Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 24, 2019

Ohio Off the Beaten Path

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Magee Marsh Wildlife Area – Here are seven acres of marsh and swamp forest by the shores of Lake Erie. There are a bird trail, a beach and a visitor’s center for information. One can see small migrating birds and large waterfowl here. The bird trail goes around a large pond which is covered by water lilies and then winds through the surrounding woods. While the beginning of the trail is graveled the mid-section may be muddy. Some of the creatures that can be seen here are muskrats, raccoons, skunks, mink, foxes, cottontail rabbits, fox squirrels, coyotes, and white-tailed deer.

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For birds, the spring migration lasts from late February to mid-June. One can see Canadian geese, blue herons, and white egrets. There is a picnic area by the sandy beach which has tables and grills. There are pleasant views of distant islands and swimming is allowed during the daytime. In the visitor center, one can see mounted birds and mammals, antique wildfowl decoys and guns among other displays that graphically explain the history and natural background of the marshland. A great view can be had from the nearby observation tower.

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Kelleys Island – A ferry takes visitors to the island from Marblehead. This island was once inhabited by the Erie and Cat nation before they were destroyed by the Iroquois in the late 1600s. The Erie and Cat nation left behind a memorial Inscription Rock. This is a large, slab of limestone with a flat top. It is covered with Indian pictographs of humanlike creatures which include birds and animals and smoking pipes. Unfortunately, these inscriptions have faded greatly due to the elements. However, they were copied by U.S. Army Captain Seth Eastman in 1850 and a reproduction of his work can be found at the site. In the early 1800s Kelleys Island was resettled and by 1910 it had more than 1,000 people in the community. They made a living on limestone quarrying, agriculture, winemaking, and fishing.

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Today only about 100 people live on the island. The major industry is tourism and fishing, boating, swimming, and dining facilities are plentiful. Visitors can ferry their cars over to the island or they can rent bicycles or golf carts to get around. There is a lakeside campground.

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A short distance from the center of town is Glacial Grooves which is a state memorial. The limestone which was scored by a moving glacier gives the appearance of smoothly rounded grey waves. One trough some 400 feet long, 30 feet wide and 10 t0 15 feet deep is thought to be the world’s most spectacular example of glacial grooving. The glacier originated in the highlands of Labrador and inched southward for 5,000 years to reach this point and melted about 10,000 years ago.


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Malabar Farm – Located in Lucas. It was in 1939 that Pulitzer-prize winning author Louis Bromfield bought this farm. He built a large, comfortable home around one of the old farmhouses. Most of the money for restoring the farm came from the proceeds of a novel which was set on the Malabar Coast in India and therefore he named the farm Malabar. The furnishings in the house are French rural antiques, an Italian marble fireplace surmounted by ceramic Chinese horses set against a huge mirrored wall in the living room, a Steinway grand piano beside a floating double staircase in the hallway and in what is known as the Red Room there are paintings by Grandma Moses. In the author’s library, there is an enormous curved desk with 28 drawers. Upstairs are nine bedrooms including one in which Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall who were friends of the authors stayed on their honeymoon.

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The farm has a herd of purebred Holstein cattle. Visitors can tour the barns, stables, meadows and flower gardens. They can see the farm animals and touch those in the petting barn. There are hiking trails and a campsite for horse riders.

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Ulysses S. Grant Birthplace – Located in Point Pleasant. This is the first home of Ulysses S. Grant who was the general of the Union Army during the Civil War and later president of the United States. The house is a typical small pioneer house: white clapboard structure resting on a stone sill with a brick chimney. Grant was born here in 1822 but the next year his family moved to Georgetown where he spent his boyhood. From 1895 to 1936 the house stood as a historical exhibit in Columbus, Ohio but in 1936 it was returned to its original site beside Big Indian Creek facing the Ohio River. The house contains Grant’s cradle, the trunk he took to West Point, his Bible and his cigar case. Outside the house is a covered well and a cannon set in concrete and bearing Grant’s name and birth date on a plaque. It points toward the river.

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There are majestic chestnut trees and behind the house is the Grant Memorial Church.

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Rocky Fork State Park – This is a 21,000-acre park in Hillsboro which contains 7-mile long Rocky Fork Lake. The lake has several sandy beaches. At the marina, one can rent pedal boats, rowboats, pontoon boats, and motorboats.

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They also sell or rent fishing gear, live bait, water or snow ski equipment, and camping supplies. Here one can fish for crappies, bluegills, bass, walleye, and muskies.

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Surrounding the lake are low hills, woodlands, and fields.


Three short trails wind through the park.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 21, 2019

Exploring Ohio

Hocking Hills and Corkscrew Waterfalls

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Hocking Hills is made up of cliffs, rock shelters, gorges, and waterfalls.

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Deep within Hocking Hills, you’ll find the amazing Corkscrew Waterfalls.

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Hocking Hills State Park is located near Logan. It is a rugged natural area popular with outdoor lovers. There are hiking trails, caves, camping facilities, and cottages. It is a great place for a weekend getaway no matter what the season. Park naturalists host regular events all year long on topics such as bird watching, photography, caves, and hikes.

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There is a popular winter hike. Among the highlights of the park are Old Man’s Cave,

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Cedar Falls,

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Cantwell Cliffs,

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Rock House,

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and wheelchair-accessible Ash Cave.

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A lovely sight is the Marblehead Lighthouse on Marblehead Peninsula, jutting out into Lake Erie. The lighthouse has been in operation since 1822.

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Ohio Caverns are America’s most colorful caverns. They are located 30 miles from Dayton, near West Liberty. Tours will take you through two different parts of the cavern. The Historic Tour begins at the site of discovery and includes the part which was originally explored from 1897 to 1925.

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The Natural Wonder Tour takes visitors through the parts that were discovered after 1925. It includes the largest stalactite in Ohio, known as The Crystal King. There are many other formations and colors. There is also the Winter Tour that is offered from October through April and includes highlights from both tours.

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Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad dates from 1880 when the first steam engine went through the Cuyahoga Valley. It was built to transport coal from the south of Canton to Cleveland. Today visitors can explore the lovely countryside and take a ride on the original steam engine.

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Ashtabula County is home to 18 different covered bridges. These can be seen on a driving tour of the area. One of the bridges is the Netcher Road Bridge built over Mill Creek in Jefferson Township.

