What a fabulous trip to Philadelphia, home of the Eagles, the Phillies, my Mama, and the infamous ‘Cheese steak’. We were lucky enough to score a not just a fabulous bedroom in the suburbs, but also a break from our daily planning sessions. Our lovely host, my fabulous cousin (and momma to some delightful rescue dogos
), set us a full itinerary for our week-long visit – all we had to do was turn up!
Check out these fun day trips out of the city that you could enjoy too:
Hit the beach
Philly is crazy close to the Jersey shore. We headed to the beach for a quick overnight stint but made sure to take the long way round. We visited Lucy the Elephant
, before heading all the way to Cape May where we spent a couple hours enjoying a big breakfast at Congress Hall hotel
before perusing the shops. Then we backtracked via Route 9 Beach highway to Ocean City NJ.
Ocean city boasts a fabulous beach on one side and a beautiful bay on the other. As well as a day on the sand you can also test your luck at the casinos up the road in Atlantic city, eat your way up and down the boardwalk, not forgetting to try the must have salt-water taffy, and get air-born with a spot of parasailing.
Take a history lesson
Visit the Lancaster County area of Pennsylvania. Amongst the farms and windmills you’ll find America’s oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old “Plain” lifestyle. Start by visiting some historic Covered Bridges, and keep an eye out for the horse and buggy on the road. There are a handful of Amish Farms that you can visit and tour and even pick up some snacks and souveniers from. Finally, visit the historic Strasburg Railroad
and take a ride on the steam train.
If a slice of the Amish side of life doesn’t appeal, check out the Brandywine Battlefield. On September 11, 1777, over thirty thousand soldiers (British and American) fought in the Chadds Ford area in what is known as the Battle of the Brandywine. Nowadays you can check out the site, tour Washington’s Headquarters, learn about the battle and enjoy the onsite museum.
Get close to some wildlife
Visit a Wolf Sanctuary
in Lititz. Despite it being well over 100 years since wild wolves have lived in Pennsylvania the Darlington Family offers refuge to around 30 Wolves and Wolf-dogs who have found themselves without a home. While you can’t get close and personal with the Wolves (they are proper wild) the Wolf-dogs are pretty friendly with the volunteers. Each animal has a story and we loved visiting each of them. Make sure you book your visit
to ensure you get to see the family.
Savour the tastes
As well as enjoying a whole range of food from around the area we have to make special mention of the local brewery called Victory and the Chaddsford Winery. In fact, we spent a whole afternoon at the winery just sampling wine, sitting on their patio and enjoying snacks in the sun.
If you’re not down for a drink, then at least try a cheese steak. Pat’s and Geno’s are the two big players in the cheese steak market and even if you’re not buying, it’s worth taking a walk to their shops on opposite street corners to check em out. Keep an eye out for the awesome photos of famous people who have stopped by at each location. Then go nuts eating. Just remember to follow the instructions for ordering….
Enjoy the gardens
has been a longtime favorite spot for my family. A huge public garden which is carefully curated and supports both education and the arts. There is always something going on here. This summer we visited for the evening Light and Fountain show which was spectacular. The lights, the water, the music. Even if you miss the show season, the gardens include a bunch of gorgeous spots to sit, enjoy and smell the roses (amongst other things).
Head into the city
I know, I know. I just told you about all the fun stuff to do out of the city, but we couldn’t completely bi-pass a visit. There is plenty to keep you busy if you’re in Philadelphia, but our two reasons for dropping by were a wander around the cheese steak giants Pat’s and Gino’s and a wander down Elfreths Alley, the oldest constantly used residential street in the whole of the USA.
Well….there is still a ton of stuff for us to check out and report back on. Maybe another trip to Philadelphia is due? Have you been? What do you recommend?