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maria_so Mar 23rd, 2006 02:13 PM

Overnight trips from Philadelphia. Maine? Rhode Island?) Any suggestions? Also stuff to see and do in Philadelphia.
Hi one and all. Yet another trip to plan this year, I will be in a conference in mid June in Philadelphia. My honey will be flying in Thursday night (the 22nd) and on Sat morning, we are planning on renting a car for an overnight road trip. I've always wanted to go to Maine, or rhode island, or something by there. We're already going to be in Boston a couple of weeks before and although we won't make it to cape cod, I'd like to see more of the northeast than just ht eBoston area. Any suggestions? I would really love to see Maine. Any ideas? How far is the drive and where's the best place to go specifically, where to stay, etc?

How about Philly? Anything specific we shouldn't miss? I'll be there a whole week with most of my days busy but I can probably swing out in later afternoons?

Many thanks in advance!

PaulRabe Mar 23rd, 2006 02:55 PM

As a resident of the Philly area who last year drove to Maine, I can assure it is an all-day drive. NOT a place I would go to for an "overnight" unless the first thing you want to do after waking up in Maine is to start driving back to Philly.

If you could be more specific about what you want to experience on your overnight, I can give a fair amount of help on places within a few hour's drive of Philly. And also on what to see in this town.

The only "MUST-do's" are visiting Independence Hall, walking by Ben Franklin's Grave, and having a real Philly cheese-steak. There are dozens of highly recommended things to do depending on your interests.

maria_so Mar 23rd, 2006 03:05 PM

Hi PaulRabe! Thanks for responding.

Well, for the overnight, I really want to see the coast. I have this idea in my head of Maine and a jagged coast line (???), lobsters, boats on docks, that sort of thing. Would like to overnight at a coastal community that's a bit artsy and has some adventure sport like kayaking or something like this.

As far as what I like for Philly itself, I love art - museums and galleries(I'm an artist on my spare time so this is research for me ;-) ). Not a casino person or anything like that (don't know if there's some in Philly)not big on "clubbing" either but would like to know of cool little pub (honey is british) and a cool place for a drink. Love shows, expecially opera. Love eating at great restaurants that are extremes (hip or hole in the walls) but with amazing food. My honey and I are both "cooks" (or at least we're students) so good food is top of the list. Another thing I like to do in big cities is go to have drinks at a top floor of some tall building (like Rockefeller's in NY, Hancock in Chicago, etc).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and many many thanks in advance.

youngandrestless Mar 23rd, 2006 03:13 PM

Philly is quite close to NYC and D.C. (about 2 hrs from each)

padams421 Mar 23rd, 2006 03:13 PM

Maine is not near Philadelphia. It would make a lot more sense to incorporate a side trip to Maine in your Boston trip.

youngandrestless Mar 23rd, 2006 03:20 PM

The masonic temple in Philly is a pretty cool tour. You can see Valley Forge. Catch a Phillies baseball game. Run up the Rocky Stairs at the Philadelphia Musuem of Art. You could eat at the Jamaican Jerk Hut on South Street (there are lots of cool funky shops on that street).

rkkwan Mar 23rd, 2006 04:53 PM

If you want to see the coast, go to the New Jersey shores. It's nothing like Maine, but it's still the Atlantic.

Like others said, Maine or Rhode Island are way too far to do as an overnight trip.

schmerl Mar 23rd, 2006 05:06 PM

While in Phila., definitely visit the Art Museum and the Rodin Museum. The Franklin Institute is also great. The Historic District is very walkable. You can start at the Visitors Center to get your ticket for Independence Hall (it's free, but gives you a specific time). Then you can go to the Constitution Center and the Liberty Bell. There are some great walking tours.
For lots of info, go to

maria_so Mar 23rd, 2006 09:01 PM

oh man. i'm so disappointed. i should know the map is decieving. so even RI? how far of a drive is that? i can't incorporate it to the boston trip since another couple is meeting us there.

don't really want to do atlantic city. oh man! ok, i guess NY it is then. can we get a train from philly to NY? if so, is it expensive?

maria_so Mar 23rd, 2006 09:57 PM

Hmmm. Been looking at some posts here for day trip ideas from Philly. I'm getting Amish country. Not really the coast but as my honey said tonight, I have to roll with the punches. I've not been there before and am curious about Amish "way of life".

....but, how far of a drive is RI? Or Cape Cod? Been to NY too many times, would really nike to see the east coast to satisfy this want to see Maine. Guess what I'm saying is I am open to any feasable fun day trips from Philly for overnight.


dbenya Mar 24th, 2006 02:58 AM

It's not a rocky beach, but there's always Cape May, a Victorian seaside town that's loaded with restaurants and shops and beautiful old bed and breakfasts:

You can actually kayak in -- or very near -- the city:

And while you're here the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be mounting a very big Wyeth show:

Philadelphia is also a great restaurant town. Continental. Buddakan. Amada. Vietnam. Cuba Libre. Reading Terminal Market. Ernesto's. Mercato. Morimoto. Ralph's.

