Oktoberfest And Pierogipalooza In Bethlehem Pennyslvania

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Autumn brings with it pumpkin spice, chilly evenings, apple picking, farmers markets, and of course Oktoberfest. It is held every year in Bavaria Germany as a folk festival running from late September to early October. It is such a huge part of the culture, and has actually been held since 1810. An enormous amount of beer is typically consumed, and the Germans enjoy traditional foods, amusement rides, and various games. In Pennsylvania, I have really started to see the Oktoberfest theme start to be more prevalent in restaurants, and various festivals as well. This year we happened to see that Bethlehem Pennsylvania was holding an Oktoberfest with a Pierogipalooza, so we definitely knew that we would have to check it out!

Bethlehem Oktoberfest

Before I even start to talk about the activites and delicious food at this venue, you will want to know a little about the history of Bethlehem Pennsylvania, where these events were held. This particular area was a center of trade and industry during the industrial revolution in the United States. Bethlehem Steel was a leader in American manufacturing and was a major supplier in both World Wars providing armor plates and 1,100 war ships. The company ran from 1857 to 2003 and has truly had an impact on a global level. If you are interested in learning more about this crucial period in history, you will want to check out the area and visit the The National Museum of Industrial History located right in Bethlehem by the Steel Stacks. I know personally, it is important to really understand the history of an area to get that perspective and also to really learn about the people and places in it.

Bethlehem Pennsylvania
Bethlehem Pennsylvania
Bethlehem Steel Stacks

After we parked our car (the area has a decent sized parking lot which is amazing for a venue) we noticed that there were two different areas set up for Oktoberfest and Pierogipalooza. We decided to check out the pierogies first and see what flavors they had. My husband and I are super fans of pierogies and it is one of our favorite dishes to make too, so we were interested in seeing the variety that they had.

Buffalo Chicken Pierogi
Jalapeno Pierogi

So, Oktoberfest was the central area of the festival, and then on the outside of it, there were different stands set up to pick up the pierogies. We were excited to see that there was ample seating with tables as well, so that after we picked them up we could relax for it a bit. The flavors available were loaded baked potato, buffalo chicken, jalapeno popper, philly cheesesteak, reuben, and sweet potato pie with maple and marshmallow. They were all so good! My two personal favorites were the buffalo chicken and the sweet potato pierogis, although I would definitely eat them all again.

Reuben Pierogi
Sweet Potato Pie Maple Marshmallow Pierogi
Ample Seating Was Provided For Pierogipalooza (You Can See The Reflection Of The Steel Stacks In The Window Too!)

After we sampled the pierogis, we headed over to the main Oktoberfest area. As we entered, there were sweet greeters and they gave us maps of the different areas. I liked how they did have people to talk to in case if we had any questions. The festival was outside, but there were a lot of tented areas and little shops that lined the path. There were also bathrooms available if needed. (Another very important fact you should know before going to a venue or event!)

Bethlehem Oktoberfest
Sweet Treats At Bethlehem Oktoberfest

I thought it was really neat how many games that were going on as well. Right away we noticed a huge crowd around a line of people holding beer. I later found out that this is called “Steinholding” and is a traditional Bavarian contest where you have to hold a full one-liter beer stein as long as you can. The ladies holding the contest reported that there was a person that had held his beer for 12 minutes, and honestly that seemed very impressive because after watching the contest, it appeared that most of the people were out by 2 minutes. Unfortunately, we did not see it, but apparently, they also have “The Pennsylvania State Steinholding Championship” here as well.

Bethlehem Oktoberfest
Bethlehem Oktoberfest
Bethlehem Oktoberfest

There was also axe throwing, weiner dog races (dachshunds), a weiner dog parade, live music, beer gardens, and lots of areas to get traditional German food and snacks. There was also a very cool glass blowing area and shop set up that we were watching for awhile. It was called the Hot Glass experience by Arts Quest a glass studio. Their creations were simply magnificent, and the artists were so talented. They also have classes if you are interested in learning glass blowing yourself at the Bethlehem Banana Factory Art Center, and I will leave a link at the bottom of the blog if you want to check that out.

Bethlehem Oktoberfest Axe Throwing
Bethlehem Oktoberfest Axe Throwing
Art Quest Glass Studio At Bethlehem Oktoberfest

The Oktoberfest event spanned over several weekends, so there were a lot of other events as well, these are just some of the things that we saw when we went. In general as well, there are so many activities to do if you are traveling to Bethlehem Pennsylvania from the Christmas Market, historical tours, music concerts, amazing restaurants, a great shopping district, and even a casino (Wind Creek Bethlehem.) Location wise, we are pretty lucky too, because it is literally just about an hour and a half drive from Philly, so it would be an awesome day trip spot too if you are staying here as well.

