The Poconos is a good place to go for outdoor activities not too far from Philadelphia or New York. I’ve been meaning to hike the Pinchot trail. There’s a few different loops you can do there. I’ve marked the trailhead parking lot and you can go from there.
To make it a full weekend, why not do one day of hiking and a second day of biking or kayaking? There’s plenty of places to rent bikes and boats in the area. Have fun!
New Hope is a wonderful little town within striking distance of Philadelphia (and also New York). Good for a day or an entire weekend, New Hope has cute inns, good restaurants and art galleries in town. Further afield are some wineries and nice biking or walking along the river towpath (on the New Jersey side). Many of the restaurants in town are BYOB and you can grab some wine at one of the wineries or at a wine shop in New Jersey.
A little further to the northwest is Nockamixon State Park, where you can rent a boat.
The below map shows New Hope and the surrounding area. Have fun! And if you go, please post here and let us know how your time in New Hope was.
Another nice place to go if you’re in Philly and looking for a little more space is Narberth. Narberth is the second stop out from 30th St. Station on the Paoli Thorndale Regional Rail line and the train station is in the middle of Narberth’s super-cute walkable downtown business district. It’s an easy drive too, or you can bike out from the city as well.
Right next to the train station is a State Wine & Liquor store. Across the street is Le Petit Mitron, one of the best French pastry shops anywhere, including France. Get there early to get the chocolate-almond croissants or call the day before and ask them to hold some for you. A few doors over is The Cheese Company, which also has sandwiches and other tasty items. A little way’s up the street is a bar called The Greeks and a craft beer shop next door called The Greeks Next Door. Pretty much everything you need for a picnic, and there’s a park down the street. And another quieter park a little farther away. And there’s a movie theater. You could make a whole day of it without going more than a 1/2 mile in one direction or the other. This is the perfect escape if you don’t have a lot of time, but need to get some fresh air.
Philly is great city and has lots to offer, but sometimes you just need a breath of fresh air. Thankfully, Philly has plenty of that to offer, too. You can get to Mt. Airy and the Wissahickon section of Fairmount Park by train, bike or car. Once you’re there you’ll find a some cute cafes and restaurants and a beautiful park that will make you forget that you’re still within the city limits. Make an afternoon or a whole day out of a field trip to Mt. Airy, but be forewarned, if you want to get to Valley Green Inn for lunch or dinner, it is down a big hill from the village (and then back up a big hill, of course).