – Being on the ocean is a total advantage that it holds.

Read the reviews and book at Tripadvisor
Book the hotel at Booking.com

3. Hyatt Place Ocean City – With oceanfront property and rooms with balconies facing the ocean makes it ideal. Complimentary breakfast is inc

Read the reviews and book at Tripadvisor
Book the hotel at Booking.com

3. Baltimore

The old port city of Maryland has so much history associated with it. Baltimore also holds the distinction of being the birthplace of the American National Anthem “The star-spangled banner”.

Fort McHenry National Monument is the place where the Battle of Baltimore was fought in 1812 and Francis Scott Key penned the anthem.

Baltimore Inner Harbor

A favorite among kids is the National Aquarium, one of the top aquariums in the US with more than 20,000 species of aquatic animals.

The heart of the downtown is the Inner Harbor, the waterfront that’s most popular among the tourists and locals.

Another notable place to visit is the American Visionary Art Museum. It is a very interesting place with unusual and innovative work of artists.

Time to reach: 1 1/2 – 2 hours

Time to spend: Full Day

4. Chesapeake Bay

The largest estuary in US forms covers the 200-mile long distance in the states of Maryland and Virginia.

While traveling to Annapolis, don’t miss the 4.9 miles long Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Visiting the Sandy Point State Park would give you spectacular views of the bridge.

Spend some time playing on the sandy beach of the bay.

Cheesapeake bay Sandy Point State Park

Time to reach: 2 hours

Time to spend: Half – Full Day

Day Trips in New Jersey

With so many options shared for day trips, how can we not include any beaches? With the advent of summer, tourists start to flock the many beaches on the East coast.

While each has its own charm, but there are a few worth doing day trips to.

1. Cape May

It is the beach at the southernmost tip of New Jersey’s coastline. Probably saving the best for the last 😊

It is one of the beautiful beaches in NJ, listed in America’s top 10. To top it all, the Cape May lighthouse gives some breathtaking views of the ocean.

cape may beach

Parking – Metered parking is available on the streets. The best would be to visit the Cape May Point State Park with a free parking lot.

Time to reach: 1 1/2 hours

Time to spend: Half – Full day

2. Wildwood

It is one of the top choices for family-friendly beaches in NJ. The long beautiful boardwalk is bustling with cafes, souvenir shops, entertainment zones, water parks, rides, and attractions.

What more can you ask for?? Win-win for all ages.

Parking – There are metered street parking and a lot of parking lots, but they tend to get pretty full during the peak summer season.

Time to reach: 1 1/2 hours

Time to spend: Full Day

3. Atlantic City and Ocean City

It won’t be wrong to call Atlantic city as the LV of East coast. Glitzy skyscraper hotels, shimmering boardwalk, and lovely beaches make it a sought-after destination.

Head over to a casino to try your luck.

July 4th fireworks are also a sight to watch.

Atlantic City Beach

Ocean City, about 1/2 hr away is a perfect beach destination for families who want to escape the glitz and glamour of Atlantic City. Don’t get confused with the Ocean City in Maryland.

Time to reach: 1 hour

Time to spend: 1-2 days

4. Liberty State Park

What is the first picture that comes to our minds when we think or talk about the US?
Yes, Statue of Liberty, the most iconic monument of the US.

Liberty State Park in Jersey City is the place to catch the ferry to visit Liberty Island and Ellis Island other than Battery Park in New York.

There are cruises run by State Cruises that take you to the island with the iconic lady standing tall.

Read reviews of the Liberty State Park at Tripadvisor.

Statue of Liberty

Pro Tip: It is advised to book your tickets for Statue of Liberty cruise well in advance. These are timed tickets that do get sold very fast. Choose from the options below:

Pro Tip: It is easier to take the cruise for Statue of Liberty from New Jersey than New York with the convenience of parking and time if coming from Philly.

Time to reach: 1 1/2 hours

Time to spend: 1/2 day – full day.

5. Edison

Edison is a township in New Jersey named after the prominent inventor Thomas Edison.

Thomas Edison Museum at Menlo Park is the place where Thomas Edison had his lab and the most important invention of the light bulb happened here.

Timings: It is open to the public from Thursday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Address: 37 Christie Street Edison, NJ 08820

Time to reach: 1 hour

Time to spend: Half Day

6. Diggerland USA

Do you see your kids playing with excavator, dump truck and other construction vehicles?
If yes, then you must visit the Diggerland in New Jersey, the only construction theme adventure park in the US.