Bethlehem Oktoberfest

Let me know in the comments if you have visited the Bethlehem Oktoberfest or Pierogipalooza and what you thought of it. I will also leave links for the events, and other blogs about this spectacular and unique area as well, so make sure you check those out. I hope you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

https://www.steelstacks.org/festivals/oktoberfest/

https://bethlehempa.org

https://www.bananafactory.org

https://northeastallie.com/2020/12/02/bethlehem-christmas-market/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/03/09/bethlehem-steel-stacks/

Northeast Allie Restaurant Review-Brick & Brew

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The Brick & Brew Restaurants are one of our absolute favorite spots to go in the Philadelphia area. We have been frequenting there for several years, and every time that we do visit, we are always amazed. We have also recommended this restaurant to our family and friends because we know that they will have a great experience. I feel like that is a solid testament to a restaurant! They do have several locations in Havertown, Malvern, and Media, so if you are in Philadelphia or the surrounding areas, it should not be too far of a drive distance wise.

Brick & Brew Menu

Also, as a side note, all opinions and thoughts in this blog post are my own, and I am not affiliated with Brick & Brew at all. I actually will only write about a restaurant if I really enjoy it because I want my readers to have a great experience! I only recommend places that I truly feel are of a great quality. For this particular post, we will be exploring the Havertown Brick & Brew.

Brick & Brew

The first thing we noticed as we walked up to this establishment was the gorgeous building itself, and also the nicely decorated exterior. We visited the restaurant in early October on a day when the breeze felt warm and just really comfortable. If you are from the Philadelphia area, you know exactly what I mean. It was one of those delightful early autumn evenings where the weather feels perfect. As my husband put our name in for a table we sat outside for a little bit on their patio and just took in the ambiance. We felt super lucky, because, even though it seemed really busy, we actually were seated not long after.

Lovely Patio At Brick & Brew

One thing that you will notice when you enter the restaurant is that they truly know how to decorate. It is so beautiful and unique inside the building, and I honestly have never seen anything like it. When we were greeted, the staff was also amazing, kind, and very positive. This place has the whole package!

We Love The Speakeasy Vibe Going On At Brick And Brew!

Once we were seated we checked out the menu and ordered drinks. They have very unique beverage choices and a huge selection. On their menu it states “Our mixologists have brought years of training and experience to you with his incredibly delicious array of cocktails-from classics such as the Sazerac to our award winning Whiskey Sour.” They truly do have an expansive drink menu to partake from.

In the past, we have enjoyed their “Hand-Crafted Cocktails,” and they are amazing, but this time I ordered a non -alcoholic Virgin Speakeasy. It was so good and refreshing and some of the ingredients listed in it was their signature pink lemonade, lemon juice, hibiscus syrup, basil, and more. (I will not give away the full drink ingredients, you will have to visit there yourself to try it out!) Also my husband is absolutely obsessed with pumpkin beer, so he ordered the “Southern Tier Pumpking Imperial Pumpkin Ale” that they had at the time. I am sure that this list most likely changes seasonally, so I am not sure if they will have this item every time, but they do have an impressive list to choose from.

Brick & Brew

Brick & Brew always has very tasty specials every week as well, so you will want to check those out. I am going to be honest, for our whole meal that we ordered, we picked all of our items off this list! As reference, at the time we went, you can find their specials on the first pages of the menu when you open it up. They also change up the specials a lot which is pretty awesome. For our appetizer, we ordered the “BFFS Pulled Pork Nachos.” This dish had the most perfect nachos topped with smoked pulled pork, shredded monterey yellow and jack cheese, red onion, cilantro, pico de gallo, and a bacon bbq sauce. We were in heaven, it was so good!

Brick & Brew

For our entrees, we both decided on “The Pat and Bob’s Burger.” The only difference between them was that I ordered fries, and my husband the chips (of course house made.) These delectable burgers had a roasted jalapeno spread, a chorizo onion confit, beefsteak tomato, aged provolone, and rocket arugula. Oh my word, they were delicious! In addition to this, at the time that we went, they had so many additional entrees to choose from. They had an expansive salad list, sandwiches (a personal favorite from other trips is the short rib grilled cheese, so good), wood fired pizzas, cast iron classics, and other items as well that their creative and talented chefs have made. Whatever you order, you can tell that the food is a labor of love, and you will want to keep coming back to try all of their dishes!

