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We may have missed National Ice Cream Day (it was on July 20), but National Ice Cream Month continues. Why not celebrate with a couple of scoops of something more adventurous than vanilla? Read more
From murals to music to roast pork, there’s plenty for the budget-conscious traveler to enjoy in Philadelphia. But in case you’re in town for an extended visit, we encourage you to hop on a train or get behind the wheel for a some nearby exploration. Here are three great day trips under a two-hour drive, whether you love art or history, tapas or beer:
Not just for summer, food festivals provide a year-round way for hungry travelers to sample a mouthwatering variety of dishes — without shelling out for a ton of meals out on the town. We’ve rounded up a few tasty celebrations and events across the U.S., from classic to quirky. The next time you want a taste of the local dining scene on a trip, here’s where to tempt your taste buds:
While Pennsylvania awaits a verdict on the state’s proposed second casino, a recently-added feature at the ever-popular Valley Forge Casino (about 30 minutes northwest of Philadelphia) is making poker chip-wielding travelers around the country take note. Announced early last month, a new “Points for Miles” program offers gamers the chance to redeem casino player points for – get this – airline miles with US Airways.
Imagine a New York City speckled with greenery, forests, and maybe even some 15th century medieval architecture. That New York City exists, sort of. For those of you planning an extended stay in the Big Apple, the urge might arise to escape the hustle and bustle for a day. Here are five NYC day-cations to tack on to your vacation… Read more
Although they shine bright on Hollywood Boulevard, some of the biggest movie stars had distinctly humbler beginnings. With less than a month to go until the Academy Awards, here are the small towns where some famous classic movie stars were born and raised. Read more
We’re big fans of museums, wherever we go. And we’d never begrudge an amazing exhibit due support, particularly at smaller institutions that could use the help. But there’s no reason why travelers shouldn’t take advantage of free nights at various museums across the country. And there are more museums that offer suggested, donation-based entry than you might think.
Two notes before jumping into our roundup of free and pay-as-you-wish museum programs: First, this is not a definitive list, though we do plan on updating it regularly. Second, if you’re a Bank of America credit or debit card holder, don’t forget to check out the Museums on Us program. Flash your card (and ID) at 150 museums and cultural institutions across the country and you’ll get in free on Saturday and Sunday during the first full weekend of every month. Read more
Philadelphia’s most iconic thoroughfare, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is populated by important art and cultural centers like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, and the Barnes Foundation. Directly east of there is the Liberty Bell viewing site, and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence took form. But what if you’re looking for slightly more obscure cultural references? It turns out Philadelphia has plenty of that, too, as long as you’re willing to seek it out. From mosaic-tiled houses to the world’s first pizza museum, here are a few places to spice up the usual Philly itinerary: Read more
Somewhere between the liver shared by history’s most famous set of conjoined twins and the wall of eye abnormalities, I learned that not all museums are created equal. I was in my late teens when I first visited the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia and had already developed a pretty opinion of museums as being stuffy and dull. The museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, however, showed me how wrong I was. Ever since that visit, it has remained one of my favorite venues for science, history, and, well, weirdness. I revisited the museum last fall and marveled once again at the collection that amazes, flabbergasts, and often disgusts many visitors. Part science museum, part history museum, with a dash of carnival slideshow thrown in, the Mütter Museum is far from your average place of learning. That’s part of it’s charm, though. Beyond that, it’s also a tribute to how much doctors and scientists have learned about the human body over the centuries. Read more
Heading to Philadelphia requires thick skin and an even thicker coat (this time of year), but as 2013 hits its stride and the holiday hangover subsides, we’re here to prepare you for any upcoming conventions and business trips to this historic and energetic city. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the warm embrace of The City of Brotherly Love, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.
For a fine, fine night out on the town, Butcher and Singer is a must-do. It’s a fabulous place to eat your cares away, but we’ll confess that the atmosphere steals the show. It’s a high-class steakhouse at heart, but it’s dressed up in low-light Hollywood garb in order to make those dining feel as if they’ve shifted back a few decades. Fair warning: a mobster may very well join your table.
