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The essential day tripping towns from Pittsburgh

By Ryan Deto

The essential day tripping towns from Pittsburgh

Beaver, Pa. — 45 minute drive

The essential day tripping towns from Pittsburgh

Johnstown, Pa. — 90 minute drive or train ride

Ligonier, pa. — 75 minute drive, morgantown, west virginia — 80 minute drive, oil city, pa. — 95 minute drive, uniontown, pa. — 70 minute drive.

The essential day tripping towns from Pittsburgh

Wheeling, West Virginia — 60 minute drive

The essential day tripping towns from Pittsburgh

Zelienople, Pa. — 30 minute drive

day trips from beaver pa

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Weekend Getaways Near You

Find Getaways Just for You

13 Perfect Day Trips From Pittsburgh (within 2 hours of drive)

Day trips near pittsburgh, [short drive from pittsburgh], day trips currently.

There are a number of amazing trips within short distance from Pittsburgh that can be accomplished in one day! Here is a list of best Day Trips.

For all types of getaways near Pittsburgh CLICK HERE    

Day Trips From Pittsburgh

Amazing day trip to hartwood acres park - 30 min from pittsburgh.

  • Tours of the estate require advanced reservations.

Hartwood Acres Park makes for a great day trip from Pittsburgh. Located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It is one of the largest and most spectacular country estates! A wide range of outdoor activities, concerts, seasonal events, and the magnificent Lawrence Mansion will make an indelible impression on you!

Winter Fun Day Trip to the Boyce Park Ski Area Near Pittsburgh

  • The cost range for tickets is $17 – $40.

Are you looking for a fun winter day trip from Pittsburgh? The Boyce Park Ski Slopes & Snow Tubing Area in Allegheny County will make a perfect winter getaway for the whole family, new skiers, snow tubers, and snowboarders.

Park and Beach Getaways at Raccoon Creek State Park in PA

The park is 7,572 acres in size and features the beautiful 101-acre Raccoon Lake. Take a hike at one of the many park trails (44 miles of trails to choose from). Or explore the 101-acre Raccoon Lake by kayak, canoe, rowboat, or hydro bike. Or swim and catch some sun at the beach. Or enjoy a stroll through the Wildflower Reserve with more than 700 species of plants. The park also offers a wide variety of environmental education programs.

Beach and Park Getaway to Moraine State Park near Pittsburgh PA

  • Park information can be obtained at the park office near the entrance to the South Shore.

Looking for a beach and park trip for the whole family? Moraine State Park is 16,725 acres of exceptional scenery. Located in Portersville PA, it contains a beautiful 3,225-acre Lake Arthur, rolling hills, lush forests, and a large number of year-round recreational opportunities, there is something for everyone in the park. Moraine State Park has two swimming sandy beaches 1,200-foot-long Pleasant Valley Beach and 550-foot-long Lakeview Beach. ⁠

Magical Day Trip to Laurel Caverns in Laurel Highlands PA

  • The cost ranges between $3 for kids and $15 for adults.

If you are looking for a unique and magical family day getaway near Pittsburgh or Cleveland, consider taking a day trip to Laurel Caverns in Farmington. It is Pennsylvania’s largest cave, with over four miles of passages. You will get unforgettable emotions, enjoy extraordinary views, and take amazingly vivid photos. This epic adventure is great for families with kids and also for adventure lovers looking for exceptional caving (spelunking) experience. ⁠⁠

Beach and Park Getaway at Laurel Hill State Park in Laurel Highland PA

Laurel Hill State Park offers 4,062 acres of mountainous terrain and beautiful 63-acre Laurel Hill Lake. The lake has a small, 1,200-foot white sand beach , with a lovely pier where you can jump into the cool and refreshing lake water⁠. It is open daily from late May until the middle of September. The beach is clean and well maintained, a nice small place to swim or rent a kayak or canoe. The reviews for this beach seem to be all positive.

The park also has some of the best hiking trails in Pennsylvania. Observe the diversity of plants and wildlife, explore the two must-sees – The Jones Mill Run Dam, and Hemlock Trail Natural Area, go fishing and swimming in summer and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter months. The park is open every day of the year, and it is pet friendly.

Scenic Getaway at Cooper Rock State Forest in West Virginia

  • The entrance to the forest is free. The cost depend on the accommodation you pick.

Scenic Coopers Rock State Forest with a great view of lakes, rivers, and valleys will make a perfect weekend getaway. This State Forest is great for hiking, biking, camping, and seeing the breathtaking views of nature. It is also perfect for a day out with friends or couples, and families with kids.

Amazing Winter Fun and Magic Sleigh Rides at Ma & Pa's Cabin in Burton OH

  • The cost is $110 weekdays and $150 weekends for two-night stay.

Are you looking for memorable winter fun, a fabulous sleigh ride, and a unique off-the-grid cabin rental in the woods? You will get this unique experience and much more, while staying at Ma & Pa's in the village of Burton, Ohio.

Nestled in the mature woods, away from the busy city life, with a gas fireplace, fire pit, wrap-around deck, home amenities, and private hiking trails, this winter getaway will make your childhood dream come true!

Fun Family Getaway at Tygart Lake State Park & Adventures Water Park in West Virginia

  • Half-day in the water park is $12 per person. Full-day is $16 per person. Free for children aged three and under.

Are you looking for a great place to have a fun family getaway? Consider vising Tygart Lake State Park with its Tygart Adventures Water Park.

Enjoy the beautiful views, numerous water activities, and breathtaking hiking trails in the park. ⁠⁠Have the thrills of sliding, climbing, jumping, and racing to the top of inflatable slides and obstacles on water. An exciting way to stay cool in summer!

Stunning Beach Getaway at Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie in Pennsylvania

  • The entrance to the park is free.

Are you looking for the best beach getaway? Presque Isle State Park is a gorgeous “seashore-like” beach, with a beautiful coastline and lake views. It is a paradise for outdoor lovers, families, couples, groups of friends, solo travelers, and those who want an unforgettable summer getaway!

Picturesque Getaway at Swallow Falls State Park near Deep Creek Lake in Maryland

  • The cost is $3 for instate resident, and $5 for out-of-state resident

Swallow Falls State Park in Western Maryland is a perfect destination for families, friends, and outdoor enthusiasts any time of the year. With beautiful scenery, picturesque hiking trails, old hemlock trees, and two grand cascading waterfalls, you will fall in love with this park from the first minutes of your visit!

Picturesque Beach and Park Getaway at Geneva On The Lake OH⁠

  • The Bach access is free. For accommodation suggestions see below.

Geneva-on-the-Lake , a village in Ashtabula County, Ohio, with picturesque lake views makes for a great weekend getaway for active people, nature lovers, wine buffs, couples, families, and friends! ⁠⁠Sandy Breakwater Beach, with a large beach area, is located inside Geneva State Park. The park, with 698 acres of forest, also offers hiking/biking trails, boating, and camping⁠.

Gorgeous Lake Getaway at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland

Deep Creek Lake is a quiet and relaxing four-season getaway destination, with picturesque mountain and lake views. It is a paradise for families, outdoor enthusiasts, and lovers of beautiful scenery!   Deep Creek Lake is nestled in the gorgeous mountains of western Maryland. It is the largest lake in Maryland with 69 miles of shoreline. The region has a wide range of activities all year round. In the summer months, you can go hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, boating, fishing, swimming, and camping. During the winter months, there are opportunities for skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.

For a compete list of getaways near Pittsburgh  CLICK HERE   

Getaways From Pittsburgh Page  includes fun family getaways, treehouses, cabins, romantic getaway, lake getaways, beach getaways, outdoor lovers getaways, day trips from Pittsburgh and more.

If you would like to easily search all getaways by type, location and amenities, go to our search getaways page:

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Let's Roam Explorer

The 18 Best Day Trips from Pittsburgh for Every Style of Adventure

There’s a little something for everyone in Steel City, and the surrounding area is just as ripe with adventure. Enjoy these day trips from Pittsburgh!

day trips from beaver pa

Situated on the confluence of the Monongahela, Ohio, and Allegheny Rivers in western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh epitomizes the saying “water, water, everywhere.” (Don’t worry though, the city’s many microbreweries and bars will definitely not leave without a drop to drink.) Once heavily industrialized, Downtown Pittsburgh has really cleaned up and the city is overflowing with fantastic things to do.

While there is plenty of stuff to do in Pittsburgh to have an amazing weekend, the surrounding countryside is so gorgeous and inviting that it may be difficult to resist the urge to jump in the car and head out for a road trip. To help you get started on your planning, we have put together a list of some great day trips from Pittsburgh ranging from stunning parks to quaint towns and everything in between. We are sure that you will find something that strikes your fancy so you may want to add an extra day or two to your trip if you can!

Explore Steel City on a scavenger hunt !

While you’re making your way around Pittsburgh, don’t forget to download our app and try ( at least ) one of our scavenger hunts ! We’ve got options in hundreds of cities around the world , including multiple tours in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , and beyond. See the fantastic attractions each town has to offer, search for street art, or grab some drinking buddies and head out on a pub crawl . Whatever you choose, we know you’ll have a great time!

Day Trips From Pittsburgh

Day trips from pittsburgh for nature lovers.

Pittsburgh lies in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania and is surrounded by untouched nature with tons of great options for outdoor activities.

1. Ohiopyle State Park

Distance: 68 miles

Travel Time: 1 ¼ hours

Home to Mount Davis, the highest point in Pennsylvania, Ohiopyle State Park is located in the mountainous region of the Laurel Highlands. The 3,213-foot summit is easily accessible via a paved road and the park also features the 14-mile-long Youghiogheny River Gorge, one of the best places for whitewater rafting and kayaking in the state with rafting options for people of all levels. If you love waterfalls, then Ohiopyle has got you covered there too! Cucumber Falls with its 30-foot drop is one of Pennsylvania’s most photographed waterfalls and you can reach it by a short hiking trail. If you, or your kids, can’t resist the urge to get a little wet, the nearby Meadow Run has a natural waterslide created by a smaller cascade that is perfect for children. 

When you arrive, make sure to stop by the Laurel Highlands Falls Area Visitor Center where you can learn more about all of the great outdoor activities on offer in the park, including rock climbing lessons, zip lines, and nature trails. If you want to spend the night there, there are also campgrounds available.

2. Great Allegheny Passage

Distance: Varies

Travel Time: Varies

This 150-mile trail runs through Ohiopyle State Park as it makes its way along rivers, around lakes, and through untouched mountain forests offering fantastic views along the way. The Great Allegheny Passage is flat nearly the entire way which makes it a great place for a family bike trip or for novice bikers to put in some major miles without having to worry about any large ascents or descents. If you are visiting in the fall, this is also an amazing place to check out the fall foliage as you walk or bike along the well-maintained path. 

The trail starts in Cumberland, Maryland and finishes in Pittsburgh and if you want to cover the whole path without having to worry about transport, Amtrak offers services connecting various cities along the trail on its Capitol Limited Line which runs from Chicago to Washington DC and it is possible to bring your bike along with you and store it in a special train car. 

3. Presque Isle State Park

Distance: 127 miles

Travel Time: 2 hours

Presque Isle State Park is located on a 3,200-acre peninsula jutting out from Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie shoreline. The peninsula’s beautiful coastline attracts visitors year-round with its sandy beaches that are perfect for swimming, 11 miles of trails that provide great options for hiking, boat launches that make boating a breeze, and migratory birds that are sure to thrill nature lovers when they visit this National Natural Landmark. If you don’t have your own small craft but still want to get out on the water, don’t worry—there is a shop there for kayak, canoe, and pontoon boat rentals. 

While the park is day-use only, there are plenty of accommodation options in the nearby town of Erie if you want to turn your day trip into a weekend getaway. 

4. Conneaut Lake

Distance: 95 miles

Travel Time: 1 ½ hours

Straddling the border between Pennsylvania and Ohio, Conneaut Lake is Pennsylvania’s largest glacial lake and it is a haven for outdoor activities like swimming, boating, fishing, paddle boarding, and canoeing. If the weather isn’t looking too great, there are plenty of options for land-based relaxation as well. The lake’s boardwalk is the perfect place for a morning stroll while the Tiki Bar offers an excellent spot to cool down with a cocktail. Conneaut Lake is also home to its own small amusement park in case you want a few cheap thrills while you are there. 

If you want to have a mini road trip up to Lake Erie, Conneaut Lake is located about an hour south of Erie, PA and Presque Isle State Park. There are campsites and cabins where you can spend the night!

5. Laurel Caverns

Distance: 69 miles

As one of the largest and deepest caverns in the northeastern United States, the Laurel Caverns is a fantastic day trip if you are up for a day of adventure. With four miles of interconnected passageways and a fascinating array of geological formations, there is plenty to see whether you opt for a family-friendly guided tour or one of their spelunking adventures. 

Don’t forget that the caverns are also home to the northeast’s largest bat hibernation area so they are closed during the winter months to give these little cuties their much-needed beauty sleep. They don’t open again until the last bat has left the bat cave (usually in April) so make sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information. 

6. McConnells Mill State Park

Distance: 41 miles

Travel Time: 43 minutes

Spreading more than 2,500 acres around the Slippery Rock Creek Gorge, one of the country’s National Natural Landmarks, McConnells Mill State Park offers a jaw-droppingly beautiful landscape. The gorge was created when glacial lakes were drained leaving behind steep walls and a floor scattered with boulders. There are plenty of scenic overlooks where you can stop to admire nature’s artistry and the 11 miles of hiking trails give people of all ages the chance to get some exercise in. You can also find a historic 19th-century gristmill and covered bridge that is worth checking out while you are there. 

Keep in mind that Slippery Rock is a fast-moving, whitewater creek and it is unsafe for swimming (not to mention the slippery rocks that you would have to maneuver to even get to the creek!). As tempting as it may be to jump in on a hot July day, this is one place where you should stay dry.

7. Moraine State Park

Distance: 39 miles

Travel Time: 40 minutes 

With more than 42 miles of shoreline along the tranquil Lake Arthur and 71 miles of hiking trails, Moraine State Park packs in a pretty big punch when it comes to outdoor activities. While you are there, you can enjoy horseback riding, mountain biking, boating, kayaking, or swimming from one of the lake’s two sandy beaches. In the winter, you can also go cross country skiing, sledding, and snowmobiling making it a great year-round destination. Although it is not possible to camp there, there are modern cabins that are perfect for families or groups of friends and give you the chance to experience the park in the still of the night. 

8. Seven Springs Mountain Resort

Distance: 59 miles 

Seven Springs Mountain Resort is a small ski resort with 33 slopes and trails ranging from beginner slopes all the way to advanced runs and seven terrain parks, totaling more than 285 skiable acres. It is a great spot to enjoy the snow of southeastern Pennsylvania no matter your age or skiing or snowboarding experience. There are packages on their website for lift passes and accommodation so make sure to check before you go if you are tempted to stay overnight as it may be able to save you some money!

During the warmer months, it morphs into a paradise for summer sports and you can spend days hiking along the different trails along the Laurel Ridgeline visiting scenic lookout points or serene lakes. You can purchase chairlift passes during the summer to get a headstart on some elevation gain. There is also a mountaintop golf course where you can practice your swing while enjoying the beautiful vista.

Day Trips From Pittsburgh for History Buffs and Culture Vultures

Pittsburgh lies just a short drive from many other Rust Belt cities and unique attractions that are perfect for a day trip or an overnight getaway.

9. Cleveland, Ohio

Distance: 135 miles

Travel Time: 2 ¼ miles

Located just a two hours drive from Pittsburgh, Cleveland is another Rust Belt city that has managed to reinvent itself. Sandwiched between the southern shore of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland has a lovely waterfront and a walkable downtown area where you can see reminders of the city’s former life as one of America’s most important and wealthiest cities. While one of the city’s top attractions is undoubtedly the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there is a slew of other museums that you can check out including the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. If the weather is nice, you can also take a stroll through the Cleveland Botanical Gardens or the Metropark Zoo which is home to thousands of animals from around the world. 

 If you are there during the summer, make sure to pack your bathing suit so you can take a swim at one of the city’s many beaches or if you prefer to stay a bit drier, you can go kayaking or paddleboarding along the river before stopping for lunch or a drink at the Flats. This is a fabulous way to spend the day if you want to see the “other” side of the city. 

To read about all of the great things to do there, make sure to check out the Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do in Cleveland or try one of our Cleveland scavenger hunts !

10. Fallingwater

Distance: 67 miles

One of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s most well-known creations, Fallingwater blends seamlessly into the forest of the Bear Run Nature Reserve near Mill Run and is considered a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture. As the name suggests, it was designed to incorporate a beautiful waterfall allowing visitors to hear the relaxing sound of water throughout the house. While you are there, it is possible to see the house just as Wright designed it on a self-guided or guided tour. Advanced reservations are required and tickets get snapped up quickly so make sure to book well in advance. It is both a National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this is one place that you definitely don’t want to miss!

If you are a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, there are also four other Wright houses located nearby in Polymath Park that are also open to visitors including Mäntylä, Blum, Duncan, and Balter. It is even possible to spend the night in a few of them so this could be a great option for architecture buffs!

11. Akron, Ohio

Distance: 110 miles

Travel Time: 1 ¾ hours

Located about halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Akron often gets overlooked for its flashier neighbors. However, this small city offers quite a few things to do in a relaxed environment which is perfect for families and while you are there, you can visit the Akron Zoo or the Akron Art Museum. If the weather is nice, you can even head out to Brandywine Falls which sits within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, or take a stroll through the historic town of Seville with its charming 19th century downtown featuring quirky boutiques and antique shops, both of which lie just a 25-minute drive from Akron.

(Expert tip: the Akron Canton Airport is also amazingly easy to get in and out of and is sometimes much cheaper than flying into Pittsburgh).

12. Pro Football Hall of Fame 

Distance: 100 miles

Sports lovers shouldn’t miss this great little day trip. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio, and is the perfect spot to learn more about your favorite masters of the pigskin. The museum features exhibits on most of football’s legendary players with exhibits showcasing how each player’s story and athletic prowess represented “courage, dedication, vision, fair play, integrity, and excellence.”

While Canton, Ohio may seem to be an odd place for a football hall of fame, the NFL was actually founded there in 1920 and Canton’s very own pro football team once dominated the sport (ok, it was a pretty long time along, but still …) and a trip to the museum gives visitors the chance to walk in the footsteps of the league’s original founders. While you are there, you can either explore on your own or join one of the guided tours.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located just a 25-minute drive south of Akron making it easy to combine both spots into one easy day trip. 

13. Wheeling, West Virginia

Distance: 59 miles

Travel Time: 1 hour

Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Wheeling may be a small town but there is a lot to do there! During a visit, you can make some new friends at the Good Zoo, tour a mansion museum, or unleash your inner child at the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum. Wheeling also has a ton of green space where you can have a picnic, take a little snooze after an afternoon of sightseeing, or play a few rounds of golf. 

If you have the time (and like to visit creepy places), you can also visit the 19th century West Virginia Penitentiary . This historic landmark is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture and has a lot of interesting stories associated with it. You can learn more about the prison’s history and the spooky stories associated with it during a fascinating daytime guided tour or an evening paranormal investigation. 

14. Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Distance: 239 miles

Travel Time: 3 ¾ hours

Pennsylvania is famous for its large Amish population and you don’t have to go too far outside of Pittsburgh to learn more about this unique culture. From horse-drawn buggies to hand-rolled pretzels, Amish Country makes an interesting stop for all the culture vultures out there. Although the Amish can be found throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio, the largest concentration of them is in Lancaster County in eastern Pennsylvania. During a visit, you can take a guided tour of an Amish farm or take a countryside bus tour that meanders its way across the gently rolling hills and scenic farmlands of the surrounding region. 

To learn more about Pennsylvania Dutch Country, make sure to check out our Lancaster travel guide . 

If you don’t have the time to make it all the way to Lancaster, you can also visit Holmes County, Ohio which is around a two-and-a-half-hour drive away and lies about halfway between Cleveland and Columbus. Although it isn’t as well set up for tourists, you can still get an idea of how the Amish live, check out an Amish farm, and support some of the local Amish-owned businesses. There is even an Amish Country Theater where you can catch a family-friendly show.

Whichever destination you choose, make sure to come hungry as there are many restaurants where you can try traditional Amish food that is absolutely delicious. Don’t forget to save room for dessert—the baked goods and homemade ice cream are out of this world!

15. Ambridge Historic District

Distance: 18 miles

Travel Time: 30 minutes 

Located along the Ohio River just a short drive west of Pittsburgh, the Ambridge Historic District is a 32-acre National Historic Site which was once a safe haven to the Harmony Society, a German communitarian sect that moved there in 1824 after unsurprisingly being persecuted in their native Germany. They were pretty successful and before long they had cotton, wool, saw, and grain mills operating and had a wine press, post office, a hotel, and stores. In essence, it was a fully-functioning town. The society officially dissolved in 1905 and the district stands as a living museum of their time there. 

The heart of the district is the 6-acre Old Economy Village featuring 17 restored historical buildings where you can visit the founder’s 1826 home, the feast hall, post office, granary, carriage house, community kitchen, and blacksmith shop as well as a few homes where you can get an idea of what life was like here throughout the 19th century. Many of the buildings have interesting exhibits that give visitors the chance to learn more about this interesting group of people. 

Although the town is best known for its preservation of the past, they are still very much in the present and there are a number of fun activities and events held throughout the year so make sure to check their website to see if there is anything going on while you are in town. 

16. Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Distance: 67 miles 

Known as being the location of one of George Washington’s not-so-great moments, the battle at Fort Necessity was the first encounter of the French and Indian Wars which ended with Washington surrendering to the French. While the original wooden fort is long gone, it has been recreated in the Fort Necessity National Battlefield ’s Great Meadow and visitors can learn more about the battle through guided tours and demonstrations. 

While you are there, don’t forget to check out Mount Washington Tavern. The tavern was built in 1827 and served as one of the hotels along the National Road. Today, it operates as a mini-museum, and inside, you can see artifacts from that era. Also, you may want to put on some walking shoes as the park has five miles of walking trails which are well worth checking out. 

17. Fort Ligonier

Distance: 51 miles 

Constructed in 1758, Fort Ligonier is a mid-18th century British fort that was part of a defense system that stretched from Philadelphia to Fort Duquesne, now a historic site in Downtown Pittsburgh. The fort was used during the French and Indian War and today, you can visit the reconstructed structure and onsite museum to learn about the battles that it survived, and see the original 18th-century powder magazine. There is also a recreated hospital ward with exhibits explaining the role that women played in the war effort and the medical treatments used to care for wounded and sick soldiers. Unlike some historic sites, the fort is very family-friendly (there are even two escape room experiences!) with easy-to-understand exhibits and it is a great day trip for people traveling with kids.

18. Idlewild Amusement Park

Distance: 49 miles

Known as being one of the best amusement parks in Pennsylvania, Idlewild has been getting people’s hearts racing and faces smiling for the past 145 years making it one of the oldest amusement parks in the entire country. The park is divided into seven different themed sections and boasts roller coasters, thrill rides, and kid-friendly attractions as well as the SoakZone, their own onsite water park complete with water slides, lazy rivers, and swimming pools where you can cool off on a hot summer’s day (and trust us, it can get very, very hot there during the summer!). The park is small enough that it can be tackled in one day making it an easy day trip from Pittsburgh. 

Ready to roam?

We hope that this article has inspired you to get out and about on your next trip to Pittsburgh and experience the gorgeous landscape and interesting cultural spots just a short drive away. As always, we would love to hear your feedback and please let us know if we have missed any hidden gems!

To read more about all of the great things there, don’t forget to check out our list of the 25+ Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh , or check out any of our fun-filled Pittsburgh scavenger hunts !

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re in Steel City but planning on hitting the road, head to Fallingwater, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous creations, or take a day trip from Pittsburgh to the Slippery Rock Gorge!

When you and your crew want to expand your horizons, these day trips from Pittsburgh should do the trick! Visit the Football Hall of Fame, spend a day at Conneaut Lake, or explore Idlewild Amusement Park.

Experience some of Steel City’s finest attractions a fun-filled scavenger hunt ! You could also check out Let’s Roams picks for the 25+ Best Things To Do , or head out on a day trip from Pittsburgh .

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  • Last Updated On
  • September 5, 2023

40 Best Weekend Getaways From Pittsburgh — Quick Trips!

James Morgan

Pittsburgh is the perfect place to go if you want a weekend getaway.

The city in western Pennsylvania is not just home to museums, gardens, and historical sites waiting to be explored.

Located at the confluence of the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers, it’s also the perfect jump-off point to other beautiful places outside the city.

Have you explored every corner of the City of Champions?

Spice up your adventures with the best weekend getaways from Pittsburgh on this list below.

1. The Laurel Highlands

The Laurel Highlands

Laurel Highlands, PA 15655 (717) 787-2500

This region encompasses 3,000 square miles of green spaces and rugged terrain in Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland Counties.

It’s also home to historical sites and world-class resorts.

You can reach The Laurel Highlands from Pittsburgh in 59 minutes.

Looking for last minute weekend getaways from Pittsburgh?

The Laurel Highlands should be your destination.

You can do many things in this nature oasis.

Marvel at the beautiful Cucumber and Ohiopyle waterfalls.

Bike the popular Great Allegheny Passage and take in gorgeous views of around 130 species of trees along the way.

If you’re lucky, you might even come across a red-backed salamander or white-tailed deer.

2. The Allegheny National Forest

The Allegheny National Forest

Marienville, PA 16239 (814) 927-5700

Established in 1923, this forest covers 513,315 acres of land.

It’s home to the Kinzua Dam, one of the largest reservoirs east of Mississippi.

It will take 1 hour and 46 minutes from Pittsburgh to the Allegheny National Forest if you travel by car.

Don’t look any further for cheap vacations from Pittsburgh.

The Allegheny National Forest is nature at its finest.

This means it has everything to keep you busy.

You won’t have to shell out that much to enjoy, either.

Go fishing in the Allegheny Wild and Scenic River.

If you’re up for the challenge, take a stroll along Kinzua Sky Walk.

Here, you can look 300 feet straight down into the valley through the glass floors.

Hike a portion of the 100 miles of the historic North Country Trail to view a beautiful ancient forest.

It’s one of the inexpensive weekend getaways near Pittsburgh you can’t miss.

3. Baltimore

Baltimore

Located on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, this city in Maryland is at the mouth of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

It’s home to family-friendly attractions, including the National Aquarium.

You can get to Baltimore from Pittsburgh in 4 hours and 20 minutes by car.

This is one of the long weekend trips from Pittsburgh worth taking.

After all, in Baltimore, there’s no shortage of things to do when you’re with the family.

Get up close and personal with gorgeous animals like the Atlantic puffin and bottlenose dolphin in the National Aquarium.

The Maryland Science Center is perfect for the science buff, with its three levels of exhibits, a planetarium, and an observatory.

If you’re an artist, head to the Walters Art Museum.

The museum features beautiful artworks from the third millennium BC to the 20th century.

Recommended Hotel: Sagamore Pendry Baltimore

Related: Best Places to Visit Near Baltimore

4. Beaver Creek State Park

Beaver Creek State Park

12021 Echo Dell Road East Liverpool, OH 43920 (330) 385-3091

This park near East Liverpool stretches for 2,722 acres in Columbiana County.

It features historical landmarks like Gaston’s Mill and the Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center.

If you’re coming from Pittsburgh, you can get to Beaver Creek State Park in 1 hour and 2 minutes.

One of the best places near Pittsburgh for vacation, the park is a nature oasis.

Keep your eyes open for raccoons, chipmunks, and even white-tailed deer here.

Go boating on Little Beaver Creek or hike the Vondergreen trail that runs along the river.

If you’re more of a history buff, check out Pioneer Village, which showcases 19th-century buildings, such as a blacksmith shop and a schoolhouse.

Gaston’s Mill is a must-see, too, one of the last functioning of its kind in Ohio, dating back to 1837.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express – Newell-Chester WV, an IHG Hotel

5. Chautauqua County

Chautauqua County

Mayville, NY 14757 (716) 753-4000

Situated in the westernmost part of New York, this county, created in 1808, stretches for 960,000 acres.

It’s home to historic attractions like Dunkirk Lighthouse and Veterans Museum.

If you’re driving from Pittsburgh, you can reach Chautauqua County in 2 hours and 23 minutes.

There are many places to go for a weekend trip near you.

Chautauqua County is one of them, with its abundance of historical spots.

Built in the 1800s, the Atwater-Stone House is a must-visit.

Check out the Brocton Arch, too, constructed way back in 1913.

Embark on a lake adventure on board Chautauqua Belle, built between 1974 and 1976.

It can be one of the best romantic getaways from Pittsburgh you’ll ever have.

Recommended Hotel: Spencer Hotel & Spa Chautauqua

Related: Weekend Trips From Buffalo

Related: Hotels in Pittsburgh

6. Cleveland

Cleveland

This city in Ohio is the seat of Cuyahoga County.

It stretches for 52,787 acres and is home to the popular Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

If you’re driving a car from Pittsburgh, you can get to Cleveland in 2 hours and 7 minutes.

Don’t miss out on one of the popular Pittsburgh area weekend getaways.

Situated along the southern shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland is a haven for travelers.

Check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which features exhibits on the musical genre’s history.

If you’re more of an architecture enthusiast, drop by downtown Cleveland.

You won’t get enough of the gorgeous architecture associated with the City Beautiful movement of the 1890s and 1900s.

Prefer to see art?

The Cleveland Museum of Art is just the place to go.

Enjoy the museum’s beautiful photography, modern artworks, and exhibits of talented local artists.

Recommended Hotel: Metropolitan at The 9, Autograph Collection

Related: Places Near Cleveland

7. Columbus

Columbus

Columbus, OH 43125 (614) 645-3111

Columbus encompasses over 144,000 acres of parks and modern and historical structures.

Incorporated in 1816, it’s Ohio’s state capital.

It’s an almost 3-hour drive from Pittsburgh to Columbus.

Here’s one cool overnight trip you’ll never forget.

Columbus offers the adventure of a lifetime for travelers looking to experience a bit of everything.

Want to check out a science museum?

The Center of Science and Industry features interactive exhibits and planetarium shows.

Looking for history?

The German Village area is a must-visit, with its restored brick houses built in the 1800s.

If you want to experience nature, drop by the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

You’ll love the over 400 plant species around you.

Recommended Hotel: Sonesta Columbus Downtown

Related: Day Trips Around Columbus

8. Conneaut Lake Park

Conneaut Lake Park

12382 Center Street Conneaut Lake, PA 16316

This amusement park, founded in 1892, is one of the country’s most historical facilities of its kind.

It’s in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania’s largest natural glacier lagoon.

If you drive a vehicle from Pittsburgh, you can reach Conneaut Lake Park in 1 hour and 28 minutes.

This is one of the short trips from Pittsburgh you should make with the family.

You and the kids will have loads of fun when you get to the park.

Ride the old-fashioned Ferris wheel for beautiful views of the city from 40 feet above.

If you prefer an adrenaline-pumping attraction, slide down a 415-foot-long slide in Cliffhanger Falls.

You can go fishing in Conneaut Lake for a more relaxing experience.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn Meadville

9. Fallingwater

Fallingwater

1491 Mill Run Road Mill Run, PA 15464 (724) 329-8501

Designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935, a portion of this house stands over a waterfall.

It’s in the mountains of Pennsylvania.

If you’re coming from Pittsburgh, Fallingwater is just 1 hour and 11 minutes away.

If you’re looking for the perfect getaway, Pittsburgh won’t disappoint.

The city allows you to access this majestic piece of architecture via I-76 easily.

When you reach your destination, you’ll find 5,100 acres of land surrounding the beautiful structure.

Check out Fallingwater’s huge outdoor terraces.

Then you can dine in Fallingwater Cafe in the Visitor Center for the complete adventure.

Recommended Hotel: Nemacolin

Related: Fun Weekend Trips in Pennsylvania

10. Hartwood Acres Park

Hartwood Acres Park

200 Hartwood Acres Pittsburgh, PA 15238 (412) 767-9200

This park encompasses 629 acres of land in Allegheny County.

It’s home to a sculpture garden, an off-leash dog area, and a 1.5-mile paved trail system.

It’s just a 22-minute drive from Pittsburgh to Hartwood Acres Park.

Experience nature at its peak in this gorgeous park.

Hike a portion of the trails for stunning views of wildflowers in the meadows and tall trees.

You can bond with your furry friend in open green spaces, too.

The Hartwood Acres Sculpture Garden is a must-see, too.

You’ll see how the beautiful nature scenery complements just-as-gorgeous large-scale art installations.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites – Pittsburgh/Harmarville, PA

11. McConnells Mill State Park

McConnells Mill State Park

1761 McConnells Mill Road Portersville, PA 16051 (724) 368-8091

Established in 1957, this state park stretches for 2,546 acres in Perry and Slippery Rock Townships.

It features a restored watermill and a breathtaking gorge.

From Pittsburgh, you can reach McConnells Mill State Park in 41 minutes by car.

The park is a beauty.

Hike the two-mile Kildoo trail loop for breathtaking views of Hell’s Hollow Falls.

Want some adrenaline rush?

Try some rock climbing or rappelling at Breakneck Bridge.

For a more relaxing activity, swing by the restored water mill, which traces its origins to the 1800s.

Recommended Hotel: Quality Inn New Castle

12. Meadville

Meadville

This city, set 90 miles from Pittsburgh, is the seat of Crawford County.

It stretches over 2,796 acres of land in the beautiful French Creek Valley.

You can reach Meadville in 1 hour and 23 minutes from Pittsburgh if you use a vehicle.

The city exudes a charming vibe, with its downtown filled with structures dating back to the 1800s.

There are many other historical sites you can visit, too.

Swing by the Lovely Diamond Park.

It served as militia drill grounds during the American Civil War.

The Bicentennial Park is a must-see as well.

It’s home to a log cabin replica of city founder Major General David Mead.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Meadville (I-79 Exit 147a), an IHG Hotel

13. Monongahela National Forest

Monongahela National Forest

200 Sycamore Street Elkins, WV 26241 (304) 636-1800

This national forest is in the Allegheny Mountains.

It encompasses 921,150 acres of converted rail trails, green spaces, and rugged terrain.

If you’re coming from Pittsburgh, Monongahela National Forest is 2 hours and 15 minutes away by car.

Are you a nature lover?

Make sure you visit the Monongahela National Forest.

Hike the 1.5-mile trail to get to the Seneca Rocks summit for gorgeous views of valleys on both sides.

If you don’t want a workout, just go fishing in the park’s more than 600 miles of cold-water streams.

You might just find a rainbow or brown trout to take home.

Recommended Hotel: Inn at Snowshoe

14. Moundsville

Moundsville

Situated along the Ohio River, this city derives its name from the nearby Grave Creek Mound, built from 250 to 100 BC.

It’s also home to the West Virginia State Penitentiary, built in 1876 but closed in 1995.

You can reach Moundsville from Pittsburgh in 1 hour and 14 minutes.

Moundsville is a must-visit for history buffs.

You can explore the city’s conical burial grounds constructed by Adena natives.

If you want something a little different, visit the West Virginia State Penitentiary.

You can tour the Gothic facility, which has been retired from prison use.

Don’t forget to drop by the Anna B. Smith House.

It features exhibits of products made by the Fostoria Glass Company, which began operations in 1887.

Recommended Hotel: Sleep Inn & Suites Moundsville

15. Mount Davis

Mount Davis

Mount Davis, Forbes State Forest Elk Lick Township, PA 15558

Situated in the 5,685-acre Forbes State Forest, Mount Davis is the highest peak in Pennsylvania.

It has an elevation of 3,213 feet.

Mount Davis is 1 hour and 35 minutes away from the city by car.

Want your daily dose of exercise?

Hike a portion of the trails that lead up to Pennsylvania’s highest point.

Make sure you check the Davis Observation Tower, too.

It’s an uphill climb, but the views of Deer Valley Lake and the surrounding Laurel Highlands are worth it.

Recommended Hotel: Comfort Inn Grantsville-Deep Creek Lake

16. Nelson Ledges Quarry Park

Nelson Ledges Quarry Park

12001 Nelson Ledge Road Garrettsville, OH 44231 (440) 548-2716

This park stretches for 250 acres in northeastern Ohio.

It’s home to forests, streams, and over 400 campsites.

Travel by car from Pittsburgh, and you can get to Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in 1 hour and 29 minutes.

Immerse in nature in this beautiful park.

Go fishing in the lake full of catfish for the perfect bonding moment with friends.

If you’re a fitness buff, you can always just walk the trails in the forest together.

Make sure you visit the beautiful Minnehaha falls that drop 15 feet into a gorge.

Camp deep in the woods under the beautiful Ohio skies for the perfect cap-off to your weekend adventure.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Lordstown-Newton Falls/Warren, an IHG Hotel

17. New Wilmington

New Wilmington

New Wilmington, PA 16142 (724) 946-8167

This borough in Lawrence County stretches for over 697 acres.

It features the Caldwell One-Room Schoolhouse built in 1880 and other historical sites.

It’s only a 1-hour drive from Pittsburgh to New Wilmington.

Experience rural life at its best in New Wilmington.

Rent car buggies to explore the 4-mile Hells Hollow Wildlife Adventure Trail.

Check out Apple Castle, too.

The farm has been growing fruits since 1861.

They are the perfect souvenirs to take home.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites Sharon

18. Oglebay Park

Oglebay Park

465 Lodge Drive Wheeling, WV 26003 (877) 436-1797

This municipal park encompasses 1,650 acres of land on the outskirts of Wheeling.

It sits on the grounds that used to form part of Earl W. Oglebay’s Waddington Farms estate.

By car, Oglebay Park is 1 hour and 4 minutes away from Pittsburgh.

You won’t run out of things to see here.

The Carriage House, for instance, is a beautiful reminder of the past, with its classical-inspired architecture built around 1793.

The main house on the former estate remains standing, too.

It became the Mansion Museum in 1930 and continues to operate as a cultural site.

You should check out a greenhouse in the park, too.

Greenhouses appeared in the Waddington Farms estate as early as the 1900s.

Recommended Hotel: The Lodge at Oglebay

19. Ohiopyle State Park

Ohiopyle State Park

124 Main Street Ohiopyle, PA 15470 (724) 329-8591

This state park stretches for 20,500 acres of land in Dunbar, Henry Clay, and Stewart Townships.

It’s home to the Youghiogheny River and the Cucumber Falls.

If you’re traveling by car from Pittsburgh, you can get to Ohiopyle State Park in 1 hour and 12 minutes.

Have a full nature experience in this beautiful park.

Enjoy whitewater boating on the 14-mile Youghiogheny River under Pennsylvania skies.

