Where to Go From Here

Three-Day Weekends from Philadelphia

by Jeralyn Gerba
Take your time (so that you can try a little bit of everything). Photo courtesy of Cure.

In the mood for urban adventure, small town discovery, or a new point of view not too far from Philly? We have a few ideas.

PHILADELPHIA – Even in the City of Brotherly Love, it's nice to have alone time. Cut out of work early and zip to a small town or a big city on a three-day mini adventure.

Welcome to Pittsburgh. Photo courtes of Ace Hotel.

While out of town, look for a new point of view. Photo courtesy of Mattress Factory.


If you're in the mood for: Something old, something new, something carb-y, and something blue (collar).

Route to take: U.S. Route 30. (Fun fact: The section between Philly and Lancaster was the first long-distance paved road built in the United States.)

Your agenda: Everyone's talking about , where the design trends toward ultilitarian-cool. When you check in, pour a big glass of water to leave on the bedside table: You're going to need to rehydrate after all the imbibing. The Burgh is in the throes of a dining and drinking revival, which you can experience firsthand at the meticuously run or after settling into the woodsy for cured meats and whiskeys. At , it's always bartender's choice — select your spirit wisely. End the night with a pastrami sandwich from the Strip District's 24/7 (Be a baller and put the fries inside the sandwich.) Promptly pass out in your hotel room. Pay your brain back the next day by soaking up the terrific art curation at , , and .

Avoid the Sunday blues: Count your blessings that turned the oven on. The veritable church of loaves only opens its doors three days a week to worshippers of that gorgeous honeycomb crumb. While the air is still brisk, rent a bike or hoof it around and be sure to cut through to get a last glimpse of 20th-century industrial relics — repurposed as outdoor sculptural art.

The show must go on. Photo courtesy of McCarter Theatre.

Purple potato salad, fennel, and toasted Brazil nut. Photo courtesy of Sprig & Vine


If you're in the mood for: Colonial-era coziness and small-town charm.

Route to take: Good old I-95. Just north of it, scenic Route 29 runs along the Delaware River.

Your agenda: Check into Princeton's , an old converted manse with sixteen guest rooms and enough fireplaces to go around. Take a quick stroll to for a pick-me-up coffee (small-batch, of course) before swinging by for the extensive collection that ranges from Greek antiquities to contemporary paintings. Catch a new performance at nearby . Post-show, tipple at .

Avoid the Sunday blues: New Hope is a cute strolling town across the river from Lambertville (home of the much-admired magazine and cookbook company ). History buffs will appreciate that , thus changing the course of the Revolutionary War. If the timing's not quite right to catch a reenactment (those costumes!), you can still head to the (about 20 minutes away). Or forget history and head in the direction of for an excellent matinee (historically, plays slated for Broadway would try out here first) in an old red grist mill on the Delaware River. Eat your veggies for supper at , where the rustic, produce-forward menu includes root vegetable pakora, sweet potato griddle cakes, and cauliflower banh mi.