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aboutPhiladelphia Travel Guide

Apr 17, 2018
by Logan Hunt

The Small Towns of PA Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Everyone knows that when it comes to good ole Philly, it’s always about Liberty Bell, it’s called the City of Brotherly Love, and if you’re a foodie at heart, the Wing Bowl (tens of thousands of people would throng to Philly to experience a full-blown eating contest). You can’t really beat that.

Unless you’re into history, culture and bucolic sceneries. Some small towns and communities around Philadelphia, however, remains on the list of the most beautiful cities in America and if you're looking for something unconventional and non-touristy, you're in luck.

Philadelphia is blessed with hundreds of miles of lazy coastlines, is home to well over 120 state parks and campsites, and is a short distance away from one of the country’s most beloved natural sites - the Appalachian Mountains. The main Philadelphia city center boasts of being the site for the United States Declaration of Independence, Independence Square, the largest art museum in the country....and Philly Cheesesteak. But you’ve got to take the Philadelphia charter bus out for a detour around a few under-promoted small towns around Philly to truly comprehend the full context of its traditional values. And here are some to consider visiting.

walking, nature trail, small towns, hidden gems Philadelphia

1. New Hope, PA

A Junction Between An Old World And The New
Location : 1 hour 15 minutes drive from Philadelphia, PA
Distance : 40 miles using I-95 S
Strategically-located along Delaware River, New Hope, over several years, was named one of America’s Favorite Towns by adventurous travelers from renowned magazines and websites like Trail & Leisure. Backed by hundreds of years of history as it served as a connecting point between many bustling cities in the East; today, New Hope serves up a platter of options in the form of theaters, art museums, cultural attractions, quaint motels and B&Bs, restaurants and eclectic shopping destinations that you can poke around leisurely in.

What you will inadvertently notice about New Hope is that many parts of the town look like it was torn off from the pages of our history books. It rings of the 1800s more than one would expect and yet is an amazing tourist town that offers charming antique shopping destinations, quaint art galleries, brick-and-mortar retail outlets, beautiful state parks and wildflower preserve along the streets, Delaware River and Delaware Canal. World-class chefs have decided to bring unique flavors of the world (think fried catfish, po’ boys and gumbo ya-ya), mingled with traditional cuisine into Buck County and it makes for a fantastic foodie tour destination. While a delightful American continental dinner can be had at Logan Inn, don't forget to also leg it across New Hope’s Main Street in search of the most palate-pleasing traditional delights. Just ask around, if you’re unsure, as the locals will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

Places to Visit in New Hope, PA
  • New Hope Winery
    6123 Lower York Rd, New Hope, PA 18938
    (215) 794-2331
    www.newhopewinery.com
  • The Bucks County Children's Museum
    500 Union Square Dr, New Hope, PA 18938
    (215) 693-1290
    www.buckskids.org
  • New Hope and Ivyland Railroad
    32 W Bridge St, New Hope, PA 18938
    (215) 862-2332
    www.newhoperailroad.com
  • Bucks County Playhouse
    70 S Main St, New Hope, PA 18938
    (215) 862-2121
    www.bcptheater.org
  • Washington Crossing Historic Park
    1112 River Rd, Washington Crossing, PA 18977
    (215) 493-4076
  • New Hope Arts Inc
    2A Stockton Ave, New Hope, PA 18938
    (215) 862-9606
    www.newhopearts.org 

2. Bushkill, PA

A Natural, Bliss-filled Wonderland For Nature Lovers
Location : Less than 2 hours drive from Philadelphia, PA
Distance : 113 miles via I-476 S
Known mostly for the presence of Bushkill Falls, a series of beautiful waterfalls descending into Delaware River from Pocono Mountains, it has become one of the state’s most popular regular haunt, hangout spot, and weekend getaway destination. With access to Bridal Veil Falls, Bridesmaid Falls, Pennel Falls and Laurel Glen Falls, as well as a number of hiking trails and bird-watching spots, it’s easy to why its popularity has picked up steam.

Promoted as a place that’s ‘easy to visit, hard to leave’, the Niagara of Pennsylvania is a family-friendly destination for hiking, mini golfing, mining of gemstones, paddle boating, fishing, and nature-based activities. Despite its rising acclaim, day admission fees are kept affordable at $14.50 for adults, $13. 50 for Seniors and $8.50 for Children age 4 to 10. You can also opt for horseback riding with Sugar Mountain Carriages, tubing and skiing with White Lightning Snowtubing, climbing with Pocono TreeVentures, kayaking and rafting with Chamberlain Canoes, and then make a trip to Pocono Indian Museum to learn about local traditions and cultures.

