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.

Charm & History: Things to Do in Lititz PA

Travel

Historic stone and wooden houses line Main Street in Historic Downtown Lititz, PA.

With its miles of rolling farmland, small towns, and Amish community, Pennsylvania‘s Lancaster County has become a popular destination for day trips and long weekends. And Lititz, PA, is rich in that small-town charm. Sitting less than a dozen miles from the city of Lancaster, downtown Lititz is a world away and ideal for exploring on foot. Visitors can gawk at the more than hundred-year-old buildings of exposed stone and wood that dot Main Street. And beyond that, there are further enticements like antique stores, coffee shops, and even an authentic British pub. There are enough things to do in Lititz, PA to keep you busy for several day trips.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published July 26, 2021. Last updated July 28, 2021.

Hershey Gardens: Sweet PA Botanical Garden

Travel

Spring flowers brighten the landscape at Hershey Gardens.

It is undoubtedly the chocolate and the amusement park that usually draws visitors to Hershey, Pennsylvania. And who could blame them? But, if you’re looking for more fun things to do in Hershey, Hershey Gardens is a charming and relaxing way to spend several hours. It goes without saying that the gardens are sugar-free and thrilling in a much more low-key way.

The 23-acre botanical garden and arboretum are modest but just the right size to comfortably see in a single visit. And the magic of gardens is that they are always changing: there’s never a bad time of the year to visit as each season brings something special.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published June 28, 2021. Last updated June 28, 2021.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2021 Heads Outdoors

Travel

The FDR Gazebo welcomes visitors to the Philadelphia Flower Show 2021.

Last year’s Flower Show in 2020 was held on the verge of the pandemic. Despite that, it was still one of the best in years. For a while, it seemed questionable whether there would be a Philadelphia Flower Show 2021. But, oh, what a difference a year makes — and those vaccines aren’t half bad, either. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has truly embraced the challenges in front of them with the Philadelphia Flower Show 2021. For the first time in the show’s nearly 200 year history, it is being held outdoors. And that’s not all that’s different.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published June 7, 2021. Last updated June 7, 2021.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2021 Preview

Travel

Will Philadelphia Flower Show 2021 live up to the hype? Here's what you can expect, what I'm anticipating, and how to plan your visit.

In any normal year, the Philadelphia Flower Show is a sure sign that spring is coming. But, as we all know: things are a little different this year. But don’t fret, you will still be able to attend this inspiring East Coast tradition in 2021. Forget Memorial Day, the unofficial kickoff to summer will be the Philadelphia Flower Show 2021. Titled “Habitat: Nature‚Äôs Masterpiece” and running from June 5th through the 13th, it will be held outdoors for the first time in its 193 year history.

But with all these changes, the expectations are sky-high for the flower and plant festival. Will the Flower Show live up to the hype? I’ll be attending the Flower Show and will share a follow-up. But until then, here are all the details of what you can expect, what I’m anticipating, and how to plan your visit.

(Update: The outdoor venue really added a lot of new energy to the show, although it still needs some additional tweaks. Read more in my full review.)

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Post by Corinne. Originally published May 31, 2021. Last updated June 7, 2021.

Grounds for Sculpture’s Fun, Thoughtful Art

Travel

"To Marcel Duchamp, 1887-1968, Artist, Tool and Die Maker" by William T. Wiley.

It’s always important to keep an open mind when visiting a museum, but Grounds for Sculpture takes it to a whole new level. The sculpture garden located near Trenton, New Jersey, beckons you to look closer and expect the unexpected. The couple cuddling in the grass? A sculpture. The gigantic pumpkins? Sculptures. The vibrant peacock? Well, no that’s an actual peacock strutting around and calling out.

Grounds for Sculpture is a great blend of something for everyone. There are dozens of impressive works that you’ll marvel at and wonder how they were even constructed. And there are plenty of kitschy social media photo opportunities that will thrill and engage visitors of all ages.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published May 3, 2021. Last updated May 9, 2021.

2020 Holiday & Christmas Events In Philadelphia Region

Travel

Christmas Village in Philadelphia with City Hall.

This year, I think we all need some extra joy and holiday spirit. And with the winter holidays fast approaching, you may think there won’t be much to do when it comes to holiday and Christmas events in Philadelphia. (Or Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.) But you’d be wrong! Many holiday traditions will continue in 2020, albeit with some changes.

Whether you prefer to enjoy these Philadelphia holiday events virtually or want to celebrate carefully following safety protocols, there are lots of options to choose from. The same is true for New Year’s Eve events, too.

I’ve pulled together more than 50 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 20, 2020. Last updated April 2, 2021.

NYC Met Cloisters Wows With Medieval Abbeys

Travel

The Cuxa Cloister at the Met Cloisters.

Most visitors to New York City will want to explore the world-class museums along the Upper East Side’s Museum Mile or experience the larger than life glitz of Times Square. (And you should!)

But in the northern tip of Manhattan, the Met Cloisters transports visitors away from the busy city. Instead, you find yourself in nearly a half dozen French monasteries that are more than 500 years old. The historical architecture from another era houses religious art, artifacts, furniture, and more. It makes the Met Cloisters an engaging museum to visit as you, quite literally, walk through history.

There is no shortage of attractions and things to do in Manhattan. But this spot in Fort Tryon Park is one of the more unique museums the city has to offer.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published October 26, 2020. Last updated April 2, 2021.

Inspiring Flight: Wright Brothers National Memorial

Travel

Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Today, we all take airplanes for granted. With relative ease and affordability, you can be anywhere in the world. Not within months but within hours. And we have two brothers from Ohio to thank for it. And thank is just what the Wright Brothers National Memorial does.

It honors the technological advancement with a museum and a massive granite tower. And visitors can experience this pivotal moment that forever changed how we live and travel with a visit to the very spot where the brothers left the ground — if only for a matter of seconds.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published August 30, 2020. Last updated August 7, 2021.

5 Great Spots for Afternoon Tea in Philadelphia

Food, Travel

Pouring loose leaf tea into a strainer and cup.

There is little I like more than a good cup of tea and a scone. Maybe a pot of tea. And some pastries. And some sandwiches. What can I say, I love afternoon tea! And no matter what you call it, high tea or afternoon tea in Philadelphia is a delightful experience. While the city isn’t saturated in tea spots, there are a few doing it really well and in a special way to suit your style. You can enjoy the formal afternoon tea experience or have a simpler, more relaxing tea time.

Here are five favorite spots for afternoon tea in Philadelphia!

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Post by Corinne. Originally published August 24, 2020. Last updated September 18, 2021.

4 Great East Coast Dog Friendly Beaches

Travel

The Outer Banks' Jockey's Ridge State Park is a dog-friendly attraction that's free to visit.

The beach is a wonderland from a dog’s perspective. On dog friendly beaches, there are all of those great scents, you can run around a bit, there’s sand to dig in, and there are birds to keep an eye on. The ocean also tends to be a bit of a novelty: Do you chase it? Do you swim in it? Do you just splash in it? And you certainly never turn your back to it, that’s for sure! It’s a dog’s life, indeed. But sometimes finding beaches that allow dogs can be a challenge. Not to worry, I’ve got four great East Coast dog friendly beaches that you’ll love.

While many beaches don’t allow dogs during the summer, the offseason is prime season for a beach vacation with Man’s Best Friend! But there are many beaches that allow dogs even during the peak season.

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Post by Corinne. Originally published July 6, 2020. Last updated April 2, 2021.