Travel time: 2hrs by car; 1hr 30min by train
If you can't shake the urge to be in an urban enviornment, you won't have to travel terribly far from home to explore another city. Philadelphia is a stone's throw from NYC (via Amtrack or the NJ Transit with a SEPTA connection). It's a wonderful place to see where our nation's history unfolded, and curious minds will love making a visit to Independence National Historical Park. There you'll find the Liberty Bell, Congress Hall and the Ben Franklin Museum, among other attractions. History buffs will love the opportunity to step back in time and wander through the gorgeous Historic Old City, full of boutiques, galleries, restaurants and sites from way back when. Kids (and their adult counterparts) will love meeting friends at the Philadelphia Zoo and those brave souls looking for a scare will want to see the abandoned cells of Eastern State Penitentiary—especially during Halloween. If you get the munchies, a pitstop to the Italian Market is a must. For those who can't resist a Philly cheesesteak, there are 15 best spots to snag 'em, so stake out our go-to's. When you're wiped out from your adventures, tuck in at DoubleTree by Hilton, which is a stone's throw from the city's most alluring spots.