North and east of Philadelphia there's Lambertville, New Hope and Frenchtown, which would all give you some of the flavor of East Coast life along the Delaware River.

schmerl Mar 24th, 2006 03:16 AM

If you like to shop, you can combine a day trip to Valley Forge Park and the King of Prussia Mall. They're right down the road from each other.

dfrostnh Mar 24th, 2006 03:33 AM

My first thought was to try for an overnight in Mystic CT with a visit to Abbott's lobster pound but the trip would be thru the worst traffic in the Northeast, esp for your return on Sunday. You might luck into a cheap flight from Philly to Manchester NH, rent a car and then you can be in Maine in a little over an hour But again, that's rushing it too much. I think the perfect place in Maine for you would be Camden with a trip to the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland (features Maine artists). We haven't been to Amish country in several years. We think the farms are beautiful but knowing they are leaving the area because it is getting too built up and too expensive is sad. Maybe a trip to the Brandywine area, visit Longwood Gardens and the museum with some works by Wyeth. (Sorry can't remember the name.)

rkkwan Mar 24th, 2006 04:03 AM

There is more on the NJ coast than just Atlantic City.

Philly to RI is about a 5 hour drive. Distance isn't too far, but look at the map again - you need to cross NYC and traffic is bad basically all the way from Philly to New Haven, CT.

Is it possible? Yes, anything is possible. But would I recommend you to do it? NO!

John_T_Cuttino Mar 24th, 2006 05:52 AM

To answer the orginal question, it is about a 6 hr drive to Boston from Philadelphia and of course you have to negotiate New York City (as in go around) to get there. Rhode Island would be a bit less (maybe 5).
Newport would fulfill your desires (rocky coast, artsy, lobsters, etc.)

PaulRabe Mar 24th, 2006 06:11 AM

> I love art - museums and galleries
> (I'm an artist on my spare time
> so this is research for me

Then the Philadelphia Art Museum is an ABSOLUTE must. Also the Rodin Museum and the Academy of Find Arts. Art galleries are plentiful in Center City, check out

> Love shows, expecially opera.
You won't find better opera anywhere in the world than at

> Would like to overnight at a coastal community
> that's a bit artsy and has some
> adventure sport like kayaking

All of the coast I am familar with is over-run with condos and/or amusements. Cape May MIGHT be what you're looking for but it has neither rocky coasts (for that you WILL have to get up to Maine) nor boats on the docks. To get to those you'll have to get to New England, which means going through New York -- which automatically disqualifies it for a day trip.

> can we get a train from philly to NY?
You can, info would be on
Or you can take local transit for a lot less money but more time. Or you can take the bus, which is probably ideal for a day trip for one or two people.

milemarker0 Mar 24th, 2006 06:57 AM

Depending on your budget, you can fly from Philly to Providence on Southwest pretty cheap if you plan ahead, ($39 or $49) and then head to Newport for a weekend...rocky coastline, artsy, etc....

yk Mar 24th, 2006 07:01 AM


You can forget about seeing "jagged coast line (???), lobsters, boats on docks" nearby Philadelphia. The Jersey shore is completely different. And IMO, the drive up to RI or CT is just too far and not worth your time.

Since you said you love art, apart from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rodin, you <b>definitely</b> have to check out the art galleries in Old City. They have open houses every first Friday of the month (First Fridays - very cool) but other times you can still visit them.

Also, don't forget the Barnes Foundation in Merion (a suburb of Philadelphia). You have to reserve tickets WAY in advance.

Unfortunately, the Opera season is over by June. If you like classical music, you can always check the schedule at Kimmel Center. Excellent acoustics there.

For a great pub, my all-time favorite is The Black Sheep.

For hip restaurants, you can't go wrong with any of the Starr restaurants (including Buddakan, Morimoto, Continental).

Lastly, for ideas of overnight trip, you can either visit the Amish country, or you can consider going to New Hope and nearby Lambertville. They have quite an artist community with lots of art galleries.

Hope this helps.

capxxx Mar 24th, 2006 07:19 AM

Your ragged coastline/lobster boats/ arts community-type scenery starts north of Boston at Cape Anne, and continues north, getting more rugged as you go. You can also see some ocean cliffs in Newport RI, or Block Island.

But I agree, all this stuff is too far for a day trip from Philly, unless you fly.

The south jersey and maryland shores give you sand dunes, boardwalks, and (some) beach towns with victorian b&amp;b's. Crab and crabcakes, and sailboats. A different vibe, but also very nice.

maria_so Mar 24th, 2006 07:58 AM

Ok, one and all. I've given up my rugged coast, lobster, and boat by the sea idea - for now. It's stuck though so I will have to do this trip next year (too many trips already this year!).

Ok, so here's the update.

We can do a day trip on Friday so I was thinking covered bridges and amish country tour (thanks yk) with a return to Philly in the evening then on sat, head to the sea. Ok, so here's what I can't figure out.

rkkwan (or others): where can we go that's coastal, nice seaside community that is not Atlantic City? Can you make a suggestion? yk suggested New Hope (which looks good) and Lambertville, anywhere else?

was also looking at bdenya's suggestions for the river. the link ( shows several points of interest. I especially like that canal 60 place. is there a way for us to follow the river up then back down to Philly? how long of a trip is that? can we do this as an overnight?

paulrabe: thanks so much. those are all wonderful suggestions for philly. i'm sure i'll have a great time there.

and for everyone that replied, really appreciate your time and suggestions. many thanks!

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