Day trips from New York City are abundant and offer multiple destinations for customers. For example, you can choose to go to Boston or even Washington D.C. However, one trip that is frequently overlooked is the Philadelphia day trip from NYC. In addition, you also make a quick stop to Lancaster, Pennsylvania which is also known as Amish Country. If you’re curious about the history of the United States as well as learning about different cultures, then this tour is definitely for you.
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In addition, if you need a live translator, the tour offers live tour guides in Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese.
How Long is the Day Trip to Philadelphia from NYC?
Be prepared to wake up early in the morning on the day of the New York to Philadelphia trip. The tour itself is about 13-14 hours, granted if there isn’t any crazy traffic. You’ll spend about two to three hours in the bus to Philadelphia from NYC and then probably another one to two hours to Lancaster, PA. Lancaster County is America’s oldest Amish settlement. Make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes and extra cash for food and of course, souvenirs.
There will be a good amount of walking, but don’t worry, because you’ll get plenty of rest on the bus. There is free Wi-Fi on the bus as well. During the ride, the guide will talk to you about the history of NYC, Philadelphia, and Lancaster.
Where do we meet for the Philly & Amish Country Day Trip from NYC?
The tour guide will meet you at The Gray Line Visitor Center located on 777 8th Avenue between 47th and 48th Street in Midtown Manhattan. The meetup time is 7 AM, but make sure you get there 15-30 minutes earlier. Make sure to have your ID as well. You can get to the meeting spot via subway on the N R W line and getting off 49th Street Station.
There are multiple day trips going on at once so the tour company needs to do a head count and separate you into your respected day trip buses. Also, make sure to stick close to your group because there could be a lot of people and it can be easy to get mixed up. You will then be boarded onto the bus where you get a quick briefing. After that, you’ll be on your way to New York to Philadelphia.
What are the Philadelphia Day Trip Highlights?
The Founding of the United States of America
Philadelphia is also known as the “City of Brotherly Love” and is famous for its sports cheesesteaks (more on this later) and the Rocky steps. But, what people tend to forget is that the foundation of the United States also started here. In Philadelphia, you’ll get to visit the infamous Liberty Bell. You’ll be given a tour of USA’s first location for the House of Representatives as well. If you somehow get their early than planned, you might even get to see one of the many drafts of the Declaration of Independence. There’s a lot of history in this beautiful city.
Another highlight of the day trip is Elfreth’s Alley. It’s considered the oldest street in America and it dates back to 1702. People still live on this street. There are about 30 houses on this block. Just imagine seeing tourists flock in front of your house every single day. It must be a sight to see.
Visiting Benjamin Franklin’s Printing Press
Because we were running early on schedule, we made a quick stop at Benjamin Franklin’s old printing press. Here, the staff at this location demonstrated to us how “easy” it was to make mass copies. Obviously, today making mass copies of documents back in the day was a tedious task. For them, however, the printing press was very convenient.
The Rocky Statue and Rocky Steps
A day trip to Philadelphia from NYC isn’t complete without visiting the infamous Rocky Statue and Rocky Steps. It’s an absolute must. If you’re not familiar with the movie series, Rocky, we suggest you watch it before making the trip. That way, you can relate to it. The stairs symbolize hard work, dedication and conquering your dreams. There’s a specific scene in the movie where Rocky is seen running up the stairs with the city of Philadelphia is in the background. He gets to the top and raises both of his arms.
And that’s exactly what you’re expected to do here. Seriously. No one walks these steps unless you really don’t want to. You’re supposed to run up just like Rocky. It’s pretty neat because 90 percent of the people run it.
Lunch Break Means Philly Cheesesteaks
Ever heard of the Philly cheesesteaks? Did you ever want one? Well, this is your chance to get one. During our tour, we had an hour lunch break in between the printing press tour and the Rocky steps. Make sure to get one so you can experience Philadelphia as one should.
Where is Amish Country in Pennsylvania?
Welcome to Lancaster County. It’s also known as Amish Country and is America’s oldest Amish settlement. After making a stop in Philadelphia, the day trip then continues here where we get to learn a lot all about the Amish. You might have some preconceived notions about their culture and hopefully, this day trip gives you an insight into their daily lives.
Taking a Ride in Their Buggy
When we arrived in Lancaster, we were greeted by two older gentlemen which happened to be the drivers of the buggy. Their buggy consists of a ten passenger wagon with two horses that powers it. The Amish truly live as simple as they can which can be fascinating. The driver took us through the area as we passed by different farms. The buggy makes a pitstop at a family farm where they sold us homemade cookies and lemonade. All of it was amazing. The ride itself was probably about 45 minutes.
Experience The Amish Markets
After the buggy, we hopped back onto the bus and drove right down the street where there were plenty of markets and small eateries. They had a store specifically for jams, leather, and even ice cream. This is where we had our last break and was also our last stop. We spent about an hour and 30 minutes here, so we had plenty of time to do some shopping and get food.
Can we Take Videos or Pictures of the Amish?
This is something that you should be aware of when it comes to the Amish. They are very private people and out of respect, you should definitely ask to take a picture. Some of them say yes, but most of the time they will say no. Make sure to please respect that. Our buggy driver was kind enough to take an awesome portrait with us though!
Overall, the day trip to Philadelphia and Amish Country from NYC was a great experience. You really get to learn a lot about the founding of The United States and even get to learn and experience a different culture with the Amish.
Details of the Day Trip
Meeting Location: The Gray Line Visitor Center (777 8th Avenue between 47th and 48th Street)
Meet Time: 7 AM (Be there 30-15 minutes early)
Day Trip Duration: 13-14 hours
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Being a photographer and creative in general, New York City, I think is the perfect place to be. I moved to NYC from Boston in 2013 and never looked back. Loving New York has given me the opportunity to do what I love and share those images with you all.