Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Overnight trips from Philadelphia. Maine? Rhode Island?) Any suggestions? Also stuff to see and do in Philadelphia.

Notices

Overnight trips from Philadelphia. Maine? Rhode Island?) Any suggestions? Also stuff to see and do in Philadelphia.

Old Mar 25th, 2006, 06:44 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 265
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One last thing -- opera is never out of season at the Victor Cafe. Ask for a table in the front room:
http://www.gophila.com/C/Things_to_D...Cafe/1202.html
dbenya is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2006, 06:57 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just go down to Cape May.

www.capemay.com
rkkwan is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2006, 02:45 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 102
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
maria so -

I'm a little late in the discussion, but a couple of places you may want to consider for daytrips near the water:

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Just under a couple hours from Philly, but a very different kind of seashore - cleaner water, more wide open spaces. It is also not far from Chincoteague, where you can see the Chincoteague ponies and the wildlife preserve.

Another place to consider for a day trip along the Jersey shore would be the town of Spring Lake - it's north of Atlantic City, and is a lovely community of VERY large homes and mansions, a lovely main street with some nice restaurant choices, and a wide open, clean boardwalk. A very relaxing day, and only about an hour from Philly.

Of course, Amish country is beautiful. If you're into history, consider Gettysburg. I agree with the suggestion about Brandywine Valley and Longwood Gardens - would be a worthwhile visit.

If it's warm enough, you could drive up about 5 miles north of New Hope to a town called Point Pleasant, where they have canoe and inner tube rentals. They will drive you upriver (Delaware River) to certain drop-off points, and then you can spend a leisurely day floating back to Point Pleasant - it's one the most relaxing things you could do on a warm day - don't forget to pack a nice lunch.

Let us know how your visit worked out.

teaberry is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2006, 04:44 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 203
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here is another recommendation for the Barne's Foundation www.barnesfoundation.org. I spent three heavenly hours there. Since you like art, it is a "must see."
KatieL is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2006, 06:48 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 758
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Annapolis, Maryland may be another option for a day trip (it is about 3 hours from Philly). It is a beautiful, historic town. It is also the home of the Naval academy. It is an interesting place! Plus, part of the drive down is very nice. You could even make a stop in Baltimore or DC.
Kerry392 is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 06:34 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,586
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One of my favorite things to do in Phila. is go rollerblading or biking around the river drives. Starting at the Art Museum, there is an 8 mile loop paralleling the Schuylkill River on both sides. (Sorry, I would never get IN that river unless I was an accomplished boater!)

Since you like art, along the path are areas with scuplture gardens and is dispersed with statues (Remington's Man on a Horse, etc.) A tour of the Laurel Hill Cemetary is fascinating.

Also, I think the Eastern State Penitentiary Tour is also very interesting.

If you like gardens at all, definitely go see Longwood Gardens, and possibly combine with nearby Winterthur (although that would make a marathon day). Longwood's about a 1 hour drive from Phila.

My favorite beach area is a short drive from Phila - Island Beach State Park. No rocky coastline, but lined with the ocean on one side and small dunes on the other - no boardwalk, high-rises, just nature as it should be (in my biased opinion!)
karens is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 01:00 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Wyeth exhibit runs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from March 29 until July 16, 2006.

Don't know where you live maria, but if it's nowhere near the east coast and this is a one off type of trip, get on a Southwest airlines plane and fly to Providence, RI as mentioned above. I don't think the drive to Newport would take more than an hour from there.
mclaurie is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 02:24 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 758
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Reading Terminal Market is definitley worth a stop for lunch!
Kerry392 is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 02:29 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 156
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<<The Reading Terminal Market is definitley worth a stop for lunch!>> Or breakfast! I love the Dutch Eating Place there. Such delicious breakfasts and fresh squeezed orange juice.
youngandrestless is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2006, 03:04 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 314
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One thing to consider is that the Philadelphia Museum of Art is open late on Wednesday evenings. There is usually some live entertainment, and I understand that the Museum restaurant itself is very good and requires reservations.

Other excellent museum choices are:
The Rodin Museum-largest collection of Rodin sculpture in the world outside of Paris:
The Barnes Foundation-incredible collection of Impressionist Paintings. In my opinion, this collection rivals the Impressionist wing of the MET in NYC. Reservations required.
The Archeological Museum at the University of Pennsylvania--one of the better Egyptology collections on the East Coast.

For overnight trips, have you considered Cape May, NJ. It is really pretty there. There are tons impeccably maintained Victorian gingerbread houses there, and I always like to walk to the lighthouse there. The drive from Philly is 1.5 hours. If you go there, I always recommend a detour to Margate to see Lucy the Elephant. Lucy was a former three story hotel in the shape of an elephant.

If you are willing to invest in a whole weekend, Newport, RI is an excellent choice. I think it is about 6 hrs from Philly. It is worth touring the elaborate homes there, each of which are museums themselves. I especially liked Marblehead, which is where the Great Gadsby was filmed.

Pennsylvania Dutch country is also a popular weekend destination. The top things to do here are: 1) visit PA Dutch towns, 2) visit Gettysburg, 3) ride the Stroudsburg Rail Line, and 4) visit Hersheypark.

Of course, if you have not been to NYC or DC, they are excellent day trips from Philly. There is Amtrak service to both cities.