Are you a fitness enthusiast?

Hike to the beautiful 30-foot Cucumber Falls or the park’s own Ohiopyle waterfall instead.

Make sure you bring your camera because you’ll want to take many pictures along the way.

Recommended Hotel: The Lodge at Chalk Hill

20. Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park

Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park

222 Penns Cave Road Centre Hall, PA 16828 (814) 364-1664

This wildlife park is home to Penn’s Cave House, which served as a hotel from 1885 to 1919.

It stretches for 57 acres.

Drive a car from Pittsburgh, and you’ll reach Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park in 2 hours and 37 minutes.

Go on a beautiful tour of the underground cavern that stretches for 1,300 feet.

Tour the wildlife park separately, too.

You’ll see beautiful native North American animals, such as mountain lions, in their habitats.

Complete your adventure by trying out the 5,000-square-foot maze.

Recommended Hotel: Wyndham Garden State College

21. Pine Creek Gorge

Pine Creek Gorge

4797 Route 660 Wellsboro, PA 16901

Also called the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, this natural landmark is 12,163 acres in size.

Around it is the Tioga State Forest, which encompasses an estimated 165,000 acres of land.

If you’re coming from Pittsburgh, it will take you 3 hours and 5 minutes to get to Pine Creek Gorge by car.

Enjoy this breathtaking gorge with depths of over 1,000 feet from the Pine Creek rim.

Along the rim, you get stunning vistas of Colton Point and Leonard Harrison State Parks.

If you want to challenge yourself, hike the Turkey Path trails that will take you to the depths of the gorge.

The beautiful waterfalls at the bottom make for picture-perfect views.

Recommended Hotel: Rough Cut Lodge

22. Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park

301 Peninsula Drive Suite 1 Erie, PA 16505 (814) 833-7424

This state park sits on a sandy peninsula on Lake Erie.

The park stretches for 3,112 acres on Presque Isle, believed to have Pennsylvania’s only “seashore.”

You can reach Presque Isle State Park from Pittsburgh in 1 hour and 57 minutes if you use a vehicle.

This park has everything you need for the ultimate nature getaway.

Go swimming in the gorgeous waters with the kids.

If you’re not in the mood for swimming, you can always lie on the sandy beach and take in the views.

Get ready with your camera because you’re more likely to see beautiful common terns or horned larks in action.

Recommended Hotel: Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel

23. Seven Springs Mountain Resort

Seven Springs Mountain Resort

777 Waterwheel Drive Champion, PA 15622 (814) 352-7777

Located in Somerset County, this resort sits 3,001 feet above sea level.

It features biking, hiking, and golfing opportunities and 285 acres of a skiable area in the winter.

You can get to Seven Springs Mountain Resort in 1 hour and 3 minutes if you’re coming from Pittsburgh.

Bond with friends in this one-of-a-kind resort.

Challenge them to a game of par-71 golf or a lumberjack match in the Foggy Goggle Axe House.

Want even more physical activity?

Go hiking or biking on the park’s 33 trails and slopes.

Don’t worry because you can stay in any of the resort’s lovely guest rooms for one of the best weekend getaways in Pittsburgh or nearby.

24. Smicksburg

Smicksburg

Smicksburg, PA 16256 (724) 465-3800

Smicksburg is one of the smallest incorporated boroughs in Pennsylvania.

It’s home to a large Amish population, historic sites, and a wide array of specialty shops.

The travel time from Pittsburgh to Smicksburg is 1 hour and 9 minutes if you use a car.

Smicksburg’s small-town vibe stands out with its green farms and quaint shops downtown.

Walk around the beautiful countryside.

You’ll see a sizable Amish population just going about their simple lifestyle, some driving around in buggies.

Check out the Victorian-style Marshall House that dates back to the 19th century.

Then sample delicious wines at the Windgate Vineyards and Winery for the perfect weekend adventure.

Recommended Hotel: Cobblestone Hotel & Suites – Punxsutawney

Erie

Situated on the south shore of a lake, Erie is the fifth largest city in Pennsylvania.

It is home to the Erie Art Museum, parks, and botanical gardens.

To get to Erie, you can drive a car from Pittsburgh.

You’ll get there in 2 hours.

Like many Pittsburgh weekend getaways, this one is worth it.

Erie has a lot to offer, whether you’re an art buff or a nature enthusiast.

The Erie Art Museum is home to a collection of over 8,000 objects that include beautiful Tibetan paintings and ceramics.

You can hike the 0.69-mile Duck Run Trail into wooded areas at the Erie Bluffs State Park.

Enjoy a picnic afterward for an unforgettable nature experience.

Recommended Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott Erie Bayfront

26. Gettysburg

Gettysburg

Gettysburg, PA 17325 (717) 334-1160

This borough and town in Pennsylvania is home to the Gettysburg National Battlefield and other historical sites.

It’s 185 miles away from Pittsburgh.

You can get to Gettysburg from the city in 3 hours and 30 minutes by car.

If you’re a history lover, Gettysburg is the place to be.

The area has a lot of history to offer.

Head to the Gettysburg National Military Park, which houses the site of a battle that was a turning point in the Civil War.

If you want to see more Civil War artifacts, check out the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center.

The Gettysburg National Cemetery is a must-see, too.

It’s home to a memorial that marks the site of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address in 1863.

Recommended Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Gettysburg

27. State College

State College

State College, PA 16801 (814) 234-7100

Located in Centre County, this municipality is home to the main campus of the Pennsylvania State University.

It also features the Palmer Museum of Art and the Beaver Stadium.

The travel time from Pittsburgh to State College is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Enjoy a weekend filled with fun things to do at State College.

Marvel at the Palmer Museum of Art’s collections ranging from ancient ceramics to 20th-century artworks.

Discovery Space is a great place to visit if you bring the kids along, with its interactive galaxy exhibits.

If you’re more of a sports buff, watch a Penn State football game in the Beaver Stadium together.

Then hike up Mount Nittany as part of your daily workout.

Recommended Hotel: The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center

28. Benezette

Benezette

Benezette, PA 15821 (814) 787-8811

Located on Route 55, this community has been touted as the Elk Capital of Pennsylvania.

It’s home to over 1,400 animals and parks.

If you’re coming from Pittsburgh, you can get to Benezette in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Here’s a getaway that probably differs from your other Pittsburgh vacations.

Imagine seeing gorgeous four-legged elk in their natural habitat from the visitor center on Winslow Hill.

You can even go on a wagon ride at the back of the property to experience the lovely creatures uniquely.

Check out the nearby Elk Mountain Homestead farmhouse, too.

It’s a bedding and feeding area for the four-legged animals you don’t want to miss.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express & Suites St Marys, an IHG Hotel

29. Lancaster

Lancaster

Lancaster, PA 17608 (717) 291-4711

Known as the hub of Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country, Lancaster has also been touted as one of the oldest inland cities in the country.

It’s home to the Dutch Wonderland and the Turkey Hill ice cream headquarters.

The travel time from Pittsburgh to Lancaster is 3 hours and 50 minutes.

Enjoy the time of your life with the family in this gorgeous city.

Try the Dutch Wonderland’s over 30 rides with the kids.

Soak in gorgeous views from above in Sky Ride.

If you and the young ones want an adrenaline rush, Merlin’s Mayhem is just the perfect attraction for you.

Head straight to the Turkey Hill headquarters after your day’s adventure.

You can sample delicious ice cream and create your own flavors from scratch.

Recommended Hotel: Eden Resort and Suites, BW Premier Collection

30. The Poconos

The Poconos

1004 West Main Street Stroudsburg, PA 18360 (570) 844-2001

The mountains on the eastern edge of the Delaware Water Gap are home to waterfalls, trails, and water parks.

You can reach the Pocono Mountains in 4 hours and 30 minutes from Pittsburgh.

The children won’t get enough of this place.

You’ll find water parks everywhere, with their slides and lazy rivers.

You can commune with nature in The Poconos, too.

Check out the Pennell Falls, which drop over a 100-foot cliff.

The spectacular Main Falls will blow you away, too, as they tumble down to create a beautiful pool surrounded by gorgeous flowers.

Recommended Hotel: Camelback Resort

Butler

Butler, PA 16001 (724) 285-4731

Located in the western portion of Pennsylvania, Butler is home to beautiful parks, museums, and a wide array of dining options.

Butler is 33 miles away from Pittsburgh.

You can get to Butler in 50 minutes if you use a car.

Experience life away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Take a canoe ride and explore the majestic Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park.

Go swimming on any of the park’s two beaches under beautiful Pennsylvania skies.

If the kids tagged along with you, Pleasant Valley Beach is an excellent option.

It has playground equipment they can use all day.

You can play volleyball on one of the courts here, too.

Recommended Hotel: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Pittsburgh Butler/Centre City

32. Philadelphia

Philadelphia

Also called Philly, Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and the sixth largest in the country.

It’s home to historical sites like Independence Hall and the President’s House.

It will take 4 hours and 50 minutes to get to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh by car.

Philly is just the place to go on a history-filled weekend adventure.

Swing by Independence Hall.

It’s where the founding fathers signed the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, two of the most important documents in US history.

Drop by the President’s Hall as well.

From 1790 to 1800, it served as the country’s first White House.

Don’t forget to check out the Academy of Music.

It dates back to 1962 and is the oldest opera house still being used for that purpose in the country.

Recommended Hotel: The Rittenhouse Hotel

Related: Fun Day Trips From Philadelphia

33. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

1978 River Road Bushkill, PA 18324 (570) 426-2452

This nature oasis sits on a stretch of the Delaware River on the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

It features mountains, beaches, and the Delaware Water Gap.

By car, the Delaware Gap National Recreation Area is 4 hours and 50 minutes away from Pittsburgh.

Want to spend time with your significant other?

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is just the place to go.

You can hike a portion of the 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail that cuts through the area.

If you’re not in the mood to exert too much physical activity, drive the car along the 100 miles of scenic roads.

You’ll get just-as-incredible views of valleys, floodplains, and dense forests.

Recommended Hotel: Club Wyndham Shawnee Village

34. Cherry Springs State Park

Cherry Springs State Park

4639 Cherry Springs Road Coudersport, PA 16915 (814) 435-1037

Established in 1922, this park stretches for 82 acres in Potter County.

It derives its name from the park’s large stand of black cherry trees.

The travel time from Pittsburgh to Cherry Springs State Park is 3 hours and 30 minutes by car.

This park allows for the perfect nature adventure.

Hike the one-mile loop around the park for incredible views of black cherry trees and green spaces.

A part of the 85-mile Susquehannock Trail System passes near the park.

This is the perfect trail for expert hikers who want stunning views of rolling hills and valleys.

After your hike, don’t forget to do some stargazing at night.

At an elevation of 2,300 feet, the park is famous for having one of the darkest night skies on the east coast.

So you can catch a glimpse of beautiful stars and even a part of the Milky Way in optimal conditions.

Recommended Hotel: Hotel Crittenden

35. Hershey

Hershey

Hershey, PA 17033 (717) 533-2057

Situated in Derry Township, this unincorporated community is home to The Hershey Company headquarters.

It also features a rose garden and a park.

If you’re coming from Pittsburgh, you can reach Hershey in 3 hours and 50 minutes.

Take the young ones to Hershey for a family trip they won’t forget.

They’ll love Hersheypark, with its over 70 rides and attractions.

Hershey’s Chocolate World will make them–and you–happy, too.

Enjoy the chocolate-tasting experience the town is famous for.

Go on the Unwrapped tour, too.

You’ll learn how Hershey makes exquisite chocolates that delight the palate.

Recommended Hotel: Best Western Plus Hershey

36. Omni Bedford Springs Resort

Omni Bedford Springs Resort

2138 Business 220 Bedford, PA 15522 (814) 623-8100

This mineral springs resort stretches for 2,200 acres in Bedford.

Established in 1806, it has been touted as the last and best-preserved mineral springs resort hotel of the 19th century.

You can reach Omni Bedford Springs Resort in 1 hour and 45 minutes if you drive from Pittsburgh.

Enjoy some incredible me-time in this beautiful place.

Indulge in the resort’s Bedford Bath with cold and hot water from natural springs.

Then have your tee time in the Old Course, which features plush greens and well-manicured fairways.

Enjoy some reading time on the front lawn, right in front of a welcoming fire pit, for a weekend well spent.

37. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

6947 Riverview Road Peninsula, OH 44264 (440) 717-3890

Nestled along the Cuyahoga River, this national park straddles the cities of Cleveland and Akron in Ohio.

It features a Canal Exploration Center, a scenic railroad, and waterfalls.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is 112 miles away from Pittsburgh.

If you travel by car, you can get to the park in 1 hour and 50 minutes.

If you’re a nature lover, you’ll love this park.

Everywhere you go, you’ll see nature at its peak.

Bike the Towpath Trail that follows the 87-mile Ohio & Erie Canal.

Don’t worry because it’s an easy ride.

You’ll also get stunning views of the river and valleys along the way.

Recommended Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland/Twinsburg

38. Put-in-Bay

Put-in-Bay

Put-in-Bay, OH 43456 (419) 285-5112

This village located on South Bass Island stretches for 397 acres.

It features Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial and a wide array of dining options.

The travel time from Pittsburgh is 3 hours and 50 minutes if you use a car.

Put-in-Bay has all the history and nature you want as a traveler.

The Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is an iconic historic landmark.

It honors the brave men and women who fought in the War of 1812.

For your nature experience, check out Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center.

You’ll find a beautiful limestone cave and a butterfly house to explore.

If you prefer a water adventure, just go kayaking on the bay and soak in the beautiful Ohio sky.

Recommended Hotel: Anchor Inn Boutique Hotel

39. Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe, PA 18229 (570) 325-3025

This town encompasses over 9,500 acres of land in eastern Pennsylvania.

With a rich coal mining history, this town derives its name from the acclaimed Native American athlete.

You can reach Jim Thorpe from Pittsburgh in 4 hours and 32 minutes.

Relive the 19th century when Jim Thorpe was a thriving coal mining town.

Check out the 19th-century anthracite coal mine housed in Lansford No. 9 Mine and Museum.

Then ride an old coach to Lehigh Gorge State Park.

You’ll love the elegant Victorian mansions of industrialists, such as Asa Packer, along the way.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn Lehighton – Jim Thorpe

40. Morgantown

Morgantown

This city in West Virginia stretches for over 6,809 acres.

It’s home to West Virginia University, the 1924 Metropolitan Theatre, and beaches.

By car, you can reach Morgantown in 1 hour and 16 minutes if you come from Pittsburgh.

Spend an entire weekend in this place, and you won’t run out of fun activities.

Listen to some country music at the Metropolitan Theatre.

Then explore West Virginia University, with its towering buildings.

If you want to experience nature, visit the WVU Core Arboretum.

You won’t get enough of its gorgeous old-growth forest and wildflowers.

Make sure you swim on Morgantown’s beaches or kayak on the Monongahela River.

After your trip, you’ll understand why this is one of the best weekend getaways from Pittsburgh that travelers shouldn’t miss.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Morgantown-University Area, an IHG Hotel

Related: Restaurants in Morgantown, WV

Map of The Best Weekend Getaways From Pittsburgh, PA

40 Best Weekend Trips From Pittsburgh 2024

  • The Laurel Highlands
  • The Allegheny National Forest
  • Beaver Creek State Park
  • Chautauqua County
  • Conneaut Lake Park
  • Fallingwater
  • Hartwood Acres Park
  • McConnells Mill State Park
  • Monongahela National Forest
  • Moundsville
  • Mount Davis
  • Nelson Ledges Quarry Park
  • New Wilmington
  • Oglebay Park
  • Ohiopyle State Park
  • Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park
  • Pine Creek Gorge
  • Presque Isle State Park
  • Seven Springs Mountain Resort
  • State College
  • The Poconos
  • Philadelphia
  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
  • Cherry Springs State Park
  • Omni Bedford Springs Resort
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park

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The 16 Best Day Trips From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2024 Guide)

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  • Last Updated: February 4, 2024

Make the most of your time in Iron City with this guide to the most incredible day trips from Pittsburgh! You won’t want to plan your visit without this!

Pittsburgh is a fascinating city in Pennsylvania. Once an industrial powerhouse known for its steel production, Pittsburgh has transformed into a hub of technology, healthcare, and education.

The city is characterized by its iconic skyline, traversed by the three rivers – the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio – which converge at Point State Park.

Pittsburgh boasts a rich cultural scene, with world-class museums like the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Heinz History Center. The city’s neighborhoods each carry a unique charm, from the historic Strip District to the vibrant and trendy Lawrenceville.

But what lies outside the city? These day trips from Pittsburgh are great ways to explore the landscapes, history, and culture of the surrounding area.

Whether you want to take rock climbing lessons in a state park or stroll through historic sites in a neighboring city or town, these Pittsburgh day trips have so much to offer.

Venture out to the wilderness areas of Ohio and rural Pennsylvania, or head north to the shores of Lake Erie. Pittsburgh is a lovely city, but some of these amazing day trips should be on your itinerary as well!

Pittsburgh City

Be sure to check out our favorite things to do in Pittsburgh while you’re in the city.

Table of Contents

Presque Isle State Park

Raccoon creek state park, pine creek gorge, mcconnells mill state park, laurel highlands, laurel caverns, moraine state park, allegheny national forest, seven springs mountain resort, beaver creek state park, nelson ledges quarry park, penn’s cave and wildlife park, mount davis, 16 lovely day trips from pittsburgh.

From exploring the historic city of Wheeling, West Virginia to hiking through Allegheny National Forest or taking on the Slippery Rock Creek Trail, here are the best day trips from Pittsburgh! If you don’t already have a car, be sure to rent one so you can have freedom and flexibility on the road.

The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars , which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 127 miles
  • Driving time: 1 hour and 55 minutes

Presque Isle State Park , located in Erie, Pennsylvania, is a picturesque natural gem nestled on a sandy peninsula that extends into Lake Erie. Encompassing approximately 3,200 acres, this state park is renowned for its stunning landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and a myriad of recreational opportunities.

The park’s main feature is the 13.5-mile sandy shoreline that provides a perfect setting for sunbathing, beachcombing, and water sports. Presque Isle State Park is also home to several well-maintained trails that wind through lush woodlands, marshes, and scenic overlooks, offering visitors a chance to explore the park’s rich biodiversity.

Beyond its natural beauty, the area boasts a wealth of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Birdwatchers flock to the park for its significance as a crucial migratory bird stopover, making it an ideal destination for spotting a variety of avian species.

Additionally, the park offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and picnicking, making it a popular destination for families on the beautiful Lake Erie.

With its unique blend of recreational options and unspoiled natural beauty, Presque Isle State Park is one of the best day trips from the city!

Presque Isle State Park

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 134 miles
  • Driving time: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Another great day trip idea is Cleveland, Ohio. Situated on the southern shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland is a vibrant and dynamic city with a rich cultural heritage. As one of the major cities in the Midwest, Cleveland has undergone a revitalization in recent years, transforming into a hub of arts, entertainment, and innovation.

The city is renowned for its iconic skyline, featuring landmarks such as the Terminal Tower and Key Tower. Cleveland’s waterfront, known as the Flats, has experienced a renaissance, with trendy restaurants, bars, and recreational spaces lining the Cuyahoga River, providing a scenic backdrop for locals and visitors alike.