Although we were pretty full, we did save room for dessert. We went with the “Harper’s Waffle Cheesecake.” This delightful treat had an oreo waffle, chocolate mousse, passionfruit caramel, chocolate sprinkles, vanilla ice cream, and confectioner sugar. Hands down, this is one of the best desserts I have ever had.

Dessert At Brick & Brew

I really hope that you enjoy this review. It is my joy on this site to highlight local businesses that are exceptional to the Philadelphia area. One of the reasons this blog exists is to showcase these spectacular places in the Northeast region because it is so important that we support these local establishments.

A Quick Picture I Took From The Menu That Elaborates On Brick & Brew’s Beginnings

If you are traveling or live in the Philadelphia area, you will definitely want to check this place out! I will link their website to the bottom of this post as well. Let me know in the comments if you have also gone to Brick & Brew and what your experience was like there. Also, remember to click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!

https://www.bricknbrewpub.com/havertown

https://northeastallie.com/2020/11/18/unique-british-restaurants-to-visit-in-the-philadelphia-area/

Gullfoss Falls Iceland

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Our second stop on the epic Icelandic “Golden Circle Tour” was to the Gullfoss Falls. The area consists of two waterfalls, that are an upper and a lower waterfall. The name of it is translated to “Golden Falls” in English. It is true that the water itself does have a golden hue to it. This happens since it flows from glaciers and does contain sediment within it from their movement. Scientists estimate that the falls were formed during or soon after the mid-Ice Age. The location of Gullfoss is about a two hour drive from Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik.

Gullfoss Falls
Gullfoss Falls

I definitely heard it before I saw the waterfall, and after we walked up to the overlook area, you can see why. Massive amounts of water flows from it, at a super powerful speed! The time of year does effect the amount of water in the falls. In the summer months the water speed can average at 459 cubic feet (140 cubic meters) per second, while the winter water slows to around 358 cubic feet (109 cubic meters) per second. Honestly, either time that you visit, it flows very fast if you ask me!

Gullfoss Falls

I would recommend bringing a light jacket or raincoat with you on this visit, because at times with the wind, it can kick up the mist a little bit. Also, during winter travel, sometimes ice can form on the walking path, so I would recommend wearing boots or sturdy shoes for your visit as well. The two tiered waterfalls are located in the canyon called Gullfossgjufur.

Gullfossgjufur Canyon

As someone that appreciates land conservation, I was very interested to find out a piece of history from this region that every environmentalist will enjoy. In the early 1900s, an English businessman Howell, was very interested in forming a hydroelectric plant off of Gullfoss because of the massive amounts of energy it created. The then land owner, Tomas Tomasson, did decline offers to buy the area and famously quoted “I will not sell my friend!” Howell was very persistent, and eventually did end up leasing land from Tomasson, and tried to find loopholes to continue his plans.

Gullfoss Falls

Sigridur Tomassdottir, Tomas Tomasson’s daughter, took action into her own hands to prevent this gorgeous land from being used, and hired a lawyer to stop Howell. The case and legal battle went on for years, and it was known that Sigridur would travel by foot back and forth to Reykjavik (which is about 62 miles or 100 kilometers.) She famously said that if construction on the site would begin, she would throw herself into the waterfall. Through her persistence and courage, in 1929, Howell eventually gave up and withdrew from the lease with his own costs in this legal battle rising up.

Gullfoss Falls

Sigridur is recognized today as Iceland’s first environmentalist, and is one of the most famous and prominent people in its history. From traveling there, I can tell you that the citizens of this beautiful land take great joy in keeping it safe, and that is a viewpoint that I believe we can really think about and implement in our daily lives. When we work together to help our environment and Earth, wonderful things can happen from this. It really does make a difference and start with every one of us.

