A Local’s Guide to Philadelphia

Lounging space at Philadelphia’s Spruce Street Harbor Park

Lounging space at Philadelphia’s Spruce Street Harbor Park

Philadelphia is a city of a several personalities. On the one hand, it is a purely urban destination. One the other, it is a colonial masterpiece and a cornerstone of American history. It is a unique combination of elegance and raw urbanity. Exploring Philly with my good friend Valerie, who grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, offered me insights to the East Coast American city—and also ended up surprising both of us. Upon exploring the city I came to the conclusion that Philadelphia is really cool and layered with different histories creating an experience similar to New York, but with a less intense visitor requirement quota.

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Have a Dream Vacation in the Poconos

People sit at benches set among the trees

People sit at benches set among the trees

We’re all looking for the perfect vacation. The dream is a no-brainer. It’s finding the spot to fit the dream that takes some time and patience. Well, I have some good news for you. I’ve found the dream spot for you: the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Exploring the Poconos is about discovering all the things you want and learning even more you didn’t know existed. Think 2,400 square miles of relaxing, rebooting, and engaging with the great outdoors.

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Magic and Charm in Philadelphia

Intricate mosaic at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Intricate mosaic at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

I’ve been to Philadelphia a few times since it’s an easy train ride from my home in New York City, but my most recent trip was by far the most fun. A girlfriend and I decided to take a quick, last-minute trip down backpacker-style. With no heavy luggage in tow and just a short time to prepare, we played everything by ear, skipped all of the major tourist sites—and had the best time. Here’s a rundown of what we saw and did.

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American History on Display in Philadelphia

Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Philadelphia. Philly. The City of Brotherly Love. Whatever you call it, Philadelphia has a lot to offer travelers. The largest city in Pennsylvania—and the second largest city on the East Coast—was founded in 1682 by William Penn with intent for it to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia’s refined age is reflected throughout the city, in the intricately designed buildings and in curved roads carved by horses hooves and coach wheels.

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Serenity Outside of New York City

The Lake at Woodlach

Just a short, two-hour ride from New York City, nestled back in a beautiful tree-surrounded lake view setting, the harried New Yorker seeking escape can find refuge at The Lodge at Woodloch—a destination spa.

My three-night getaway at Woodloch exceeded my expectations, and the whole experience was extremely impressive. I was with two others, my mom and a client. We arrived and were greeted by an incredibly friendly staff. This tastefully decorated resort has 58 beautiful rooms while the lodge itself has a warm vibe, with dark woods, fabrics, and beautiful artwork.

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