Philadelphia Area short trips
January 6, 2012 7:36 AM   Subscribe

Where to go for a day/overnight trip near Philadelphia with a mix of activities, museums, shopping, wine/beer, good food and cute hotels or B&Bs?

My midwestern parents are planning to come visit me and my boyfriend in mid-February and I'm trying to come up with things for them/us to do that we haven't already covered. Since I've lived here for 4.5 years we've done pretty much all of the city stuff (Art Museum, Mutter Museum, Constitution Center, Liberty Bell, Independence hall, South Street, Yards Brewery etc), and a few things outside the city (Longwood Gardens in the spring, Chaddsford Winery). I want to take them for a couple of day trips or an overnight trip so that we can all see more of the area.

Thoughts on destinations within fairly easy driving distance that can keep us busy for a day or two? I've read some previous threads, but I'm looking for a few more ideas, perhaps a bit further out than Longwood Gardens and more of a destination than just a hiking trail without other activities. I'm not really interested in New York or DC since we've been to both a few times, more regional places they wouldn't otherwise have a reason to visit. I've considered New Hope (though that's probably just a day trip), Lancaster/Reading, Gettysburg, Princeton, Baltimore, etc. but would love other suggestions and/or advice from those who have been there before.
posted by moshimosh to Travel & Transportation around Philadelphia, PA (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Cape May, NJ could be a good option, although February isn't the best time to visit.
posted by katie at 7:48 AM on January 6, 2012

New Hope has everything you are looking for, and tons of cute B&Bs to boot, so don't write it off as a day trip. We also spent a very happy weekend in Baltimore a few years ago, though it was at a large hotel in the Inner Harbor.
posted by apparently at 7:56 AM on January 6, 2012

Gettysburg could easily be turned into a 2-day trip with seeing the battlefield one day and seeing the town, doing a ghost tour, etc., the other day.

French Creek State Park is great if they're cool with camping out, because they also have lots of activities there (it's been a while, but I remember going canoeing on the lake).

There's the Camden Aquarium. Though I'd generally just say to stay out of Camden and go to the Baltimore Aquarium. Though there's not really much else to do in Baltimore.

If they're into gambling (even just for fun), going to AC for the day could be fun. I usually stick with the penny slots :)
posted by DoubleLune at 7:59 AM on January 6, 2012

We like Jim Thorpe a lot. Cute town, awesome old victorian mansion to tour, and v. close to skiing, antiquing, hiking, if that's your thing.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:19 AM on January 6, 2012

You could combine your trip to New Hope with a visit to the Mercer Museum, Michener Art Museum and Moravian Tile Works. They're all right next to each other, about 15-20 minutes from New Hope.
posted by jrossi4r at 8:27 AM on January 6, 2012

You saw this previously, right? And this one? I made my Lancaster recommendations here.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:30 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

My parents and sisters go to Lancaster on vacation once or twice a year and stay at the Willow Valley Inn. I've never been but they love the place. There are lots of local events (theater shows etc) and a big shopping outlet, as well as the endlessly fascinating Amish.
posted by permiechickie at 8:30 AM on January 6, 2012

Baltimore would be a great place to visit even if it is chilly out. Places to stay - Inn at 2920, Carrollton Inn, Aunt Rebecca's. All are located within walking distance of a lot of things to do. Museums - American Visionary Arts Museum, Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art. Cool neighborhoods with little stores and restaurants - Canton, Little Italy, Fells Point. Cultural stuff - Hippodrome Theatre, Lyric Opera House, Center Stage. Touristy things - National Aquarium, Harbor Place, Babe Ruth Museum.
posted by maxg94 at 8:38 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Not all of my links worked, but easy enough to Google the ones that sound interesting!
posted by maxg94 at 8:38 AM on January 6, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, and keep the suggestions coming. Lancaster keeps sounding better and better.

MonkeyToes, thanks for the links to previous threads. I did see one of them, but wanted to hear about recommendations specific to winter travels, rather than summer.
posted by moshimosh at 10:10 AM on January 6, 2012

There were also a lot of good suggestions in "Aside from Hershey...'
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:50 AM on January 8, 2012

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