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Cedar Point Amusement Park is the second oldest amusement park in the U.S. It opened in 1870. There are 71 rides among them more than 17 world-class roller coasters and 2 water rides. Cedar Point is known as the roller coaster capital of the world and the only amusement park in the world to have 5 roller coasters taller than 200 feet. It is located near Sandusky on the shores of Lake Erie. It is also home to the Extreme Sports Stadium, a stunt stadium, with shows and celebrations.

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Next to it, you’ll find the Cedar Points Shores Water Park with thrilling water adventures including a wave pool, lazy river, shallow pools for children, and a six-story aqua-water drop slide.

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Kings Island is the largest amusement and water park in the Midwest. It is located 24 miles northeast of Cincinnati in Mason. It opened in 1964 and offers 47 rides among them 15 roller coasters. The other rides are carnival-style attractions and water rides.

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Among the highlights are Banshee, the world’s longest inverted rollercoaster,

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Dinosaurs Alive the world’s largest animatronic dinosaur park, and Son of the Beast, the fastest and tallest wooden coaster in the world.

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Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield offers visitors about 150,000 items to choose from. There are food demonstrations, gift shops, boutiques, restaurants, and much more.

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You can also find thousands of grocery items on sale from all over the world. There is an extensive beer and wine selection.

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Animal Pond at Jungle Jim’s

There are also fun events like cooking classes and festivals celebrating different types of foods.


The Wilds in Cumberland is a preserve zoo that offers different outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, birding, and butterfly spotting. It is home to many different animals like ostriches, cranes, African painted dogs, Bactrian camels, banteng, and common elands.


It also offers educational programs for visitors of all ages and group tours for families, scout groups and schools. During the summer months, there are education camps. The Wilds is open from May through September and on weekends in October.

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Carillon Historical Park in Dayton is the place where you can learn about the lives of early Americans. At the Heritage Center of Dayton, you can find out about inventions and innovations from the history of Dayton.

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The Early Settlement Area has several original homes, schools, and businesses to explore.

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The Wright Brothers Aviation Center has objects from the Wright family on display and you can see the building that houses the 1905 Wright Flyer III. The park also features an operational 1930s printing press, an exhibit dedicated to the Great Flood of 1913 and a display of one of the oldest trains in the world.

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The Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial was built to honor the people who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie which is also known as the Battle of Put-In-Bay. It is located in Put-In-Bay.  It was this battle in the War of 1812 that finally let Americans take control of Lake Erie from the British. There was the loss of almost 70 people and close to 200 were wounded.

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This memorial celebrates the long-lasting peace between Britain, Canada, and the U.S. A Doric column rises 352 feet over Lake Erie as a sign of that peaceful relationship.



James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor is housed in the former home of the 20th President of the U.S. James A. Garfield. There are many artifacts and mementos from his childhood and presidency. You can get a guided tour and learn about life in the 1880s. The site is open all year long.

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The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museum in Fremont has interesting displays about the life of the 19th U.S. President Rutherford Hayes.

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His library and museum were the first of its kind in the U.S. and is situated on Spiegel Grove, Hayes’s 25-acre wooded lot. The museum and library display artifacts about his life and presidency. The Rutherford Hayes House has 31 rooms and an expansive veranda.

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Guided tours are available. Spiegel Grove also contains the grave of Rutherford B. Hayes.

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Mac-A-Cheek Castle is also known as one of the Piatt Castles and has been drawing tourists for over 100 years.

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The other castle is the Mac-A-Chee Castle. Both of the castles are in West Liberty. They were named after the Piatt Family and built in the Ohio countryside by two of the Piatt sons. They are still family owned over 200 years later. Visitors can rent out the castles and parts of the grounds for special events like weddings.

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Historic Loveland Castle was built to honor the strength and courage of knights in Medieval times. It is also known as Chateau Laroche and sits on the banks of the Little Miami River north of Loveland. Visitors can explore the pathways and garden surrounding the property and see the displays of weaponry inside. The castle can be rented for special events. It is also the source for paranormal investigation.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 17, 2019

Lovely Columbus


Columbus is the capital of the U.S. state of Ohio. There are things to do and see on both sides of the Scioto River.

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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the top attractions in the city.

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The zoo has six habitats such as Asia Quest, Congo Expedition, Heart of Africa and Shore.

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You can see more than 10,000 animals and enjoy live performances and feeding.

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There are seasonal rides at Jungle Jack’s Landing. You can enjoy the wave pool and water slides at Zoombezi Bay right next door.

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The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens features many species of plants from all over the globe in towering glass greenhouses.

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You can enjoy walking through the rainforest, desert, orchids and the grand Palm House. There are walking paths through the Botanical Gardens and Garden Campus.

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The Center of Science and Industry offers hands-on-exhibits to educate visitors about outer space, energy, and cultural progress. There is an expansive dinosaur gallery. All year long there are also temporary exhibits, regular live shows, and lab experiments. A great experience is visiting the planetarium. You can relax at the COSI cafeteria.

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The North Market in downtown Columbus is an exciting place to see. There are dozens of vendors selling practically everything under the sun. You can get delicious food in various small eateries. On Saturday good are also sold outside.

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The Columbus Museum of Art showcases the very best in paintings, photos, glass, and sculpture. The JP Morgan Chase Center for Creativity offers a free creativity lounge with hands-on products to awake the creative side of you. Take a break at the Schokko Art Café.

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Huntington Park is the home of the Columbus Clippers baseball team. You can enjoy an afternoon or evening game with the Columbus downtown skyline in the background. Games played at night end with fireworks.

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The Ohio Statehouse sits on Capitol Square. You can get free guided tours or you can tour on your own. The grand rotunda is designed with thousands of pieces of marble. A unique experience is the Museum Education Center. There are interesting gifts at The Statehouse Gift Shop and artwork from Ohio artists. Outside you can see statues, memorials, and tributes of important dignitaries and historic moments in Ohio.

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The Ohio History Center has several floors of interactive and educational exhibits on the history of Ohio. On the third floor are historical archives and people can uncover things about their family tree. Outside the Ohio Village can transport you back in time and you can see what life was like in the 1800s where you can see actors in period costumes.

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The Topiary Park features 54 life-size topiary sculptures that have been designed as the


Impressionist painting by George Seurat A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte.