As for quirky, excellent restaurants, you might like the independent BYO's.
Django-American-Reserve in advance
Chloe-American in Olde City
La Locanda Del Ghiottone-Italian-Old City
Overtures-American/French-South Street (not Byo)
Joseph Poon--Chinatown
For more formal eating, I like Founders which is in Park Hyatt at the Bellevue,
Fountain Room at the Four Seasons,
Grill Room at the Westin,
Susanna Foo,
Tequila's
Le Bec Fin (if you really want to splurge on French Food).

Also, being a good cook, you might want to stop by the Italian Market. Most of Philly's chefs shop there. Favorite spots there are DiBruno's, Claudio's and Fantes.

Hope this has been helpful.
FlyingMaltese is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 12:54 PM
  #31  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,690
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi everyone. Ok, after much conversation, we have decided to do a day trip to Lancaster and Amish country (are the covered bridges in the area too?). Then on Saturday morning, we are heading down to Cape May via Atlantic City then head back the next Day from Cape May via what looks like a shorter route up 55.

Ok, any ideas how long that drive is? Philly to Atlantic City, then Atlantic City to Cape May? Then Cape May to Philly via the shorter route on 55?

The Philly suggestions look amazing. I'm looking forward to being there and seeing/doing all the suggestions. Many thanks!
maria_so is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 12:56 PM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,690
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
p.s. Not a big Atlantic City fan but after I got over my "Maine" obsession, I thought why not see the Las Vegas of the east coast? Just stop over though, to Cape May. I want to see the famous boardwalk that Better Midler sings about....

P.S.S. Any suggestions on where to stay and place to have a nice dinner with water views in Cape May?
maria_so is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 01:01 PM
  #33  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,690
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
oh and FlyingMaltese, thanks for the tip about the wednesday late times for the museum and all the other suggestions.

To everyone too. I love the Fodors community. Everyone is so helpful!
maria_so is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 01:11 PM
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,690
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
p.s. anyone know where the Frank Lloyd Wright "Falling Waters/Waterfall" house (sorry, I can't remember the name. I've seen the one in Scottsdale and I love his work. If it's close by the area, wouldn't mind seeing it.

Also, It sounds like I MUST stop by the REading Market, thanks!

dbenya, will make sure to book a reservation at Victor Cafe, thanks!
maria_so is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 01:34 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 102
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
maria_so -

From Philly to Atlantic City is about an hour. Then another hour or so to Cape May. Your return shortcut from Cape May to Philly may not be as short as you think, because you will encounter traffic lights, which can slow you up. If you take the Garden State Parkway from Cape May to the AC Expressway, it will be fast driving all the way (except for tolls). Also, if you leave Cape May after dinner, be prepared to encounter a LOT of traffic - all the Philadelphians coming home from the shore for the weekend. There will be no shortcut then.
teaberry is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 01:42 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Falling Water is in Western PA. It's about 264 miles from Philly, or about 5 hours drive, each way.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 02:16 PM
  #37  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,690
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh well. Guess I won't be seeing that then.....was a thought. Thanks for the info!

teaberry, thanks for the driving times tips. I'll make sure to leave early enough on Sunday then (our flight i sat 5:26!!!) So you think after lunch around 12:30 is enough time from Cape May?
maria_so is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2006, 06:51 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 102
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
yep - should be fine. You'll love Cape May.
teaberry is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2006, 06:53 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 314
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dear Maria,
Just be careful in AC. It is really not that nice. There is plenty to do in Cape May.

Also, crowding Pennsylvania Dutch Country and Cape May into one weekend is a bit much. I would choose one or the other.

Cape May will be a little less crowded when you will be there, but the water will be cold.

Notwithstanding the cool water, there really is plenty to do in Cape May. There are walking tours of the gingerbread houses. There are tons of stores that sell neat Victorian things. They have a really pretty lighthouse. There is even a ferry that will take you to Lewes, Delaware, for good outlet shopping (I might be wrong, but also close Rehobeth Beach). There is gourmet dining there and excellent shopping.

Pennsylvania Dutch Country gets more traffic in June, but there is still plenty to do here. I live in Pennsylvania Dutch Country now (Hershey, PA), but I do not know of any covered bridges. You are close to Gettysburg, where you can tour the battlefield. My husband is a history buff, and he collects metal toy soldiers in Gettysburg. He just loves to talk about history with the store-owners there.

There is a steam rail line also at Stroudsburg. A lot of people like to visit that town. It is good place to purchase trains.

Of course, there are plenty of places to purchase Amish quilts and crafts. I personally like the Amish products in Intercourse, PA.

There are other things to do in Hershey besides go to HersheyPark. The Hershey Museum is neat because it details the life of Milton Hershey. Milton Hershey was one of the first industrialiss to pay his workers decent wages. He also set up a school for fatherless boys, which today is still funded by Hersheyfoods and is one of the premier college prepatory schools in the country. Also, the air usually smells like chocolate.

If you do go to PA Dutch Country, take I-76 west as far as King of Prussia. Exit and take Route 202 South until you see the Exit for Route 30E. I usually take this route when I drive to Philly. I prefer this route to the highway because is goes through the rolling countryside and you usually see the Amish in their horse and buggys.

I know this is a lot of information. But, I figured that I could give a lot of details since I live in PA Dutch Country, and vacationed many times in Cape May.
FlyingMaltese is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2006, 11:33 AM
  #40  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,690
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thankls FlyingMaltese. Unfortunately, we have to be in Philly Friday night so I thought I could just make a day of it in Amish Country and then head to AC/Cape May. You know, I was never really thrilled of AC (just not my bag, same with Las Vegas) so I think we may ust hop out the car, see the boardwalk and then on to Cape May unless you think it wil detour us out of the way too much?
maria_so is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information