Summer as a Drexel student is already atypical, with most of us either on campus taking classes or on co-op. This means that it hardly feels like the summers we’re used to from our childhood. Now with the current situation and social distancing, cabin fever is in full swing. I’ve compiled a quick list of my favorite summer activities and places to visit in the suburbs of Philly which are perfect for those itching to get outside with their family. But these activities also make for perfect weekend adventures when you’re back on campus. While following the CDC guidelines and maintaining healthy hygiene practices, these summer fun spots are sure to help you beat your boredom!
Valley Forge National Historic Park, located in King of Prussia, PA, is the perfect daytime getaway to help you forget the busy town or city life you may be used to. This historic park is actually where George Washington and his troops spent the winter of 1777 before defeating the British Army. There’s an Encampment Tour that guides visitors through locations around the 3500-acre park and transports them back in time. The park also has paved paths for biking, rollerblading and walking; there are also many trails through mountains, by the Schuylkill River, and deep in the forests within the park for hikers. There are even fishing spots, and massive fields perfect for picnics and sunset-watching. Whether you’re into capturing the perfect Instagram picture or looking to hit your exercise goal, there is definitely something for everyone here!
Marsh Creek State Park in Downingtown, PA, is the perfect way to experience water activities in a land-locked state. This state park has a huge lake for boating, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and fishing. For many people who are opting to skip the beach this summer, boat rentals and relaxing by the lake may be an option to look into. Many picnic locations are scattered throughout the parks, whether you prefer to be by the lake or the forest, that have grilling stations to help create the perfect get-together. Wildlife-watching is a big part of the state park, where visitors are encouraged to try and identify all the different species of birds that can be found on the property. There are also hiking trails within the park, where visitors can walk through various habitats including the forest, fields, and wetlands providing a change of scenery to the daily neighborhood walks some of us have resorted to.
For nature lovers, arboretums, are the perfect outdoor activity. Jenkins Arboretum located in Devon, PA, is comprised of many gardens, each with its own set of unique plants, flowers and trees. The gardens are home to rare and accredited collections that are part of a nationwide study, research, and breeding project designed to protect wildlife. There are self-guided tours offered during this time due to CDC restrictions, but wandering the gardens this way is the best way to literally stop and smell the roses. The arboretum also sells seedlings to help you create your own garden based on the plants you come across at the park. Jenkins Arboretum is for sure a photographer’s dream, where visitors can get up close and personal with the plants and really immerse themselves in the beauty around them.
While we may be wishing for those fun summer days, there is still so much to explore in Philly’s backyard! Continuing to follow the CDC guidelines does not mean we have to sacrifice our outdoor adventures. There are so many places to discover in the suburbs while staying safe, and hopefully these places help you start your Philly Suburb Outdoor Bucket List!