Gullfoss Falls

Let me know in the comments if you have ever visited the majestic Gullfoss Falls, and what your experience was like there as well. This would honestly be a fantastic day trip from Reykjavik, and is a must see location in my opinion. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

https://visiticeland.com

https://guidetoiceland.is/travel-iceland/drive/gullfoss

https://northeastallie.com/2021/09/28/why-you-should-visit-thingvellir-national-park/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/09/21/the-magnificent-landscapes-of-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/09/13/a-day-trip-to-the-jokulsarlon-glacial-lagoon-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/31/hiking-the-kerid-volcanic-crater-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/24/exploring-a-lava-tunnel-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/17/magical-vik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/21/exploring-reykjavik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/27/the-spectacular-landmarks-of-reykjavik/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/13/a-journey-to-reykjavik-iceland/

Why You Should Visit Thingvellir National Park

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If you are traveling to Iceland, one of the most popular tours that you will hear about is the Golden Circle Tour. Typically, the first stop on this tour is usually the Thingvellir National Park. If you are staying in Reykjavik, it is about a 45 minute drive, which is pretty close location wise.

Thingvellir National Park

We were super excited to check this location out because one of our favorite activities in the States is to hike in parks,(this is why I have so many travel guides about parks) so we were definitely eager to do this in Iceland. Also, we had seen clips of this area on one of our favorite shows “Game Of Thrones.” For your reference, this location was used in the filming of season 1 with Caitlyn Stark and her group, and also in season 4 with the Hound and Arya Stark. Another cool fact is that Lake Thingvallavatn (which is Iceland’s largest natural lake in the southern part of the park) was utilized by Arya when she leaves Westeros for Braavos.

Thingvellir National Park

Besides being a location for a hit show, there is so much history in this park for the early development of Iceland itself. In 874, the Norse began to settle in Iceland, seeking a refuge from the harsh rule of King Harald Fairhair. Since there were many clans that had arrived on this island district assemblies were formed to improve on relations with another. Eventually, the country created a general assembly, so that citizens could live together in peace. This early development of an Icelandic government was their own version of a representative parliament in response to monarchy, and was years ahead of many other countries developing one. The location of this government was originally in the Thingvellir National Park.

The Iceland Flag At Thingvellir National Park

One topic that I have talked about a lot in this Iceland series is how the country was formed from the separation of the North American and Eurasian Plates. The very cool thing about this park is that it is literally on the divide. There is a rift valley in the park, and it divides the two plates.

Thingvellir National Park

In addition to being an excellent place for hiking, there is also snorkeling and diving in the ravine of Silfra. You will want to check first before going to see if there are any updated certification or logging hours that you will need to attain to do this activity. Also, even though we did not see any, apparently there are also artic fox and mink that reside in the region, so you will want to keep an eye on that.

Thingvellir National Park

Thingvellir National Park is truly spectacular, and has such a unique landscape and nature perspectives. As a side note, visitors will want to make sure not touch or interfere with these natural elements in the park such as the lava rock. It is very important that we respect the land, nature, and the creatures that call this place their home. If you are on the trail do not go off of it and explore. It is important for the travelers safety to stay on it in addition to preserving the land. Also, the Icelandic society as a whole truly cherishes the environment, and I think this is something that every country can work on as well and do better with. We have to respect our Earth, and make choices even in our day to day life that will positively impact and enable it to flourish.

Let me know in the comments if you have traveled to this unique place, and also what you have thought of it! I hope you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

https://www.thingvellir.is/en

https://guidetoiceland.is/connect-with-locals/jorunnsg/ingvellir-national-park/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/09/21/the-magnificent-landscapes-of-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/09/13/a-day-trip-to-the-jokulsarlon-glacial-lagoon-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/31/hiking-the-kerid-volcanic-crater-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/24/exploring-a-lava-tunnel-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/17/magical-vik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/27/the-spectacular-landmarks-of-reykjavik/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/21/exploring-reykjavik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/13/a-journey-to-reykjavik-iceland/

The Magnificent Landscapes Of Iceland

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After we arrived in Iceland from the Keflavik International Airport, I instantly knew that we were somewhere truly spectacular. As the bus meandered down the roads to Reykjavik, all that you can see for miles and miles were these gorgeous lava fields. This makes a lot of sense because Iceland was formed from the North American and Eurasian Plates drifting apart which created a series of active volcanoes that eventually made the island.

Lava Fields In Iceland

Our bus driver had a twinkle in their eye when they mentioned the folklore surrounding these lava fields and rock formations. It is thought that the huldufolk (hidden people) can live within some of the fields, and there have been stories, myths, and legends in Iceland for many centuries about them.

Lava Fields In Iceland

In addition to the lava fields that are very present on the island, there are some of the most expansive cliffs and mountains, as well as geysers and hot springs. Also, in many areas, on top of the mountains you can see glaciers as well.

