Submitted by FreeThinkk t3_ynr18j in Pennsylvania

I’m headed to Philly for a wedding Friday, I’m trying to make the most of the trip. We’re leaving from cleveland Thursday and the idea was we would drive about 5 hours, stop somewhere we’ve never visited before spend Thursday afternoon exploring and then get up early Friday and drive the remainder of the trip into Philly.

I’m looking for suggestions on some cool places to visit Thursday. Somewhere a tourists might not necessarily think to go. My girlfriend and I both love nature and hiking or visiting historical sites. Even a cool little town we can explore would suffice.

Our back up plan for now is to drive into Gettysburg and stay there, but we have both been there several times.

I’d love to see what you guys come up with.

Thanks ahead of time!

Edit: you guys have been super helpful. We decided on heading to Jim Thorpe on Thursday! We are headed back to cleveland Tuesday so we have Sunday- Tuesday to explore some of your other suggestions.



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Ticallion_Stallion36 t1_ivab7kh wrote

Lancaster county has everything your looking for... River trails.. history and a truly enjoyable downtown in lancaster city. About 1.5 to 2 hrs to philly. Just named best place to live by some magazine i forget which one


Suboptimal_SeaSnail t1_ivaay58 wrote

Jim Thorpe, PA / The Poconos. Jim Thorpe has their fall foilage festival going on so it's likely to be mobbed there all weekend though.

Very pretty up there right now for some great hiking. The lehigh valley also has plenty of great hiking and nature trails.

Lancaster and Lititz are nice day trips visits as well.


FreeThinkk OP t1_ivacm4e wrote

Do you think it would be mobbed this coming Thursday? Or just this weekend.


mrsc1880 t1_ivadvth wrote

The Fall Foliage Festival is held on Saturdays and Sundays, so I think it'll be much less crowded on a Thursday.


FreeThinkk OP t1_ival5zb wrote

Awesome. I think we might do this for Thursday evening and maybe Friday morning and then hit up Gettysburg and Lancaster on the way home. We have Sunday-Tuesday to travel back to cleveland.


FreeThinkk OP t1_iwneul9 wrote

We wound up going there. It was fantastic thanks for the suggestion. We took the scenic train which was really cool.


cutiecat565 t1_ivad0zu wrote

Ricketts Glen State Park is cool. Lots of little water falls. Boulder Field in Hickory Run State park is also cool. Jim Thorpe is a nice town, but there will be other tourists there this time of year. Longwood Gardens is pretty, but that's only like a half hour from Philly. Penns Cave in State College is neat.


ScienceWasLove t1_ivab4vu wrote

These are all near an expressway between Pittsburg & Philly:

Mount Davis, PA High Point:

Stop by the flight 93 Memorial

Hawk Rock on the Appalachian trail

PA Abandoned Turn Pike

There is an unlimited number of things to do.... here is a good place to start:


FreeThinkk OP t1_ivalc9i wrote

Awesome thanks so much for this and all the links!


Lacunagoddess t1_ivaar77 wrote

Ever been to Jim Thorpe? Definitely a really cool town to visit.


FreeThinkk OP t1_iwnetuz wrote

We wound up going there. It was fantastic thanks for the suggestion. We took the scenic train which was really cool.


Hugsie924 t1_ivabobv wrote

You should stop in Gettysburg(i know you said its a back up), then lancaster. Your path leads right thru it!


FreeThinkk OP t1_ivakv9l wrote

I think we actually might do this on the way back. We have Sunday-Tuesday to travel and explore on the way home so we have more time for that.

On the way there we basically will just be driving the bulk of the journey to somewhere and then have an afternoon to explore. Wake up early maybe do breakfast and then finish the trip to Philly. Someone suggested Jim Thorpe and that might be a good place for that short amount of time.


FreeThinkk OP t1_ivamfz1 wrote

Yeah I think we are going to do that on our way back to cleveland since we have Sunday-Tuesday to get back and we’ll have a lot more time. I feel like Gettysburg is a place I’d rather not just spend an an afternoon getting to visit. Which is all we have on our way out there. We’re just looking for somewhere to spend the Thursday afternoon that gets us close to Philly so we have a short drive Friday before the wedding.