Cleveland is a city deeply rooted in cultural institutions and sports fervor. The Cleveland Museum of Art is a cultural gem, hosting an impressive collection that spans thousands of years and various cultures.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame pays homage to the city’s influential role in the history of rock music. Sports enthusiasts rally around the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), Cleveland Browns (NFL), and Cleveland Guardians (MLB), fostering a passionate and resilient sports culture.

You can learn about the city’s history with a unique twist by going on a ghost walking tour through the historic streets. With a blend of historical significance, cultural attractions, and a welcoming community spirit, Cleveland stands as a dynamic urban center in the heart of the Midwest.

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 30 miles
  • Driving time: 35 minutes

Raccoon Creek State Park , situated in southwestern Pennsylvania, is a sprawling natural oasis that spans over 7,500 acres of diverse landscapes. The park is centered around the serene 101-acre Raccoon Lake, offering visitors opportunities for boating, fishing, and picnicking along its scenic shores.

The surrounding woodlands provide a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts, with miles of hiking trails winding through lush forests, meadows, and around the picturesque lake. One notable feature is the Wildflower Reserve, where a vibrant display of native flora adds to the park’s natural beauty, particularly during the spring and summer months.

Raccoon Creek State Park is also equipped with facilities for camping, making it a popular destination for those seeking a tranquil escape into nature. The park’s campground provides a range of camping options, from tent sites to RV hookups, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the peaceful ambiance of the park.

With its diverse ecosystems, recreational amenities, and a commitment to environmental conservation, Raccoon Creek State Park is a lovely day trip for those looking to escape into nature.

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 185 miles
  • Driving time: 3 hours

Pine Creek Gorge , often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania,” is a breathtaking natural wonder nestled within the Tioga State Forest in north-central Pennsylvania. Though it’s a 3 hour drive from the city, the drive is worth it as it’s one of the coolest day trips from Pittsburgh!

Carved by the meandering Pine Creek, the gorge stretches for over 45 miles and reaches depths of up to 1,450 feet, creating a dramatic and rugged landscape. The region is characterized by steep canyon walls, dense woodlands, and scenic vistas that attract outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and photographers alike.

Pine Creek Gorge is home to the Pine Creek Rail Trail, a popular 62-mile trail that follows the former railway corridor, providing a scenic route for biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the stunning beauty of the gorge.

The canyon offers numerous overlooks and vistas, including the iconic Leonard Harrison State Park and Colton Point State Park, both situated on opposite sides of the gorge. These vantage points provide panoramic views of the expansive canyon, offering glimpses of Pine Creek winding through the valley below.

Whether exploring the trails, enjoying the scenic viewpoints, or simply appreciating the tranquility of the surroundings, visitors to Pine Creek Gorge are treated to an unforgettable experience in one of Pennsylvania’s most striking natural settings.

No visit to Pennsylvania is complete without spending some time in Philly – check out our 3 Day Itinerary !

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 40 miles
  • Driving time: 40 minutes

Another one of the best day trips from Pittsburgh is McConnells Mill State Park in western Pennsylvania. The park’s focal point is the breathtaking Slippery Rock Creek Gorge, where the rushing waters have carved out unique geological formations, including the iconic McConnell’s Mill.

This historic gristmill, dating back to the 19th century, stands as a testament to the region’s industrial past and adds a touch of historical charm to the park. Visitors can explore the mill and witness the impressive rock overhangs and cliffs that characterize the surrounding landscape.

The park offers a wealth of outdoor activities, attracting nature lovers, hikers, and rock climbers alike. A network of trails, including the popular Slippery Rock Gorge Trail, takes hikers along the creek, offering stunning views of the gorge and the picturesque covered bridge.

McConnells Mill State Park is also renowned for its challenging rock climbing opportunities, with the imposing Breakneck Bridge providing a thrilling vertical canvas for climbers. McConnells Mill State Park offers an adventurous day trip into the wilderness and it’s only 40 minutes from Pittsburgh!

Mcconnells Mill State Park

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 50 miles
  • Driving time: 1 hour

The Laurel Highlands, a picturesque region in southwestern Pennsylvania, is a captivating landscape characterized by rolling hills, lush forests, and meandering rivers. This area is renowned for its natural beauty, highlighted by the majestic Laurel Ridge, which gives the region its name.

One of the most iconic features of the Laurel Highlands is Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, Fallingwater , perched dramatically over a waterfall.

The scenic beauty of Ohiopyle State Park, with its cascading waterfalls and the rushing Youghiogheny River, further adds to the allure of the Laurel Highlands. The centerpiece of the park is the picturesque Ohiopyle Falls, where the river dramatically descends over a series of cascades, attracting visitors with its breathtaking beauty.

Adventure enthusiasts flock to Ohiopyle State Park for its thrilling whitewater rafting and kayaking opportunities, navigating the challenging rapids of the Youghiogheny River for an adrenaline-pumping experience.

Beyond its natural wonders, the Laurel Highlands is steeped in history and cultural significance. Fort Ligonier, a reconstructed 18th-century fort, provides a glimpse into the region’s colonial past and its role during the French and Indian Wars.

The Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile rail trail, winds through the Laurel Highlands, offering cyclists and hikers a scenic journey through charming towns and breathtaking landscapes.

Whether exploring its historic sites, enjoying Ohiopyle State Park, or simply savoring the tranquility of its natural surroundings, the Laurel Highlands is an excellent day trip destination that celebrates the rich tapestry of Pennsylvania’s diverse landscapes and heritage.

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 59 miles

One of the best day trips from Pittsburgh is Wheeling, a city situated along the Ohio River in the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

This West Virginia city has a rich history and a blend of cultural charm. Once a thriving industrial hub, Wheeling played a crucial role in the westward expansion during the 19th century and served as the first capital of the newly formed state of West Virginia during the Civil War.

The city is home to a wealth of historic architecture, including the iconic Suspension Bridge, which was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1849. Today, the historic district of Wheeling showcases elegant Victorian homes, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved buildings that transport visitors back in time.

In addition to its historical significance, Wheeling offers a range of cultural and recreational amenities. The Capitol Theatre , a beautifully restored venue, hosts a variety of performances, from live theater to musical concerts, providing a vibrant cultural scene for residents and visitors alike.

The Wheeling Heritage Port along the riverfront is a popular spot for events and festivals, offering stunning views of the Ohio River. With its rich history, architectural heritage, and commitment to cultural vibrancy, Wheeling, West Virginia, stands as a city that seamlessly blends its past with the present, inviting exploration and appreciation of its unique character.

Explore more of West Virginia with a visit to Harpers Ferry !

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 69 miles
  • Driving time: 1 hour and 25 minutes

A little over an hour from Pittsburgh lies another intriguing day trip destination. The majestic Laurel Caverns is the largest cave system in the state and a captivating underground world waiting to be explored.

This extensive labyrinth of limestone passages stretches for more than three miles beneath Chestnut Ridge, offering visitors an immersive and educational experience.

Guided tours take adventurers deep into the caverns, where they encounter fascinating geological formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and crystal formations, all formed over millions of years.

The cave’s vast chambers and narrow passageways contribute to an otherworldly atmosphere, making Laurel Caverns a thrilling destination for spelunkers and curious explorers alike.

Laurel Caverns also offers above-ground attractions, such as a challenging rock-climbing area and a panoramic mountain overlook.

With its blend of subterranean marvels and outdoor activities, this is a stunning day trip destination and one of the most fantastic attractions in Pennsylvania.

Those looking for a day trip into nature can head over to Moraine State Park, located in western Pennsylvania. This sprawling outdoor haven spans over 16,725 acres and is centered around the serene Lake Arthur.

The park’s landscape is a harmonious blend of woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, offering visitors a diverse range of recreational opportunities. Lake Arthur, a 3,225-acre reservoir, is a focal point for water-based activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. The park boasts marinas and numerous boat launches, catering to both casual boaters and avid anglers seeking the variety of fish species inhabiting the lake.

Moraine State Park also has many hiking trails that are perfect for nature lovers. The park features an extensive network of nature trails, including the popular North Country National Scenic Trail, which winds through the park’s picturesque landscapes. The Glacier Ridge Trail provides panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

The environmental education programs offered by the park enhance visitors’ understanding of the local ecosystems and wildlife. With its vast recreational options and natural beauty, Moraine State Park draws outdoor enthusiasts and families alike to explore the diverse landscapes.

Moraine State Park

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 91 miles
  • Driving time: 1 hour and 50 minutes

Just under a two-hour drive from Pittsburgh is the Allegheny National Forest . Full of diverse ecosystems, scenic beauty, and outdoor recreation opportunities, this is another one of the best day trips from Pittsburgh.

The forest is characterized by rolling hills, deep valleys, and over 600 miles of hiking and biking trails that wind through lush woodlands. One of the prominent features is the Allegheny Reservoir, a sprawling body of water that provides a stunning backdrop for various water activities, including boating, fishing, and kayaking.

Allegheny National Forest is a haven for wildlife, with white-tailed deer, black bears, and bald eagles among the many species that call this area home.

Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Allegheny National Forest to explore its extensive trail system, offering opportunities for hiking, backpacking, and horseback riding. In the winter you can use the trails for cross-country skiing!

The North Country National Scenic Trail passes through the forest, providing a connection to a broader network of trails for long-distance hikers.

Those looking to see some history can also check out the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Landmark in the neighboring Allegheny County.

Read next: The Best Day Trips From Washington DC

Nestled in the scenic Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, Seven Springs Mountain Resort is a premier year-round destination offering fun outdoor activities against the backdrop of breathtaking mountain landscapes.

Known for its extensive skiing and snowboarding facilities during the winter months, Seven Springs Mountain Resort caters to outdoor enthusiasts with numerous trails and slopes for all skill levels.

In addition to winter sports, the resort transforms into a vibrant summer playground, offering activities such as zip-lining, alpine slide rides, hiking, and mountain biking.

The resort’s dedication to providing a comprehensive outdoor experience is reflected in its well-maintained trails, challenging terrain parks, and state-of-the-art facilities.

Seven Springs is not just a haven for adventure seekers; it also boasts an array of amenities and accommodations, making it an ideal destination for both day trips and extended stays.

The resort features multiple dining options, spa services, and a variety of lodging choices, including hotels, condos, and cabins.

The family-friendly atmosphere and the range of activities available make Seven Springs Mountain Resort a popular choice for individuals, families, and groups looking to enjoy the natural beauty and recreational opportunities throughout the year.

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 51 miles

Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Ohio, Beaver Creek State Park is a charming natural retreat that makes a great day trip from Pittsburgh.

The park is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, featuring dense woodlands, meandering streams, and the pristine Little Beaver Creek.

A highlight of the park is the historic Gaston’s Mill, a restored 1830s gristmill that provides visitors with a glimpse into the region’s industrial past. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking along the scenic banks of Little Beaver Creek as well.

Outdoor adventures are a focal point of the park, with a network of trails winding through the wooded terrain. The North Country National Scenic Trail is a local favorite, attracting hikers seeking a longer trek. The park also features a campground, allowing visitors to extend their stay and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area.

With its blend of history, natural beauty, and recreational offerings, Beaver Creek State Park is one of the best day trips from Pittsburgh where you can connect with nature and just have fun!

If you’re planning to spend time in Philadelphia, check out our list of the best things to do !

  • Driving time: 2 hours and 50 minutes

Columbus, Ohio , the state’s capital and largest city, stands as a vibrant and diverse urban center in the heart of the Midwest. Known for its friendly atmosphere, Columbus is a city that seamlessly blends modernity with rich historical and cultural elements.

The downtown skyline features a mix of contemporary high-rises and historic structures, reflecting the city’s continuous growth and development. The city is home to Ohio State University, contributing to a youthful and dynamic energy with a wide range of cultural and educational activities.

The vibrant Short North Arts District beckons with its eclectic boutiques, galleries, and restaurants, while the renowned Columbus Zoo and Aquarium offers a family-friendly adventure with its impressive array of wildlife.

The city’s cultural scene is enriched by institutions like the Columbus Museum of Art, featuring a diverse collection of fine art, and the innovative Center of Science and Industry (COSI), providing hands-on science exhibits for all ages. You can save money on some of the city’s top destinations with a multiple attractions pass !

Columbus is celebrated for its green spaces, including the picturesque Scioto Mile along the Scioto River, offering a scenic waterfront and recreational amenities. As a thriving and welcoming city, Columbus is an appealing destination for residents and visitors seeking a blend of urban sophistication and Midwestern warmth.

Columbus Ohio

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 90 miles
  • Driving time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Nelson Ledges Quarry Park is another one of the best day trips that is just over an hour’s drive from downtown Pittsburgh.

The park centers around a picturesque quarry that has been transformed into a crystal-clear lake, providing visitors with an idyllic setting for swimming and sunbathing. The clear water of the quarry is surrounded by rugged cliffs and lush greenery, creating a serene and natural atmosphere.

Beyond its scenic beauty, Nelson Ledges Quarry Park is renowned for hosting a variety of music festivals and events throughout the year. The park’s amphitheater, nestled within the natural amphitheater created by the quarry walls, provides a unique and acoustically impressive venue for live performances. Music enthusiasts from various genres gather to enjoy concerts surrounded by the natural beauty of the park.

This fusion of outdoor recreation and live entertainment makes Nelson Ledges Quarry Park a distinctive destination that appeals to those seeking a harmonious blend of nature and music.

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 154 miles
  • Driving time: 2 hours and 40 minutes

Penn’s Cave and Wildlife Park is a captivating destination that boasts the title of America’s only all-water cavern and wildlife park. Visitors to Penn’s Cave embark on an underground boat tour that navigates through an expansive limestone cavern, revealing stunning stalactite formations, intricate chambers, and ethereal passageways.

The serene boat journey glides along the crystal-clear waters of Lake Nitanee, providing a unique perspective on the subterranean wonders hidden beneath the surface. The cave, with its fascinating geological features, has been a popular attraction since its discovery in 1885, and the guided tours offer a memorable blend of education and awe-inspiring natural beauty.

Adjacent to the cave, the wild animal park complements the underground experience with an above-ground adventure. Spanning over 1,600 acres, the park is home to a diverse array of North American wildlife. Visitors can embark on guided bus tours or explore the park at their own pace, encountering animals such as elk, bison, Texas longhorns, wolves, and more in a setting that mimics their natural habitats.

With its dual offerings of subterranean exploration and above-ground wildlife encounters, Penn’s Cave stands as a unique and comprehensive destination that showcases the wonders of both the hidden underworld and the vibrant wildlife thriving in the open landscape.

Read next: The Perfect 3 Days In Washington DC Itinerary

  • Distance from Pittsburgh: 84 miles
  • Driving time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Mount Davis, situated in Forbes State Forest in southwestern Pennsylvania, holds the distinction of being the highest point in the state. Standing at an elevation of 3,213 feet (979 meters), Mount Davis offers sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding Laurel Highlands and neighboring states.

A stone observation tower crowns the summit, providing visitors with an elevated platform to appreciate the expansive vistas. The area around Mount Davis features hiking trails, including the High Point Trail, leading adventurers through a mix of woodlands and open meadows.

Whether for its prominence in Pennsylvania’s topography, its scenic beauty, or the recreational opportunities it offers, Mount Davis stands as a notable destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a high-altitude perspective in the Keystone State.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

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Family Fun Pennsylvania

15 Family-Friendly Pennsylvania Day Trips

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Adventure awaits in the Keystone state with these family-friendly Pennsylvania day trips! From the vibrant colors of the Crayola Experience to the famous bumper boats at Knoebels, this list is sure to please everyone in the family. Whether you prefer the hustle and bustle of the city or the openness of the Pennsylvania backcountry roads, our list spans the entire state.

Amusement Parks in Pennsylvania

hersheypark characters

Hersheypark® – Dutch Country

Hershey 

www.hersheypark.com/

Since its opening in 1907, Hersheypark® transitioned over the years from a relaxing park with baseball, picnics, and canoeing to the thrilling amusement park it is today, with 14 coasters and more than 65 other rides and attractions. From the sooperdooperLooper, the first looping roller coaster on the East Coast, to the Cocoa Cruiser for the kids, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Hersheypark®. In the summer of 2019, the park opened Reese’s® Cupfusion – a dark ride gaming experience, and in 2020, Hershey’s Chocolatetown opened with a new park entrance, fountain, coaster, and additional dining and shopping options.

Sesame Place® – Philadelphia and the Countryside

www.sesameplace.com

It’s a perfect time – and they’re a perfect age – for Sesame Place®. Before little children become big kids, bring the entire family to whirl on rides, splash down slides and hug everyone’s favorite furry friends. Sesame Place® is proud to be designated the first theme park in the world to be a Certified Autism Center. The staff receives special training in addition to providing sensory guides, noise-canceling headphones, and quiet rooms, ensuring the park is a place for all. Get ready to sing, dance, and clap along at daily character shows, and go before they grow™ to the nation’s only theme park based entirely on Sesame Street®! 

Knoebels Amusement Park – Susquehanna Valley

www.knoebels.com

Nestled among the trees of central Pennsylvania, Knoebels is a family favorite amusement park , boasting more than 90 summers of thrill under their belt, more than 60 rides, and 35 unique food stands! Enthusiasts have touted the rides at Knoebels , including The Haunted Mansion, named in several publications as one of the best dark rides anywhere; The Grand Carousel was voted “Best of the Best,” in the amusement industry by the Golden Ticket Awards in 2018; and The Phoenix, which has been ranked among the top 10 wooden roller coasters by the Los Angeles Times. To top it off, Knoebels admission is always free!

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom® – Lehigh Valley

Allentown 

www.dorneypark.com/

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom® offers a myriad of possibilities for family fun. Guests can enjoy eight thrill rides, seven roller coasters, and more than three dozen slides, pools, and water play areas in Wildwater Kingdom. Kids can have fun in Planet Snoopy, the PEANUTS-themed park just for kids, and even try their driving skills on Dodgem, the midway classic bumper cars highly favored by park guests. 

Dutch Wonderland – Dutch Country

Lancaster 

www.dutchwonderland.com/

Designed for families with young children, Dutch Wonderland features live entertainment, more than 30 rides, and Duke’s Lagoon water play area. Guests can enjoy Exploration Island, a rediscovered island full of lifelike dinosaurs. Young explorers can learn about the history of more than 15 dinos while digging up fossils at the interactive Dino Dig, walking along the Prehistoric Path, or embarking on the Gondola Cruise. In 2018, Dutch Wonderland opened its tallest ride and its first suspended family roller coaster, Merlin’s Mayhem. Dutch Wonderland has consistently been recognized as a premier family amusement park and was voted one of the Top 5 Best Kid’s Parks in the World by Amusement Today magazine.   

lancaster pa with kids

Kennywood – Pittsburgh and its Countryside

West Mifflin

www.kennywood.com/

Home to more than 40 thrill rides for all ages, Kennywood’s Thomas Town™ is sure to bring out the kid in everyone with five family rides and a life-sized Thomas the Tank Engine™. Also coming in 2019, Steelers Country will feature skill game challenges, dining options, and the tallest coaster in PA – The Steel Curtain, which climbs 220 feet and whips riders through nine inversions all while traveling at 76 mph. Kennywood has been an amazing place for family fun since 1898 and these new attractions will be sure to entertain for years to come.

Museums in Pennsylvania

crayola experience easton

The Crayola Experience® – Lehigh Valley

www.crayola.com/Factory

Ever wondered how Crayola® makes its crayons? See it right before your own eyes at The Crayola Experience®, a hands-on discovery center for children and adults. Explore the magic of color and experiment with innovative art techniques at this playful museum. With younger visitors in mind, Crayola® added Toddler Town, a section of the factory for preschoolers, which includes a multi-colored pegboard and a giant ball maze, where your young one controls the outcome.

