By Luke Field
Sometimes you just have to get away. Philadelphia’s public transportation system does an adequate job navigating the city, but it really shines when you want to explore the surrounding areas. Here are several options to help you escape the hustle and bustle of city life or to enjoy some of the treasures outside of Center City.
Warminster Regional Rail Line
Get on at 30th Street, Suburban, or Market East Stations
Price: Weekday: $12.25 round-trip; Weekend & Evening: $9.50 round-trip
The Warminster Line takes you on a quick trip through North Philadelphia and into the northwest suburbs. Along the way, watch for all the different types of neighborhoods you’ll see, a transformation from city to suburb. Hop off at the Willow Grove station and visit the historic Willow Grove Mall, complete with a working carousel. Go one stop further to Hatboro and stroll along their Main Street area. Take in some thrift store shopping and stop in at Burdick’s for an old-time fountain soda.
#15 Trolley To The Philadelphia Zoo
Get on at any Girard and Front or Girard and Broad
Price: $4.00 or two tokens round-trip; Zoo admission: $18 adult, $15 children
Zoo hours: Mar 1st-Oct 31st, 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
While still technically within the city limits, The Philadelphia Zoo feels like another world. The #15 trolley stops right at the Zoo gates, making it the easiest way to get there. From Center City, hop on the Broad Street or Market Frankford Subway to Girard to make the easy transfer to the #15. The Zoo is a great outing for family or friends, but it can be expensive. A suggestion: pack a lunch to avoid the high food costs then picnic with the peacocks by the big fountain.
Norristown Regional Rail to Manayunk
Get on at Suburban Station
Price: Weekday: $8.75 round-trip; Weekend & Evening: $7.00 round-trip
Just twenty minutes from Center City, Manayunk is party central. It is an attractive place for young professionals and families to live, and as a result, has become full of hot restaurants, bars, and shops. You can spend a whole day walking the streets and window shopping. Or plan a night out at a high-class restaurant in the area. Best news of all: the last train on the weekend comes back to the city at 1:59 a.m., giving you plenty of time to enjoy Manayunk’s robust nightlife.
Chestnut Hill East Regional Rail
Similar to Manayunk, Chestnut Hill provides a different city feel from the Center City craziness. Centered on the cobblestoned Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill offers a lot of shopping and dining options in a quaint neighborhood setting. There are also many community events peppered throughout the year. Keep your eyes peeled for the Fall for the Arts Festival on October 9th.
NJ Transit to Atlantic City
Get on at 30th Street Station
Price: $20 round-trip
Sometimes you’ve got to get really far away. The train to Atlantic City is just 95 minutes and avoids all the traffic involved with driving to the shore. Atlantic City has a free beach, fine dining, and more crazy people than the local sanitarium, making it ideal for people watching. It’s close enough to be a very nice day trip with friends, too.
Have a public transportation suggestion? Share your thoughts!
Luke Field is a writer, comedian and office drone living in Center City. You can see him perform every month with The Philly Improv Theater.