Reflecting on NYC’s Summit One Vanderbilt

Travel

Overlooking the Empire State Building from Summit One Vanderbilt.

In a dense metropolis that is full of skyscrapers, is another New York City observation deck really needed? Well, as it turns out, it is. But not the old-fashioned elevator to the top of a tall building lookout. No, no, no. The Summit One Vanderbilt observation deck takes the traditional approach and turns it on its head. Sure, you are transported high above the Big Apple in a building that towers over Bryant Park and Grand Central. But then there is a bit of a twist.

Instead of a bland room with floor-to-ceiling windows and maybe some outdoor space, visitors get an immersive and interactive experience. Mirrors cover practically any surface that isn’t a window and shiny silver balloons float by. Summit One Vanderbilt is a fun observation deck for the Instagram age.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published May 23, 2022. Last updated May 24, 2022.

NYC’s Stunning Morgan Library & Museum

Travel

The Morgan Library and Museum in New York City inspires major library envy.

In New York City, there is no shortage of museums and attractions. And while many of the city’s museums have a historic background, there are only a few with direct ties to the New York City of yesteryear. The Morgan Library & Museum is not only an important part of history being that it was built for J.P. Morgan. It is also a library that will cause true envy in the heart of bookworms and architecture enthusiasts.

In addition to being J.P. Morgan’s private library, the museum is home to an exhibition space for a number of fascinating rotating exhibits.

Like the Frick Collection, there are few Gilded Age landmarks still standing. And even fewer that still resemble something similar to what was originally intended. And although it can be overshadowed by the city’s many attractions and those museums uptown along Museum Mile, The Morgan Library is one of those rare spots and fun museums in NYC that you will want to make time for.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published April 25, 2022. Last updated April 26, 2022.

A Fun Toronto Weekend Getaway

Travel

There is so much to explore during a Toronto weekend getaway.

Perched upon the edge of Lake Ontario, Toronto is a major city that is famous for being richly diverse. The reputation is well deserved. The Canadian city is a melting pot, known for its welcoming culture that has seemingly no boundaries.

Experiencing a Toronto weekend getaway is thrilling. The city offers a dizzying array of things to do, eat, and explore. Without leaving the city, you can travel around the world one dish and attraction at a time. And you will never feel like a foreigner thanks to the friendly locals.

A visit of only a few days is just long enough that you will get not only a taste of the city, especially downtown Toronto, but you will also fall under its spell. I’m still thinking of all the places to eat in Downtown Toronto.

Before the weekend is over, you will be planning a return trip for all the spots you missed. And for all your newfound favorites!

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Post by Corinne. Originally published April 4, 2022. Last updated May 8, 2022.

Niagara Falls Canada in November

Travel

Water gushes over Horseshoe Falls, seen from Niagara Canada.

Niagara Falls is one of those iconic wonders with instant name recognition. Like the Eiffel Tower or the Great Pyramids of Giza. But unlike those timeless bucket list favorites, the falls are not a feat of human engineering but rather an act of Mother Nature.

While the waterfalls do straddle the United States-Canada border, Niagara Falls Canada offers a stunning view of all three of the falls that make up the eponymous natural attraction. It is one that wows with sheer volume. Forget the novelties of walking a tightrope over the gushing water or riding down in a barrel.

There is something quite special and unique that the falls offer with each changing season. Niagara Falls in November — or the off-season in general — means fewer crowds and colder temperatures. But no matter when you visit, the general experience of the falls is the same. Whenever you want to visit, I have some great tips for what to expect.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published January 24, 2022. Last updated April 4, 2022.

Walkway Over the Hudson Offers Scenic Views

Travel

The Walkway Over the Hudson rail trail between Poughkeepsie and Highland, New York, is the longest elevated pedestrian trail in the world!

Rail trails are seemingly popping up everywhere these days. And with good reason, as people look to get outdoors and disused structures are repurposed for modern life. With these spots, people can stretch their legs for a walk, run, or ride. Perhaps one of the most dramatic rail trails is the Walkway Over the Hudson bridge. The steel bridge, spanning the Hudson River and connecting Poughkeepsie and Highland, New York, is one of the longest pedestrian footbridges in the world. And with stunning unobstructed 360-degree views from over 200 feet over the waterway, it is a day trip from NYC that is worth putting on your bucket list.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published January 3, 2022. Last updated January 3, 2022.

5 Winter Getaways on the East Coast

Travel

Embrace the cold weather with these 5 winter getaways on the East Coast!

A winter getaway can be just the thing to lift those seasonal blues or shake up your routine. Just having something exciting to look forward to can do a world of good. Some winter travelers will be looking to embrace the cold and snowy weather. Others will simply put up with the chill for the sake of quieter crowds. But regardless of what kind of cold-weather traveler you are, there are some great winter getaways on the East Coast.

The key to winter travel is to be prepared. Check the weather and embrace whatever Mother Nature has planned. Pack a hat and boots just in case of unseasonably cold air or snow make an unexpected appearance. As you explore, consider some hot beverages as an excuse to get to know a local cafe or shopping area. You will be more likely to live like a local traveling this way. At least for a brief time!