You can grab discount tickets here .

The Hershey Story® – Dutch Country

www.hersheystory.org

The Hershey Story® allows visitors to take a journey through the legacy of Milton S. Hershey, as well as the town, school, and history he created. Highlighting this American entrepreneur’s rags to riches story, the museum tells the tale of how he revolutionized the process of chocolate making and allows visitors to explore the unique qualities of chocolate through playful, hands-on experiences and interactive demonstrations. Guaranteed to bring out the kid in everyone, the museum’s Chocolate Lab offers participatory classes such as tempering, molding, dipping, and even making chocolate from scratch.

Please Touch Museum – Philadelphia and the Countryside

Philadelphia

www.pleasetouchmuseum.org

The ideal children’s museum in Philadelphia , the Please Touch Museum is the perfect venue for families with young children. Exhibits are all interactive and encourage learning through play, so children can feel free to touch, explore, and lead their parents through the process. In addition to enjoying the 12 exhibits offered, including Healthy Me and Imagination Playground, families can also take pleasure in live theater performances.

Carnegie Science Center – Pittsburgh and its Countryside

www.carnegiesciencecenter.org

The Carnegie Science Center brings the world of science alive for visitors of all ages. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the science center features four floors of hands-on exhibits, three live demonstration theaters, a four-story IMAX® dome theater, an interactive planetarium, laser shows, an authentic Cold War submarine moored on Pittsburgh’s Ohio River, and a world-renowned model railroad display. Take a peek into the human body at BodyWorks, an interactive exhibit featuring live shows and demonstrations allowing children to explore how the body works inside and out.    

The Turkey Hill Experience – Dutch Country

www.turkeyhillexperience.com/

The Turkey Hill Experience allows visitors to learn everything there is to know about dairy culture and the history of Turkey Hill® itself. Through interactive exhibits, visitors can discover the intricate details of creating Turkey Hill® ice cream and tea. Children and adults alike can even take a shot at the process themselves by milking mechanical cows or concocting their own ice cream flavor in Turkey Hill’s® Taste Lab.

turkey hill experience

The Franklin Institute – Philadelphia and the Countryside

Philadelphia 

www.fi.edu/

With a mission to “inspire a passion for learning about science and technology,” the Franklin Institute designs innovative, interactive exhibits to enlighten and educate each visitor. The dynamic institute is recognized internationally for its educational programs, lectures, and exhibits and emphasizes curiosity and enjoyment. Highlights include SportsZone, which uses virtual-reality technology to illustrate the physics of sports, The Train Factory’s climb-aboard steam engine, Space Command’s simulated earth-orbit research station, and exhibits on electricity. 

pennsylvania day trips

Hands-on House Children’s Museum – Dutch Country

www.handsonhouse.org

Hands-on House is designed for children ages 2 to 10 to learn, explore, and play. The exhibits, classes, and programs are short on lectures and long on interactive and participatory activities. Connect your dinner foods to local farms, steer tractors, and feed animals at the Hands-on-House exhibit, Little Valley Farm. While the exhibits change regularly, the experiences are always hands-on and self-guided. 

Adventures in Pennsylvania

woodloch resort

Woodloch Pines Resort – Upstate PA

www.woodloch.com

The Woodloch Pines Resort is a family-oriented, year-round resort that lies in the Pocono Mountains. Parents magazine acclaimed Woodloch as “one of America’s favorite vacation resorts.” Various family-friendly activities at this resort include a Pre-K activity center, boat rides, bocce ball, bumper boats and cars, canoeing, children’s arts/crafts, scavenger hunts, mini-golf, nature trails, Woodloch family Olympics, and fitness classes. After a day of intense family fun, parents can relax in Woodloch’s spa, rated the No. 3 Destination Spa in the World by Travel + Leisure and the No. 1 Family Resort in America in 2015 by TripAdvisor.

Strasburg Rail Road™ – Dutch Country

www.strasburgrailroad.com/

Since the 1850s, Strasburg Rail Road™ was used for various purposes, including passenger and freight transportation and interchange. Now it serves as a tourist attraction, where visitors can experience fun attractions while simultaneously learning about steam railroading. Not only can guests take a trip in the authentically restored coal-burning steam train, but they can also operate the hand-powered Pump Car. Your little one can hit the rails with Thomas the Tank Engine and his pal Percy as the Strasburg Rail Road™ presents a special Day Out With Thomas™.

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Get Wild in Rural PA at T&D’s Cats of the World

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Pennsylvania - The Great American Getaway

Adventures, History and Family Attractions in Beaver County

Nestled in the heart of western Pennsylvania, Beaver County beckons with its unique blend of history, outdoor recreation, and vibrant community spirit. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat or an adventure-filled getaway, this area offers a diverse range of activities for travelers of every age and ability.

Rich History and Culture

Begin your journey by exploring Beaver County’s rich history. The charming town of Beaver, the county seat, boasts well-preserved 19th-century architecture. Take a leisurely stroll through the historic district, where you'll find boutique shops, cozy cafes, and landmarks.

For a deeper dive into the region's past, visit the Beaver County Historical Research & Landmarks Foundation , where exhibits and guided tours illuminate the area's fascinating history. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the Vicary Mansion, an architectural gem that provides insight into the county's early days.

Outdoor Adventures

Nature enthusiasts will find a variety of outdoor activities in Beaver County . The expansive Brady's Run Park is a must-see, offering hiking trails, picnic areas, and a serene lake for fishing or boating. During the winter months, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Or explore Raccoon Creek State Park , one of Pennsylvania’s largest state parks. This sprawling natural oasis features miles of hiking and biking trails, wildlife viewing opportunities, and a picturesque lake ideal for kayaking or paddleboarding. Camping facilities are available for those who want to extend their stay under the stars.

group of four people cheering with rain coats on

Family-Friendly Fun

Beaver County caters to families with a plethora of kid-friendly attractions. The Old Economy Village , a National Historic Landmark, provides a glimpse into communal life of the Harmonists with interactive exhibits and demonstrations. The nearby Merrick Art Gallery is a great spot for families interested in art, showcasing an impressive collection spanning centuries.

For a day of excitement, take the family to Mines and Meadows ATV/RV Resort . The expansive facilities ensure a day filled with laughter and bonding for visitors of all ages. Or enjoy a day at the races and watch cars and motorcycles zoom by at Pittsburgh International Race Track .

Culinary Delights

No visit to Beaver County is complete without indulging in the many delicious places to eat . Explore the diverse dining scene, from quaint cafes to upscale restaurants. Savor local specialties like pierogies, a beloved Eastern European dumpling, or sample farm-to-table dishes prepared with fresh, regional ingredients. Or, wander the local farmers' markets for fresh produce and locally made goods.

Community Events and Festivals

Immerse yourself in lively community spirit at various events and festivals throughout the year. From music festivals and art fairs to holiday celebrations, there's always something happening in our vibrant towns. Check the events calendar to align your visit with the festivities that interest you the most.

Whether you're a history buff, nature lover, foodie, or someone seeking a tranquil escape, we have something for everyone. Plan your visit to Beaver County with the free Experience Guide and create lasting memories in this hidden gem of Pennsylvania.

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12 Unforgettable Pennsylvania Day Trips, One For Each Month Of The Year

day trips from beaver pa

Beth Price-Williams

A professional writer for more than two decades, Beth has lived in nearly a dozen states – from Missouri and Virginia to Connecticut and Vermont – and Toronto, Canada. In addition to traveling extensively in the U.S. and the U.K., she has a BA in Journalism from Point Park University (PA), a MA in Holocaust & Genocide Studies from Stockton University (NJ), and a Master of Professional Writing from Chatham University (PA). A writer and editor for Only In Your State since 2016, Beth grew up in and currently lives outside of Pittsburgh and when she’s not writing or hanging out with her bunnies, budgies, and chinchilla, she and her daughter are out chasing waterfalls.

More by this Author

Let’s have some fun! Grab your planner before you start reading because you just might want to add the best day trips in Pennsylvania to the calendar. These one-day getaway ideas will make your year oh-so-exciting!

Note: Remember to contact the attraction featured in the day trip before hitting the road to check for current hours, prices (if applicable), and to ensure it is still open.

day trips from beaver pa

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These 10 Unique Day Trips In Pennsylvania Are An Absolute Must-Do

day trips from beaver pa

What do you think are the best day trips in Pennsylvania? Let us know in the comments! When was the last time you visited some of our amazing state parks? Pack your bags, and hit the road on this weekend road trip to some awesome state parks. With just under six hours of driving, you will see seven stunning state parks!

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Best day trips in pennsylvania.

What one-of-a-kind destinations can I visit in Pennsylvania?

The best destinations to visit in Pennsylvania are:

  • Eagles Mere
  • Lancaster International Food Tour

Looking for one-of-a-kind destinations in Pennsylvania ? Plan a stay in Lititz, certainly a one-of-a-kind destination. The small town, which looks as though it’s stepped straight from the pages of an old-fashioned postcard, is dotted with charming shops and quaint restaurants; Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, and Wolf Sanctuary. You’ll find a ton to do, no matter how long you stay. Another picture-perfect getaway will take you to the tiny yet breathtaking village of Eagles Mere. The small village is home to just 120 full-time residents and is within easy distance of Worlds End State Park.

What are the best day trips in Pennsylvania?

The best day trips in Pennsylvania are:

  • Covered bridges day trip
  • Penn's cave
  • Fallingwater, Fayette County
  • The Philadelphia Art Museum

When we can’t carve out time for a road trip in Pennsylvania, we certainly can hit the road on a day trip. Pennsylvania is home to quite a few covered bridges, for example. You can even spend a day visiting five of the most charming covered bridges in Pennsylvania, including Lime Valley Covered Bridge, Keller’s Mill Covered Bridge, and Jackson Saw Mill Covered Bridge. Visit the only all-water cave in Pennsylvania when you day trip to Penn’s Cave, which also features gem mining, a nature bus tour, and an off-road Jeep Tour. (Before you head to any destination, be sure to check that it’s open and confirm the hours.)

What are the best road trips through Pennsylvania?

The best road trips through Pennsylvania are:

  • Haunted Pennsylvania road trip
  • Natural wonders in Pennsylvania road trip
  • Pennsylvania waterfalls road trip

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101 family day trips and staycations around pittsburgh.

**Follow each link to get details about your visit directly from your destination, since some places operate seasonally or by reservation, as well as to check each venue's COVID requirements (masks, limits, social distancing).

Free activities and splurges that are worth it. The coolest stuff for a staycation in town and road trips for less than a tank of gas from Pittsburgh. Kids Out And About has tons of ideas for family travel, with places to explore, learn, and have fun!

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Take A Deep Breath In the Garden

Get wild on a hike, time travel today, make life a beach, splash into some water fun, spend the day at a museum, explore these cities, all aboard planes, trains, and automobiles (and boats), grow some fun at the farm, treat yo' self, connect with nature, amuse yourself at these amusement parks, talk to the animals, explore the globe close to home, let's go chasing waterfalls, get active indoors, challenge yourself, shop your heart out.

Limiting our list to 101 ideas meant some great destinations may have been left off the list - if there is something you’d like to see added, share it with us on Facebook !

Most of these destinations are within an hour from downtown Pittsburgh. For those that are a bit farther away:

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15 Spontaneous Day Trips That Are Less Than 3 Hours Away From Pittsburgh

15 Spontaneous Day Trips That Are Less Than 3 Hours Away From Pittsburgh

Admittedly, Pittsburgh is a great city with a lot of things to do — I mean it didn't get named the second best city in America for nothing. But sometimes you just need to get away from the usual and explore the world outside of your comfort zone. 

What's really great about Pittsburgh is that it's so close to the border of West Virginia and Ohio (not to mention both of which have gas and cigarettes at a MUCH cheaper price). While it's true that there are a ton of great places in Pennsylvania, you certainly don't have to contain yourself here. 

So, that's why we've rounded up a list of 15 places to take a spontaneous day trip within a 3-hour drive from Pittsburgh; some places in Ohio, West Virginia, and even New York. I hope you're excited because this list is about to be lit.

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Enjoy the beach at Lake Erie, Pennsylvania

Distance: 1 hour, 54 min

When to visit: Year-round

Erie may sound eerie, but it's truly a magical place throughout all of the seasons in the year. It features an adorable amusement/water park, Waldameer Park & Water World, that is open in the summer, and the well-known Presque Isle State Park — our very own beach paradise on Lake Erie, open year-round. 

What makes Presque Isle so great is not only the sandy shoreline and coastal features including a lighthouse, lifeguards, changing rooms, boating and much more, but in the winter season it becomes a winter wonderland. Since the lake is freshwater it sometimes freezes over, and the ground around it becomes blanketed in snow. It's amazing to see it change from a bustling vacation spot to a desolate snow desert during the different times of the year. The town has many places to eat and shop, so whether you're bored in the summer or winter, Erie can be your go-to spot.

Ride the vintage rides at Conneaut Lake Park, Pennsylvania

Distance: 1 hour, 28 min

When to visit: Summer

Make it a point to stop at the Conneaut Lake Park on your way to or from Erie. It's about an hour south of Presque Isle — and a little out of the way — but it's worth the minor detour. This little town was centered around a once-popular amusement park built in the 1890's. The rickety old park has been kept alive and running for over 100 years! It still maintains nearly original features and is open for public enjoyment during the summer months.

Only a few blocks away is the equally exciting must-see Hotel Conneaut, which majestically overlooks the Conneaut Lake and marina. The hotel was built in 1893 as a place to stay while visiting the park and hasn't been updated since what looks like the 70's — giving it a funky retro charm you won't find anywhere else. There are a plethora of haunted hotel tales to be told and if you're feeling particularly skeptical, stay a night in their notoriously most haunted room.

Drive by miles of wine vineyards along Lake Erie in Dunkirk, New York 

Distance: 2 hours, 33 min

When to visit: Summer/fall

If you go a little while north of Erie,  you will come to the town of Dunkirk. Not only is there a cool little boardwalk area, pier, Point Gratiot Park , and another historic Lake Erie lighthouse , there are hundreds of miles of vineyards along the roadways that are truly a site to see, and if your taste buds are craving some local wine, be sure to pop over to the  Liberty Vineyards Winery . 

Explore the waterfalls of Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania 

Distance: 1 hour, 17 min

Ohiopyle is a park known for its beautiful waterfalls and rocky trails that will keep you busy for hours. Most people would argue that the best time to visit the park is in the summer so you can watch the roaring rapids or perhaps do some kayaking, but don't let that deter you from visiting in the offseason. The autumn offers fantastic views of the fall foliage, while the winter features waterfalls frozen dead in their tracks. No matter when you choose to go, Ohiopyle will be nothing short of spectacular. 

Stargaze at the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania

Distance: 1 hour, 57 min

When to visit: Clear nights

The Allegheny National Forest is one of the only places in Pennsylvania with low enough light pollution where you can clearly see the milky way. While that's the best part of this location, you will totally want to check out the numerous trails, woodlands, and rural landscapes throughout the park during the day. 

Take a dip in the crystal clear springs at Mt. Davis, Pennsylvania

Distance: 1 hour, 42 min

Mt. Davis is not only the tallest point in Pennsylvania — it features two crystal-clear springs that people love to go swimming in during the hot summer months. The nicer of the two springs is Big Spring, but it's about a 3-mile hike to reach it. If the springs aren't really your thing, there are miles of trails, camping, and wildlife spotting opportunities all around. 

Get pampered, go to the zoo, and chill at the resort at Oglebay Park, West Virginia 

Distance: 1 hour, 5 min

When to visit: Spring/Summer/Fall

Oglebay is a quaint park near Wheeling, West Virginia that features a zoo, resort/spa, obstacle course, swimming pool, miles of trails, wildlife watching, a lake (often populated by swans, geese, and ducks), boat rentals, dining, events and much more. This is the ultimate all-in-one nature park that will have enough to keep you — and the family — entertained all day. 

Do mountainous activities at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Pennsylvania

Distance: 1 hour  

When to go: Year-round 

Go zip lining, rock wall climbing, mountain bike riding, fishing and more in the summer, or take a horse-drawn sled ride, ski or snowboard down the mountain, ride the ski lift back, and enjoy some hot chocolate by the fireplace at Seven Springs Mountian Resort during the winter. Check the website below for a complete list of activities. 

Get schwifty during a hippie music festival at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, Ohio

Distance: 1 hour, 30 min

When to visit:  Spring-Fall

Okay sure, you aren't limited to visiting Nelson Ledges just for a music festival, but it's definitely one of the coolest aspects of the quarry. The park itself is made up of 250 acres of forest, meadows, streams, rock ledges, fishing lakes and the quarry itself. It features 400 campsites, some deep in the woods, some along the quarry, and others in secluded meadows — making it the perfect spot for music festivals. You'll often hear of bands like the Grateful Dead, Badfish, and Mushroomhead headlining the many concerts hosted here, and you'll probably see a lot of decked out, vintage, VW campers.

Experience the simplicity of Amish living in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania

  Distance: 1 hour

A close-knit Amish community calls the local towns of New Wilmington home. Most notably is Volant, a little tourist town full of stores, many of which offer local Amish-made products. Driving the rural streets and touring the downtown shops of Volant will offer a glimpse into the Amish lifestyle as they ride by in buggies, hang their clothes out on the lines, and bale hay by hand while the children play outside for entertainment. 

Get spooked at Beaver Creek State Park, Ohio

Distance: 1 hour, 6 min

This park is not only historic, beautiful, and a great camping site , it has several really cool ghostly legends that supposedly haunt different areas. There are three different spots that paranormal investigators and skeptics alike often go; the placard site where the notorious gangster, Pretty Boy Floyd, was shot dead, the old mill house, and Gretchen's Lock  (all pictured below).

While I won't go into too much detail , the old mill house is supposedly haunted by an old caretaker, the lock which was never finished is supposedly haunted by Gretchen — a little girl who died of malaria while her father was working on the lock (some say she was buried in the lock), and obviously Pretty Boy Floyd himself is said to haunt the area of his death. If you want to explore the park at night I suggest staying at the campsite — or else the rangers may harass you for being at a state park after hours. 

Taste some authentic maple syrup at the yearly Brady's Run Maple Syrup Festival, Pennsylvania 

Distance: 44 min

When to go: Event dates (usually a weekend in April)

Every year for the past 31 years there has been a maple syrup festival at Brady's Run Park, Beaver County, that draws thousands of tourists for an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast featuring maple syrup drained from maple trees at the park. What else is really cool is that during the fall and winter months when you walk along the park trails you will see several trees with buckets and hoses attached to them — maple sap is being collected for the upcoming year's festival. More information about the festival can be found here . 

Go oddity exploring in Moundsville, West Virginia

West Virginia is a state with a lot of weird happenings and history — you know, like the legend of Mothman. Unfortunately, most of the Mothman memorabilia is further than 3 hours away, but Moundsville is equally as strange. This town has a bit of a dark past — from the long-closed Moundsville State Penitentiary (featured on many ghost hunting TV shows) to the Archive of Afterlife Museum and Grave Creek Mound , there's no shortage of macabre places to visit here. 

Become a cave dweller at McConnell's Mill State Park, Pennsylvania

Distance:  42 min

A lot of people like to visit McConnells Mill State Park to see the old historic mill, covered bridge, and walk the trails. What us exciting people like to do is climb around on the huge rocks and search the crevices and caves that formed between them — carefully, of course. 

