4 Day Trips from Philadelphia (No Car Needed)

Itching to get out of the city but don’t want to drive? You can easily reach several destinations by hopping on a train or bus. Check out these day trips from Philly the next time you want to get away for a few hours.

It’s another weekend in Philadelphia and you’re feeling a bit bored. You’ve been to the museums, you’ve watched the Phillies/Eagles/Flyers play and you can’t bear to eat another donut from Reading Terminal Market.

How about taking the time to get out of the city for the day? There are a number of day trips from Philadelphia that you can take, without having to give up your parking spot or rent a vehicle. Philly’s ideal location means you can easily visit lots of places and still be home in time for the 11 o’clock news or Saturday Night Live. Check out a few public transit–friendly day trips from Philadelphia.

Atlantic City

You don’t have to be a gambler to enjoy a day’s visit to Atlantic City. The seaside town might be known for its casinos, but there’s lots more to do there than play slot machines or poker. The casinos often host live performances, ranging from the latest pop acts to jazz bands.

You can also enjoy a stroll on the boardwalk, which has a number of restaurants, rides, mini golf and shops. The beaches at Atlantic City are free, so you can enjoy a swim in the ocean or a day on the sand when the weather is warm.

Without a car, one of the easiest ways to get to AC is by taking the NJ Transit train, which runs from 30th Street station in Philly. You can also hop on a Greyhound or NJ Transit bus from Center City, Philadelphia.

New York City

New York City is just a two hour drive from Philly, making it a fantastic day trip destination. It’s also super easy to get to New York without driving there. You can ride in style on Amtrak, enjoy a budget-friendly ride on the Megabus or BoltBus, or take the scenic route by taking the SEPTA train out to Trenton, then changing to the NJ Transit train to Penn Station.

Once in NYC, what you do is pretty much up to you. You can visit the TKTS booth in Times Square to purchase cheap seats to a Broadway show, head up to the Upper West Side and check out museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or do some shopping around SoHo.

Devon Horse Show

You don’t have to love horses to enjoy a visit to the Devon Horse Show, which takes place at the end of May each year. Along with a show that highlights various equestrian talents, the Devon Horse Show features a country fair (complete with a midway full of carnival rides and games), a number of concession stands, and vendors selling everything from toys to upscale clothing.

To get to the horse show, hop on SEPTA’s Paoli/Thorndale regional rail line and take it out to Devon Station. The trip takes about 45 minutes from Center City and the station is located across the street from the horse show grounds.

Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens, in Kennett Square, has something going on all year round. The gardens are a popular destination around the holidays, but also offer special exhibitions year round, including an orchid festival and spring blooms festival.

Getting to the gardens on public transit is a bit of a round about trip. First, you take Amtrak to Wilmington, Delaware. From there, you can arrange to have a shuttle pick you up and drive you over to Longwood.

If you feel you’ve done everything you can in Philly, or just need a break from the city, plan a day trip! Everyone needs a little adventure in their lives.


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