Iceland
Iceland
Iceland

In addition to the natural beauty of the land, I found it to be most inspiring how the people living there truly cherished it. Even when we talked to the locals, it was amazing how they took great lengths to take care of and protect the region. It was amazing to learn that geothermal energy powers the area, as to not make as much pollution.

Farmland In Iceland
Iceland
Iceland
Geyser In Iceland

If you are interested in learning more about how they use this energy source, you will want to visit the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant. There are exhibitions, instillations, presentations, and guided tours as well. I can promise you that you will be very moved after seeing the great lengths that these individuals are taking to preserve the land around them. It brings to light that if we all work together to help the Earth, there really can be positive changes.

Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant Iceland

Let me know if you have traveled to Iceland, and what you thought of the landscape, land, and climate there as well! I hope that you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

Iceland

https://guidetoiceland.is.travel-iceland/drive/the-geothermal-energy-exhibition

https://visiticeland.com

https://northeastallie.com/2021/09/13/a-day-trip-to-the-jokulsarlon-glacial-lagoon-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/31/hiking-the-kerid-volcanic-crater-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/24/exploring-a-lava-tunnel-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/17/magical-vik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/21/exploring-reykjavik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/13/a-journey-to-reykjavik-iceland/

A Day Trip To The Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon In Iceland

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One of my favorite adventures in Iceland was going to the Glacier Lagoon! We used the Gray Line Tour Bus when we went, and it is about five hours away from the capital of Reykjavik to give you an idea of how long it takes to get there. This was one of the coolest (literally) things that we did in Iceland, and an excellent day trip to do as well.

The Glacial Lagoon

We went during the summer months, so I did not pack a lot of coats or jackets for this trip (although I am known to over pack) but for this excursion you will want to wear something warm. Initially, I was just going to wear a sweater, but my husband found this humorous and noted that we were going to visit glaciers and if our surroundings were that cold, we would most likely be as well. Although I always enjoy his humor, there is definitely truth in that statement, and I do not regret wearing wool socks, warm pants, and a thick coat over my sweater. If you catch my drift here, you will want to bundle up!

The Glacial Lagoon

As the tour bus drew closer to the lagoon, we noticed that the mountains surrounding the area were beginning to become very white with thick glaciers. It was a change from the warm sunlit days in Reykjavik, and it is amazing how much the climate can differ, depending on where you are going in Iceland.

Glaciers On The Mountains

As we approached the lagoon, we noticed that the waters had a soft turquoise hues to them, and really brought out colors in the icebergs. In the distance, across the waters, you can see the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. The retreat of this glacier is how the formation of the lagoon has come to be, and the icebergs within it are estimated to be over a thousand years old.

The Glacial Lagoon

Safety is something that the people working in the glacial lagoon took very seriously, and when you enter you see several signs that tell you the dangers of not using caution in this area. You are urged not to step onto the ice and that there can be dangerous currents in the water as well. This makes sense because the water is connected to the ocean and is composed of the combination of fresh and sea water. On a more positive note, marine life is teeming in this environment, and seals are very present. My husband noted that he even saw one swimming between the icebergs which is so amazing! So if you are traveling to this location, that is something to look out for! If you have them, it may be nice to bring binoculars as well for these viewpoints.

Safety Signs At The Glacial Lagoon
Safety Signs At The Glacial Lagoon

There is a small beachy type area that guests can walk on by the waterline, and really take in the size and beauty of the lagoon. I also noticed in some spots that there were very large ice pieces that drifted to the land, and they were so pretty!

Ice On The Beach Area Of The Glacial Lagoon

When we made it over to the boat tour our tour guide was amazing and first took us through safety measures (everyone wore a life jacket) and reviewed how crucial it was to use precautions on the boat. She also told us amazing facts about the wildlife and environment as well. We found out that at the time we went, the water went to a depth of 248 meters (about 813 feet) deep, which actually makes it one of Iceland’s deepest lakes.

The Glacial Lagoon
The Glacial Lagoon

In addition to the tour boats, there were smaller vessels going about the waters, and at one point, a small boat brought us over a small piece of ice from the lagoon, and those daring enough could even eat a small piece. It was a very fun and educational experience. The boat went fairly close to many of the icebergs, and provided some spectacular vantage perspectives.

