With Philadelphia as a starting point, trips to big cities on the East Coast are only hours away.
Although Atlantic City, N.J. is just over an hour away, and Washington, D.C. is just under three hours away, these and all the cities in between are perfect candidates for day trips.
Atlantic City has long been famous for its trademark boardwalk and abundance of casinos along the New Jersey coastline. Known as “America’s Favorite Playground,” A.C. is easily accessible from Temple by car, train, bus or air – the longest trip taking just over an hour.
Atlantic City’s biggest draw is the casinos. There are twelve major casino hotels, all open 24 hours. Senior Matthew Dampf visits Atlantic City whenever he can.
“Well, it’s great because it’s so close to Temple,” Dampf said. “I understand that most people lose money, but many win too, so why not me?”
During the warmer months, A.C. is a worthwhile place to soak up the sun. It’s one of the few N.J. coastal towns that do not charge for beach tags, so it might just be your cheapest option for a day at the beach. Additionally, there are outdoor showers located around the city so you do not have to come back to campus full of sand.
New Jersey Transit and Greyhound provide scheduled service to Atlantic City from their terminal, located at the corner of 13th and Arch Streets.
Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains have long been a destination for romantic getaways and camping trips with friends. The region covers 2,400 square miles with outdoor activities that vary by season. The mountains offer skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing, perfect for winter getaways.
The area boasts lodging including bed & breakfasts, hotels, motels and campgrounds. Though there are many indoor activities, the Poconos is perfect for scenic biking, boating and hiking.
For those who are a little more adventerous, the Pocono-region is home to a number of paintball fields. Skirmish USA in Jim Thorpe, Pa. is considered one of the country’s best paintball sites.
New York City
There is little to say about New York City that the average student does not already know. Neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy and SoHo make New York one of the most eclectic cities on earth. Whether by foot or the easy-to-understand subway system, it is easy to get around New York City.
SEPTA, N.J. Transit and Greyhound all provide affordable transportation to the Big Apple. Check out the Empire State Building and Grand Central Station for the ultimate showcase of breakdancers, musicians and opera singers.
Beyond the White House, Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial, D.C. has a flavor of its own. The beauty of the day is only challenged when things heat up in the bustling night scene.
Adams Morgan, an area just outside the main drag, is known for its nightlife. Clubs and bars in the area range from neighborhood bars to Caribbean and African clubs. Though the streets become extremely crowded after midnight, it is worth wading through the crowds to find some of the best salsa clubs on the East Coast.
Getting around the area is simple. Public transportation in D.C. has sometimes been described as the best in the country. Not only is the Metro clean, but consistently punctual.
If the crowded and bustling streets cause some anxiety, a smaller city may be just what you need. Located two hours southeast, the Baltimore Inner Harbor area is a perfect fit.
At Lexington market, food is always cooking. Watching the fishermen and butchers at work is absolutely free. Even better, a cheap meal is not hard to find. Antique Row, another famous attraction, is full of little shops that carry art of all forms, from lamps and furniture to unique jewelry.
Anne Horwedel, 21, has been visiting Maryland since she was a kid. “The Inner Harbor is great. I personally like to shop there, but there’s also great food, especially if you like seafood, and paddleboats are always fun.”
However, Baltimore’s most famous attraction remains The National Aquarium. Displays begin with local marine life, progressing to sharks, dolphins and rays. Though admission at $15.50 per adult is a little excessive for the average college student, the vast amount of exhibits is sure to leave visitors satisfied.
So maybe what those Temple tour guides say is true – Philadelphia is centrally located, linking together some of the best cities in the country. Transportation can be both quick and cheap, reason enough to get off campus. Next time you have a weekend free, try one of these trips. Even if you cannot give up a whole weekend, a day is all you need to get your mind off school work altogether.
Michelle Nicoletto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org