Philadelphia October 21, 2017
8 Small Rural Towns Near Philadelphia That Are Downright Delightful
Philadelphia is a huge city that somehow retains its small town feel in the neighborhoods that we live in, but sometimes you really just want to get away from city life. Luckily, there are so many cute rural towns near Philadelphia that it’s easy to escape for a day trip, visit some farms, dine in a charming cafe, and stroll along quiet main streets. Check out these 8 towns below and plan your next autumn day trip.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Chadds Ford, PA
Chadds Ford is a charming town on the border of Delaware in the heart of the Brandywine Valley. It's got a great small-town feel, and the history here is incredible. It was the site of the Battle of the Brandywine, and you'll find many remnants of Chadds Ford's historic past as you explore. The Brandywine Valley is known for its rolling hills and gorgeous landscapes, so this is a town that's perfect for a country drive and a comfort food dinner at Hank's Place diner.
2. Lambertville, NJ
Lambertville, New Jersey is just across the Delaware River from New Hope, and it's a wonderful pair to Pennsylvania's most charming town. While most people visit Lambertville for the downtown district full of shops, the rest of Lambertville is full of rural, rolling hills and charming farm life. Lambertville's local farms inlcude the Howell Living History Farm and the Homestead Farmstand, so be sure to take the time to explore this whole town.
3. Bethlehem, PA
Bethlehem was once a bustling steel town, but after the factories closed down, the residents brought new life to their hometown... and it shows! Bethlehem is a perfect place to explore if you're looking to kill some time in the mountains. Explore the center of town, dine in a historic building, and enjoy the quaint shops throughout the city. One of the coolest cocktail bars around is called The Bayou and it's located at 700 Hawthorne Road. It's a little hard to find and you'll may have to wait in line before you find yourself a table in this cozy establishment, but it's worth it for the best catfish and Southern comfort food for miles.
4. Lancaster, PA
Lancaster is a relatively big town that will make you feel like you've stepped back in time. Enjoy the best of Pennsylvania's Amish country on your drive out to the most unique of these rural towns near Philadelphia. Give yourself plenty of time to walk around downtown and see what the town has going on! There's usually a festival, craft show, or an event at the town theater, so you'll never be bored, no matter when you visit. You'll have endless dining options, whether you want to treat yourself to a fancy meal at The Pressroom or dine with the rowdier locals at Annie Bailey's Irish Public House.
5. Hammonton, NJ
Hammonton's charming main street is just one of the draws of this delightful New Jersey town. While many people drive through on the way to Atlantic City, not enough people stop and enjoy the historic, rural, agriculture based town! Did you know it's the blueberry capital of the world? In the summer, be sure to stop by a farmstand and try them (freshly picked, of course) for yourself. Any other time of year, pick up a fresh pie at The Red Barn or try the best homemade spaghetti ever at Joe's Maplewood Inn on Route 30.
6. Doylestown, PA
Doylestown is known for its history - you can't visit this town and skip the Mercer Museum - and for its bustling downtown, with cafes, shops, and pubs as far as the eye can see. You can't go wrong with any of the State Street restaurants for lunch or dinner. For a real treat, head uptown a little to Crossroads Bakery and pick up some fresh baked breads and pastries.
7. Jim Thorpe, PA
Jim Thorpe is known as the Gateway to the Poconos, and it's just under an hour and a half from Philadelphia. The drive up through the mountains is scenic, and you can't beat this town when it comes to fall foliage, charming shops, and gorgeous hiking. Carefully hike through Glen Onoko Falls in the morning for some unbeatable views, and then refuel with a meal at any of the delicious cafes and brew-pubs in town. The artisan shops are wonderful to explore, and you'll leave this town feeling like you just might run away to the mountains forever.
8. Medford, NJ
Medford, New Jersey is one of the most delightful rural towns near Philadelphia, with a charming main street and miles of countryside and farmland to drive through. The historic Kirby's Mill on the outskirts of town is worth tracking down, as is Johnson's Corner Farm for a hayride and some pumpkin ice cream. You can't go wrong with a meal at ITA101 or The Pop Shop on Main Street, either!
Of course, sometimes you want to get away from the city and go on a real outdoor adventure. For those trips, you should check out
9 Amazing State Parks Around Philadelphia That Will Blow You Away and get your fall foliage hike in before the weather cools down!
Do you have any other favorite little towns to add to this list? Let us know where we should explore next in the comments!