The Glacial Lagoon

When the tour was done, we felt like we truly learnt so much about this area, glaciers, and more of its history as well. It is not too far from Reykjavik, and I think it is a great spot to travel to if you are in Iceland for a really unique day trip experience. Let me know in the comments if you have traveled to this location, and what you thought of it as well. I hope you are having a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

https://visiticeland.com/

https://grayline.is/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/17/magical-vik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/31/hiking-the-kerid-volcanic-crater-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/24/exploring-a-lava-tunnel-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/27/the-spectacular-landmarks-of-reykjavik/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/21/exploring-reykjavik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/13/a-journey-to-reykjavik-iceland/

The Glacial Lagoon

Hiking The Kerid Volcanic Crater In Iceland

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When we were in Iceland, because we were not familiar with the area, we did utilize a touring company (Gray Line, they were amazing and I will link their site below) for the beginning of the trip to kind of get a feeling for the region. Once we felt more secure about our location, we did rent a car and explore a bit on our own. One place that we noticed driving by initially on the tour bus was the expansive Kerid Volcanic Crater, so once we did have the car this was our first stop!

The Kerid Volcanic Crater

As you can tell from other posts, we really love nature, hiking, and exploring the land. The Kerid Crater seemed like the perfect day trip spot, and it did not disappoint. As we walked up to the edge of the crater, we noticed that even the landscape around this spot was so beautiful. Mountains were ever present in the distance, and there was a really pretty area full of pine trees too.

The Landscape Around The Kerid Volcanic Crater In Iceland
The Landscape Around The Kerid Volcanic Crater In Iceland
The Landscape Around The Kerid Volcanic Crater In Iceland
The Landscape Around The Kerid Volcanic Crater In Iceland

Once we were standing on the edge of it, the view was really spectacular. This land formation is about 180 feet (50 meters) deep and is about 560 feet (270 meters) wide, so the area is quite large if you think of the scale of it. It is estimated to be about three thousand years old, and is believed to have been a cone volcano that collapsed into an empty magma chamber. The lake at the bottom of it is a gorgeous aquamarine color due to the various minerals in the soil. (As a side note, at the time we went, swimming was not allowed, but the views and the hike definitely make it worth it!)

The Kerid Volcanic Crater
The Kerid Volcanic Crater In Iceland
The Kerid Volcanic Crater

Once we had walked around the top of it, there is a path that you can walk down that will take you right by the water to look at that more closely as well. When you are by the water, make sure that you look up, and you will see how deep this magma chamber really was at one point! It is interesting that this particular volcanic crater does have red volcanic rock, and this color really shines through with the green moss on it as well.

The Kerid Volcanic Crater
The Kerid Volcanic Crater

This is a really great day trip place to check out, and it is about an hour drive from the capital of Reykjavik. Let me know in the comments if you have also traveled to this location, and what your experience was like as well. Remember to click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!

https://visiticeland.com/

https://grayline.is/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/24/exploring-a-lava-tunnel-in-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/17/magical-vik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/21/exploring-reykjavik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/13/a-journey-to-reykjavik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/27/the-spectacular-landmarks-of-reykjavik/

Exploring A Lava Tunnel In Iceland

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If you love a combination of history, nature, and adventure, you will definitely want to check out the Raufarhólshellir lava tube. It was created from the Leitahraun eruption about 5,200 years ago, and when you go in it, you can actually see its inner workings. We were staying in Reykjavik Iceland, and luckily this location is only about a half an hour away from the capital.

The Lava Tunnel

When we started the tour, our guides went over safety precautions for the lava tube, and they provided hard hats for the day as well. I am really glad that they focused on safety, and although the experience is an adventure, you can tell that they really care about their visitors. I also liked that the whole time that you visit the tunnel there is a clear path that you will stay on and you are with your group and guide the whole time.

The Author And Her Husband Getting Ready For The Tour!

The colors of the tunnel are so beautiful, and the various minerals and metals such as iron create dazzling effects. We had a very cool experience here as well. On the tour, they brought us so far into the earth so that there is no natural light, and for a couple of minutes everyone turned off the lights on their hard hats and you are in complete darkness. There is no light pollution, and you truly are completely in the dark!

Lava Tunnel
Lava Tunnel

Iceland was literally formed by the divergent boundaries of the North American and Eurasian plates, so it was created by volcanoes erupting and creating this beautiful landscape. One notable eruption that has received much news recently was the Fagradalsfjall volcano that suddenly became active in 2020 after 800 years of inactivity. Nature has its own timing it seems, and Iceland truly is the land of fire and ice.

