Home / Local Stories  / Explore: Family Travel  / Venture Out: Perfect Long Weekend Getaways from Philadelphia

Venture Out: Perfect Long Weekend Getaways from Philadelphia

These quick and accessible family-friendly trips are perfect for keeping the adventurous spirits alive without taking you too far from home.

After a long school year, a summer getaway is on everyone’s mind. This summer, explore weekend getaways in and around Philadelphia. These quick and accessible family-friendly trips are perfect for keeping the adventurous spirits alive without taking you too far from home. With fluctuating gas prices and busy summer schedules, these destinations offer the perfect escape.

If summer plans are too tight, many locations on this list also offer activities year-round. Check out their websites for more information before you start planning.

Within Approximately 2 Hours

Valley Forge National Historical Park

Just a short drive from Philadelphia, Valley Forge offers a mix of history and outdoor fun. Explore miles of hiking and biking trails, have a picnic, or delve into the area’s rich history with guided tours and reenactments. Lodging options include nearby hotels like the Hilton Garden Inn Valley Forge/Oaks or charming B&Bs in the area.

Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA

Longwood Gardens is a botanical paradise with stunning summer flower displays, water fountains, and outdoor concerts. The nearby town of Kennett Square offers charming shops and restaurants. Stay at the luxurious Inn at Whitewing Farm or the Fairfield Inn & Suites Kennett Square.

Historic Main Conservatory at Longwood Gardens
Photo courtesy of Longwood Gardens

New Hope, PA

Nestled along the Delaware River, New Hope is perfect for a relaxing weekend. Stroll through the quaint streets filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Take a scenic ride on the New Hope Railroad or enjoy a show at the Bucks County Playhouse. Stay at the historic Logan Inn or one of the many charming bed and breakfasts.

Lancaster County, PA

Experience Amish country with activities that cater to all ages. Visit Cherry Crest Adventure Farm for hayrides, corn mazes, and farm tours. Check out the local wineries and breweries for the adults. For lodging, consider the Fulton Steamboat Inn or the quaint bed and breakfasts throughout the area.

Hershey, PA

A chocolate lover’s paradise, Hershey offers more than just sweets. Visit Hersheypark for thrilling rides and water attractions, explore ZooAmerica, or relax at the Hershey Gardens. Stay at The Hotel Hershey for a touch of elegance or the Hershey Lodge for family-friendly fun.

Cape May, NJ

Cape May combines beautiful beaches with Victorian charm. Take a trolley tour of the historic district, visit the Cape May County Park & Zoo, or relax on the beach. Stay at the iconic Congress Hall or the cozy Peter Shields Inn.

Within Approximately 4 Hours

Gettysburg, PA

For history buffs, Gettysburg offers a blend of education and adventure. Explore the Gettysburg National Military Park, visit the interactive museums, or take a ghost tour. Lodging options include the historic Gettysburg Hotel and charming B&Bs like the Federal Pointe Inn.

The Poconos

The Poconos are a classic family getaway spot with activities for everyone. Try out water sports on Lake Wallenpaupack, hike the scenic trails, or enjoy a relaxing spa day. Camelback Resort offers an indoor water park, while Great Wolf Lodge is a hit with families for its themed rooms and activities.

Rehoboth Beach, DE

For a beach escape, head to Rehoboth Beach. Enjoy the sandy shores, boardwalk amusements, and delicious dining options. Stay at the family-friendly Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center or the chic Boardwalk Plaza Hotel.

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore offers a vibrant city escape. Visit the National Aquarium, explore the historic Inner Harbor, or catch a game at Camden Yards. Stay at the waterfront Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore or the family-friendly Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.

National Aquarium
Photo courtesy of the National Aquarium

Washington, D.C.

Discover the nation’s capital with visits to the Smithsonian museums, the National Zoo, and iconic landmarks like the White House and the U.S. Capitol. Take a boat tour on the Potomac River or explore the National Mall by bike. Consider staying at the historic Willard InterContinental for luxury or the centrally located Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall for convenience.

Alexandria, VA

Explore the charming waterfront city of Alexandria with its historic Old Town, cobblestone streets, and waterfront dining. Visit attractions like George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, Torpedo Factory Art Center, and take a Potomac River cruise. Lodging options include the luxurious Hotel Indigo and charming B&Bs like the Morrison House.

Within Approximately 6 Hours

Pittsburgh, PA

Visit Pittsburgh for its vibrant cultural scene, including the Carnegie Museums, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Andy Warhol Museum, and the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Stay at the upscale Fairmont Pittsburgh for comfort and style, or opt for the centrally located Drury Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh Downtown for easy access to attractions.

Richmond, VA

Explore Richmond’s historic sites like the American Civil War Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and Maymont estate. Enjoy outdoor activities along the James River or visit nearby Colonial Williamsburg for more historical immersion. Stay at the iconic Jefferson Hotel, renowned for its historic charm and luxury accommodations.

Charlottesville, VA

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville offers historical sites like Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the University of Virginia’s Rotunda. Enjoy hiking in Shenandoah National Park or visiting nearby wineries. For lodging, consider the charming Clifton Inn for a peaceful retreat amidst nature and historical landmarks.

Ranger Programs at Shenandoah National Park
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

Providence, RI

Explore the capital city of Rhode Island with its historic architecture, scenic riverwalks, and cultural attractions like the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and WaterFire art installation. Enjoy dining at local eateries and visiting nearby Newport for coastal charm. For lodging, visit the historic Providence Biltmore Hotel or the centrally located Omni Providence Hotel.

Boston, MA

Explore the historic Freedom Trail, visit world-class museums like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Science, and enjoy delicious seafood in Boston’s North End. Kids will love the New England Aquarium and taking a swan boat ride in the Public Garden. Consider staying at the elegant Fairmont Copley Plaza for a touch of luxury or the historic Boston Park Plaza for its charm and modern comforts.

Lake Placid, NY

Escape to the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Placid for outdoor adventures like hiking, boating on Mirror Lake, and visiting Olympic sites such as the Lake Placid Olympic Center. Explore Main Street for shopping and dining in a picturesque mountain setting. Stay at the rustic elegance of the Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa for a memorable mountain retreat.

These destinations provide a variety of activities to keep everyone entertained, making for memorable summer getaways. For those seeking shorter escapes, don’t forget about day trip options right around Philadelphia, ensuring every weekend can be an adventure close to home.

Cover photo courtesy of Visit Alexandria.

Family Focus Media Publishing Intern | Marketing Student at the University of South Carolina