10 Best Roadtrip Stops: Philadelphia, PA Edition
There’s a ton to do and see in the city of Philadelphia; the Franklin Institute, the Philly Zoo, the Liberty Bell. But did you know about all the amazing little sites right in Philly’s own backyard? If you have a weekend you don’t have anything planned and feel like doing something out of the ordinary with your family, get ready to start planning your road trip itinerary!
Ready to travel? Buckle up, here we go!
The Pagoda was constructed in 1908 at the cost of $50,000. It’s original purpose was to be a luxury resort overlooking the city of Reading. With the failure to acquire a liquor license and bank foreclosure, it never opened. In 1911, after sitting empty for 3 years, the Pagoda was sold to the city of Reading for $1.
After you’ve visited the Pagoda and enjoyed the beautiful view, stop in for an award winning cupcake at Ady Cakes. As the winner of The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, Ady cakes has the best cupcakes in town. With a wide selection of daily-made cupcakes, there is sure to be a flavor for each member of your family.
The Strasburg Railroad is one of the few railroads across the United States that continues to use a steam engine locomotive to move freight trains. In addition to moving freight trains, Stradburg Railroad also operates excursion trains. Climb aboard for a delightful 45 minute ride through the heart of Amish Country, Paradise, PA. Enjoy a meal in the dining car, and stop in at the Train Museum once the train pulls back into the station.
There was an old lady who lived in a shoe- bet you didn’t know that shoe really existed! Located in Hellam, PA, the Haines Shoe House was built by a shoe salesman by the name of Mahlon Haines. While it was once available to rent for a night, it is now open to the public strictly for touring. The house appeared on the show The Amazing Race as well as HGTV’s What’s With That House?
Who wouldn’t want to visit the Chocolate Capital of the World and take a tour to learn about how they make said chocolate? Stop in to Hershey’s Chocolate World for a free 10 minute ride showing the chocolate-making process. And, since you now know how the chocolate is made, head on over to create your very own custom candy bar!
We all know that name- Crayola. They make some of the best products when it comes to kids’ arts and crafts.The Crayola Experience offers 25 unique attractions, including the chance to make one of your own crayon? It was originally opened as the Crayola Factory, separate from the manufacturing plant. While visiting, everyone is encouraged to let your creativity flow, color outside the lines, and explore.
Crystal Cave is one of Pennsylvania’s Greatest Natural Wanders. Discovered in 1871, it got its name from the beautiful diamond-like crystals that covered the cave’s walls. During your tour, you’ll descend 125 feet underground. Make sure you bring a light jacket or a sweater since the cave stays about 54 degree Fahrenheit, and wear comfortable walking shoes.
Shady Maple Smorgasbord is the place to go to get the best Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. As the largest buffet on this side of the United States, Shady Maple serves over 1 million people every year! With 200 ft of ready-to-serve food as well as some made-to-order breakfast stations, Shady Maple will have something everyone in your family can enjoy.
Just a hop, skip and jump from Hershey’s Chocolate World is the beautiful Hershey Gardens. First opening to the public in 1937, it was built as a gift from Milton Hershey to his community, and to honor his wife Catherine. Spanning 23 acres, the garden consists of 7,000 rose bushes as well as many other beautiful seasonal flowers, a butterfly house and a children’s garden.
Valley Forge is the site of the 1777-1778 winter encampment of the Continental US Army under General George Washington. Take a 90 minute trolley-guided, or drive yourself through the 10 mile tour loop, outlining the park’s most significant historical sites. On a nice day, you can even rent bikes to ride your way through the beautiful historic grounds.
Now that you’re armed with some fun and interesting stops within 100 miles from Philadelphia, start planning your road trip and start making memories.
Photo credits: CeceLynn Design, Crayola Experience by Lehigh Valley PA (CC), Crystal Cave by Dan Previte (CC), Shady Maple Smorgasbord by Bradley Tinney (CC), Hershey Gardens by Michael Gray (CC), Valley Forge by Thomas (CC)
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