This year has brought a lot of stress, and this week—although vitally important—holds an election that will ignite emotional feelings, and stress. That can be a lot for anyone, and we all deserve a bit of a break when it comes to being so swept up in the problems and obstacles 2020 has thrust upon not just the whole country, but the world.
To give yourself and your loved ones a break, there are a few weekend getaway options that Philadelphians to look into to give themselves a much-needed vacation that’s safe and fun for everyone.
Souderton is a destination that is centrally located 30 miles from Philadelphia, Allentown and central New Jersey, making it the ideal day trip for those living in the area that want to get away without all the packing that comes with a long journey. The town, which was dubbed one of four “Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia” by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission features both indoor and outdoor activities for Philadelphians to check out.
Many of the buildings and homes throughout Souderton still feature original construction and unique architectural styles and designs including a restored cigar factory built in 1901, now a popular art gallery called Exhibit B Gallery. There are also a few eateries that take note of the unique atmosphere including an innovative restaurant housed in a repurposed century-old train station, Northbound.
The Univest Museum is also a reported “must-see.” According to a release, The site of the museum is the 140-years-plus banking company’s first building, and on top of that, another historic landmark, repurposed and slated to open this month is the historic Broad Theater. The Theater is being fully revamped as a three-screen independent movie theater showing a mix of first-run, classic, and independent film.
Souderton Business Improvement District has also taken this time during the pandemic to amp up its arts scene to provide entertainment for people and a space for creative expression with so many arts and outlets halted due to COVID-19. Through their recent art project completed over the summer, Souderton Headline Murals, the town featured eight local artists who painted recycled newspaper boxes. The original plan was to place printed maps in each of the boxes, but that idea was altered to include a QR code that visitors can use to access the maps on mobile devices instead amidst the pandemic.
Visitors also have an opportunity to check out the Souderton Public Art Walking Tour to discover unique murals and public art hidden throughout Souderton, including the latest, the Chestnut Street Mural (Sol/Luna), created by artist Harry Boardman. Visitors can download the Souderton Mobile Towns App from the iTunes Store or Google Play and get connected to the entire Souderton community, from products and services, to events and entertainment, plus eateries and retail (with about two dozen choices ranging from a variety of cuisines and offerings.)
Catskills and Finger Lakes
Those who wish to enjoy the Fall foliage and hike instead, can head three-to-four hours outside of the city to New York state at the Catskills and Finger Lakes.
The Catskills feature a few different activities including foliage forest immersions with Plattekill State Forest which spans over 1,700 acres of wildlife and the 19-mile Catskills Scenic Trail. Visitors can also check out the Pepacton Reservoir with over 5,700 acres of fishing, or take scenic sky rides and ziplines at Hunter Mountain. Afterward, travelers can also wind down with a small-batch heirloom apple cider in a cozy barn, followed by a trip to West Kill Brewing—a 127-acre history family-owned dairy farm transformed into a local brewery serving sweet brews infused with maple sap and freshly harvested honey from on-site hives.
Lastly, those who head to the Catskills can also book their own private retreat for the ultimate getaway. According to the release, The Roxbury at Stratton Falls offers its own private waterfall trail and the ultimate private escape within its Tower Cottages. In between enjoying the individual designs of the seven cottages —including the brand-new Faerie Forest featuring floor-to-ceiling trees, rock ledges ascending up the walls, plus the new exclusive, private trail leading to the millennia-old Stratton Falls in the property’s backyard, where the wonder stands as tall as 50 feet.
The Finger Lakes has its own appeal with Forested Glamp Site Retreats. Visitors can visit a 140-year-old winery on Hemlock Lake with a newly-debuted private glamping site, Eagle Crest Vineyards. Eagle Crest features outdoor showers, plush queen-sized beds and private decks all steps away from the tasting room where visitors can sip on wild-fermented Finger Lakes wines. Firelight Camps also offer a “glamped” up experience with at La Tourelle Resort & Spa, guests can indulge in fireside s’more kits made from scratch and hang out in the woods with complimentary lanterns while sipping on fall whiskey cocktails and campfire margaritas.
Finger Lakes also offers scenic hikes and views. Philadelphians who head out to the New York area can hike to the towering 400-ft waterfall (higher than Niagara Falls) at Taughannock Falls State Park or retreat to Watkins Glen State Park—home to a path winding over and under 19 waterfalls.