Lava Tunnel

I highly recommend checking out the lava tubes in Iceland, and I will link the one that we went to below. Let me know in the comments if you have gone into the lava tubes, and what you thought of the area as well! I hope that you have a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

https://thelavatunnel.is

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/27/the-spectacular-landmarks-of-reykjavik/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/13/a-journey-to-reykjavik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/21/exploring-reykjavik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/08/17/magical-vik-iceland/

Magical Vik Iceland

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Iceland has many spectacular areas, and the beauty of this place can honestly overwhelm the senses at times. Everywhere you look, it is as if all of the story book pages that you have read long ago were pulled from your thoughts and pushed into reality. I am being completely serious here, and out of all of these gorgeous places, one of the most delightful and magical villages that we visited was Vik.

Vik Iceland

We were on a tour of South Iceland, and we stopped at the town of Vik to see Reynisfjara Beach. Leading up to this stop, I was really very excited, because when we were initially planning our trip, we really wanted to see a black sand beach. Luckily for us, this particular area was known for it. As I stepped out of the bus, the cool sea air greeted me with a sense of welcoming in a refreshing breeze.

Black Sand Beach In Vik
Black Sand Beach In Vik

I had sneakers on, which is not exactly beach apparel, but I did not mind as I ran with joy towards the ocean. The black volcanic sand was lined with smooth rocks, and shined when the sun broke through at times to peak at them. As I reached the waterline, I gazed off into the distance, and noticed towering rock formations known as Reynisdrangar. They are actually remains of basalt sea cliffs, and were even featured on the popular show Game of Thrones in Season 7 “Eastwatch by the Sea.”

Rocky Area In The Black Sand Beach
Vik Iceland

It is also important to remember if you are traveling to this location that the waves can really rise up quick, and it is recommended that people stay at least 30 meters or 98 feet away from the water’s edge. The reasoning behind this is a geographical one since there are not major land regions between Antarctica and Reynisfjara, the waves can utilize the entire length of the Atlantic Ocean to build up. With this information, you will want to use a lot of caution in this area if you are traveling here!

Waves Rolling In At Vik Iceland

There was also an abundance of wildflowers that made their home in this coastal spot. As we gazed at the colors radiating off the blooms, we noticed these immaculate cliffs hugging the area. Upon further inspection we noticed people jumping off them! I had never seen paragliding before in my life, but it is also a popular thing to do if you are visiting Vik and you are feeling adventurous!

Wildflowers In Vik Iceland
A Sweet Bumblebee In Vik
Cliffs And Flower Fields In Vik Iceland
A Paraglider Enjoys The View From The Sky
More Paragliders Taking In The Coastal Views

After we explored the shore line, we made our way back to the tour bus, honestly wishing we had just a little more time to explore. The natural beauty of this spot was like no other, and it would be so nice just to see a little more of the landscape. As we walked back, we noticed our tour group huddling around the back of the bus, and the driver had a small flashlight looking into the guts of the bus engine. As the rest of the group trickled in, he made an announcement that unfortunately we would be stopped here for several hours because something was going on with the bus, and it would need to be fixed.

Much to my surprise, I would say a majority of the people in our group decided that they would wait out these several hours back in the bus. I shot over a comedic and joyful gaze to my husband, and we quickly hiked away from the bus and into the city of Vik. The village of Vik, in full known as Vík í Mýrdal, is the most southern village in Iceland, and is about 110 miles or 180 km southeast of the city of Reykjavik. Currently, it has under a thousand residents, but it is still one of the largest settlements in the area.

Vik Iceland
Vik Iceland

As we walked through the town there were various shops and restaurants. I really liked walking through a Wool Gallery, and there were so many high quality items there from hats and scarves made from wool to even keepsake woolen keychain ornaments! We also found a restaurant Smidjan Brugghus that I recommend as well, and they do have the best burgers, ribs, and hot wings as well as a large variety of brews. If you are vegetarian you are still in luck, because they do carry a delicious vegan burger as well!

A Fantastic Wool Shop In Vik

After we explored the town, we noticed one of the most beautiful churches sitting high on a hill almost floating above the town. We decided to hike up the hill to see this quaint beauty in person. The door appeared to be slightly open, so we walked in. We were greeted by a sweet Icelandic woman who kindly waved us into the open area. Although it was small, the church had its own brilliance and the pale golden hues danced with the radiant reds to create an area of worship that was peaceful, strong, and elegant all at the same time. We thanked the lady in the church, and felt grateful for this opportunity to see a part of the area that is sacred to those that inhabit it. The Reyniskiraja Lutheran Church was built in 1929, and really helped Vik become more of a bustling region in Southern Iceland.