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There are sculpted boats and figures upon a pond. It is a great place to relax. The best times to visit is in the summer when the shrubs are in full bloom.

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The historic Thurber House is for literary lovers. It is the former home of literary cartoonist and author James Thurber and has become a literary museum. You can take a tour of the house or attend one of the literary programs. During the summer you can enjoy a picnic dinner and presentation during the Summer Picnic Series.

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ZipZone Outdoor Adventures lets the adventurous zip through the treetops. There are tours that range from canopy tours and moonlight tours to zip-rush tours that include a brief freefall. There is the Kid Park with kid-friendly outdoor adventures and an Aerial Park with challenging courses.

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The National Veterans Memorial and Museum features stories, photos, and memorabilia from the nation’s veterans who served every branch in the U.S. Military. The museum overlooks the Scioto River.

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After your visit to the museum, you can enjoy the Scioto Mile. Here you’ll find 145 acres of lovely parkland for strolling or biking.

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You can enjoy the city’s 15,000 sq. ft. interactive fountain, the country’s biggest outdoor climbing wall, and the 120 acres Scioto Audubon, where you can see many shorebirds. During the summer there are free concerts and it is a great place for a picnic.

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The Ohio Theater is an impressive 1928 historic theater. You can see musicals, ballet, and opera. In the summer there is the Movie and Broadway Series.

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German Village was the place many German immigrants settled during the mid 19th century. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places. There are many places of German descent and quaint cobblestone streets.

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The Park of Roses displays more than 11,000 roses. The best time to visit is mid-June to mid-September when the roses are in full bloom. There are trails to walk and a wonderful playground for children.

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Throughout the park, there are benches that have been placed in honor of deceased loved ones.

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Easton Town Center is an outdoor shopping complex where the main buildings and streets have been built to look like the early American cities and town in the mid 20th century.

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There are lovely fountains, shops, and a cinema complex. You can relax at any of the restaurants or cafes.


Kelton House Museum and Garden is an interesting place to visit. The lovely mansion can be toured. It was built by Fernando Cortez Kelton, who was a wholesaler of pharmaceuticals and dry goods. The basement has great information about the Underground Railroad.

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The gardens are beautiful with interesting plants.

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Hayden Falls Park has an amazing 35 ft. waterfall. There are endangered and protected plants here, a boardwalk, and an overlook. Picnic tables are available.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 12, 2019

Cleveland on the Shores of Lake Erie


Cleveland, a major city in Ohio sits on the shores of Lake Erie.

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The Cleveland Museum of Art is among the city’s top attractions. It is housed in a lovely neo-Classical building built with white Georgian marble.

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It is located in the center of the Fine Arts Garden. You can see over 30,000 artworks from ancient Egypt to world-renowned masterpieces from Europe, Asia, and Africa. The museum also hosts special exhibitions, lectures, films, and musical programs. There are also community-based programs and performing arts series.

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The West Side Market is the city’s oldest market with more than 100 producers, artisans, and vendors.

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The market stalls are full of all kinds of products from food, to flowers, and spices. It is a wonderful place to explore with scents of fresh baked goods and ready-to-eat meals.

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The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are a living monument to the rich history of 20th century America. There are 29 gardens that have been designed to show the stories of major conflicts including wars. Among the highlights are the Albanian Cultural Garden, the Armenian Garden, the Polish Garden, the Slovenian Garden, and the Czech Garden. You can get guided tours.

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The Greater Cleveland Aquarium opened its doors in 2012. It features a 230,000-gallon tank with a unique walk-through acrylic shark tunnel. Among the exhibitions are Lakes and Rivers of the World, the Indonesian Pacific Zone, Discovery Zone, Coastal and Coral Reef. Educational programs are offered about animals and their care.

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The International Women’s Air & Space Museum celebrates women in the fields of aviation and space exploration. It is located in the terminal building of Burke Lakefront Airport. There is a lot of memorabilia and historical artifacts that have been collected by the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots formed in 1929. Guided tours are available and there are both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

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Museum of Contemporary Art is the region’s only contemporary art museum which is dedicated to showcasing modern and contemporary art. Here you can see artworks by more than 2,000 artists through both permanent and traveling exhibitions, as well as artists’ first solo shows.

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Little Italy offers you a look into Italy right in the heart of Cleveland. It was established by Italian sculptor Joseph Carabelli in the 1880s when he began sculpting granite and marble artworks at the top of Mayfield Road Hill. Italian families came to settle down in the neighborhood. Here you can enjoy art galleries, restaurants, cafes, and delis. It is great for nighttime entertainment. Different festivals are hosted there as well as the city’s famous Art Walks, bocce tournaments, and wonderful summer nights.

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum honors the greatest rock and roll performers and contributors. It was designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei and sits on the shores of Lake Erie. There are impressive collections, exhibitions, and displays. The museum has a great library and archives and offers educational programs. Among the featured exhibits are The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

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At Lake View Cemetery you’ll find the James A. Garfield Monument that honors the 20th President of the U.S.

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The monument stands 180 feet tall and has the architectural elements of Romanesque, Gothic, and Byzantine styles with fiver terracotta panels.

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Marble, granite and gold mosaics with stained glass windows represent the original 13 colonies and War and Peace decorate the Memorial Hall.  The statue of the President stands on the main floor of the memorial. From the upper outdoor balcony, you can see fantastic views of Lake Erie which inspired the name of the cemetery.

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Playhouse Square is the country’s second-largest performing arts center offering a range of entertainment, performances, shows, and events. There are also educational classes, workshops, and programs.

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You’ll want to see the world’s largest outdoor chandelier, the GE Chandelier with 4,200 crystal pendants and LED fixtures.

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North Chagrin Reservation is a 1,700-acre wildlife reservation located in Mayfield Village, Willoughby Hills, and Gates Mills. There are outdoor recreation areas, walking trails, picnic spots, and wildlife reserves. Sanctuary Marsh and Sunset Pond are great to watch birds.

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The turn-of-the-century Squire’s Castle is impressive. It is home to a nature center and nature educational building with community-based programs, classes, and workshops. At Willoughby Hills, you’ll find the Manakiki Golf Course.