Be aw-struck by the frozen lighthouse in Cleveland, Ohio

Distance: 2 hours, 11 min

When to visit: Winter

There are a lot of things to do in Cleveland, Ohio , like visit the Buckland Witchcraft Museum , learn the history of the mysterious Franklin Castle , and behold the world's largest stamp , to name just a few of the many things to do here, but there's something extra special about the abandoned lighthouse on the lake. When the wind mixes with the freezing weather the lighthouse becomes encased in a blanket of ice — making it a truly remarkable site for the thousands of visitors who bare the winter weather just to see it — then they probably go and do all those other touristy things. 

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12 spontaneous summer day trips that are less than 3 hours from toronto, 12 short and sweet road trips from ottawa that aren't just to montreal, 9 charming small towns in the usa worth crossing the canadian border for this winter, 7 winter day trips from toronto that are 3 hours or less to add to your bucket list, 9 natural wonders of canada that are even more breathtaking in winter (photos), 12 magical ontario destinations to visit in 2024 so you can see a new spot every month, i've lived in ontario all my life & these are my top 7 weekend getaway spots in the province, 10 natural wonders in ontario to check out this summer if you've already been to the grotto, 10 beautiful small towns every ontarian should visit in 2024, 9 best things to do in vancouver during the summer, according to someone who lived there, 10 stunning natural wonders less than 2 hours from toronto to visit this summer.

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Home » Travel Guides » United States » Pennsylvania (PA) » 15 Best Day Trips from Harrisburg PA

15 Best Day Trips from Harrisburg PA

Despite its small size and charming exposition, Harrisburg is one of the most historic and important cities in Pennsylvania.

The seemingly unassuming city has a small population, but under the surface, Harrisburg has a lot waiting to be discovered – and not just within its boundaries, but in the wider region of Dutch Pennsylvania that surrounds it.

Harrisburg has long played an integral role within the state, in part due to its central location and its role as a transport hub going west.

That means that for visitors today, the city is the perfect base from which to explore not only the rest of the state but many of the most iconic east coast cities.

The likes of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, Baltimore, and even New York are just a few hours away; in most cases, much less, allowing you to explore these bustling cities in the day before returning to the quiet peace of Harrisburg by night time.

Even closer, you can find some exceptional state parks, great hiking opportunities, and many small, historic towns and cities that have played integral roles in the region – including the infamous Gettysburg, the site of one of the most pivotal battles in the American Civil War.

There’s a lot do, so here are the best day trips from Harrisburg Pa.

1. Fort Hunter Mansion and State Park

Fort Hunter Mansion

Fort Hunter Mansion and State Park is found just past the northern suburbs of Harrisburg and makes for an easy day trip away from the city.

The historic mansion that you see today was constructed in 1814, on the scenic banks of the local river, and can claim to be one of the oldest buildings in the state.

Before the stone mansion was built, this was an important crossroads heading west. A fort was positioned here from the mid 18th century as European settlers began to move inland from the east coast.

It’s a wonderful piece of local history and you can find many events held here throughout the year, or it’s lovely to simply wander through on its own accord.

2. Wildwood Park

Wildwood Park, Harrisburg

Also found on the northern edge of Harrisburg and making for an easy escape from the city is the beautiful Wildwood Park. This is a local favorite, being one of the closest green spaces to the city center, and it makes for a wonderful day trip.

The park itself surrounds the expansive Wildwood Lake. There are some great opportunities to follow the extensive walking trails that follow the water’s edge and spread out into the surrounding hills and woodland.

Wildwood Park is a real hit with birdwatchers, while the Nature Center offers a great insight into the other local wildlife and flora that’s found within this lovely protected area.

3. Lancaster

The Amish Village, Lancaster

Just an hour’s drive away from Harrisburg is the small city of Lancaster. The city can claim to be one of the oldest settlements in not only the state of Pennsylvania but anywhere inland from the east coast.

Lancaster can trace its origins back to the arrival of settlers in the area in the late 17th century. It was officially established in 1742 before serving as the state capital for many years until this was switched to Harrisburg.

In Lancaster, you can spend the day exploring the many historic sites, including heritage buildings, some great local history museums, and Wheatland – the home of James Buchanan, a Pennsylvanian who served as President of the United States.

4. Carlisle

Carlisle, PA

Drive west from Harrisburg city center and in half an hour you will reach the small city of Carlisle, a place which is equally as historic as any of the other nearby cities in Pennsylvania.

Carlisle was founded back in the 1750’s and has long been associated with the US Army; it’s home to one of their oldest training institutions.

There’s an interesting Army heritage museum located in the city, where you can learn more about the role that Carlisle has played in American military history.

Hershey, PA

Hershey is one of the most popular destinations in Pennsylvania; being just a few miles away from Harrisburg, it makes for the perfect day trip.

Hershey is home to one of the most well-known chocolate brands in the world – Hershey’s Chocolate. This is still the company’s home base and you can visit Hershey’s Chocolate World to learn more about their story, see how chocolate is made, and, of course, try more than a few bars of their best chocolate too.

Also located in the town is Hersheypark – a huge theme park that’s also dedicated to Hershey’s Chocolate, where you can find candy themed rides and rollercoasters.

6. Penn’s Cave

Penn’s Cave

Penn’s Cave is located in Spring Mills, a two-hour journey north of Harrisburg.

This is one of the most fascinating yet unusual caves to be found anywhere in the country, as the cave is half submerged underwater.

The only way in or out is via boat. It’s a wonderful experience to travel through the narrow opening that then expands into a huge, subterranean spectacle.

7. Pine Creek Gorge

Pine Creek Gorge

Also located around two hours north of Harrisburg is Pine Creek Gorge, a natural marvel that’s colloquially known as ‘The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania’.

When you see the sweeping vistas and deep chasm for the first time, you will quickly understand why the gorge has picked up this name; the 47 mile canyon cuts through the surrounding hills to form dramatic cliffs and precipitous drops.

It’s a spectacular place with many great hiking opportunities through the surrounding wilderness and some truly exceptional viewpoints.

8. Colonel Denning State Park

Colonel Denning State Park

An hour’s drive east of the city brings you to the magnificent Colonel Denning State Park, a place of natural beauty that’s found in the Cumberland Valley.

Although this is one of the smaller protected areas in the region, it’s by no means lacking in outdoor opportunities; visitors can enjoy 18 miles of marked trails and the majestic double Gap Lake.

If you fancy, you can even stay overnight at the nearby campsites – although it’s close enough to Harrisburg to make this an easy day trip.

9. Michaux State Forest

Michaux State Forest

Michaux State Forest is located in the same region as Colonel Denning State Park and is an easily accessible area of wilderness close to Harrisburg.

This state forest is much larger and encompasses a huge area of pristine woodland and outdoor beauty.

This was, in fact, one of the first state forests to be founded in the United States, as over-logging in the region led to concerns that Pennsylvania would lose all of its woodlands if nothing was done to stop it.

At Michaux State Forest, you can hike, mountain bike, ride off-road ATVs, and even swim in a few lakes – when the water is warm enough in summer that is.

10. Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park

Harrisburg and the surrounding regions played an important role during the American Civil War that tore the country apart in the 1860’s.

The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the turning points in the conflict and it was played out just an hour’s drive to the south of the city.

The Military Park protects the battlefield and offers visitors a chance to realize how the battle was actually fought out between Confederate and Union soldiers.

In the adjacent town of Gettysburg, you can visit the Gettysburg National Cemetery to pay your respects. You can find out more about the battle and its importance at the Gettysburg Heritage Center and the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center.

11. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is a good three-hour drive to the west of Harrisburg, but the long journey is worth it to experience the second largest city in Pennsylvania and a burgeoning center of arts and culture in the state.

Known as ‘The City of Bridges’, Pittsburgh is built on the intersections of wide rivers and couldn’t be in a more perfect location.

There are great museums and galleries, including the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museums that are located across the city.

12. Philadelphia

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is the largest and most well-known city in Pennsylvania.

Just two hours to the east and sitting on the banks of the Delaware River, this is a place that has played an important role in American history.

Here you can find the Liberty Bell, you can see where the American Declaration of Independence was signed, explore Independence Hall, visit the country’s first library, and much, much more.

For history lovers, it’s a must-do day trip from Harrisburg.

13. Baltimore

Baltimore

Baltimore is the largest city that’s found in the nearby state of Maryland and makes for a great cross-border excursion from Pennsylvania.

The city is found on the coast and has long been an important port in the area. You can explore the many fascinating local museums and learn more about this vibrant city.

14. Washington DC

Washington DC

Washington DC is the nation’s capital and it’s a city that’s always worth making a day trip to.

Just two hours to the south of Harrisburg, you can spend the day exploring the leafy, wide boulevards of the capital and seeing all of the city’s most iconic sights – from the White House to the Lincoln Memorial.

15. New York

Brooklyn Bridge, New York City

New York, New York. One of the country’s most famous and most visited cities is just a few hours from Harrisburg. Although you could spend weeks exploring New York, it also makes for a great day trip.

Explore the sights, visit Central Park, and climb the Empire State Building, but get home to Harrisburg to spend a quiet night away from all the action of New York.

15 Best Day Trips from Harrisburg PA:

  • Fort Hunter Mansion and State Park
  • Wildwood Park
  • Penn’s Cave
  • Pine Creek Gorge
  • Colonel Denning State Park
  • Michaux State Forest
  • Gettysburg National Military Park
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington DC

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Warm up with a stroll through Jacobsburg State Park & Environmental Education Center 1 with its wooded areas, fishing streams, and hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. You can even book a horseback trail ride  through the park for a different view. Admire the boardwalk along Little Lehigh Creek  at the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the Wildlands Conservancy’s main office. 

The Lehigh Valley boasts 48 miles of the 165-mile Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor  path, where you’ll catch stunning Lehigh and Delaware River views, and some Instagram worthy snaps .

In the mood for a bit more adventure? Rent and launch kayaks, row boats, sailboats, and stand-up paddleboards onto the 117-acre, 50-foot-deep Leaser Lake , named for Frederick Leaser, who transported the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to Allentown during the Revolutionary War. Landlubbers can also enjoy the four-mile Liberty Bell Trail, with beautiful views, easy hiking, and in winter, cross-country skiing.

For those with a need for speed, don’t miss Valley Preferred Cycling Center , one of the world’s fastest outdoor cycling tracks. The Velodrome hosts a weekly summer racing series, as well as national championships and one-day clinics for various skill levels. 

Wrap up your outdoor adventure with a visit to a nearby local farm  for a seasonal treat or perhaps an ice cream . Sometimes though it’s a cold beer that completes the day. Lehigh Valley microbreweries have become attractions, offering tours, tastings, live music, food menus – even a game of Jenga so you can hang out and try a few pints. You’ve earned this one.

Drive north to Nazareth to tour the C.F. Martin & Co. Factory , which has been producing world-renowned acoustic instruments for more than 175 years. (Did you know that it takes more than 300 steps to go from rough lumber to a playable guitar?) 

Enjoy the soul-stirring sounds of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem , America’s oldest Bach Choir, which hosts the Bethlehem Bach Festival each May. 

Visiting in summer? Head to the campus of DeSales University for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival , the long-running event which mounts a variety of musicals, comedies and classic performances for all ages. 

Each August, Bethlehem hosts MusikfestⓇ , one of the largest free music festivals in the country. U.S. musical acts of all genres entertain on multiple stages in a village-like setting packed with local food and drink. 

Any of the events makes an ideal immersion into small-town culture with a big city feel.

SIDEBAR  With a prime location on Main Street, in Bethlehem, Tapas on Main  is your go-to for Spanish fare. Order a selection of small plates to share—and don’t forget the sangria! Favorites include classic red, blood orange, classic white, and rotating seasonal options. Plus a full list of Bethlehem eats can be found here .

Martin’s handmade guitars have been shaping the music world for over 170 years. See the entire production process as you tour the Martin Guitar Factory  in Nazareth. 

Afterwards, relive your colorful childhood memories at The Crayola Experience™   at Two Rivers Landing.

Enjoy an intimate experience at one of Lehigh Valley wineries and vineyards . Designated an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2008, Lehigh Valley is Pennsylvania's fastest growing wine region. 

Then take a journey through the history of the company that got America rolling at the Mack Truck Museum .

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25 Best Romantic Weekend Getaways in Pennsylvania

Last Updated By VI on June 2, 2024

Weekend Getaways in Pennsylvania

The Lodge at Woodloch - 2 hours 30 minutes

The inn at leola village - 1 hour 25 minutes, nemacolin woodlands resort - 4 hours 30 minutes, cove haven - 2 hours 30 minutes.

  • Complete List & Map

The Lodge at Woodloch - 2 hours 30 minutes

More Pennsylvania Vacations: Cabins Getaways , From Pittsburgh , From Philadelphia , Poconos

The Inn at Leola Village - 1 hour 25 minutes

38 Deborah Drive Route 23, Leola, Pennsylvania 17540, Phone: 717-656-7002

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort - 4 hours 30 minutes

East Coast Vacations: Connecticut Getaways , Rhode Island Weekend

Cove Haven - 2 hours 30 minutes

With contemporary décor and warm color schemes, suites offer a romantic, welcoming ambiance. ---> Start the day at Cove Haven with an aromatherapy wrap or a full-body massage at the spa. If you prefer outdoor action, you can have fun on the water and on land with speed boating, waterskiing, horseback riding, picturesque nature trails, miniature golf and much more. Cove Haven is one of the top couples resorts in PA with affordable room rates.

Omni Bedford Springs - 3 hours

Omni Bedford Springs - 3 hours

2138 Business 220, Bedford, Pennsylvania 15522, Phone: 814-623-8100 , See the Map

Renaissance Pittsburgh - 4 hours 45 minutes

Renaissance Pittsburgh - 4 hours 45 minutes

107 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, Phone: 412-562-1200

The Inn at Westwynd Farm - 1 hour 30 minutes

The Inn at Westwynd Farm - 1 hour 30 minutes

1620 Sand Beach Road, Hummelstown, PA 17036, Phone: 877-937-8996

Lancaster Arts Hotel

Lancaster Arts Hotel

300 Harrisburg Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603, Phone: 866-720-2787

The Rittenhouse

The Rittenhouse

210 West Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia , Pennsylvania 19103, Phone: 800-635-1042

Paradise Stream Resort - 2 hours 30 minutes

Paradise Stream Resort  - 2 hours 30 minutes

6208 Paradise Valley Rd, Mount Pocono, PA 18344, Phone: 800-432-9932

Ledges Hotel - 2 hours 30 minutes

Ledges Hotel - 2 hours 30 minutes

119 Falls Avenue, Hawley, Pennsylvania 18428, Phone: 570-226-1337

Gateway Lodge - 4 hours 40 minutes

Gateway Lodge - 4 hours 40 minutes

14870 Route 36, Cooksburg, Pennsylvania 16217, Phone: 814-744-8017

Buhl Mansion Guesthouse & Spa - 5 hours 40 minutes

Buhl Mansion Guesthouse & Spa - 5 hours 40 minutes

422 East State Street, Sharon, Pennsylvania 16146, Phone: 866-345-2845

Seven Springs Mountain Resort - 4 hours 10 minutes

Seven Springs Mountain Resort - 4 hours 10 minutes

Browse Gettysburg Vacation Ideas

Red Lion Hotel Harrisburg Hershey

Red Lion Hotel Harrisburg Hershey

4751 Lindle Road, Harrisburg, PA 17111, 717-939-7841

Beaver Creek Farm Cabins - 1 hour 20 minutes

Beaver Creek Farm Cabins - 1 hour 20 minutes

Strasburg, Pennsylvania is home to one of the Best Train Museums

AmishView Inn & Suites - 1 hour 30 minutes

AmishView Inn & Suites - 1 hour 30 minutes

3125 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania 17505, Phone: 866-735-1600

Bridgeton House - 1 hour 10 minutes

Bridgeton House - 1 hour 10 minutes

1525 River Road, Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania 18972, Phone: 610-982-5856

Annville Inn Bed & Breakfast - 1 hour 30 minutes

Annville Inn Bed & Breakfast - 1 hour 30 minutes

4515 Hill Church Road, Annville, Pennsylvania 17003, Phone: 888-868-4515

Foggy Mountain Lodge - 4 hours

Foggy Mountain Lodge - 4 hours

More Day Trips from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Hotel Hershey - 1 hour 30 minutes

The Hotel Hershey - 1 hour 30 minutes

The Hotel Hershey , 100 Hotel Road, Hershey , PA 17033, Phone: 844-330-1711

Courtyard by Marriott Erie Bayfront

Courtyard by Marriott Erie Bayfront

Courtyard by Marriott Erie Bayfront , 2 Sassafras Pier, Erie, PA 16507, 814-636-1005

Toftrees Golf Resort, State College

Toftrees Golf Resort, State College

Toftrees Golf Resort, 1 Country Club Lane, State College , PA 16803, 814-234-8000

The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle

The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle

An eco-lodge like none other in the state, The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle is undoubtedly the best location for outdoor enthusiasts who wish to reconnect with nature. The Nature Inn has comfortable guestrooms to suit all visitors from solo travelers and couples to family groups who need a little more space. The inn is located right on the edge of the Foster Joseph Sayers Lake in the heart of the Bald Eagle State Park, where visitors will find endless activities to occupy their time. There are two hiking trails which leave from the inn and plenty of roads to cycle. If you prefer water sports you can enjoy boating, fishing, paddling, swimming and water skiing on the lake. The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle, 201 Warbler Way, Howard, PA 16841, 814-625-2879

Erie, PA

To embrace the great outdoors you can spend the day in the Presque Isle State Park, which offers hiking and cycling trails and a variety of water sports, including scuba diving, canoeing and scenic cruises in summer, and an extensive selection of snow sports in winter. You could also head to Ashbury Woods Nature Center for hiking, cycling, picnicking and fishing. Family attractions include the Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the ExpERIEnce Children's Museum, the Waldemeer Park and Water World, where you can enjoy over 100 rides and slides, and Splash Lagoon, where you can swim in a huge wave pool.--->

Lancaster, PA

Hershey, pa, the poconos, pa, philadelphia, pa, pittsburgh, pa, gettysburg, pa, harrisburg, pa, jim thorpe, pa, milford, pa.

