5 Side Trips from Philadelphia


For those who are visiting Philadelphia, consider making some day trips for attractions far different from what you’ll see in the historic city. Here is a list of places within an hour of Philadelphia, some that are accessible through public transportation, and some that simply make a great road trip.

Brandywine Valley

If you’re a history buff, Brandywine Valley is home to plenty of museums, castles, and natural gardens. One of the spectacular things to see in the valley is Longwood Gardens. Designed by Pierre du Pont, the area is adorned with Italianate gardens, forest trails, and fountains featuring an evening light and music show. A few miles away are the Hagley Museum, where, among many other things, you can check out du Pont’s NASCAR race cars, and the Eleutherian Mills, the du Pont’s historic gunpowder mill. And learn more about American history by visiting nearby Winterthur Museum and the Mt. Cuba Center.

Valley Forge

Situated about 25 minutes from Philadelphia, Valley Forge is a mecca for visitors who love outdoor activities like zip lining and bike rides. It also has a history that dates back to the time when the area was a military camp to the Continental Army during the American Revolution. A few intriguing historic sites include the vibrant cathedral in Bryn Athyn Historical District, the revival country estates of Pennypacker Mills, and the 18th century Pottsgrove Manor. If the kids are with you, spend a few hours meeting the exotic animals at Elmwood Park Zoo or indulge in some shopping at the King of Prussia.

Read: Visit Philadelphia on a Budget

Chestnut Hill

Morris Arboretum, set in an English Park style, is one of the most prominent places to visit near Philly. At the Arboretum, you’ll get to see landscapes of plants from around the world, including paths, streams and rose gardens. If you get a chance, visit Springfield Mill near the main entrance. For shopping, head to Germantown Avenue, featuring a plethora of galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Even if you decide to just stroll along the cobblestone streets, you will be mesmerized by the picturesque charm the city has to offer.

Fort Mifflin on the Delaware

From finding ghosts to being one of the Revolutionary War soldiers, Fort Mifflin hosts a series of intriguing re-enactment events that are not just fun but also provide an entertaining source to learn about the American past. Though no battle was fought at Fort Mifflin, it still played an important role during the World War II.

Peddler’s Village

Located in Lahaska, Peddler’s Village is about an hour’s drive from Philadelphia. The village boasts an array of 18th century style restaurants and shopping centers. The tourist section of Philadelphia hotels will not guide you on any day trips to Peddler’s Village; however, it is best to venture the village on your own by renting a car.

Staying in Philadelphia’s Historic BnBs

Whether you’re driving or using the public transportation, prepare your itinerary in a way you get a chance to explore Philly’s charming countryside. Is there any other day trips you’d like to add to this list? Share your comments below.

Featured Image: Image by throwingsofas via Trover

This post is published as part of the Hipmunk City Love project.

Related Article: 

How to Visit Philadelphia on a Budget?

  Staying in Philadelphia’s Historic BnBs

                Travel Tips: Exploring Philadelphia in 24 Hours

      Best of Philadelphia’s Budget Hotel

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