Hugsie924 t1_ivbt606 wrote

Fair point. Then valley forge may be a good spot to check out. Have fun!


SNARK63 t1_ivadr71 wrote

Consider Lititz- once named ‘The Coolest Small Town in America’- it’s in Lancaster County (Amish) and feels like something out of a Hallmark movie. Plenty to do in a day or two… cool restaurants, pubs, hotels, B&Bs, historical places, etc…


TastiestAfternoon t1_ivaaux0 wrote

Aside from Gettysburg, the only other historical site that comes to mind is Valley Forge but that’s about 25-30 minutes from Philly so doesn’t sound like what you’re looking for. Hawk Mountain is great for nature/hiking and it’s about 1.5 hours from Philly. So still not 2-3 hours away but that’s all you’ll get from someone who lives outside of Philly lol!


IamSauerKraut t1_iva97yo wrote

Gettysburg. Hiking, history, food and shopping. MastriaNO will throw in some sedition at no charge.


FreeThinkk OP t1_iva9i42 wrote

That’s our backup plan so far. We’ve both been there a few time.


PGHNeil t1_ivabl4z wrote

If you’re into the revolutionary war then on the way there take the National Highway (US-40) route through Washington PA eastward on through Fort Necessity then on to Ohiopyle If you like hiking/cycling. There are a lot of short trails in addition to the GAP trail along the Youghiogheny river along with a nice place to stop for lunch. Rt 70 back toward Philly is to the north.


Careless-Repeat9506 t1_ivaeqeg wrote

Bushkill falls. Great spot to relax and walk around. Nature rules.


the_dorf t1_ivcpn30 wrote

Since you're going to Jim Thorpe area. 2 hiking things are recommended, the Switchback trail (arguably USA's first roller coaster) and the Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park.


is_there_pasta t1_ivabaje wrote

St Peter's Village has hiking trails and a little town to explore.

Phoenixville has a ton of breweries, lots of great food places and shops! There is also the Schuylkill Valley walking trail. It is really pretty to walk. My daughter and I walked the 5ish miles to Royersford which is another cute town to visit.


Street_Confection_46 t1_ivagakf wrote

Sounds like you’re from my neck of the woods. People at my high school used to go to St. Peter’s Village all the time.


think_nope_0 t1_ivadf7f wrote

I’d say Lancaster would be a great option for you or Hershey. Both hand cute downtowns, Lancaster is much bigger tho.


cyclingman2020 t1_ivae2ju wrote

Mt Gretna is cool. They have an ice cream shop and great trails.


radiowave911 t1_ivbhfjm wrote

Mt. Gretna is a really cool place, as is the Jigger Shop. This time of year, though, the Jigger Shop is closed for the season (just looked them up).


Sasebo_Girl_757 t1_ivaf2iv wrote

York County has the oddball Indian Steps Museum right on the Susquehanna River and the Mason-Dixon Trail runs along the river, too. I've never encountered another person on the Mason-Dixon trail...not as popular as AT.


12thNJ t1_ivafyg0 wrote



qrpc t1_ivd3t4v wrote

The Pole Steeple trail at Pine Grove Furnace State Park is a good day hike.


blinkdmb t1_ivei32l wrote

Hershey is neat.


[deleted] t1_ivabfpm wrote



cutiecat565 t1_ivacqm0 wrote

That's nowhere near Philly.


alinerie t1_ivaij25 wrote

I was looking for somewhere kinda on the way that might be a change of pace for a traveler familiar with Gettysburg. It's a big state and we have lots of attractions. There are some nice state parks and state forests closer to Philly but Ohiopyle and Falling Water are personal favorites.


FreeThinkk OP t1_ivahysa wrote

We live in cleveland and are driving to Philly. So that definitely won’t work. The point is to stop somewhere 2-3 hours outside of Philly on Thursday. So getting most of the trip there done Thursday. We’ve actually been there and it’s a great suggestion for a place to visit especially for a weekend trip away from cleveland.