  • 1. The Lodge at Woodloch - 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 2. The Inn at Leola Village - 1 hour 25 minutes
  • 3. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort - 4 hours 30 minutes
  • 4. Cove Haven - 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 5. Omni Bedford Springs - 3 hours
  • 6. Renaissance Pittsburgh - 4 hours 45 minutes
  • 7. The Inn at Westwynd Farm - 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 8. Lancaster Arts Hotel
  • 9. The Rittenhouse
  • 10. Paradise Stream Resort - 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 11. Ledges Hotel - 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 12. Gateway Lodge - 4 hours 40 minutes
  • 13. Buhl Mansion Guesthouse & Spa - 5 hours 40 minutes
  • 14. Seven Springs Mountain Resort - 4 hours 10 minutes
  • 15. Red Lion Hotel Harrisburg Hershey
  • 16. Beaver Creek Farm Cabins - 1 hour 20 minutes
  • 17. AmishView Inn & Suites - 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 18. Bridgeton House - 1 hour 10 minutes
  • 19. Annville Inn Bed & Breakfast - 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 20. Foggy Mountain Lodge - 4 hours
  • 21. The Hotel Hershey - 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 22. Courtyard by Marriott Erie Bayfront
  • 23. Toftrees Golf Resort, State College
  • 24. The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle
  • 25. Erie, PA

More Pennsylvania Getaways:

Resources: VisitErie , Hershey, PA , Discover Lancaster

More Features

Awesome Beach Picnics

Beach Destinations: 15 Most Awesome Beach Picnics

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

25 Best Things to Do in Lancaster, PA

25 Best Pennsylvania Lakes

25 Best Lakes in Pennsylvania

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Day trips from Butler

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls (New York)

Williamsport (Pennsylvania)

Fallingwater

Ohiopyle State Park

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Strip District

Andy Warhol Museum

Mt Washington

Canton (Ohio)

Cedar Point (Ohio)

Youngstown (Ohio)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

The Cleveland Museum of Art

State park day trips from Butler

Devil's Hole State Park

Beaver Island Golf Course

Stony Brook State Park

Lyman Run State Park

Tioga State Forest

Kettle Creek State Park

S.B. Elliott State Park

Moshannon State Forest

Black Moshannon State Park

Bald Eagle State Forest

Prince Gallitzin State Park

Trough Creek State Park

Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Greenbrier State Park

Fort Frederick State Park

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Laurel Hill State Park

Coopers Rock State Forest

Cedar Creek State Park

Big Bottom State Memorial Park

Strouds Run State Park

Mohican-Memorial State Forest

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Geneva State Park

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Butler, Pennsylvania is located at latitude/longitude coordinates 40° 51' 39" N  /  79° 53' 42" W

Uncovering PA

The 15 Best Day Trips from Philadelphia

Hiking at St Peters Village

Philadelphia is an incredible place with more things to do than you could hope to do in a lifetime. However, whether you live in the city and are looking to get out or are visiting and want to explore the area outside of the city, there are a ton of great day trips from Philadelphia that are worth taking.

Having spent more time exploring the city and the area around it than just about anyone, I thought I’d put together a few of my favorite spots to check out.

All of the places listed here are located in Pennsylvania (There are great day trips in New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, but this is Uncovering PA) and can be reached within a two-hour drive from the city under normal traffic circumstances (which sadly left out great spots like Gettysburg , Ricketts Glen State Park , and Scranton that were a bit too far). 

That being said, here are a few of our favorite day trips from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

(You can also check out our favorite hikes close to Philly and our favorite waterfalls near the city .)

Doylestown – 45 minutes

Fonthill in Doylestown as seen on a day trip from Philadelphia

Doylestown is a charming borough and the county seat of Bucks County . The town is best known for its fabulous Mercer Mile, which is home to three historic European-style buildings all constructed by artist Henry Chapman Mercer. There is also a vibrant downtown filled with shops and great spots to eat.

What to Do:

  • Fonthill Castle – Completed in 1910, this castle was the home of artist Henry Chapman Mercer and displays many of his favorite tiles from around the world.
  • Mercer Museum – This castle-like museum houses an incredible collection of 19th and early 20th-century hand tools in a setting that looks like it was ripped from a Harry Potter film.
  • Moravian Pottery and Tile Works – See where Henry Chapman Mercer made his famous tiles in a workshop that is still operational today.
  • Michener Museum – This museum is filled with local art, but when you have so many famous local artists, it definitely feels much grander than a local museum.
  • Peace Valley Park – This park is a great spot for hiking, fishing, or boating.

Empanada Mama in Doylestown PA

Where to Eat and Drink:

  • Empanada Mama – This casual spot serves some of the best empanadas you’ll find anywhere in PA.
  • Maxwells on Main – Located in the heart of town, this restaurant features delicious food and a great beer menu.
  • Caleb’s American Kitchen – Located a short distance east of town, this small restaurant features some of the most incredible food in the region.

If you want to stay overnight:

  • Highland Farm Bed and Breakfast – This B&B was once the home of playwright Oscar Hammerstein II and offers a look into his life.
  • You can also find other places to stay on Booking.com and Airbnb .

Chadds Ford – 40 minutes

Longwood Gardens is one of the places you can see in Chadds Ford on a day trip from Philadelphia.

Chadds Ford is located only a short drive southwest of Philadelphia and features many bucolic places to visit. Whether you like art, history, or beautiful nature, there is something for you during this day trip from Philadelphia.

  • Longwood Gardens – One of the best botanical gardens in the country, Longwood Gardens features over 1,000 acres of gardens and dozens of fountains.
  • Brandywine River Museum of Art – Dedicated to the art of the Wyeth family, as well as other artists in the Brandywine School, this museum features some of the best American art you’ll see anywhere.
  • Brandywine Battlefield – The Brandywine Battlefield preserves the largest battlefield of the Revolutionary War. This was one of the most important sites of the early revolution.
  • Galer Estate Winery – A beautiful vineyard with delicious wine near Longwood Gardens. A great spot to relax after a long day.
  • Covered Bridges of Chester County – Chester County is home to 15 historic covered bridges, several of which are only a short drive from Chadds Ford.

Glen Mills Cafe in Chadds Ford PA

  • Glen Mills Garden Cafe – Located inside of Terrain, a greenhouse and garden store, this cafe features a menu filled with locally-sourced and fresh ingredients.
  • 1906 – Located inside Longwood Gardens, this high-end restaurant features exquisite food in a beautiful setting.
  • Victory Brewing Company – Located in nearby Kennett Square, Victory Brewing Company features tasty beers and great food.
  • Wild Wisteria Bed and Breakfast – Formally known as Pennsbury Inn, this highly-rated B&B is located right in the heart of Chadds Ford.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area – 120 minutes

How to get to Raymondskill falls in the Pocono Mountains.

While adding the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to this list pushes the day trips boundaries (and some of the spots mentioned here are over two hours from the city), this is one of the most incredible outdoor destinations in PA.

The Delaware Water Gap is home to incredible hiking, cute small towns, and the tallest waterfalls in Pennsylvania , making it a worthwhile day trip from Philly if you love the outdoors.

  • Raymondskill Falls – The tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania, Raymondskill Falls is only a short hike from the parking area. There are even some extra hidden waterfalls nearby to explore.
  • Dingmans Falls – The second-tallest waterfall in PA is located at the end of a handicapped-accessible path. Along the way, you’ll pass the impressive Silverthread Falls.
  • Bushkill Falls – While you have to pay admission to this site, there are eight waterfalls here connected by incredible paths.
  • Cliff Park Trails – A series of interconnected trails that feature some incredible vistas and a beautiful waterfall.
  • Columcille Megalith Park – Located just south of the Delaware Water Gap, this park features dozens of stacked rocks inspired by Celtic sites like Stonehenge.
  • Milford Dairy Barn – Featuring delicious homemade ice cream in Milford, this local institution is worth a stop.
  • Log Tavern Brewing – Located in Milford at the northern end of the recreation area, Log Tavern Brewing features delicious beers in a great setting.
  • The Cure Cafe – Located in Stroudsburg, this is a great place to grab breakfast or lunch to-go before heading into the Delaware Water Gap.

Harrington House in Milford, Pennsylvania

  • Harrington House – This Victorian Bed and Breakfast is located right in the heart of Milford, PA. **Harrington House appears to be closed at last update. Please confirm status before visiting**
  • You can also find places to stay on Booking.com and Airbnb .

Lancaster – 90 minutes

A buggy enters Zook's Mill Covered Bridge in Lancaster County PA

Located 90 minutes from the city, Lancaster makes for a perfect day trip from Philly. The city is primarily known for its large Amish community, but this is also an area filled with a thriving art scene , great breweries , and beautiful nature.

You can also take Amtrak from Philadelphia to downtown Lancaster if you’d rather travel by train.

  • Amish Country – While you can see Amish throughout the county, head to Bird-in-Hand and Intercourse, PA for the full experience.
  • Wheatland – Only two presidents have been born in PA, and you can see the adult home of the first, President James Buchanan, in Lancaster and learn more about his life and career.
  • Covered Bridges of Lancaster County – No county in Pennsylvania is home to more covered bridges than Lancaster County. If you want to explore the countryside here, a covered bridge driving tour is a great option.
  • Strasburg’s Train Sites – Strasburg is home to three great spots for train lovers: the Strasburg Railroad , the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania , and the Choo Choo Barn .
  • Chickies Rock – One of several overlooks along the Susquehanna River, this spot is a great hiking destination and provides fantastic views.

Central Market in York, PA

  • Calabar Meat Co – This downtown Lancaster butcher features some of the best hamburgers, french fries, and sandwiches you’ll find anywhere in PA.
  • Central Market – This Lancaster institution is filled with incredible places to eat, get groceries, and see life in Lancaster County.
  • Shady Maple Smorgasbord – There are many buffets in Lancaster County, but none are more popular or famous that Shady Maple. If you want to stuff yourself on locally-inspired dishes, this is the place to head.
  • Spring House Brewing – There are several great breweries in downtown Lancaster, but few have as good a combination of beer and food as Spring House Brewing.
  • Lancaster Arts Hotel – Located in an old tobacco warehouse, the Lancaster Arts Hotel is a chic hotel filled with art.

St. Peters Village – 60 minutes

St. Peters Village is a charming community that began as a company town for a local mining company. Today, it’s a great spot for those wanting to get away and enjoy small-town charms and natural beauty.

  • St. Peter’s Hiking Trails – Located directly behind the village, there is a series of interconnected hiking trails that follow French Creek. Hikes of almost any length can be found here.
  • St. Peter’s Village – The small village offers several small shops, an arcade, a winery, and more for a leisurely shopping experience.
  • Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site – Located a short drive from the village, this spot tells the history of the area’s iron production.
  • French Creek State Park – This 7,500-acre state park offers miles of hiking trails, a lake for fishing and boating, and mountain biking trails.

Inside St Peters Bakery

  • St. Peters Bakery – This artisanal bakery features incredible baked goods, desserts, and more. Their back deck is a great spot to relax for a bit.
  • The Inn at St. Peters Village – Want a nice sit-down meal? The Inn at St. Peters Village delivers with a delicious menu and a great setting.
  • The Inn at St. Peters Village – This charming bed and breakfast is located in the heart of the town and is a great place to unwind.
  • You can also find places to stay on Airbnb .

Bethlehem – 75 minutes

The best things to do in Bethlehem PA

Bethlehem is located in the Lehigh Valley north of Philadelphia. While the city is known as Christmas City USA , it’s not just a great holiday season destination, but offers a bit of something for visitors to enjoy throughout the year.

  • National Museum of Industrial History – Located in a once-abandoned building in the Bethlehem Steel plant, the National Museum of Industrial History tells the story of industry in and region and throughout the country.
  • Hoover-Mason Trestle – This raised path offers incredible views into the abandoned Bethlehem Steel plant. Along the way, there are great signs that tell about the area.
  • Moravian Museum of Bethlehem – Learn about the history of the Moravians that founded Bethlehem, PA at this series of historic buildings throughout town.
  • Moravian Book Shop – The oldest, continually operating bookstore in the world, the Moravian Book Shop offers an incredible selection of books, as well as great gifts.
  • Martin Guitar Factory Tour – See how some of the world’s best guitars are handmade in the Leigh Vally on this free factory tour.

Christmas in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

  • Fegley’s Brew Works – This Leigh Valley institution features great beer and delicious food.
  • 1741 Terrace – Located in the Hotel Bethlehem, this upscale restaurant is a great spot to eat within a historic building.
  • The Mint – This gastropub is located in an old bank and features some of the city’s best and most inventive food.
  • Hotel Bethlehem – This historic hotel in the heart of the city is one of the best places to stay in eastern Pennsylvania.

Hershey – 100 minutes

Carousel at Hersheypark's Christmas Candylane

Hershey is one of the most well-known destinations in Pennsylvania and is home to several incredible spots for a Philadelphia day trip. Whether you are a thrill-seeker, are looking for things to do with kids, love great beer, or simply enjoy history, this is one of the best spots to check out near Philly.

What do Do:

  • Hersheypark – One of the top amusement parks in all of Pennsylvania, Hersheypark features many great rollercoasters and other fun rides for the whole family.
  • Indian Echo Caverns – Indian Echo Caverns is one of the state’s best caves and visitors to the region can take guided tours of this underground world.
  • The Hershey Story – The Hershey Story is a great place to learn the history of the Hershey Company and its founder, Milton S. Hershey.
  • Hershey’s Chocolate World – Hershey’s Chocolate World features many great attractions, some of which are free, that are centered around the company’s famous chocolate.
  • American Automobile Club of America Museum – One of the best antique automobile museums in PA, the AACA Museum features hundreds of historic vehicles and related items.

Harrisburg Beer Week is one of the best things to do in PA in April

What to Eat and Drink:

  • Troegs Brewery – Troegs is one of the largest and best breweries in Pennsylvania . In addition to great beer, they also offer fantastic food.
  • Hershey Pantry – The Hershey Pantry is an incredibly popular spot, especially for breakfast and brunch, but it also offers an excellent lunch menu.
  • Rotunda Brew Pup – Rotunda Brew Pup features inventive beers and a great menu.
  • The Hotel Hershey – This historic and exquisite hotel is one of the best places to stay in PA.

Downingtown and West Chester – 45 minutes

Hiking trails circle the lake at Marsh Creek State Park

Downingtown and West Chester are two towns located only about a 10-minute drive from each other. Since they are so close together, they make for a great day trip when combined together.

Visiting these two communities gives you the chance to explore some of the best sites and most beautiful outdoor areas in Chester County.

  • Marsh Creek State Park – Marsh Creek State Park is an 1,800-acre park located north of Downingtown. The park features miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as a large lake for boating and fishing.
  • Gibson’s Covered Bridge – Located directly along the route from West Chester to Downingtown, Gibson’s Covered Bridge is a beautiful and historic spot to check out.
  • American Helicopter Museum – Learn about the history of rotary flight at the American Helicopter Museum. The museum features an incredible collection and even some interactive elements.
  • West Chester Railroad – Possibly the closest excursion railroad to downtown Philly, the West Chester Railroad lets visitors ride on historic trains through the countryside of Chester County.
  • Antique Ice Tool Museum – The Antique Ice Tool Museum chronicles the surprisingly fascinating history of ice harvesting in the United States with thousands of antique tools.

day trips from beaver pa

  • Victory Brewing Company – Victory Brewing Company has several locations, but their flagship brewery is located in Downingtown and features delicious beers and great food.
  • Root’s Cafe – Root’s Cafe is an organic, farm-to-table restaurant in downtown West Chester. They feature an inventive menu and some delicious food.
  • Éclat Chocolate – If you are looking for a great snack, look no further than Éclat Chocolate in West Chester. This is one of the region’s best chocolate shops.
  • Faunbrook Bed and Breakfast – This bed and breakfast gets high reviews for its tranquil setting.
  • You can also find great places to stay on Booking.com and Airbnb .

New Hope – 50 minutes

Shopping is one of my favorite things to do in New Hope ,PA

Without a doubt, New Hope is one of the most charming small towns in Pennsylvania . This quaint spot features great shopping, cultural activities, and tasty dining in a relaxed and beautiful environment along the shores of the Delaware River.

  • Shopping in New Hope – New Hope is one of the region’s best shopping destinations. Along the town’s streets, you’ll find small boutiques, antique stores, and food vendors.
  • Washington Crossing Historic Park – Located a few miles south of New Hope, learn the history of Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War.
  • New Hope and Ivyland Railroad – Take a train ride through the quaint countryside of Upper Bucks County on this historic railroad.
  • Bucks County Playhouse – The Bucks County Playhouse is one of the country’s most historic small town playhouses and features a regular slate of world-class shows.
  • Ringing Rocks County Park – Located north of town, the rocks in this boulder field ring like a bell when struck with a hammer. It’s an oddity that has to be heard to be believed.

The waterfall and the Bucks County Playhouse from a bridge in New Hope.

  • C’est La Vie French Bakery – Located along the banks of the Delaware River, this bakery and cafe features incredibly delicious sandwiches and sweet treats.
  • Triumph Brewing Company – A great place to grab a beer or a meal after a day exploring New Hope.
  • Italian Cucina – A highly-rated Italian restaurant that serves incredible food.
  • Aaron Burr House – Spend the night in this B&B where Aaron Burr fled to after killing Alexander Hamilton. You might even meet Burr’s ghost!

Harrisburg – 105 minutes

Harrisburg is a great day trip from Philadelphia

Harrisburg is the state capital of Pennsylvania and features some great historical spots to visit, especially if you want to learn about the history of Pennsylvania.

In addition to arriving by car, you can also arrive directly into the city on Amtrak’s Keystone Line , a journey of about an hour and forty-five minutes.

  • Pennsylvania Capitol Tour – Take a tour of possibly the most beautiful state capitol in the country and learn more about this incredible building and the history of PA.
  • State Museum of Pennsylvania – The State Museum of Pennsylvania tells the story of Pennsylvania from its geologic record and Native American tribes to its European settlement and the present day.
  • City Island – City Island is located in the middle of the Susquehanna River and is the home of a minor league baseball team, a riverboat, putt-putt golf, and more.
  • National Civil War Museum – The National Civil War Museum offers a fascinating look at the story of the Civil War and the lives of those that lived through it.
  • Midtown Scholar – One of the best bookstores in the state, Midtown Scholar features tens of thousands of new and used books in a cozy setting.

Breweries in Harrisburg: Millworks Brewery

  • Millworks – Millworks is a combination restaurant, brewery, and art gallery located in a renovated mill. They serve incredible food and beer.
  • Home 231 – Home 231 is a charming farm-to-table restaurant that features delicious and innovative cuisine.
  • Little Amps Coffee – Little Amps is one of the best coffee shops in Pennsylvania and features three locations in the city.
  • The Manor on Front – The only bed and breakfast in the heart of downtown Harrisburg is a fantastic place to spend the night.

Valley Forge – 30 minutes

Visiting Valley Forge National Park in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

The Valley Forge area is best known for its Revolutionary War connections, but this area is also filled with great shopping, art, and other unique attractions.

It’s also one of the shortest day trips from Philadelphia that you can take.

  • Valley Forge National Historical Park – This park preserves the spot where the Continental Army spent the winter of 1777-1778. Tour the site and learn about the challenges they faced.
  • Wharton Esherick Museum – The Wharton Esherick Museum is housed in the studio of this famous artist and looks like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.
  • King of Prussia Mall – While this is a normal shopping mall in many respects, King of Prussia is the second-largest shopping mall in the country, which makes it an attraction on its own.
  • American Treasure Tour – Located in Oaks, PA, the American Treasure Tour features an incredibly large collection of Americana that spans nearly every possible topic and interest.
  • John James Audobon Center – Housed in the first home that John James Aubodon lived in in the United States, this site offers a wealth of knowledge about his drawings of birds and the impact of his life.

Inside while taking a tour of the Wharton Esherick Museum near Valley Forge, PA

  • il Granaio – Located in nearby Phoenixville, this Italian restaurant features some of the most authentic food you’ll find anywhere.
  • Chadwick’s – Great American food for a reasonable price.
  • Black Powder Tavern – Classic American food in a building built in 1746.
  • Valley Forge Resort – A great place to stay near the park with unique amenities.

Allentown – 70 minutes

Fun Things to do in Allentown, PA

Allentown is the third-largest city in Pennsylvania and the westernmost city in the Lehigh Valley. While this city often gets overlooked by travelers, there are a lot of great things to do here on a day trip from the Philadelphia area.

