School is back in session, work is heating up and vacation time is over. Or is it? We in the “DMV” are fortunate to have the “P” waiting to welcome us just to the north.
Pennsylvania is close enough for interesting day trips to historic city sites–where you can be out in the morning and back at night–and big enough for extended stays in scenic countryside that varies from picturesque lake fronts to slow rising mountains.
The scenery amid Pennsylvania’s 46,055 square miles seems to change every few miles: If you make the drive north and a little west from points in D.C. and Northern Virginia, you’ll reach the 51 miles of shoreline with Lake Erie; go east and you’ll get to the 57 miles of shore along the Delaware Estuary.
In between are opportunities to explore the Poconos and the Alleghenies, the Lehigh and Susquehanna Valleys, as well as, of course, the history, arts and cultural offerings of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Need ideas for destinations and activities? There is the handy “Happy Traveler” guide created by the Pennsylvania Tourism Board that catalogs the Keystone State’s highlights as well as some of the attractions off the beaten path (a trip along Dutch Country roads, anyone?). Download it at this address.
Meanwhile, consider some of these day trips that are an easy drive from D.C. and NoVa and start making plans for one- to three-day weekends this fall.
- York: Explore Colonial history at the York Heritage Center.
- Pittsburgh: Celebrate the city’s 200th birthday (born: 1816!) at the Senator John Heinz History Center.
- Hershey: Hmmm. Let’s think. Oh, right, chocolate. Explore the candy at Hershey Chocolate World.
- Bethlehem: Speaking of candy, did you know PEEPs were invented in Pennsylvania in 1953? Get the facts at the PEEPs Company Store.
- Nazareth: Speaking of inventions, C.F. Martin built his innovative Martin guitars here. Visit the museum and factory here.
And we didn’t even get to Gettysburg yet.
The preceding post was sponsored by Pennsylvania tourism and written by Buzz McClain
From Mike Kohn. Have an urban etiquette right that needs to be wronged? Find Mike on Twitter at@mike_kohn or send him an email at mike[AT]borderstan.com.
Given that Friday was the only beautiful day of the weekend, I thought I would take advantage and partake in my token annual visit to the Cherry Blossoms.
Unfortunately for me, I was not alone in that thinking. Everyone and their mother decided to drop by, so what should normally have been a casual walk around the Tidal Basin turned into a somewhat maddening journey that involved me weaving in and out of what I can only assume were several groups of tourists and fighting to make it across bridges in a speed that actually exceeded that of molasses.
I considered afterwards all of the things that I probably should have paid closer attention to, all of which apply to the Borderstan hood:
- Everyone takes photos. I did actually think about this and managed to stop myself short, but I had to apologize for being in a couple people’s memories when I was walking too fast to notice.
- There are WAY too many people traveling with pets and babies. I accidentally cut off a stroller. I did feel badly because the mother was clearly in distress mode, but I was distressing about feeling trapped behind her.
- Many of these people have never seen these things (or been to the District for that matter) before. While this was my 7th visit to the festival, it still has that inaugural excitement to it for a lot of tourists, so naturally, they want to stop and admire, rather than powering through. I felt even more aggressive than I usually do in a city where things are generally more fast-paced.
Ah, things to remember for next year…
So, the weekend approaches and you are ready to go… to get out of Borderstan (lovely though our little autonomous region may be). New York City awaits. The trip to Gotham takes about four to five hours, depending on traffic. We’ve haven’t taken Megabus (pictured) yet, but the double decker is appealing; we hope to check it out soon. Anyone have Megabus experiences to share?
But once in New York, it’s just as important to know what NOT to do as is what not to miss. So, we bring this write up from MSNBC.com of “Ten things not to do in New York City” (with alternative recommendations), so you can make the best of that weekend in New York City. Reader feedback is greatly appreciated: Do you like the warnings? Have more things to NOT do in NYC you’d like to add?
I certainly hope not. Washington has come a long way in 10 years. But, I remember the early 1990s and D.C.’s reputation as “Murder Capital USA” and the murder rate is now rising again.
Early Wednesday morning Mika Brzezinski was mugged outside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Georgetown. She is a host on “Morning Joe,” a national show on MSNBC. Purely by chance, Mayor Adrian Fenty then appeared on “Morning Joe” with Joe Scarborough and Brzezinski to talk about Inaugural preparations.
Note to mayor and city council: It’s not good four tourism when this stuff starts hitting the national media. Type Mika Brzezinski mugged outside D.C. hotel into the search function of your browser and see what you get.
Some of us, including Borderstanians, have been talking about crime for some time. Maybe national media coverage will the attention of City Hall.
From The Raw Story:
MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski mugged outside D.C. hotel
12/18/2008 @ 11:31 am
Filed by David EdwardsMSNBC Joe Scarborough announced that his co-host, Mika Brzezinski, was mugged outside of her Washington D.C. hotel this morning.
“Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty was confronted face-to-face Thursday with some of the district’s crime problems, when it turned out the host of the morning talk show he appeared on had been mugged in the city an hour earlier,” The Washington Times reported.