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The Ohio and Erie Canal was constructed in the early 19th century and carried freight traffic across the state of Ohio for more than 40 years until the railroad came along. Later on, it served as a source of water for industries and towns. Today the canal offers recreational activities like birding, hiking, biking, or horseback riding. Some parts of the canal like the Ohio and Erie Historic District are designated National Heritage Areas.

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Progressive Field is a state-of-the-art urban ballpark and home to the Major League Baseball team the Cleveland Indians.

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Visitors can get a guided tour and you can also visit the Heritage Park Indians Hall of Fame where you can learn about the team’s history and successes.

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The Christmas Story House is a 19th-century Victorian house known for being the residence of Ralphie Parker in the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story”. It is open to the public.

Across the road is The Christmas Story Museum featuring a wide range of memorabilia, costumes, and original props from the movie. You can see Randy’s snowsuit, the toys from Higbee’s window and the family car. There are rare photos and you can shop at the museum gift shop.


The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has a collection of more than four million specimens. It is located in University Circle and is a fun place to visit. You can see things like a small tyrannosaur dinosaur, mastodon and mammoth skeletons, and the remains of the famous sled dog Balto.

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The Steamship William G. Mather was built in 1925 and nicknamed “The Ship That Built Cleveland” because of her frequent voyages through the Great Lakes heading for the steel mills of Cleveland. Today you can have a guided tour of the ship. You’ll see the huge cargo holds, four-story engine room and more. There are Great Lakes Story exhibits with interactive displays.

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The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo was founded in 1892. It is divided into sections among

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them the African Savannah, Northern Trek, Australian Adventure, and the Rainforest.

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The Cat & Aquatics Building is home to one of the largest collections of primate species in North America and home to gorillas, lemurs, monkeys, and aye-ayes.

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The Wolf Wilderness shows the life of wolves in a northern temperate forest. You can explore on foot or take one of two zoo trams.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 8, 2019

Cincinnati the Pearl of the West


Cincinnati is a city in Ohio located on the Ohio River. It is a vibrant and interesting city that has been called the “Pearl of the  West” and the “Queen City”. It is an industrial city that offers a wide range of cultural and recreational facilities. Interest in the city was sparked by the popular TV show “WKRP in Cincinnati” in the late 1970s.

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The Cincinnati Museum Center has found its home in the Cincinnati Union Terminal and Art Deco railroad station that was built in 1933. There are three museums here. The Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, and the Museum of Natural History and Science. You’ll find of interest the OMNIMAX Theater and the Cincinnati History Library and Archives. There are traveling national and international exhibits.

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The 1878 Music Hall is one of the finest buildings in the city. It is located in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood at Washington Park. It has an arched entranceway below a huge round window flanked by two square towers. It is home to the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra, the Cincinnati Ballet, and the Cincinnati Opera.

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The Music Hall Ballroom is used for events and exhibitions.

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The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden has one of the largest insectariums in the world. There are rides, a 4D theater, and shows.

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Among the exhibits here are Gorilla World,


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Africa, Cat Canyon,

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and Painted Dog Valley. Special events are held all year round. The zoo has more than 500 animals and 3,000 plant species. Their breeding program was the first to successfully breed California sea lions. There are educational exhibits at the Botanical Garden. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

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The Great American Ball Park in the heart of downtown is the place to catch the iconic Reds Baseball game.

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Baseball games are seasonal but the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is open all year round. The Reds are baseball’s first professional franchise.

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The Cincinnati Art Museum displays works of art including sculptures, ceramics, and photos. Besides the permanent collection, there are also temporary national and international exhibitions. Some of the highlights are American and European paintings and sculptures, Far East and African art, Decorative Arts, and textiles. It is also known for its art-related programs and special events held throughout the year.

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The Irwin M. Krohn Conservatory has over 3,500 plant species from all over the globe.

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You’ll find themed houses that include a desert and a tropical rainforest, with waterfalls. It was built in the Art Deco era. It hosts events and changing exhibits all year long.



The Taft Museum of Art is housed in an impressive 1820 Palladian-style building known as the Baum-Longworth-Taft House and is a National Historic Landmark. It displays a collection of paintings from Old Masters, European Decorative Arts, sculptures, and furniture.

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In the front of the museum is a statue of the 16th US President Abraham Lincoln created by George Grey Barnard in 1917.  The museum hosts regular educational talks and social events.

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Fountain Square is the focal point of the Cincinnati city center. In the middle is the impressive Tyler Davidson Fountain, cast in Munich, Germany and erected in 1871. Fountain Square is a social center that is surrounded by places to dine and be entertained. In the summer there are outdoor tables to enjoy a meal.

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In the winter you can skate on the outdoor skating rink.

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Carew Tower is the second tallest building in the city. It is a French Art Deco building built in the 1930s and is a National Historic Landmark. The building has offices, stores, and hotel rooms. You can get spectacular views of the city from the Observation Deck on the 49th floor.

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The American Sign Museum has unique and colorful displays of a wide variety of signs. You can take a museum tour.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 5, 2019

Exploring Akron and Toledo


In our armchair travels, we’ve arrived in the U.S. state of Ohio. This is a Midwestern state that stretches from the Ohio River and the Appalachian Mountains in the south to Lake Erie in the north.

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We begin our tour with Akron the fifth largest city in the state. It is located in a very picturesque part of the U.S. It is a city where the old blends in with the new.

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Boston Mills is known as the snowboarding capital of Ohio and a great spot for winter sports. Boston Mills and Brandywine are sister ski resorts. Together they offer 19 ski runs spread over 79 acres. At Boston Mills, you’ll find the Tiger Run which is the steepest ski slope in all of the U.S. Other fun winter activities include snowshoeing and snow tubing.

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The Akron Zoo dates back to the 1900s. It is a 50-acre zoo located west of downtown Akron. You can see more than 700 animals.  There are eight themed areas.

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Legends of the Wild is the largest exhibit with a 25-foot waterfall and more than 15 animal exhibits. Humboldt penguins, lemurs, and jaguars are among the animals who make their home here.

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Komodo Kingdom is an indoor exhibit that features a Komodo dragon, Galapagos tortoises and other rainforest species.

Curious Creatures also in the Komodo building features animals and plants that exhibit unique adaptations for survival.

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Tiger Valley is home to Africa lions, Sumatran tigers, sloth bears, and red pandas.