With rides and activities for all ages, it is a great way to sweat out as a family. Ride you favorite backhoes, diggers, dump trucks, tractors and many more with your construction hat on.

Tickets: There are different options of specific date ticket, any day ticket or membership ranging from $32.95 – $64.95. Check the Diggerland USA website for details.

Hours: 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. (Mar – Nov). In some months, park is only open on weekends.

Address: 100 Pinedge Drive, West Berlin, NJ 08091

Time to spend: Full Day

Time to reach: 30 mins

Day Trips to Delaware

Delaware is nicknamed as ‘The First State’, as it became the first official state of the US in 1787.

Notice the license plates of the cars of Delaware.

1. Rehoboth Beach

This Atlantic ocean coastal town with pristine beaches, warm sunshine and a beautiful boardwalk will charm you as it did to us.

Head over for a fun-filled relaxing day by the waves crashing or even splurge at the Rehoboth Beach Outlets.

Time to reach: 2 hrs

Time to spend: Full day

2. Dover

The capital city of Delaware is simple but has so much history associated with it.

The First State Heritage Park is the place to visit if you are interested in the history of the state.

Air mobility command museum at Dover Air Force Base is a must-visit with a variety of military air crafts at display that can be explored from inside as well. Don’t miss the decommissioned Air Force One and the Air tank lifter helicopters.

The best part is that the museum has free entry. My son loved flying the simulator and the helicopters.

Dover Air command museum
Dover Air command space museum

Time to reach: 1 1/2 hrs

Time to spend: 1/2 day

3. Du Pont Mansions

du Pont family, one of the richest business families of the US have a base and major presence in Delaware.

A lot of their Grand mansions, estates, and spectacular gardens are open for public viewing. Some of the prominent ones near Wilmington are:

Nemours (known for its formal elegance); Winterthur (for its expansive gardens and antique collection); and Hagley (for the story it tells of the DuPont legacy).

Longwood Gardens was also created by the du Pont family.

4. Tax-Free Shopping

You can’t miss Delaware if you love shopping. Head over to the many Outlets in the state or for that matter any mall. You are bound to save moolah in taxes. Our favorite was the Christiana Mall.

Have you enjoyed our list of many options for day trips from Philadelphia from a local’s eye? These trips can be easily done as weekend trips. Did we miss something? Do let us know. Also, share your favorite day trip. Would love to hear.

USA travel guides and itineraries on our blog:

Complete guide by a local to best day trips from Philadelphia to neighboring states of New jersey, Maryland, Delaware and of course in Pennsylvania you don't want to miss. From beaches to gardens, from mansions to museums. Family friendly day trips from Philadelphia. weekend trips from Philadelphia | day trips in New Jersey . #philadelphia #daytripsfromphiladelphia #daytripsaroundphiladelphia #philadelphiadaytripswithkids #usadaytrips #pennsylvaniadaytrips
Complete guide by a local to best day trips from Philadelphia to neighboring states of New jersey, Maryland, Delaware and of course in Pennsylvania you don't want to miss. From beaches to gardens, from mansions to museums. Family friendly day trips from Philadelphia. weekend trips from Philadelphia | day trips in New Jersey | Beach trips from Philadelphia | beaches around philadelphia . #philadelphia #daytripsfromphiladelphia #philadelphiadaytrips #daytripsaroundphiladelphia #usadaytrips #pennsylvaniadaytrips

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10 thoughts on “Best Day Trips from Philadelphia, USA”

    • That’s great that you love the city. Yes, it has so much to do and it’s location lets you explore so much. Glad you liked it.

      Reply
  1. I had no idea there were this many day trips to do from Philly! When I travel I like choosing a base city and travelling out of there, so this gave me a lot to think about, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Absolutely, the location of Philly is great in terms of proximity to so many fun places. Happy if this post can help you plan a trip to Philly. Let me know if u need any help.

      Reply
  2. People laugh about the Jersey Shore, but it really can be super scenic in New Jersey! Great posts. Brings me back to my East Coast days!

    Reply
    • For sure, we loved Jersey beaches. In spring and summer, these were our best weekend spots. Glad you gotta relive some special memories.

      Reply
    • Thanks a lot for your love. Ohh you must visit Amish County, it’s a different experience. Feels you have traveled back in time. But it’s amazing how they value and living their culture. Glad you liked it and will help you plan in future.

      Reply

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