It's easy to expand your view of the Philadelphia area by taking one or more day trips to destinations that are within an hour's drive of the city. Whether you head north or south, in 30 minutes you can be immersed in a whole new world—or make that "worlds."
First you can see the verdant hills and ancient barns of the Brandywine Valley, home to three generations of Wyeths and other artists inspired by the rural landscapes outside their windows. Then you can visit the extravagant realm of du Pont country, including Pierre S. du Pont's resplendent Longwood Gardens, whose summer fountain displays are world-renowned, and Winterthur, an important repository of American decorative furnishings, over the border in Delaware. Or you can explore the Revolutionary War battlefield of Brandywine at Chadds Ford. These attractions are year-round favorites of Philadelphians, and area bed-and-breakfasts and inns make the Brandywine appealing as an overnight or weekend trip and as a day excursion.
The historical park at Valley Forge adds another dimension to the revolutionary story that began in Independence Hall. Not far away, the town called King of Prussia dates to that period, but is now primarily synonymous with shopping, thanks to its huge upscale mall. It's a half hour from Philadelphia and also accessible by public transportation.
To the north, Bucks County is known for art colonies and antiques, summer theater, and country inns.