Trying to decide where to spend spring break this year? College students and families in the Philadelphia area don’t need to look very far to find the perfect destination. Whether you call Philly home or plan to visit for the first time, the City of Brotherly Love and its surrounding areas have a lot to offer. Whether you head to the museums and historic sites of Center City, the Amish countryside of Lancaster County, the Pocono Mountains or the nearby Jersey and Delaware shores, there is plenty to do, see and explore.
Heading Down The Shore
Cape Henlopen State Park
15099 Cape Henlopen Drive
Lewes, DE 19958
If the weather is warm enough to get in some beach time, head down the shore to Cape Henlopen State Park, located in Delaware and less than two hours from Philadelphia. Soak up the sun as you relax on one of the well-kept beaches of this shore getaway, or enjoy an afternoon of exploring, biking and hiking along the nature trails of this bird watcher’s haven. The park is open from 8 a.m through sunset, and the Nature Center is open daily during the springtime. The park is fully equipped with well-appointed restroom, shower and changing areas, but there are no lifeguards until after Memorial Day. When you’ve had your fill of surf and sand, head over to one of the nearby boardwalks for shopping, people watching and maybe some ice cream, salt-water taffy or water ice.
French Creek State Park
843 Park Road
Elverson, PA 19520
Camping is the perfect way to embrace nature and enjoy the warmer weather springtime brings. Philly families hoping to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for spring break will find nearby French Creek State Park holds a number of options when it comes to accommodations, from bringing your own tent or camper to renting a cabin or yurt. Spring breakers can enjoy hiking and fishing during the day and family fun around the campfire at night. Want to try camping but not into roughing it? No worries, as the cabins are fully equipped with electric lights and bunk beds.
Touring The City of Brotherly Love
Philadelphia Trolley Works and 76 Carriage Company
1350 Schuylkill Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Explore the City of Brotherly Love via trolley, bus or even by Duck ride or Segway. Philadelphia Trolley Works and 76 Carriage Company provide a variety of transportation choices that are sure to fit anyone’s budget, and tours can combine transportation and venues. See the city from atop a double-decker bus, explore Independence National Historic Park from a horse-drawn carriage or travel in comfort in a deluxe motor coach. Segway and walking tours let you get up-close and personal with the sights and city, and authentic Victorian-style trolleys will take you about town in style. If you want to explore at your own pace, try the “City Tour,” which lets you hop on and off at over two dozen stops throughout the city, and can be purchased for up to three consecutive days of sightseeing fun.
Pennsylvania Dutch Country
The Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center
2300 Lincoln Highway E. (Route 30)
Lancaster, PA 17602
Pennsylvania Dutch Country has something for everyone, from amusement parks to shopping, unique dining opportunities, Amish marketplaces, theaters and more. Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center is found in the heart of Amish country just a hop, skip and a jump from the popular Hershey Park amusement park, which is open for “Springtime in the Park” the first two weekends of April. Shopping choices abound at the Tanger Outlets, where you’ll find deals on everything from luggage and cookware to clothing and jewelry. Guests of the Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center will have access to indoor swimming, tennis, golf and more. Spring getaway packages are available for families and groups and can be tailored to suit your needs.
Great Wolf Lodge Poconos
1 Great Wolf Drive
Scotrun, PA 18355
There are a few indoor water park options near Philadelphia, and Great Wolf Lodge Poconos is arguably the most well-known. The lazy rivers and enthralling water slides are a hit with families at this popular 79,000-square-foot venue. The attractions are housed completely indoors, so no need to worry that the weather won’t cooperate. With water in the pools and attractions maintained at a balmy 84 degrees year round, you’ll have a hard time getting everyone out of the water for meals, which can be included in one of the many packages the park offers. With the Pocono Mountains right outside the resort doors, you’ll have plenty to do when you leave the water park. With abundant dining, shopping and entertainment options nearby, you’ll have a blast exploring, but you don’t have to leave the lodge at all, if you prefer not to. In addition to the water attractions, kids and kids at heart will find an arcade, a game room, and mini golf — all indoors – to keep them entertained.
Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.