Farmland is home to sheep, African pygmy goats, and other domesticated animals. This is where you can get the A&K Wilber Express the zoo’s train ride.

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Grizzly Ridge includes a 45-foot high aviary and is home to grizzly bears, bald eagles, otter, red wolves, and coyotes.

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The Kent State University Museum has eight different galleries which feature static and rotating exhibits. Here you can find on display textiles, furniture, glassware, paintings, and decorative pieces. The artwork is by both local and international artists. The pieces range from the 18th century to the present day.

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Blossom Music Center is one of the most picturesque performance spaces in the U.S. It was built outdoors spreading across 800 acres in the hills of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In the summer months, the Cleveland Orchestra plays here and movies can be seen with an orchestral accompaniment. Pop concerts are also held here.

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Akron Art Museum is worth seeing for both its architecture and its art. Art collections range from 1850 to the present day. There is a large gallery with modern and contemporary artwork. You’ll find traditional paintings, sculptures, photos, and paper drawings. The museum has found a home in a Renaissance Revival building from the 19th century. It is an impressive mix of glass and steel.

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Brandywine Falls is located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park and about 25 minutes from Akron. It is a lovely y spot with great scenery and you can get to the falls by a scenic boardwalk located below. To get closer to the falls you can take the steps that have been built into the side of the gorge. The Brandywine Gorge stretches for more than a mile and the pools here are the breeding grounds for indigenous salamanders in the spring.

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The John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron is the place for a wide range of concerts and show. It has hosted many well-known names and has played host to dance recitals, classical concerts, and pop music shows.

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The Stan Hywet Hall and Garden is the former home of F.A. Seiberling, the co-founder of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The house was built in the Tudor Revival style and has 65 rooms.

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There are 20 acres of grassy lawn, a conservatory, and flower gardens. There is a play garden for children with interactive garden displays such as a Splash Fountain. You can take a tour of the house and the grounds or choose to tour on your own.

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Hale Farm and Village are located outside of Akron proper, on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The farm was the former home of Jonathan Hale, a local farmer. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

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The house dates from 1825. You can come to visit and learn about how people lived in the 1800s in this rural farming community.

Toledo on the Maumee River

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Toledo is located at the western tip of Lake Erie. The city sits on the banks of the Maumee River. It has a rich history in the Miami and Erie Canal System.

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The Toledo Zoo is over a century old and offers evolving exhibits.

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There are over 9,000 animals among them elephants, camels, gorillas, and otters. Among the top popular exhibits are the Aquarium, Primate Forest, Tembo Trail, Arctic Encounter, and the Africa exhibit.

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The zoo also has an aerial adventure course, a merry-go-round, and train rides.

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The Toledo Museum of Art consists of six buildings and has over 50 galleries. Collections include Greek, Asian, Egyptian, and African artwork. There are medieval, modern, and contemporary pieces of art.

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One of the highlights here is the Glass Pavilion. Outside the gardens are lovely and have sculptures.

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The Fifth Third Field is the place to see a Mud Hens night baseball game. The Mud Hens are a Triple-A minor league baseball team. The stadium has dining options from hot dogs to steak. Most of the home games end with fireworks, lighting up the downtown riverfront. Don’t forget to explore Hensville, the new entertainment district next to the stadium.

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Imagination Station in downtown Toledo is a family-friendly science center. There are over 250 interactive exhibits. The Extreme Science Theater offers live experiments. After your visit, you can relax at the Atomic Café.

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Providence Metropark offers a unique way to travel on the canal. The Canal Experience lets you get out onto the water.

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The Volunteer Canal Boat tells you how these boats carried people and products between Toledo and Cincinnati. You can get to see part of the Miami and Erie Canal towpath, a gristmill, and one of the last working canal locks. Staff dressed in period costumes tells you about what canal life was like in the 19th century. You can enjoy the trails and picnic areas in the park.

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At the Toledo Botanical Garden, you can walk through over 60 acres of gardens with different plant and flower collections. There are amazing sculptures and places to sit in the shade. The Garden of Discovery Trail has interactive stations.

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Visit Tony Packo’s Café. This is the café made famous in the hit TV show MASH in the 1970s. It was actor Jamie Farr, playing Corporal Maxwell Klinger, who mentioned the café in some episodes.

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Farr is a Toledo native and promoted the famous Tony Packo’s Hungarian hot dogs. Upon the wall, you can see faces of the well-known and hot dog buns signed by actor Burt Reynolds back in 1972. It is not just a place to eat but a kind of museum as well.

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It is worth taking a tour of the Toledo Lighthouse. Small group tours head out by boat from the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse Preservation Society on the marina at Maumee Bay State Park. To see the inside of the lighthouse you have to take a climb on a rung ladder with 76 steps that will take you to the top of the tower. The lighthouse history dates back to the 1800s.

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The National Museum of the Great Lakes will tell you about the history of the Great Lakes with hundreds of artifacts. All through the museum, you’ll find interactive exhibits. Among the highlights is the century-old Col. James Schoonmaker ship which is open for self-guided tours. Outside you can enjoy the maritime park on the Maumee River. › Travel Guides › United States › Ohio (OH

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | February 27, 2019

Pennsylvania Off the Beaten Path

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Raccoon Creek State Park is located at 3000 State Route 18 in Hookstown, PA, Beaver County, west of Pittsburgh.

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The land that surrounds man-made Raccoon Lake is landscaped. In the fall one can see the changing colors of 42 different kinds of trees. Hikers can follow five miles of trail crisscrossing a 314-acre wildflower reserve where more than 500 species of flowering plants can be found. Peak blooming seasons are mid-April to mid-May and August through October.

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Another hiking trail includes a tour of the Frankfort Mineral Springs. During the 19th century, the mineral water here was reputed to possess healing powers and the springs are quite famous. The annual winter freeze forms tremendous ice sculptures that stand immobile until they melt in the spring. The lake has bluegills, sunfish, bullheads, brook and rainbow trout, walleye, crappies, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and yellow perch. There are also a wide variety of interpretive and educational programs such as walks for bird-watchers, night hikes, snowshoe hikes, four self-guiding nature trails, and a Christmas bird count. In the winter there is ice fishing, ice skating, sledding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. The park has five picnic areas as well.

