Sitting here ending the last unofficial day of summer has me thinking back over all the fun my family managed to pack into one summer. It all started with the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day Weekend, when my husband and I embarked on a last minute trip to Utah. Being last minute, we relied heavily on the advice of our friends who live out there to guide us on what sites to see. And oh what sites there are to see out there- I don’t even think we got to see a fraction of the awesomeness that state holds. It really got me to thinking though, what local attractions would I send my Utah friends to see if they were sightseeing around here? I’m talking about the hidden gems… not the tourist traps like the Hershey Park or The Liberty Bell-which consequently my friend from Utah has been to see more times than I have. But rather the unique places that offer a slice of life experience that will leave you with a little more knowledge than you had when you arrived.
We came across a few of these places in our travels this summer that I thought I’d share.
Lucy the Elephant is included in the National Park Registry of Historical Landmarks. She is six stories high and located in Margate, NJ. There are tours that run daily and a gift shop. It’s a great destination to break up the beach days or just to spend some time on a not so beachy day. And seriously, where else can you walk through an elephant?
Northbrook Canoe is a local gem offering canoe, kayak and tubing trips along the Brandywine River, located in the heart of Chester County, PA. They accept reservations for all these trips and bus you to the start of your journey. From there you can take your leisurely time to travel on the river and enjoy all the views along the way. We did the canoes and I must admit in my mind I was pretending to be an Native American traveling the waterways of Chester County. It was some serious fun and everyone had a blast! Wish I could back this story us with some pictures but alas I was afraid of getting the camera wet
Mercer Museum is a history museum of everyday life in America during the 18th and 19th centuries (pre-Industrial Revolution). There are 55 rooms and alcoves where these objects are displayed. And not just any rooms and alcoves, the building itself is an impressive six story concrete castle which leads to a very unique exploration experience. It also had a “hunt” built in for the kids in order to hold their attention. I am totally going back here with my husband to explore more in depth. There is also Fonthill Castle, Mercer’s home, which I would like to visit next time as well. I really have no excuse as to why I didn’t bring my camera to this one… major fail on my part. I promise pics on my return trip.
Whether you are local to the area or visiting from afar these are definitely some unique and entertaining spots to spend some time. So my list has begun and I will be prepared in case of out of town guests. What spots would you add to such a list?