The days are long, the weather is warm, and the semester is finally over. Take a breath of fresh air this finals season by taking a day trip away from Philadelphia. Whether it is running, hiking, or shopping, take advantage of your days off of class to explore the great outdoors out of the bounds of campus.

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Address: 8601 Lindbergh Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19153

Located just outside of Philadelphia, this marshy reserve is the first urban refuge habitat in Pennsylvania. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife: the area is filled with tons of different critters across the 10 miles of trail—frogs, snakes, and squirrels, oh my! 

Jim, the Photographer via Flickr // CC by 2.0 

Wharton State Forest

Address: Hammonton, NJ 08037

The largest park in New Jersey, Wharton State Forest is located in less than an hour from campus. Take the entire day to explore the park, from the 50 miles on the Batona Trail to the historic town of Harrisville. If you have extra time to kill or a weekend free with friends, there are overnight cabins for a day–cation from the city. And keep an eye out for the Jersey Devil—local lore says he lives in the Pine Barrens. 

Photo by Matt Swern via Flickr // CC by 2.0

Chestnut Hill Neighborhood

Address: Welcome Center at 16 E Highland Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118

Chestnut Hill, while still technically part of Philly, has an entirely different look and feel than University City. The cute neighborhood is only a Septa away, but will feel worlds away when you're strolling up and down cobblestone streets.

Photo by Smallbones via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Valley Forge National Park

Address: 1400 N Outer Line Dr, King of Prussia, PA 19406

After studying for history, experience it in real life at Valley Forge Historical Park. There all sorts of sights to see at this Revolutionary War landmark spot, located only 30 minutes from Philadelphia. History buffs can walk the patriot trails, while shopaholics can take a side trip to King of Prussia Mall nearby. Both trips will get in an equal amount of steps for the day: you can't go wrong. 

Photo from National Park Service Digital Image Archives // Public Domain

Fairmount Park

Address: Reservoir Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19119

Want to stay close to the city but still get an Instagram that'll make your friends drool? Check out Fairmount Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the city. It's nearly 2000 acres bisected into East and West Fairmount Park by the Schuylkill River. Look out, too, for the rolling hills—they'll give you what may be the best panoramic shot of the Philly skyline you'll get during your time at Penn. 

Photo by Yasmeen Elmelige // CC by SA 4.0