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Nemacolin Castle on Front Street in Brownsville was named for the Indian leader Nemacolin, who established the first English trading route between Ohio and Maryland. Nemacolin Castle sits on a hill overlooking the Monongahela River. The early trading route connected with the river at present-day Brownsville and in 1806 it became a part of Route 40 the country’s first east-west highway. What is now the castle started as a simple trading post on the site of old Fort Burd which guarded the trade route. As the post prospered its owner Jacob Bowman gradually added onto the original stone structure turning it into a red brick Tudor-style castle with a crenelated octagonal tower and 22 rooms. The guest bedroom in the tower offers a wonderful view of the property and has a ladder leading to a second level which overlooks the entire town. Most of the rooms contain original 19th-century furnishings. In the “Bishop’s Bedroom”is a rare Napoleonic rosewood bed and a flawless 30 square-foot mirror made in 1850. Visitors may picnic on the grounds outside the castle.

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National Watch and Clock Museum located at 514 Poplar St., Columbia. When entering the museum one is given a card and must punch in on an industrial time clock. The museum is managed by The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors.

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The museum traces the history of time measurement from a reproduction of the incredible non-mechanical Rhodes Antikytheron clock circa 79 B.C. to the most sophisticated modern atomic clock. Among the musical clocks are a 1770 Glune glass bell clock, an 1840 organ clock, a 1903 Regina music box and a 1905 Symphonic/Leipzig German clock with 10 interchangeable discs each with a different melody. On display are also clocks with Japanese characters, mantel clocks, mirror clocks, master-and-slave clocks, banjo clocks, a lantern clock, a Swiss water clock, and others. Nearly all of the clocks and watches are in working order.

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Toy Train Museum, Red Caboose Motel, and Strasburg Railroad – In Strasburg, the historical section of the Toy Train Museum has examples of all types of trains from 1880 to the present.

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Each era of development is represented. Three complex operating layouts have push-button controls with which visitors can activate the trains and accessories.

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Adjacent to the Toy Train Museum is the Red Caboose Motel. Overnight guests can stay in a refurbished N-5 caboose. Meals are served in two original Victorian dining coaches decorated with velvet curtains and brass Pullman lanterns.

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The Strasburg Railroad – a coal-burning turn-of-the-century steam locomotive pulling antique cars- runs past the Red Caboose siding.  The century-old station for the train ride is reached by a ¾-mile walk alongside the tracks or a short drive west on Route 741. The locomotive hissing steam and belching black smoke pulls an eight-car train along a nine-mile track through the Amish farmland. The wooden 19th-century coaches are period pieces complete with coal-oil lamps and potbelly stoves.

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Hawk Mountain Sanctuary – Located in east-central Pennsylvania is a  sanctuary for migrating birds of prey. From this 1,500 foot ridge, one can watch for more than 200 species of birds as well as for 14 species of raptors including eagles, ospreys, hawks, and falcons. The birds can be seen on their flights to their winter or summer ranges.

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The mountain is named for the birds that appear in greater numbers in the spring and fall. A ¾ mile trail on the heavily wooded slopes winds past two very good viewing points. The northern overlook is recommended for the fall migration. Other animals that are plentiful here are deer, chipmunks, squirrels, and raccoons.  In the early summer after the mountain laurel blooms nesting warblers and other songbirds take up residence on the tranquil mountain. Altogether there are 8-miles of ridge and valley trails, a Visitors Center, a bookstore and a native plant garden.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | February 22, 2019

Touring Pennsylvania

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In Lancaster, there are historic buildings and monuments. Visitors enjoy learning about the Amish culture and lifestyle by taking ours of the Amish Farm and House.

Families can enjoy the North Museum of Nature and Science with interactive displays and the Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park. Foodies will love the Lancaster Central Market and food tastings from the food trucks at Prince Street Park.

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Amish House is a historic 1805 farmhouse that was once occupied by an Amish family. You’ll learn about the history, customs, clothing, and culture as you see the rooms in the house.

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The 15-acre farm was part of a 1715 land grant from the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn. You can walk the paths and see many farm animals like cows, sheep, chickens, goats and much more.

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In the historic barns are farm displays. At the blacksmith shop, you can learn about the blacksmith trade. Children can try out a real Amish scooter. You can find Amish artisans and craftsmen on the farm.

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The Lancaster Central Market makes its home in America’s oldest farmers’ market building. This is the place to get local meats and vegetables.

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You’ll find fresh baked desserts and bread, cheeses, flowers, and crafts. They’re open all year on Tuesdays and Friday and Saturdays.

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Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park offers more than 35 rides and shows. Everyone loves Duke’s Lagoon water play area. At Exploration Island dinosaurs come to life. You can enjoy Merlin’s Mayhem a suspended coaster.

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North Museum of Nature and Science is the place to see dinosaurs up close and other ancients forms of life. There are great interactive displays.

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See the SciDome Theater and the Explore Nature Gallery. Children can make friends in the Live Animal room and crawl into the awesome indoor giant discovery tree.

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Jim Thorpe is a historical mining town right in the heart of the Pocono Mountains.

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It is like stepping back in time with lovely preserved buildings and homesteads like the Asa Packer Mansion Museum dating from 1861.

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You can enjoy the Old Jail Museum

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and the Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center.


At Jim Thorpe River Adventures visitors can enjoy water rafting, canoeing or kayaking.

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You can take a scenic train ride through the Lehigh Gorge State Park

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or hike the Glen Onoko Falls Trail.

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Allentown is one of the oldest cities in Pennsylvania dating from 1762. There are many museums and historic buildings.

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Visitors enjoy the Old Allentown Historic Area with museums like America On Wheels, the Allied Air Force Museum and the Liberty Bell Museum among others.

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There are the Allentown Art Museum

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and the Da Vinci Science Center for hands-on learning.



At one time Bethlehem was a tiny Moravian mission village. Today there are many well-preserved historical attractions where visitors can find out about its industrial past.

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You can begin your tour at the visitors center at Steel Stacks. One of the highlights here is the Hoover-Mason Trestle.

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Take a self-guided tour through the Colonial Industrial Quarter, see the Burnside Plantation

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Hoover-Mason Trestle

and take a walk along the Heritage Trail by the river.

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For art lovers, there is the Banana Factory with a gallery and studios.

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At Illick’s Mill Park you can walk, jog, have a picnic, or fish.