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Post by Corinne. Originally published December 27, 2021. Last updated December 21, 2021.

Austrian Gift Guide

Travel

With this Austrian gift guide, treat someone special with an inspired or made in Austria gift!

If you’re looking for something special for someone hard to shop for, this Austrian gift guide might just be for you. For centuries Austria, and especially its capital of Vienna, has been a center of culture and politics. It’s the birthplace of Mozart and Klimt, not to mention where plenty of delicious sweets were first concocted. Whether you’re looking to wow someone special with something refined or create a sense of nostalgia recalling a trip that once was, check out this made in and inspired by Austrian gift guide!

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Post by Corinne. Originally published November 29, 2021. Last updated November 24, 2021.

2021 Holiday & Christmas Events In Philadelphia Region

Travel

Christmas Village in Philadelphia with City Hall.

Ready to feel festive? Well, by the time you get to the end of this post you will be ready to celebrate the season, no matter how you want to do it! It is that time of the year to make the holiday season merry with the giant list of holiday celebrations, winter festivals, and Christmas events in Philadelphia and across the region for 2021!

As we all slowly return to “normal” life and the year comes to a close, there is so much to celebrate. This year for the winter holiday season, there are far more options than last year. But even if you’re not quite ready to fully jump back into the social season, there are possibilities for you to enjoy. From Hanukkah to Christmas in Philadelphia and everywhere in between, it’s time to deck the halls and countdown to the New Year!

Here are more than 60 of the best, most unique, and fun holiday and Christmas events in Philadelphia and across the region plus New Year’s Eve events, too!

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Post by Corinne. Originally published November 19, 2021. Last updated November 23, 2021.

Explore Quebec Waterfall Canyon Sainte-Anne

Travel

Not far from Quebec City, Canyon Sainte-Anne is surrounded by trees.

Many visitors to Quebec City will take the roughly 20-minute journey north along the St. Lawrence River to see Montmorency Falls. The large Quebec waterfall is visible from the highway and is very popular. But for those willing to drive a little farther for an experience that is more intimate and off the beaten path, there is another option. Only a short distance farther, Canyon Sainte-Anne offers a chance to experience a pristine waterfall nestled amongst the trees.

The Quebec waterfall Canyon Sainte-Anne offers an impressive and immersive experience, too. Multiple suspension bridges cross over the waterway, allowing you to take in multiple views during a brisk hike in the fresh air. A visit to the waterfall is a refreshing outdoor adventure that lets you recharge.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published November 1, 2021. Last updated November 2, 2021.

Fall in Love with a Weekend in Quebec City

Travel

Spend a weekend in Quebec City and explore the historic city with European flair.

It’s easy to get lost in Quebec City. The often narrow cobblestone streets of Old Quebec meander: climbing hills and descending stairs. You’ll spend a weekend in Quebec City lost and you’ll love every second of it.

The French-speaking capital city of this Canadian province is often noted as being the most European in North America. Although it’s difficult to be completely convinced you’re in Europe, it’s still charming and quaint on its own.

A weekend in Quebec City is just the right amount of time to get familiar with the picturesque city and enjoy its je ne sais quoi.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published October 25, 2021. Last updated October 25, 2021.

Fallingwater Has to Be Seen To Be Believed

Travel

Frank Lloyd Wright's stunning Fallingwater is a great day trip from Pittsburgh.

If you had to come up with a list of things to see in Pennsylvania or day trips from Pittsburgh, a visit to Fallingwater certainly would top that list. Designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the home from the late 1930s has stood the test of time with its remarkable architectural flair. It’s also stood the test of that waterway that runs directly under the house.

While many “must-see” attractions are mostly just hype, Fallingwater lives up to expectations. For me, it far exceeded what I was expecting. Balanced just atop a waterfall, Fallingwater has to be seen to truly be believed. Photographs simply don’t do it justice. The wooded surroundings of mature trees and opportunities for hiking help to transport visitors away from the busy world and daily life of distractions where we all seem to live. You’ll leave Fallingwater wishing you could spend the night. If only!

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Post by Corinne. Originally published August 30, 2021. Last updated September 17, 2021.

A Fun Pittsburgh Weekend Getaway

Travel

Notable sculptures adorn and surround the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh.

Anyone who has been to Pittsburgh could be easily fooled into thinking this former industrial city was a major metropolitan. Although it’s the second-largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, it sure doesn’t feel like it: it seems much bigger. The city has a lot to offer. It is a mix of world-class museums, fantastic architecture, and acclaimed educational institutions. But with delicious and unfussy food options, it never feels too big for its britches.

A Pittsburgh weekend getaway is urban fun but without all the stresses one normally associates with city travel. The city’s downtown area is relatively compact and accessible for exploring on foot. But if you want to see more of the city, having a car at hand doesn’t hurt. With a car or public transit, you can explore more of this sprawling city with its many distinct neighborhoods.

Pittsburgh also has a small-town feel where people greet you and, no joke, warn you when you’re approaching broken glass on a bridge. Seemingly no matter where you go in the city, it feels personable and welcoming.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published August 23, 2021. Last updated August 31, 2021.