Beaches and boardwalks, roller coasters nestled in the trees, places steeped in history and Victoriana - that's where readers like to get away without going too far away. More than 400 readers submitted their favorite vacation spots, and their biggest problem seemed to be limiting their excitement to 25 words. Based on the responses, most of which are posted on our Web site, at

» READ MORE: www.philly.com/travel

, here are 10 of the most popular destinations within 300 miles of Billy Penn's statue (but outside the eight-county Phila. area). They are not listed in any particular order, and each one would make for a fun-filled weekend journey or weeklong summer vacation.

Enjoy.

- Bill Reed, Travel editor

1. Ocean City, N.J.

65 miles from Center City

Colorful beach umbrellas. Dolphins. Long walks together. Boardwalk. Music Pier. Family & friends. The week that could go on forever.

- Elaine Lamping, Philadelphia

Web:

» READ MORE: www.oceancitychamber.com

Phone:

1-800-232-2465

2. St. Michaels, Md.

Eastern Shore, 124 miles from Center City

A fantastic view of the Chesapeake from our lanai; the best crab cakes on the Eastern Shore; golf; fishing; great shopping; a 2 1/2-hour drive.

- Judy Lochetto, Lower Gwynedd, Pa.

Web:

» READ MORE: www.tourtalbot.org

Phone: 410-770-8000

3. Knoebels Amusement Resort

Elysburg, Pa., 148 miles from Center City

Free parking and admission, surrounded by a forest. 1947 roller coaster. Immense pool. Picnic groves. Campground. Cottages. Pioneer Train Ride. Anthracite Museum of Mining.

- Marianne Trovato, Bensalem

Web:

» READ MORE: www.knoebels.com

Phone:

1-800-487-4386

4. Ocean City, Md.

150 miles from Center City

Pristine beaches, enduring sunsets, crashing waves, 4th of July fireworks, seagulls, horseshoe crabs, serenity, delightful seafood, fun for eveyone, boardwalks, stores, simply lovely.

- Debra A Williams, Blackwood

Web:

» READ MORE: www.ococean.com

Phone:

1-800-626-2326

5. Lancaster

80 miles from Center City

With breathtaking farmland, delicious food, theaters, shopping, plus an amusement park and buggy rides for the kids, this is a great vacation for everyone.

- Carolyn Baur, West Deptford

Web:

» READ MORE: www.padutchcountry.com

Phone:

1-800-723-8824

6. Newport, R.I.

273 miles from Center City

Beaches, great restaurants, shopping, Tennis Hall of Fame. Tour the mansions. Biking along Ocean Drive. See where JKF and Jackie were married. FUN, FUN place!

- Kerry Shanley, Deptford

Web:

» READ MORE: www.gonewport.com

Phone:

1-800-976-5122

7. Washington, D.C.

141 miles from Center City

A great place to take kids of all ages. Most museums are free, and the monuments at night are awesome.

- John Newby, Collegeville

Web:

» READ MORE: www.washington.org

Phone:

202-789-7000

8. Hyde Park, N.Y.

179 miles from Center City

Something for everyone! History buff? FDR's library, family home, private getaway and Eleanor's home. Voyeur? Vanderbilt estate. Gourmet? Culinary Institute's tour and restaurants.

- Arlene Wartenberg, Elkins Park

Web:

Phone:

845-229-8612

9. Annapolis, Md.

129 miles from Center City

Tour historical buildings, stroll the wharf, take boat tour of Chesapeake Bay, visit the U.S. Naval Academy, shop Main Street boutiques, enjoy crab cakes everywhere.

- Beth Colombe, Philadelphia

Web:

» READ MORE: www.visitannapolis.org

Phone:

1-888-302-2852

10. Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

Tioga County, 229 miles from Center City

I've been touting the pristine beauty of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon and the small-town charm of Wellsboro since my trip last summer. Who knew?

- Susan Monday, Chadds Ford

Web:

» READ MORE: www.visittiogapa.com

Phone:

1-888-846-4228