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Erie can be found on the southern shore of Lake Erie.

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You can get a great view of the city from the observation deck of the Port Erie Bicentennial Tower. Take a look at the Erie Maritime Museum and the Firefighters Historical Museum.

For art lovers, there is the Erie Art Museum, the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra or a show at the Erie Playhouse.

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At Presque Isle State Park you can hike, bike and enjoy water sports in the summer and snow activities in the winter. Children enjoy the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum.

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Take the family to the Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens where you can see 400 animals from all over the world.

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The Kiboka Outpost has rhinos, cheetahs and warthogs.

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You’ll enjoy the exotic atmosphere of Africa and Madagascar.

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Enjoy a ride on the train and carousel. There are winding walkways through lovely landscaped grounds with various gardens including the Butterfly Gardens.

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Scranton was once a major railroad junction in 1849. Visitors can take a look at the town’s historic legacy with a tour of the 40-acre Steamway National Historic Site. There are many different interesting museums to see here like the Electric City Trolley Station and Museum.

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Enjoy the scenic trails around Lake Scranton and try hiking the 23-mile Pinchot Trail on the Pocono Plateau.

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Nay Aug Park is the green oasis of the city where you can walk, hike, picnic, swim, or just relax. Take a walk along the trails leading to the Nay Aug Gorge and waterfall area which has been named a National Natural Landmark.

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For a bird’s eye view of the gorge climb the David Wenzel Treehouse that rises 150 feet above the ground.

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The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area covers 67,000 acres of forests, rivers, waterfalls, valleys, and historic sites. You can hike over 100 miles of trails, take a canoe or kayak out on the river or drive along the scenic road stopping at lookout points. There are three swimming beaches along the Middle Delaware River, you can go fishing or visit historic Millbrook Village.

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George W. Childs Recreation Area is located along the western edge of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area in the Poconos Mountains. There are lovely forested areas and a series of three waterfalls following a scenic trail along Dingmans Creek.

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The first waterfall is Factory Falls and is by a historic woolen mill.

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Then the 56-foot Fulmer Falls that drops into a semi-circular rock pool then continues

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downstream to the Dear Leap Falls. There are lookout points along the way.

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The Tyler Arboretum is close to Philadelphia and located on a private estate once established in 1681 by the Minshall/Painter/Tyler family. There are lovely gardens all around and a network of trails to hike.

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Children will enjoy the collection of tree houses, magical pathways, bridges, and goblin shacks.

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Deep in the Pocono Mountains, you’ll find Bushkill Falls which is a series of eight lovely waterfalls easily accessed on foot. At Main Falls is a lookout point at which spot the Bushkill Creek tumbles over a 100-foot cliff into a deep pool. To see some of the other falls you can choose to take the Yellow, Blue, or Red Trails.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | February 18, 2019

Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River


The capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg is on the Susquehanna River. It is an interesting city with many things to do and see.

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The Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex includes the Capitol building which is among the most impressive in the U.S and a well-known landmark of the Harrisburg skyline.

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It is a National Historic Landmark and is a 1/3-scale Renaissance-style replica of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy. There are 475 rooms and four floors filled with artwork, statues, murals

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and a grand staircase in the main rotunda which was designed after the one in the Paris Opera House. Free tours are available.

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Stop by the Finance Building next door featuring bronze statues, elaborate scones, and painted murals.


The National Civil War Museum is one of the largest museums dedicated to chronicling the American Civil War. The museum opened in 2001 and is associated with the Smithsonian Institution. You can see displays of war artifacts, weapons, manuscripts, and memorabilia. There are over 21,000 war pieces in the museum archives. The museum has regularly scheduled lecture events.

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The State Museum of Pennsylvania offers a look at Pennsylvania history from the beginning of the Earth and the dinosaur period to modern day. There are many interesting exhibits. You can even learn about the wildlife of the state.

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Among the permanent exhibits is the largest Civil War painting on a single canvas The Battle of Gettysburg: Pickett’s Charge by Peter Frederick Rothermel.

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Fort Hunter Mansion and Park will not only take you back into history but also through a lovely 40-acre park that stretches along the banks of the Susquehanna River.

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You can walk through it on your own or get a guided tour. You can take a look in the Victorian mansion and see what life was like for the affluent in America in 1725. The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are over ten buildings on the site and remnants to see from the Pennsylvania Canal Trail.

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The City Island Complex is a 63-acre island and park in the middle of the Susquehanna River. During the Civil War, it was used by Union soldiers as a resting place before they crossed the river to defend the city from the Confederate Army. It has been discovered that once Iroquois Indian tribes lived here.

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City Island 2-mile-pedestrian bridge connecting with downtown Harrisburg

Today the island is used for entertainment and recreation with attractions like a golf course, ball field, small-scale steam train, a minor-league soccer stadium, batting cages, walking trails and one of the best views of the Harrisburg skyline, particularly at sunset.

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The Whitaker Center for Science and Arts offers visitors three floors with exhibits and experiences ranging from science and movies to live performances of dance, music, and theater. There is an art gallery and entertainment for children. Among the many highlights is a four-story cinema screen that shows Hollywood movies. At the Backstage Studio, you can go behind the scenes of Hollywood movie magic and become a DJ mixing your own music.

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The Susquehanna River is the centerpiece of Harrisburg. The Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat Cruise will get you out on the river. It is one of the only remaining paddle-wheel riverboats in the U.S. The riverboat cruise operates from spring to autumn and departs from City Island. You’ll get an awesome view of the city skyline from the river. The narrated tour will give you an overview of Harrisburg. There are special themed tours like the Murder Mystery Cruise, Wing Night, Live Music excursions or the Maryland Blue Crab Cruise.

There are many bridges crossing the Susquehanna River among them are:

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The Rockville Bridge the longest stone arch bridge in the world

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Railroad Connecting Bridge

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Harvey Taylor Bridge

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The Susquehanna Art Museum is located in the Keystone Trust Building. It sits in the heart of Midtown Harrisburg with over 20,000 square feet of art space and galleries. It showcases both nationally and internationally known artists. The building has impressive features like the 27-foot high ceilings, marble floors and the 1923 bank vault.

