Fabulous Family Vacations Within 6 Hours of Philadelphia

Families living in the Philly area have a nice array of kid-friendly getaways within a day's drive, with reachable destinations stretching from New England to Virginia. These popular suggestions can all be reached in six hours or less, based on the estimated drive time from Mapquest.

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    Hersheypark - Skyrush roller coaster
    ••• Hershey Entertainment & Resorts

    Drive time: 1 hr, 40 mins
    Talk about sweet. Hershey is a town where lampposts are shaped like Hershey's Kisses and the pervasive candy theme is just chocolate icing on the cake. The big draw is Hersheypark, whose impressive array of roller coasters make it one of the best theme parks on the East Coast.

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    ••• Skytop Lodge

    Drive time: 2 hrs, 15 mins
    One of America's Best All-inclusive Resorts for Families, the oh-so-grand Skytop Lodge in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains has been welcoming families since 1928. There's a huge choice of activities, including zip-lining, kayaking, archery, tennis, boating, biking, rock climbing, and hiking, plus an excellent supervised children’s program, and golfers get a bonus that’s virtually unheard of: unlimited greens fees. 

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    The Mohonk Mountain House
    ••• Fred Hsu / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    Drive time: 2 hrs, 50 mins
    The 251-room Mohonk Mountain House overlooks sprawling grounds containing a pristine lake, 85 miles of hiking trails, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, stables, and a grand lawn where families can watch movies in the open air. Kids ages 4 to 12 can participate in the award-winning children’s program that includes guided nature walks, animal tracking, and fossil hunts.

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    ••• Rocking Horse Ranch

    Drive time: 2 hrs, 55 mins
    Rocking Horse Ranch is a popular, extremely kid-centric dude ranch in the hinterland of the Hudson Valley. Besides the usual ranch activities such as horseback riding (kids must be at least 7 years old) and hay rides, there's an enormous wagonload of other fun things to do, such as rock climbing, archery, swimming, tennis, and more.

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  • 05 of 11
    ••• Bonnie Gruenberg/Wikimedia Commons

    Drive time: 3 hrs, 28 mins
    Accessible by boat or by car off Virginia's Eastern coast over the Route 175 bridge, this small and serene island is the gateway to the Assateague Island National Seashore—a nature refuge that is home of the herds of wild ponies made famous in the classic children's book Misty of Chincoteague. 

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    ••• Visit North Carolina

    Drive time: 4 hrs, 33 mins
    Built as part of the New Deal to create jobs during the Great Depression, the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway links the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks and crosses the Appalachian highlands between North Carolina and Virginia. With a top speed of 45 mph, the parkway’s lazy pace lets you soak in the gorgeous scenery.

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    The Sagamore Resort on Lake George, New York
    ••• The Sagamore

    Drive time: 4 hrs, 55 mins
    For families looking for a lake getaway that's luxurious yet completely family-friendly, The Sagamore is a wonderful choice on spectacular Lake George in the foothills of New York's Adirondack Mountains.

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    ••• Alan Goodman/Flickr Creative Commons

    Drive time: 5 hrs, 0 mins
    Vermont is justifiably famous for its spectacular foliage season. Southern Vermont often gets overlooked as a foliage hub, but we heartily recommend a drive along Route 7, which cuts a gorgeous path north-south through charming towns such as Manchester and the rolling farmland of the Green Mountains. 

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  • 09 of 11
    ••• Visit Virginia Beach

    Drive time: 5 hrs, 4 mins
    Virginia Beach is a huge summer resort town and the largest tourist destination in Virginia. Drawn by 20 miles of unbroken beachfront, families have always flocked to here but in recent years the beach playground has gotten a facelift and a fresher, upgraded image. 

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    ••• Ted Hodges/Flickr Creative Commons

    Drive time: 5 hrs, 13 mins
    Known as a prime leaf-peeping destination in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the four-season Wintergreen Resort is located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway and offers a slew of family activities on its 11,000 acres, including ziplining, tubing, and tackling the Discovery Ridge Adventure Center with its climbing wall and trampoline. 

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    Woodstock Inn & Resort for Family Getaways
    ••• Woodstock Inn & Resort

    Drive time: 5 hrs, 57 mins
    For families looking for a relaxing Vermont getaway with a host of family activities, the Woodstock Inn & Resort is an excellent upscale choice. This four-season resort where family time means games and hikes, farm visits, and afternoon cookies and cider.