Philadelphia may be an urban landscape that can get a bit sticky in the summer, but it’s very much a year-round town with great activities happening every day. That said, recreation seekers often decamp to nearby locales, and who could blame them? Suburbs and beaches not far from the city offer leafy landscapes rich with history, quintessential beach days and so much more.
1. The Jersey Shore
It’s worth the drive to Atlantic City (the closest Shore point to Philly) and down to the tip of Cape May to frolic among the waves for a weekend. Along the way, dig into classic seaside fare and even upscale cuisine at stellar restaurants like The Diving Horse in Avalon.
Getting there: to Atlantic City, I-76 to the Atlantic City Expressway (Route 42); to Cape May, Atlantic City Expressway to Garden State Parkway
2. Valley Forge National Historical Park
The 3,600-acre park where George Washington’s Continental Army camped during the winter of 1777 includes monuments and key sites. Don’t miss Washington’s headquarters, a small stone house built along the Schuylkill River.
Getting there: 1400 N. Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; 610.783.1000; www.nps.gov/vafo
3. Audubon, Pa.
This bucolic town may not be as bustling as others, but it draws bird lovers who flock to the home of famed naturalist John James Audubon. The newly opened John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove now offers even more reasons to visit, with interactive exhibits and activities like building a nest and flying through the air via a zipline.
Getting There: 1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, Pennsylvania; 610.666.5593; johnjames.audubon.org
4. Doylestown, Pa.
The Mercer Museum and Henry Chapman Mercer’s sprawling estate are the main attractions here. The former preserves an eclectic collection of pre-industrial age objects, while the latter showcases handcrafted tiles embedded all around.
Getting there: 525 E. Court St., Doylestown, Pennsylvania; 215.348.9461; www.mercermuseum.org