12 Perfect Weekend Getaways for When You Need to Escape Philly

From eclectic small towns in Pennsylvania to seaside spa getaways.

Post-holiday winter months giving you the blues? Sounds like it’s time to pack up the car and go for a little adventure. Philly’s proximity to so many getaways comes in special handy this time of year, when cabin fever is getting real and the temps are dropping rapidly.

Whether you’re on the hunt for a cozy fire, strolls in eclectic small towns, spa getaways, or adrenaline-pumping winter activities, everything you need is just a drive away. Explore, reset, and recharge with some of our picks for the best weekend getaways near Philly this winter.

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Wilmington, Delaware

Distance from Philly: 45 minutes
Skip town for a night to discover some hidden gems right nearby in Wilmington. The Queen is open for concerts and events, which puts you in the middle of the city’s cute downtown. And whether you opt to see a show or not, you’ll also find cocktail favorite Merchant Bar and the airy Stitch House Brewery nearby. Stay the night at Hotel Du Pont so that you can have a brunch of steak tartare and french toast at Le Cavalier the next day, or drive 10 minutes out to explore Winterthur Mansion.

Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Distance from Philly: 55 minutes
Even in gray winter months, there’s a bounty of color and horticulture to take in at Longwood Gardens, the sprawling garden oasis that sits just a quick drive away from Philadelphia. Make the most of the season with the spot’s Winter Wonder exhibit, where you can take in vibrant, warm hues against the muted wintery landscape. After a day of strolling Longwood Gardens, pay a visit just down the road to Chaddsford Winery, where you can sip local wines with a fun food truck lineup most weekends.

Peddler's Village
Peddler's Village

New Hope, Pennsylvania & Lambertville, New Jersey

Distance from Philly: 1 hour
New Hope and neighboring Lambertville are two riverside towns straddling the line of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, positioned as a charming hideaway of quirky shops, riverside dining, and a biking trail that takes you on a tour of the town. There is always so much to explore here, from samples at the New Hope Winery and Pour House to all the olive oil you can fathom from Olive n Grape. The stunning new River House at Odette’s is a hyper luxe getaway, ideal for staying the night and getting cozy by a rooftop fireplace. Don’t forget to check out the Ferry Market, wander through the Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, or check out the winter festivities at Peddler’s Village.

Funck's Restaurant Leola.PA
Funck's Restaurant Leola.PA

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Distance from Philly: 75 minutes
Slow things down and spend some time in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The region is filled with winter-friendly outdoor dining experiences, from starry igloos to personalized greenhouses, where you can taste farm-to-table food at its freshest. Be sure to grab a seat at Lancaster Brewing Company or take a drive and discover the many covered bridges in the area. If you’re staying the night, look no further than the warm and inviting Lancaster Ridge Bed & Breakfast.

Asbury Lanes
Asbury Lanes

Asbury Park, New Jersey

Distance from Philly: 1 hour and 25 minutes
There’s a lot to love in Asbury Park, even if you visit at peak off-season. Discover the eclectic seaside town known for quirky shops, eye-popping murals, and live music—with a special fondness for Bruce Springsteen. The Stone Pony and other venues remain open through the winter for live shows, and don’t miss a chance for burrata and egg-drizzled pizza at Porta. If you’re staying over, the new Asbury Ocean Club has luxe accommodations with much lower winter rates, so take advantage.

Salt Spa at The Reeds
Salt Spa at The Reeds

Stone Harbor, New Jersey

Distance from Philly: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Make your off-season visit to the shore a little extra glam by choosing Stone Harbor. The posh beach town is home to The Reeds at Shelter Haven, and you can score a lofty suite for a fraction of the price during the winter. While you’re there, treat yourself to a day at the Salt Spa to learn true relaxation.

The Flying Egg Bethlehem
The Flying Egg Bethlehem

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

Distance from Philly: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Head to the Lehigh Valley for a taste of small-town charm not unlike an episode of Gilmore Girls. All winter long you’ll find different Restaurant Weeks throughout the area, giving you a perfect way to sample Lehigh Valley’s best local restaurants for a fraction of the price. In Bethlehem’s SteelStacks you’ll find lots to do, including the opportunity to see new and classic films at Frank Bank Alehouse Cinemas, just in time for awards season. Round out your trip by giving glassblowing a shot at the Banana Factory and snag brunch at the Flying Egg, featuring a festive new menu of winter cocktails and spiked coffee.

Cape May, NJ
Cape May, New Jersey | Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Cape May, New Jersey

Distance from Philly: 1 hour and 35 minutes
Cape May, the shore’s southernmost beach town, feels even more idyllic and peaceful in the off-season. You can still take in the ocean, colorful Victorian houses, and everything else the town has to offer, whether you’re after a table at The Ebbitt Room (reopening February 11) to a lazy vineyard day 10 minutes away at Willow Creek Winery. The Cape May Brewing Co. has tons to explore too, including the pet-friendly Brewtanical Garden and Brewtique. This is a great chance to check out the digs at Lokal Cape May before rooms book up all summer long, or keep it classic with a stay at the iconic Congress Hall, which reopens February 10 after a winter refresh.

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

New York, New York

Distance from Philly: 2 hours
Yes, we love our city here in Philly, but that’s no reason not to love New York, too—there’s room for both in your heart. Head up for a day and treat yourself to everything good at the city’s best restaurants or make a weekend of it to catch a show, go ice skating at a local rink, and, if you’re really feeling adventurous, take a sweeping look at Manhattan from 1,000 feet up at Summit One Vanderbilt, which just opened in the fall.

Skytop Lodge
Skytop Lodge

The Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

Distance from Philly: 2 hours
Winter is an idyllic time to visit the Poconos. You might enjoy it best by renting a woodsy cabin surrounded by snow, though a visit to Skytop Lodge is not to be missed. There you’ll find ice tubing, skiing, or you can even try your hand at paintball. Head to the quaint Jim Thorpe for small-town magic, Victorian houses, and a charming stroll down Broadway.

Visit The Catskills
Visit The Catskills

Catskills, New York

Distance from Philly: 3 hours and 45 minutes
If it’s not quite wintery enough down here, a drive to the Catskills will do wonders to up your winter wonderland ambiance. From Nordic skiing and snow-shooting to speeding around in a snowmobile, the Catskills are a must for spending your winter out of hibernation. To mix things up, visit Red Barn Studio for cooking classes that seem to specialize in foods that warm you up.

Cherry Springs State Park
Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania | Michael Ridall/Shutterstock

Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania

Distance from Philly: 4 hours and 25 minutes
Something about being cooped up in the city definitely makes us eager to take in the stars. Cherry Springs is known for precisely that, offering a dazzling panorama of the night sky. A one-time Galaxy Pass gets you access to the Overnight Astronomy Observation Field, or you can stick to the normal campgrounds. You also aren’t far from the so-called “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania,” Pine Creek Gorge, so make a pit stop to check out this 47-mile gorge in the Allegheny Plateau.

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Marielle Mondon is a writer from Philadelphia. Follow her @MarielleMondon on Twitter and Instagram.