Some people would have you believe that hiking is a 3-season activity. Assuming a concerned tone, they’ll warn you about frigid temperatures, park closures, and impassable trails. And, to a certain extent, they might be right. In the United States, winter is a season for skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Or gathering around a fireplace with a few friends and a mug of hot cocoa or mulled wine.
Hikers should know however, that they don’t have to put off their kind of fun until the spring thaw, even if the snowdrifts outside continue to grow. They simply need to pick up a new piece of gear: snowshoes. A basic pair will only cost a little more than the waterproof, Gore-Tex boots you probably already own. Once you’ve chosen your snowshoes, all you need to do next is dress in layers, pack plenty of snacks and water (and maybe a few hand warmer packets just in case), and select a trail. To get you started, here’s a short list of state parks in the Northeast with winter trails and on-site rental facilities. Read more
Even without snow and ice in the forecast, December and January temperatures have a way of keeping otherwise outgoing people indoors. So if skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing aren’t exactly your cup of hot cocoa, you might be scratching your head wondering what to do with a few spare vacation days or a long weekend this winter. One idea is to hit the road with a wine tote, journal, and a designated driver. In the United States, star-studded California tends to be the biggest magnet for oenophiles, but the East Coast has dozens of its own wine trails too, many of which are a short drive from New York, Philadelphia, or Baltimore. Plus, by visiting some of these small wineries in the off-season, you’ll avoid the crowds that can choke parking lots on warmer spring and summer weekends. Read more
Across the country, fall is in full swing. Pumpkin beers crowd the shelves of bottle shops, trees have begun to shed their colorful leaves, and Halloween is two short weeks away. Which means that cold weather is already creeping south from the Canadian interior and the year’s first frost isn’t far off. Before winter arrives, make the most of October and plan a short road trip around two outdoor activities that are perfectly suited to autumn: hiking and pumpkin or apple picking.
Apple season is over for the handful of orchards between Boston and Providence, but plenty of pumpkins remain to be chosen and carved, and fresh-pressed cider is still available for thirsty pickers. C. N. Smith Farm in East Bridgewater, Mass. is one such place where you can buy a big orange gourd for the front porch. Purchase a ticket for a hayride and you’ll be carried out to a pumpkin field where acres of future jack-o’-lanterns are priced by the pound. On your way to C. N. Smith (or before making the return trip), stop at Blue Hills Reservation, a chain of 22 hills that aren’t particularly steep individually, but add up to a respectable hiking challenge when attempted in succession. Make the short climb to Eliot Tower from the Trailside Museum in Milton, or test your hiking mettle on the nine-mile Skyline Trail. Read more
Making sure the kids (and adults) are entertained while on a summer road trip can really make or break your vacation. The new book What’s Great About . . . I-95 by road trip expert Barbara Barnes offers a fun and educational way to pass the time while cruising down one of the U.S.’s most-traveled stretches of highway.
“It really does make [the ride] go faster,” says Barnes of the book. “It keeps the driver alert, and it makes the drive more fun.”
With sections broken down by state and points of interest designated by mile marker, Barnes maps out all 1,925 miles of I-95 from Houlton, Maine to Miami. The book highlights sights to look out for from the highway (like the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania and the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia) while providing little-known facts about notable people and places (The first woman to run for president? Victoria Woodhull, in 1872).
Now that you’ve got the car ride entertainment covered, we asked Barnes for her advice on planning the rest of your vacation. Here are five tips for the perfect I-95 road trip:
Looking for a weekend break with lots to do and within driving distance from the Northeast? Take a look at a recent AAA Four Diamond award winner, Mount Airy Casino Resort in Pennsylvania. Located about an hour west of New York City by car, this recently renovated resort has a lot to offer, including a full casino with 72 table games, an 18-hole golf course, five restaurants (two of which are fine dining), and a full service spa.
A perfect spot for couples, adults groups, or those just looking to get away, Mount Airy Casino is set in the secluded Pocono Mountains that make it easy for guests to escape from their busy schedules. Guests can try their luck at the full service casino, which includes video poker, blackjack, and roulette games. For the poker lovers, there’s a completely separate Poker Room, overlooking the lake and the entire casino floor below.
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