Philly’s known as a hip, music-loving, cheesesteak-filled city. Less known? That there are pockets of awesome, untapped little towns just an hour (or less) outside of city lines that are bustling with culture, mouthwatering cuisine, eclectic art, and historical sights. Grab a Zipcar and dive into one of the following doable day trips from Philadelphia.
FOR THE CULTURE CONNOISSEUR
PHOENIXVILLE, CHESTER COUNTY
With art and cuisine options aplenty, Phoenixsville is a true feast for the senses. Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia.
If you have a hippie soul and soft spot for eclectic art, make sure to stop by Phoenixville. When you’ve finished your 40-minute drive there, grab a latte at Artisans Café or Steel City Coffee House, stroll through charming store-lined streets, and soak in the laid-back vibe. Venture to one of the many vineyards for an afternoon wine tasting, and come back for an indie film or live show at night.
FOR THE “GOOD-OLD-DAYS” SEEKER
SKIPPACK, MONTGOMERY COUNTY
A quaint blast from the past, Skippack is perfect for a trip off the grid. Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.
Between the twinkle-light covered bridges, vintage street lamps, and 18th century architecture, going to Skippack is like taking a trip back in time. With a blend of old-world charm and modern convenience, it’s easy to unplug on the 20-mile Perkiomen Trail or wander through the quaint town center. Just don’t forget to stop at Miss Riddle’s Candy Shop (because of course they have one of those).
FOR THE HISTORY BUFF
KENNETT SQUARE, CHESTER COUNTY
Trade contemporary city life for timeless nature views in Kennett Square. Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC.
Head an hour outside of Philly to Brandywine Valley, home to world-class museums, the gorgeous Longwood Gardens, and sprawling hills where the Revolutionary War was fought. If you stay long enough, you may even catch a reenactment (you know your inner high-school nerd is freaking out). When you’re done exploring, stop by the Flickerwood Wine Cellar Tasting room—you can even BYOF (bring your own food).
FOR THE OUTDOORSY
NEW HOPE, BUCKS COUNTY
Relish open air—we’re talkin’ woods, lakes, marshes, and meadows—in lush New Hope. Photo courtesy of Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve.
Love the great outdoors? Situated on the Delaware River, New Hope has everything you need for the perfect day in nature. After a one-hour picturesque ride from the city, you’ll arrive at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve. Spend all day hiking, canoeing, and exploring the gardens. Staying the night? Dine at one of many foodie-approved restaurants, or catch a play at the famous Bucks County Playhouse. And for even more New Hope attractions, check out our comprehensive guide to this quaint locale.
FOR THE BOHEMIAN EXPLORER
AMBLER, MONTGOMERY COUNTY
From a classic cinema to vintage delights, small-town Ambler is proof that great things come in small packages. Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.
Just 23 miles outside of Philly, the one-square mile town of Ambler is the ultimate destination to satisfy your boho soul. Spend the day strolling street fairs or flea markets like Main Street Vintage, and your afternoon sipping British-style ales on the clapboard porch of a 19th century home at Forest & Main Pub and Brewery. (Just order your designated driver an iced tea.) Before you go, don’t forget to catch a foreign film at the historic Ambler Theater, which was recently restored to all of its 1928 grandeur.