Hostelling International - Chamounix Mansion

3250 Chamounix Drive, West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19131-3710, United States
Hostelling International - Chamounix Mansion
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Forum Posts

Need help with Pennsylvania itinerary??

by megscharpf

Hello all,
We are talking the kiddos(9 and 12) to DC and NYC this summer(next week) for an educational vacation,I want to do some side trips on our way to NYC and as we travel through Pennsylvania- I need some advice -I am from the west coast and totally clueless regarding this area... :) Here is what I'm thinking...We leave DC and do Gettysburg,Lancaster(quickly)hershey and Philly (1 day each) What am I missing?? Is there any quaint towns or amazing hiking/nature areas that should not be missed? Please help me make a plan
Thank you

Re: Need help with Pennsylvania itinerary??

by Sevsa

Being from Philly I'm partial to the city but you could hit the most important sites here in a full day. Gettysburg is at least 3 hours west of Philly (depending on traffic) and although nice it is all about the battlefield.
The town of Lancaster is nothing however if you drive in the rural areas around it you can see the Amish going about their daily lives. Try one of the Pa Dutch restaurants where everyone eats together at long tables. Yes, they are for tourists but it is unique.
Hershey has the free Chocolate World ride which shows you the chocolate making process and Hershey Park next to it which is a typical amusement park. The old Hershey Hotel is beautiful with its gardens even if you don't stay there.
There are plenty of hiking opportunities in PA but with so little time you won't be able to do them. Part of the Fairmount Park system in Philly is called the Wissahickon Valley. It's not in the center but if you want to do some easy or moderate hiking it is simple to get to.

Re: Need help with Pennsylvania itinerary??

by megscharpf

Thank you Sevsa,
Great info!
What do you think about New Hope?

Re: Need help with Pennsylvania itinerary??

by Sevsa

Well New Hope can be nice but it will be very crowded in the summer especially the weekend. The area around there is nice but there isn't any particular place I would suggest to visit although Washington Crossing State Park might be good for your family to go to. You can go a little north of New Hope along the Delaware River to Point Pleasant and rent tubes to go tubing down the river. Although again you'll need to avoid the weekend. There is a restored railroad that runs to and from New Hope from Ivyland, PA. ( which would allow you to avoid actually driving in New Hope.
If you have any other questions let me know and I'll try to answer tham.

Re: Need help with Pennsylvania itinerary??

by rsrobbins

The Academy of Natural Science and the Franklin Institute are great places to take the kids in Philadelphia. The Independence National Historical Park is also very educational.

I live in north central PA and there are many quaint towns although the only thing that is charming about them is their downtown areas which retain an old fashioned Main Street aesthetic. Lock Haven, Williamsport, Wellsboro, Mifflinburg, and Selingsgrove all have quaint downtown areas. But they are only worth visiting if you are passing through.

Re: Need help with Pennsylvania itinerary??

by PhillyBorn&Bread

Don't forget Valley Forge National Park. It's right off the turnpike north of Philadelphia as you are coming from Hershey. You can do a drive thru in less than an hour if you are pressed for time.

Travel Tips for Philadelphia


by Pawtuxet

Here is a spectacular example of the murals of Philadelphia. Guess the punishment was pretty severe to have warranted a mural of this size. You see the murals are done as community service work for violators. Great way to combine rehabilitation with community service and art!

Take a walk down South Street....

by bpkprsnl

Take a walk down South Street. Yep, that's right the street made famous in a song telling you where all the hippies meet. This street is the most colorful, noisy and active area of the whole city. The street (between Front and 8th street) is lined with restaurants, bars and unusual shops.

Mummer's Parade

by asturnut

Every January 1st since 1901, the city of Philadelphia has sponsored a New Year's Mummer's Parade. This unique celebration has long been a source or pride in the city of Philadelphia. People come from all over the country come to participate in the Mummer's parade despite the often frigid temperatures on the street. The parade has 3 segments- the comics (read: drunks), the fancies (my favorite) and the string bands (most people's favorite.) It's an extremely long parade which lasts most of the day. Only a real "trooper" could stand the temperatures to see the whole thing outside. I went once and I loved it, but it was too cold! I watch it on tv instead. But if you have the occasion to be in Philly on New Years, don't miss the Mummer's Parade. There are also various performances throughout the year with various string bands. And of course, there's the Mummer's Musuem, which is small, but interesting.

Treasures Abound!

by ringleader

Philadelphia is the fifth-largest city in the US and the second-largest on the East Coast.

Famous people call it "home-town" including Bill Cosby and Princess Grace of Monaco (Grace Kelly), as well as Will Smith.

It was founded in 1682 by William Penn, and English Quaker. King Charles II granted him a parcel of land that included 1,280 acres between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. For William Penn, this was the beginning of a new colony based on religious freedom.

Philadelphia's history from 1774-1800 is linked to the American Revolution. You'll find many references in especially the Old Town District of Philadelphia to this war toward America's independence from England. (By the way, it is interesting to note that the English call this war the "War of the Rebellion")

Longwood Gardens...

by Kentbein

Longwood Gardens is located on U.S. Route 1 at Pennsylvania Route 52, three miles northeast of Kennett Square, Pa., via Route 1 and 12 miles north of Wilmington, DE, via Route 52 (the Kennett Pike).


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