Don’t shut your travel book with the summer coming to a close! There’s still plenty of time to bask in the warm weather and experience different cultures, great food and exotic climates with affordable flights from the Main Line region.
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is one of the nation’s largest national and international flight hubs. Though some of it is in Philadelphia County, much of the airport, including Terminal A and parts of the airfield itself, actually lie in Delaware County, making it part of the Western Suburbs.
With direct service to four continents, just about any destination across the world with an international airport is within reach with a flight from Philadelphia. If you’re looking for more regional travel, PHL is a focus for the ultra-budget Frontier Airlines and the more commercial American Airlines.
Whether you’re looking for an exotic vacation to a far-flung locale or somewhere nearby, we’ll help you find some of the top under-the-radar destinations, along with a few much-loved picks.
The most popular flight destination out of PHL year in and year out, Orlando is a tourist hub for its amazing amusement parks. Center a whole vacation for the entire family around theme parks like Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios Orlando and many more.
With roundtrip flights on budget airlines as cheap as $80 and $120 dollars for larger more commercial airlines, it’s an almost unbeatable price point for warm weather, great food and family fun.
Though flights to Canada are typically more expensive than domestic flights, it’s hard to put a price on a two-hour flight that feels like you’re going to Europe. Immerse yourself in a new language, get up early for the freshest croissants and learn a little bit about the history of this French-speaking province just a short distance from the northeast United States.
One of North America’s most cultured cities, Montreal annually hosts the Canadian Grand Prix as well as the world’s largest comedy festival and largest jazz festival, the Just for Laughs festival and Montreal International Jazz Festival. Montreal also offers one of the world’s largest indoor nature exhibits, the BioDome. This hotspot, which feature replicas of four different ecosystems found in the Americas, invites visitors to experience a South American rainforest, North American wilderness, Saint Lawrence estuary and Subpolar region, all within walking distance.
Quebec City is one of North America’s oldest cities, first settled in 1535. Exemplified by the walls surrounding the old town, its fascinating history makes for a great tourist destination. Today it remains the only North American city north of Mexico to have such fortifications still remaining.
Maine isn’t typically thought of as a popular tourist destination, but it should be. After all, it offers cool summers, fresh lobster, beautiful scenery and even better fishing. What’s not to love?
The city of Portland has fantastic shopping and bustling nightlife. A litany of parks and museums scatter the historic downtown. While flights to Portland are cheaper than flights to more northerly parts of Maine, it’s not hard to rent a car and use it as a gateway to the great American wilderness.
If you’re interested in even less driving, a flight to Bangor makes the trip even easier. The true entrance to Acadia National Park and Maine’s northern coast, it’s only a short drive from here to the quaint small town of Bar Harbor and the breathtaking cliffs and mountains of Acadia. See whales, seals, lighthouses and some of the greenest forests in America.
Arguably one of the most soothing tourist destinations anywhere on the Atlantic Coast, the Outer Banks of North Carolina offer amazing beaches and stunning scenery. Though there are no major airports on this little strip of land that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, one-stop flights are under $100, and nonstop flights to Norfolk, VA, are under $300.
This Chesapeake city is the cultural heart of the Hampton Roads region, featuring numerous festivals and parades as well as fascinating public art and amazing museums like Nauticus, the National Maritime Center and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, which takes center stage at the Chrysler Hall.
While in Norfolk, rent a car and drive down through the outer banks and experience world-class seafood, smooth sandy beaches and state parks like Jockey’s Ridge, which has the largest active sand dune system anywhere east of the Mississippi. This utterly unique ecological feature has three unique ecosystems all within the park: the Roanoke Sound, dune system and marine forest. The dunes themselves create their own phenomenon: vernal pools, which occur when rain collects at the bottom of the dune and fills with ephemeral aquatic life.
With autumn swiftly approaching, maybe it’s time to start planning your Christmas vacation. Instead of flying to the usual warm destinations like Miami or the Caribbean, embrace the snow this year with a ski vacation to some of the best slopes in America.
One of PHL’s top destinations, Denver is easily accessible thanks to nonstop roundtrip flights between the two cities available for under $200. Besides the excellent hiking, New Mexican cuisine, museums and nightlife, the best way to experience Colorado is from outside its cities.
On weekends and special holidays, Denver is a part of the Winter Park Express, which runs directly from Denver to Winter Park, CO and hosts some of the best skiing anywhere in the world. Climbing nearly 4,000 feet through the Rocky Mountains, the Ski Train takes its passengers to a winter wonderland.
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