4 Magical Holiday Getaways Just a Couple Hours Drive From Philadelphia

The region is bustling with small-town holiday charm that feels plucked from your favorite holiday film. Pick a destination, chew the scenery, and imagine you're the star of your own tinsel-laden rom-com.

The Philly region is full of holiday getaways thick with small-town charm, like this Victorian house decorated with festive swag in Cape May. / Getty Images

Romantic holiday movies have convinced us that charming small-town festivities are the best way to celebrate the season. Luckily for us, opportunities for such cinematic escapes abound. Follow your favorite movie trope to decide where to go …

A Grinch Rediscovers the Holiday Spirit in…

Cape May

Photograph Courtesy of Getty Images

Mom-and-pop shops and quaint B&Bs dot this charming seaside town that transforms into a winter wonderland come Christmastime. The ornate Victorian homes and walkable streets that attract summer visitors to this Jersey Shore point are now full of wreaths and mistletoe. Keep reading here.

There’s a Holiday Baking Competition in…


Christmas Candylane at Hersheypark. / Getty Images

Hershey is just the place where two people would fall in love at a Christmas bake-off, have heart-to-hearts over hot cocoa, or indulge in a playful food fight while making Christmas cookies (with none of the dough touching the leading lady’s perfectly curled hair). Keep reading here.

A Crumbling Inn Is Saved by Altruistic Townspeople in…


Christmas huts line Bethlehem’s Main Street. / Getty Images

If there’s any city where the holiday spirit conquers all, it’s “Christmas City USA,” founded and named by Moravian settlers on December 24, 1741. In this Lehigh Valley burg, Christmas music serenades pedestrians, and cobblestone streets provide old-world charm. Keep reading here.

A City Girl Falls in Love With a Country Boy in…

New Hope

Passengers prepare to hop aboard the North Pole Express on the New Hope Railroad. / Getty Images

Nestled between Philly and New York, New Hope is the perfect backdrop for a city mouse looking to find herself. This Bucks County­ town on the Delaware River has the best of both worlds — a blend of wholesome charm and cosmopolitan luxury. Keep reading here.

If You Can’t Get Away…


Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks. / Photograph by Shannon Rostick via Comcast Spectacor

If you you’re staying local this season, don’t worry, cinematic experiences still abound. From light shows to tipple to tasty treats, here’s how to get in the holiday spirit quick. Keep reading here.

Published as “Know-it-All Guide: Joyful Jaunts” in the December 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.