In a quest to do as many day trips from my home city (in June 2015, it was Philadelphia) as possible, we gathered up two of our friends and meandered over to Lancaster County. It was a decently long drive (maybe 1.5 hours) to farmland, and then we had trouble finding the main area. We ended up doing a tour of the Amish Village, exploring a farm, tasting some wine, and perusing a farmers market. A nice chill day, nothing adventurous, but very interesting to see how the Amish live regardless (the drive through the street was shared by Amish horse-drawn buggies!) We ended the day exploring a trainyard, but missed the train museum (to the dismay of M). As we didn’t opt for any of the buggy tours, the only cost we had was admission to Amish Village ($9.50) and the goodies we bought at Central Market (a sampling: $3 apple cider, a $5 pie, and an $1 pickle!)
Ocean City, NJ
Another day trip, this time to a beach. I think I prefer Stone Harbor beach because of the nature preserve nearby, but this was a nice clean beach with a boardwalk, perfect for families. $5 tag to get onto the beach (this is how a Jersey Shore beach can actually stay clean), and bring coins for the toll booth to the shore. We packed our lunches and had others drive cars, so this was a very affordable, relaxing beach trip.
Boston & Hingham, MA
This shouldn’t count because M’s home is in Hingham, and he obviously visits once in a while, but to me this was a small interesting trip nevertheless! On the way up to Boston we wanted to take a few side adventures, so stopped at the Vanderbilt Mansion (didn’t take a tour, but walked the grounds) and also walked the Hudson River Walkway (the longest pedestrian road across water). It was misting the entire time, so we didn’t do the entirety of the Walkway, but still were able to hit at least the halfway point and marveled at the magnificence of the Hudson.
Philadelphia, PA – Summer Discovery Camp
I had the privilege of being a summer camp counselor for Penn’s pre-college program. As I wanted to do it at Penn for the Pre-Law Program, I didn’t choose to go anywhere interesting (M spent his camp counselor weeks in Baltimore, MD! There are so many other SD options too- must be nice to be able to get paid to explore a new city!). But, there were many activities that we took the kids on – like a Duck Tour, going to Hershey Park for free, going to NYC Rockefeller Center, all of Philly’s historic sites, etc – that I was able to go to all the places I hadn’t be able to go one last time before moving to NYC. This is a great program, for anyone interested in education and kids, and getting paid to explore a region of the United States you haven’t visited before 🙂