In addition to what’s listed here, Philadelphians might also want to make the trip out to see the Flyers’ minor league hockey affiliate and the Phillies AAA baseball team .

  • America on Wheels – America on Wheels is an antique automobile museum that highlights the history of wheeled transportation throughout the country, with a special focus on the industry in the Lehigh Valley.
  • Dorney Park – Dorney Park is one of the most popular amusement parks in Pennsylvania and features seven rollercoasters and dozens of other great rides.
  • Allentown Art Center – The Allentown Art Center features incredible works of art from both the Lehigh Valley and around the world.
  • Mack Trucks Historical Center – Head into the old testing facility for Mack Trucks to see this large collection of vintage and modern trucks.

Eating at Yocco's is a must do thing in Lehigh County, PA

  • Yocco’s – There is no more iconic food in Allentown than the hotdogs at Yocco’s. This small local chain is known for hotdogs, fries, and pierogies.
  • Union and Finch – Union and Finch offers casual food with a twist in a bistro setting.
  • Fegley’s Brew Works – Located in the heart of downtown Allentown, Fegley’s Brew Works offers delicious beers and tasty food.
  • Renaissance Allentown Hotel – Located right downtown, this highly-rated hotel offers great access to the city’s sites.

Reading – 70 minutes

Visiting the Reading Pagoda in Reading, Pennsylvania

In Philly, Reading is probably best known as being the namesake for Reading Terminal Market . However, this city a little over an hour from Philadelphia features some neat spots that are worth checking out.

  • Reading Pagoda – Sitting high over the city, this authentic Japanese pagoda was built in the early 20th century to be the focal point of a hotel. Today, it provides commanding views of the city far below.
  • Reading Public Museum – This museum features an excellent collection ranging from butterflies to mummies. This is a great spot for families wanting to cover a variety of subjects in a small museum.
  • Mid-Atlantic Air Museum – The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum features an incredible collection of historic military aircraft from the 1920s through to the 21st century.
  • Daniel Boone Homestead – Did you know that frontiersman Daniel Boone was born in PA? Tour what remains of his childhood home and learn more about his influential life.
  • Berks County Heritage Center – This historical museum tells the story of Reading and the entirety of Berks County. There is also a historic covered bridge on the property.

Beer at Chatty Monks Brewing in West Reading, PA.

  • Chatty Monks Brewing – Located just west of the city, Chatty Monks Brewing offers Belgian-style ales and delicious food.
  • American Coffee House – A quaint coffee shop that also serves sandwiches and salads.
  • Paraiso Rosel – Delicious and authentic Mexican food in the heart of Reading.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton – Located in the heart of downtown Reading, this is a great spot to stay while checking out the city’s sites.

Jim Thorpe – 90 minutes

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania in Fall

Often called the “Switzerland of America” this quaint town in the Poconos is a great spot for those that love the outdoors or exploring small towns. In fact, there are so many things to do in Jim Thorpe, PA that you’ll likely need more than a day.

The town takes its curious name from athlete Jim Thorpe who is buried just outside of town despite having no connection to the area.

  • Downtown Jim Thrope – The heart of Jim Thorpe is filled with incredible shops and makes for a great place to spend a few hours.
  • Asa Packer Mansion Museum – The Asa Packer Mansion is a historic home that was the model for the Haunted Mansion at Disneyworld. Tours are offered throughout the year.
  • Lehigh Gorge State Park – Lehigh Gorge State Park follows the path of the Lehigh River as it winds its way through the region. There are great opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and fishing in the park.
  • Old Jail Museum – This historic jail offers a fascinating look at the history of prisons and is said to be very haunted.
  • Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway – Take a train ride along the banks of the Lehigh River aboard historic trains.

Jim Thorpe from Flagstaff Mountain Overlook Park in PA

  • Molly Mcguire’s – This traditional Irish pub preserves the town’s history and provides delish food.
  • Tommy’s Subs – A hole-in-the-wall restaurant featuring great subs with some unique twists.
  • Stone Row Pub – A relaxing place to eat with a tasty menu that’s situated off of the main street.
  • The Inn at Jim Thorpe – This 19th-century hotel in the heart of the town features nicely refurbished rooms.
  • You can also find great places to stay on Booking.com .

York – 105 minutes

Rainbow over courthouse in York, PA

When the Continental Congress fled Philadelphia in 1777, they headed to York, and you can too.

York is known as the “Factory Tour Capital of the World”, but visitors can also enjoy great history, quirky sights, and more in this historic city.

  • York Colonial Complex – The York Colonial Complex consists of both original and reconstructed sites that tell the story of the period of time when York was the capital of the United States.
  • Harley-Davidson Factory Tour – Ever wanted to see how motorcycles are made? Take a tour of the Harley-Davidson Factory and learn more about these classic American bikes.
  • Haines Shoe House – Just outside of York is a giant shoe that was built as a house. Today, you can get ice cream there and tour this strange building.
  • Martin’s Potato Chip Factory Tour – Take a tour of this popular potato chip maker and see how they make their delicious snacks.
  • Fire Museum of York County – Find out about the history of firefighting in this part of Pennsylvania inside this historic fire station turned museum.

Tutoni's is great if you are looking for where to eat in York, PA

  • Tutoni’s – Tutoni’s offers rustic Italian food, a fantastic wine list, and inventive cocktails.
  • Holy Hound Taproom – Holy Hound Taproom is home to the best beer list in York and great food.
  • Collusion Tap Works – One of the best breweries in downtown York .
  • Emig Manor Bed and Breakfast – A quaint B&B located in a historic home.

Have you been to one of these places or do you have a favorite Day trip from Philadelphia that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for even more places to explore? Check out the top free things to do in Philadelphia , the best PA State Parks for history lovers , and our PA bucket list .

Great places to stay in Philadelphia

  • Loews Philadelphia Hotel - A historic hotel with fantastic views
  • Hotel Monaco - A dog-friendly hotel in the heart of Old City
  • The Rittenhouse Hotel - The city's highest rated hotel on Trip Advisor.
  • Wyndham Historic District - A great value with a rooftop pool
  • Find more great places to stay on Airbnb

Click the map to see more nearby things to do

Philadelphia Travel Map

More nearby places worth exploring

Hiking the Mount Misery Trails to the Abandoned Colonial Springs Bottling Plant at Valley Forge

Hiking the Mount Misery Trails to the Abandoned Colonial Springs Bottling Plant at Valley Forge

Visiting the Mütter Museum: Philly’s Most Macabre Museum

Visiting the Mütter Museum: Philly’s Most Macabre Museum

Visiting the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia

Visiting the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia

Visiting Ringing Rocks County Park: Bucks County’s Oddest Destination

Visiting Ringing Rocks County Park: Bucks County’s Oddest Destination

Find more things to do in the philly region.

Jim Cheney of UncoveringPA

Jim Cheney is the creator of UncoveringPA.com. Based in Carlisle near Harrisburg, Jim frequently travels around Pennsylvania and has visited, written about, and photographed all 67 counties in the state. He has also traveled to more than 30 different countries around the world.

2 thoughts on “The 15 Best Day Trips from Philadelphia”

As a proud native of Nazareth, I feel compelled to point out that the Martin Guitar factory is located in Nazareth, not Bethlehem. It’s about 20 minutes north of Bethlehem and worth the trip. If you do visit, I recommend grabbing a hoagie or sandwich at Ressler’s Market on Main Street. 🙂

You are correct. In fact, many of the places listed in the entire guide aren’t specifically in the city that is listed. However, they are close to them, so they make easy trips from those cities, which serve as a great base from which to explore the areas.

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day trips from beaver pa

Of course! How about if you didn’t have to worry about the stress that transportation can add to your summer fun? When you book your beach trip buses from Lancaster, PA through Executive Coach, we take care of all your transportation needs for summer day trips so you can sit back and start your vacation early — before you even get to your desired destination.

Beaches Near Lancaster, PA

Lancaster doesn’t have any beaches itself, but some of the closest beaches are located in one of our neighboring states, New Jersey. New Jersey has some of the most unique beaches on the east coast and a beach that suits everyone’s style. And Ocean City, NJ is definitely home to one beach destination you don’t want to miss this season.

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Make each part of your beach trip relaxing and hassle-free this year, including the transportation. Book your safe and luxuriously comfortable trip to Ocean City, NJ today with Executive Coach.

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We operate on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout July and August!

Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy the Ride to the Beach

You’ve got a few options when it comes to pursuing summer day trip transportation in Lancaster, PA for groups. You could coordinate a carpool system in which a few unlucky people are stuck wasting the first (and last) few hours of their day trip driving the rest of the group. You could each shell out an exorbitant amount of money to take the train and have to wait as it stops along the way to pick up strangers you’ll have to share your car with.

Or, you could book our buses for summer day trips in PA and the surrounding areas and allow each member of the group to enjoy their own captain-style plush seat and climate control while they watch a fun movie on our DVD systems or just spend time enjoying each other’s company.

Did we mention you won’t have to share your space with anyone, take bathroom breaks — that’s right, we’ve got on-board bathrooms! — or pay an arm and a leg to enjoy traveling this way? It may seem too good to be true, but we assure you there’s no fine print in this great deal!

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Our summer day trip coaches offer much more than just convenience and comfort. We also provide your group with a way to travel safely and without worry. Whether you choose our 40-passenger standard coaches or our 56-passenger luxury coaches for your east coast beach trips, you can rest easy knowing each vehicle in our fleet is inspected and maintained by our full-time, professional staff in our state-of-the-art maintenance facility right here in Lancaster County, PA.

And since we hold both our coaches and our drivers to the highest federal, state and local safety standards, you know you’re in good hands when you take our buses for beach trips. Of course, there’s more to safety and reliability than making sure the machines run well and the operators are knowledgeable, which is why we only hire the friendliest and most professional drivers to staff our fleet. Because for a truly enjoyable experience on our summer day trip buses, nothing can compare to a friendly face and a professional demeanor. Roundtrip transportation to arrive at your favorite beach boardwalk destination and back home doesn’t get better than this.

Schedule Your Summer Day Trip Coaches Today

When it comes time to book your vacation transportation, look no further than Executive Coach for the best coach bus company and best beach trip buses in PA. We’ll make sure you get to your desired destination on time, safely and in luxurious comfort at a price that will make you smile.

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  Went to Montreal and Quebec city over the weekend with a school trip...all three drivers were very professional and friendly. Our driver (Jay) was exceptional in communication and safety! I would highly recommend Executive Coach!  

  We have worked closely with Executive Coach for years. They have always portrayed the utmost professionalism and courtesy to us as a customer. Their equipment is state of the art and very well maintained, and their drivers are concerned with the safety of their passengers and are very pleasant to our groups. Overall, the team at Executive Coach has been a wonderful partner with White Star Tours and we look forward to continuing our professional relationship for years to come.  

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  1. 10 Must-Do Day Trips from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Make the 100-mile trip from Pittsburgh to Alleghany National Forest and discover a nature fanatic's paradise. Rev up your ATV or dirt bike on the Willow Creek Trail. Or, take a longer spin along the Timberline Trail while mountain bikers speed through Jake's Rocks Extreme Mountain Bike Trail.

  2. 33 Best Day Trips From Pittsburgh

    23. Presque Isle State Park. 301 Peninsula Dr. Erie, PA 16505. (814) 833-7424. Presque Isle State Park in Pennsylvania is a two-hour drive from Pittsburgh. Spanning nearly 3,200 acres, this state park is located on a sandy region that extends into Lake Erie and includes Presque Isle Bay.

  3. The essential day tripping towns from Pittsburgh

    Johnstown is also one of the only day tripping destinations from Pittsburgh that can be accessed without a car. An Amtrak leaves daily from Downtown Pittsburgh at 7:30 a.m., and then returns to ...

  4. 25 Best Day Trips from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Beaver Creek State Park is a lovely Ohio state park near the city of East Liverpool, ... 12382 Center Ave, Conneaut Lake, PA 16316, Phone: 814-382-5115. Fallingwater ... located within easy day or weekend trip distance from downtown Pittsburgh.

  5. 10 Unique Day Trips in Pennsylvania To Add To Your Bucket List

    No matter the occasion, these 10 unique day trips in Pennsylvania showcase some of the best that our beautiful state has to offer. Take your pick, and enjoy one of the best day trips in PA. 1. Fallingwater, Fayette County. Fallingwater, 1491 Mill Run Rd, Mill Run, PA 15464, USA. WikiCommons/Public Domain.

  6. 13 Perfect Day Trips From Pittsburgh (within 2 hours of drive)

    Magical Day Trip to Laurel Caverns in Laurel Highlands PA. The cost ranges between $3 for kids and $15 for adults. Located about 1 hours away from Pittsburgh. If you are looking for a unique and magical family day getaway near Pittsburgh or Cleveland, consider taking a day trip to Laurel Caverns in Farmington.

  7. 15 Best Day Trips from Pittsburgh

    2. Penn's Cave. Source: Daderot (talk) 11:39, 21 August 2009 (UTC) / Wikimedia. Penn's Cave. Penn's Cave is America's only wave cave and wildlife park. This fun and family friendly day out is one of the most easily accessible and affordable day trips from Pittsburgh.

  8. 12 Incredible Weekend Trips from Pittsburgh, PA (+ Map!)

    1. Salt Fork State Park (Ohio) Beautiful Salt Fork State Park is a nature haven just a quick trip away from Pittsburgh. The park is filled with beautiful landscapes, such as meadows, valleys, forested hills, and winding streams. Salt Fork State Park is Ohio's largest state park, with over 17,000 acres of land.

  9. The 18 Best Day Trips From Pittsburgh

    Day Trips From Pittsburgh for Nature Lovers. Pittsburgh lies in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania and is surrounded by untouched nature with tons of great options for outdoor activities. 1. Ohiopyle State Park. Distance: 68 miles. Travel Time: 1 ¼ hours. Home to Mount Davis, the highest point in Pennsylvania, Ohiopyle State Park ...

  10. 40 Best Weekend Getaways From Pittsburgh

    Laurel Highlands, PA 15655 (717) 787-2500. ... Beaver Creek State Park. 12021 Echo Dell Road East Liverpool, OH 43920 (330) 385-3091. ... Related: Fun Day Trips From Philadelphia. 33. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. 1978 River Road Bushkill, PA 18324 (570) 426-2452.

  11. The 16 Best Day Trips From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2024 Guide)

    Pine Creek Gorge. Distance from Pittsburgh: 185 miles. Driving time: 3 hours. Pine Creek Gorge, often referred to as the "Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania," is a breathtaking natural wonder nestled within the Tioga State Forest in north-central Pennsylvania.

  12. 15 Family Friendly Pennsylvania Day Trips

    15 Family-Friendly Pennsylvania Day Trips. Adventure awaits in the Keystone state with these family-friendly Pennsylvania day trips! From the vibrant colors of the Crayola Experience to the famous bumper boats at Knoebels, this list is sure to please everyone in the family. Whether you prefer the hustle and bustle of the city or the openness of ...

  13. Adventures, History & Attractions in Beaver County

    Outdoor Adventures. Nature enthusiasts will find a variety of outdoor activities in Beaver County. The expansive Brady's Run Park is a must-see, offering hiking trails, picnic areas, and a serene lake for fishing or boating. During the winter months, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

  14. 12 Of The Best Day Trips In Pennsylvania

    It's easy to see why Pine Creek Gorge is one of the best day trips in Pennsylvania. 4. April - Bent Pine Alpaca Farm. Meet some of the sweetest animals around - furry, friendly alpacas - at Bent Pine Alpaca Farm in Carlisle. Tour the 16-acre farm that's home to nearly two dozen alpacas, llamas, and chickens.

  15. 19 Fantastic Weekend Getaways in PA

    There's a lot of family fun to be had in Erie, PA. Where to Go: Located in the northwestern corner of the state, Erie is the perfect destination for a family getaway in PA. A large part of this is Presque Isle State Park. This park is located on Lake Erie and features 12 fantastic beaches with both sand and surf (but no salt water or sharks).

  16. Home

    First-Class Customized Trips, Trailways® Motorcoach Services, Charters, and Bus Tours Since 1908. When it's time for you or your group to get up and go, there's nothing quite like traveling with Fullington Trailways. Choose from the list of Fullington tours, customize your own tour, or just arrange motorcoach transportation for your group.

  17. 15 Best Day Trips from Erie, Pennsylvania

    Here are the 15 best day trips you can take from Erie, PA within reasonable travel time. 1. Buffalo. Source: Paul Brady Photography / shutterstock. Buffalo, NY. Next to the Canadian border, Buffalo is the second largest city in New York State and has seen recent regeneration efforts over the past few years to make it a great destination in its ...

  18. 101 Family Day Trips and Staycations Around Pittsburgh

    Get Wild on a Hike. Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. McConnells Mill Slippery Rock Gorge Trail. Rachel Carson Trail. Raccoon Creek State Park Trails. The North Country Trail. Gerard Trail. Presque Isle State Park. Erie Bluffs State Park.

  19. 15 Spontaneous Day Trips That Are Less Than 3 Hours Away From ...

    Ride the vintage rides at Conneaut Lake Park, Pennsylvania. See on Instagram. Distance: 1 hour, 28 min. When to visit: Summer. Make it a point to stop at the Conneaut Lake Park on your way to or from Erie. It's about an hour south of Presque Isle — and a little out of the way — but it's worth the minor detour.

  20. 15 Best Day Trips from Harrisburg PA

    2. Wildwood Park. Source: Jon Bilous / shutterstock. Wildwood Park. Also found on the northern edge of Harrisburg and making for an easy escape from the city is the beautiful Wildwood Park. This is a local favorite, being one of the closest green spaces to the city center, and it makes for a wonderful day trip.

  21. Lehigh Valley Day Trips

    Rent and launch kayaks, row boats, sailboats, and stand-up paddleboards onto the 117-acre, 50-foot-deep Leaser Lake, named for Frederick Leaser, who transported the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to Allentown during the Revolutionary War. Landlubbers can also enjoy the four-mile Liberty Bell Trail, with beautiful views, easy hiking, and in ...

  22. 25 Best Romantic Weekend Getaways in Pennsylvania

    Here are the best family and romantic weekend getaways in PA. Reynolds Mansion B&B, Bellefonte. Built in 1855 by Major William F. Reynolds, the stately Reynolds Mansion is now one of the foremost boutique accommodation options in the area. Reynolds Mansion, 101 W. Linn Street, Bellefonte, PA 16823, 814-353-8407.

  23. Day trips from Butler

    Find places to go within a day's drive of me in Butler and plan a day trip near Butler. WITHIN HOURS. Day trips from Butler. north of Butler: Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls (New York) ... Beaver Island Golf Course. northeast of Butler: Stony Brook State Park. Lyman Run State Park. ... PA. cities within 10 miles of me in Butler within 20 miles of ...

  24. The 15 Best Day Trips from Philadelphia

    Brandywine Battlefield - The Brandywine Battlefield preserves the largest battlefield of the Revolutionary War. This was one of the most important sites of the early revolution. Galer Estate Winery - A beautiful vineyard with delicious wine near Longwood Gardens. A great spot to relax after a long day.

  25. Bus Trips to the Beach

    Is there a better season to take a little time off and enjoy yourself for a quick day trip getaway than summer? The kids are out of school and the weather is gorgeous. Many favorite locations stay open later this time of year. ... Executive Coach, Inc. 525 Beaver Valley Pike Lancaster, PA 17602-1601 (844) 924-8755 (717) 464-4033.