Places to Visit in Bushkill, PA
  • Hiking trails
    Green Trail (no climbing involved), Yellow trail (45 minutes hike), Blue Trail (1 hour 15 minutes) and Red Trail (takes over 2 hours to complete)
  • Pocono Zip Racer
    1575 Fairway Villas Blvd, East Stroudsburg, PA 18302
    (800) 552-5653
    www.poconomountainadventures.com
  • Pocono TreeVentures
    1575 Fairway Blvd, East Stroudsburg, PA 18302
    (800) 446-0231
    www.poconotreeventures.com
  • Pennsylvania Wildlife Exhibit
    at the entrance of Bushkill Falls
    (570) 588-6682
  • Millbrook Village
    Old Mine Road, Millbrook Village, Blairstown, NJ 07825
    (908) 841-9531
  • Country Kettle
    2523 Milford Rd, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301-8687
    (877) 553-8853
    www.country-kettle.com
  • Sugar Mountain Stable
    1335 W Sugar Mountain Rd, Bushkill, PA 18324-8765
    (570) 588-3063
  • Fernwood Resort
    2157 River Road East Stroudsburg, PA 18302
    (570) 588-6661

3. Lititz, PA

A Foodie, History and Cultural Haven in Pennsylvania
Location : 1 hour 20 minutes drive from Philadelphia, PA
Distance : 75 miles via I-76 E
The words ‘adorable’ and ‘cute’ have been used often to describe what Lititz is like to city folk and it definitely hits the mark. The small country town has been around since 1742 and remained largely untouched by nature, history, and modernization. It also proves that size is of little importance when it comes to depth of character because what Lititz does not have in acres, it has an abundance in options. In fact, it is a short 8 miles drive from Lancaster so, a day trip could mean killing two birds with one stone.

Hailed as America's coolest small towns, the energy, vibe, culture, and tradition is undeniable. Packing a punch when it comes to personality and history, it was once resided by a large number of German immigrants and then established by local Moravians. History lovers and foodies will rejoice with the depth of its art and dining scene that are invariably present in its cozy cafes, chic boutiques, antique shops, inns and retail outlets, mainly along Main and Broad Street. It is rightfully touted as an experience for all senses.

Places to Visit in Lititz, PA
  • Snapology Summer Camps, Classes & Parties in Lancaster
    Lancaster, PA
    (717) 719-4154
  • Appalachian Brewing Company
    55 North Water Street, Lititz, PA 17543
    (717) 625-0300
  • Café Chocolate of Lititz
    40 East Main Street, Lititz, PA 17543
    (717) 626-0123
    www.chocolatelititz.com
  • Brickerville House Family Restaurant
    2 E. 28th Division Highway (Rt. 322), Lititz, PA 17543
    (717) 625-2525
  • Tomato Pie Café
    23 North Broad Street, Lititz, PA 17543
    (717) 627-1762
    www.tomatopiecafe.net
  • Wolf Sanctuary of PA
    465 Speedwell Forge Road, Lititz, PA 17543
    (717) 626-4617
    www.wolfsanctuarypa.org
  • Lancaster Central Market
    23 N Market St, Lancaster, PA 17608
    (717) 735-6890
    www.centralmarketlancaster.com
  • Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
    2775 Lebanon Rd, Manheim, PA 17545
    (717) 665-7021
    www.parenfaire.com 

4. Jim Thorpe, PA

Leaving More Than A SnapShot In Your Mind
Location : 1 hour 30 minutes from Philadelphia, PA
Distance : 82 miles via I-476 N
Over the years, the ‘Switzerland of America’ did not change much. The stunning mountains, gorgeous scenery, striking architecture, and an exceptional lineup of outdoor activities remain to be reasons people come back time and again. The town was named after Native American Olympic medalist, James Francis Thorpe, the quaint, relatively-quiet town is a popular gateway into the Poconos mountain. Thanks to the proximity of its trails along the Appalachian mountains and Glen Onoko Falls, it offers activities like fishing, swimming, camping, horseback riding, boating, biking, skiing, and hiking. The waterfalls are why, more often than not, photographers and nature lovers often find the place such a life tonic.

And that’s not the end of it because culture vultures can get their fill at attractions like the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum, Eckley Miners’ Village and the Old Mauch Chunk Train Station. Mining activities kept the villagers, back then, alive, and naturally, it played an important role in shaping the town's history and homage is duly paid to it. You’ll also find quaint little art galleries, theaters, an abundance of wilderness to explore, and charming traditional Victorian-style lodging and dining options that will definitely take you back in time.

Places to Visit in Jim Thorpe, PA
Paintball parties, butterfly farm visits, beach bumming, wine tasting, a languid stroll around a quaint town center, shopping for antiques, hiking around mountainous terrains and wooded areas, swimming and fishing at waterfalls, camping and zip lining...these are just a few of the things that you can do with your family in the understated small towns near Philadelphia. A trip to the small towns will easily take the edge off of the busiest and most stressed-out of weeks.



Visit The Small Towns of Pennsylvania in a Philadelphia Rented Charter Bus

You can make your trip to New Hope, Jim Thorpe, Bushkill, or Lititz a luxurious one with the help of an affordable charter bus! Contact us and we will help connect you with a budget-friendly, well-equipped and modern charter bus that will ensure your comfort every mile of the way. And when you’re done with your activities, all you need to do is to hop on, relax on the charter bus and bond with your group while recounting everything’s that’s just happened along the way. Day trips can be comfortable, not a hassle. Give Bus Rentals Philadelphia a call today!

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