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Beautiful fall day trips for Philadelphians

Fall is one of the best times to venture out of the city for an afternoon of R&R.

Take the opportunity to explore with these great day trip destinations.

Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pa., longwoodgardens.org

Any time is a great time to visit this 1,000-acre plus horticultural oasis, but autumn may be one of the best. Located in Chester County, the gardens, meadows, woodlands and elaborate exhibits of 11,000 varieties of plants have been on display for more than a century. Experience the intense glory of fall during the Autumn’s Colors display, open Oct. 4 to Nov. 18.

Brandywine Valley Wine Trail, bvwinetrail.com

Drive through scenic southeastern Pennsylvania from Philadelphia to the Amish countryside to visit the six wineries located within a 50-mile radius of each other. The beautiful estate vineyards host charming tasting rooms and wine cellars, each of which can be toured. The trail is also dotted with bed-and-breakfasts and hotels in case you want to plan a weekend getaway. So pack your bag (and a picnic) and hit the road!

Cape May, N.J., capemay.com

The crowds have thinned and the weather has cooled but it is still a great time to go to the beach. Cape May is more than just a beach town though. It offers great birdwatching, scrumptious food, quaint streets to stroll and stores to browse—and don’t forget to climb to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse for an unparalleled view.

Ricketts Glen State Park, dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks

Don’t limit your fall foliage viewing to the window of a car—see it up close and personal. This 13,050-acre park is one of the most scenic in the state, and many of its amenities are most enjoyed in fall. It’s home to more than two dozen hiking trails, waterfalls, a lake with 600-foot beach, horseback riding, boating and fishing. Make sure to check out the 94-foot Ganoga Falls, the highest of 22 named waterfalls.