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Take a tour of the John Harris and Simon Cameron Mansion. This is a 250-year-old mansion overlooking the Susquehanna River. The city’s founder John Harris built it in 1766. It was renovated into a Victorian mansion in 1863 by U.S. Senator Simon Cameron who was President Lincoln’s Secretary of War. Today the mansion is home to the Dauphin County Historical Society and open to the public. You can take a guided tour or visit during one of the scheduled public programs.

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Wildwood Park is a 229-acre park and a great place for bird watching.

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Walking along a three-mile paved trail, you can enjoy nature and different species of flora and fauna, a wetlands area, and wildlife. It is also a great place to have a picnic.

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The Pennsylvania National Fire Museum has found its home in an 1899 Victorian-style Fire House with exhibits that highlight the evolution of fire hydrants, fire trucks, and fire alarms. There is horse-drawn equipment on display. One of the highlights is the Gamewell Alarm Room that dates back to the 1800s. It was the fire dispatch console used during the nuclear incident at Three Mile Island in 1979.

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You can walk or bike along the Capital Area Greenbelt Trail. The 20-mile paved surface stretches through Harrisburg and is a great way to see different neighborhoods, It connects with many sightseeing points of interest like the National Civil War Museum. There are also guided tours available.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | February 15, 2019

Historic Philadelphia


Philadelphia is the largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and is known for its rich history.

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Liberty Bell Pavilion in the U.S. the liberty bell is a symbol of freedom and independence. In the late 19th century this bell went on a tour around the country to inspire a sense of freedom and conquer divisions left by the Civil War. In 1915 the tour was completed in Philadelphia and the liberty bell remained on display. Today it has a prominent home in a pavilion that offers exhibits and videos about its history.

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Independence Hall previously served as the State House of the Colony of Pennsylvania and is the place where the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress met here again eleven years later to write the U.S. Constitution.

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The highlight here is the Assembly Hall, where the Continental Congress met, the Declaration of Independence was signed and where George Washington was chosen as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. It is located opposite the Liberty Bell Pavilion in Independence National Historic Park.

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Independence National Historic Park is home to such famous sites as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Pavilion.

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To the north of the park, you’ll find Independence Mall dating from 1948. On the east side is the National Museum of American Jewish History.

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There is also the Ben Franklin Museum.

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art is home to one of the largest collections of art in the U.S. It is a neo-Classical building with a broad set of stairs. These stairs were immortalized by Sylvester Stallone in his triumphant run up them in the movie “Rocky”.

Here you can view Renaissance and Baroque artwork and art of the 18th and 19th centuries. There is a collection of 20th-century European art. American art is represented by Philadelphia artists Thomas Eakins, Charles Wilson Peale, and others. You’ll also find Asian art.

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The Eastern State Penitentiary was built in 1829 with the idea to rehabilitate criminals through solitary confinement. It was considered to be the world’s most expensive and high-tech prison. Some of its most notorious guests were Willie Sutton and Al Capone.

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You can see Capone’s cell as it was during his stay. The prison closed its doors in 1971 and opened again as a museum. Tours of the facility are available.

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Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum offers a collection of American Art from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries including artwork by early American artists through to Andy Warhol. The museum is housed in a National Historic Landmark building and is part of theFine Arts Academy. It also exhibits artwork by the students of the academy. The academy is known for being the oldest of its kind in the U.S.

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The Barnes Foundation was established by Dr. Albert Barnes and houses some of the world’s biggest collections of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, among them the world’s largest collection of Renoir artwork and most Cezanne artwork than in France. There is also a large collection of African sculpture. It is free of charge on the first Sunday of the month and monthly on the first Friday visitors can view artwork in the evening, attend lectures and enjoy live music and refreshments.

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The Please Touch Museum is a great place for children. It is an interactive museum where children can learn through play. There is a kid-sized city with costumes so they can see how it is in various professions. Many other exhibitions delight children. They can explore the garden where the museum café grows its produce.

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Outside is also the Dentzel Carousel in nearby Woodside Park.

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The Philadelphia Zoo is home to many different animals from all over the world. The zoo is active in wildlife conservation and rehabilitation. An amazing habitat is the Big Cat Falls where the world’s largest cats can roam among plants and waterfalls and can explore the park through a system of tunnels which go under other habitats.

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The African Plains is home to animals like giraffes, hippos, and a white rhinoceros.

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Outback Post is home to the wildlife of Australia including kangaroos and emus. Other habitats include Bear Country and the Carnivore Kingdom where you can see dwarf mongooses and the red panda. At Monkey Junction you can see two pairs of spider monkeys. The mammal house is home to nocturnal residents.

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Rodin Museum has around 100 works by famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Among them plasters, bronzes, and marbles of some of Rodin’s most famous masterpieces.

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In the outdoor sculpture garden, you can see some of his best-known artwork including The Thinker

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and his seminal work, The Gates of Hell.

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The Franklin Institute Science Museum is a creative museum that is a tribute to scientist Benjamin Franklin.

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It has a huge marble statue of a seated Franklin in one of the large halls. This is one of several museums under on rook and has displays of many of Franklin’s own experiments. Visitors have the opportunity to try their own experiments in different fields. Here you’ll also find an IMAX Theater and the Fels Planetarium.

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Fairmount Park is a lovely park that lies along the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek. It is home to the Philadelphia Zoo, the Roding Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art

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and the Japanese House and Garden. There are gardens to explore, ball fields, swimming pools, tennis courts, hiking paths, picnic areas, and playgrounds. The park is a National Historic Landmark. It is one of the nation’s first parks that was created to be both a public green space and a watershed protection area.

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Philadelphia’s City Hall is the largest municipal building in the U.S. It was built on solid granite and supports a 548-foot tower, which is the world’s tallest masonry structure without a steel frame.

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At the top of the tower is a 27-ton statue of William Penn and at his feet is an observation deck offering fantastic views of the city. Below is a fountain, lawns, and a café. You can get guided tours of the City Hall and observation deck.

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Society Hill Historic District is an interesting neighborhood with 18th-century buildings, restored warehouses, new homes, colonial homes, and apartments. Attractions here include Washington Square,

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the Polish American Cultural Center and Museum,

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Old St. Mary’s Church,

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the Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church and

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the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Library.

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In Washington Square, you’ll find the

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution, with an eternal flame. It is the only tomb in America erected to the memory of the unknown Revolutionary War soldiers.

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