The Reyniskiraja Lutheran Church In Vik Iceland
The Reyniskiraja Lutheran Church In Vik Iceland

As we walked back to the bus, we were so grateful for the opportunity to explore and learn more about this lovely area. I think there is a lesson here as well. Sometimes, even if we do not see it, detours can be a benefit to the journey as a whole, and all these layers really do impact our lives and help us see places in new perspectives.

Vik Iceland
Vik Iceland

I hope that you have enjoyed this little collection of stories and recommendations for Vik Iceland. I highly recommend it to learn more on the Icelandic culture and landscapes if you are making the journey there. Let me know in the comments if you have also traveled here, and what your experience was like as well. Also remember to click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!

https://visiticeland.com/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/13/a-journey-to-reykjavik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/21/exploring-reykjavik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/27/the-spectacular-landmarks-of-reykjavik/

The Spectacular Landmarks Of Reykjavik

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When we were exploring the city of Reykjavik Iceland, we found some of the most gorgeous landmarks, and places very specific to the region that you will want to check out when you are traveling there. I think it makes the most sense to go in the actual order in which we found them, so here we go!

Our first day in Reykjavik, we went right into the city to get a feel for the area. As we walked from our hotel, we passed one of the most interesting and tallest churches I have ever seen, a massive Lutheran church known as Hallgrimskirkja. It is over 240 feet (74.5 meters) high, and you literally see it from many of the areas within the city. It is easy to see that this is an Icelandic church since the building is made from concrete. Iceland is prone to many earthquakes since it was formed from the Eurasian and North American plates separating. You will see many structures in Reykjavik are made with concrete to withstand this constant movement. It does not have an over embellished decorated feel to it, and stands in its own elegance.

Hallgrimskirkja

Next in our travels, we went down to the seaside of central Reykjavik on Saebraut Street and while we were walking noticed this really cool ship sculpture that was delicately reflecting light from the water. This unique art piece is one of the most visited in the capital, and was created by Jon Gunnar Arnason. It is titled the Sun Voyager, and is meant to represent “the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress, and freedom.”

The Sun Voyager

On the same Saebraut Street we stumbled upon a really special monument that celebrates the relationship between Iceland and the United States called “Partnership.” It is meant to commemorate our diplomatic relationship with the country, and our common interests as well. There is an identical “Partnership” sculpture in South Florida. The United States also has also has had a strong military presence in Iceland (the Naval Air Station Keflavik), and the countries stand together in support of democracy, freedom, and human rights.

Partnership Sculpture
Partnership Sculpture

Also, right on the waterfront is the iconic Harpa, which is a concert hall and conference center. This structure is so delightful to look at, and is truly unique. It is shaped by these spectacular glass panels within a steel framework, and let me tell you, the Harpa is one of the most glorious structures that you will ever see. Even from a distance as we were walking up to it, you could see this rainbow of colors dancing in the light from it. The building was designed by the the Henning Larsen Architects in collaboration with artist Olafur Eliasson who is a Danish-Icelandic artist.

The Harpa Concert Hall
Looking Up At The Ceiling From Inside The Harpa
The Beautiful Ceiling Inside The Harpa

A very interesting spot that you will want to also see in Reykjavik is called Pufa. The Pufa was created by the Icelandic artist Olof Nordal, and his vision was to create a relaxing spot in the bustling city for meditation. It is a very large grassy done, with a spiral path leading to the top of it. Once you reach the top, you will find a fishing shed with dried fish, paying homage to Iceland’s history which heavily relied on fishing economically and sustainably as well. I did make the trek to the top of the Pufa, and it was really neat. I liked how the walking path was built right into it, and you feel like a part of it as you make your way up!

Pufa

I always like to find a lighthouse if we are traveling somewhere by the ocean and we found a really cute bright yellow one right on the water at Saebraut Street with pretty views called the Hofdi Lighthouse. It overlooks the Faxafloi Bay and also the volcanic mountain range Esja, which is made from tuff and basalt.

The Hofdi Lighthouse
The Hofdi Lighthouse
Views From The Hofdi Lighthouse

Reykjavik is so full of history, nature perspectives, and interesting landmarks. Let me know in the comments if you have also traveled to this Icelandic destination, and what your experience was like there as well. Remember to click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!

https://visitreykjavik.is/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/13/a-journey-to-reykjavik-iceland/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/21/exploring-reykjavik-iceland/

Exploring Reykjavik Iceland

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Once we were settled in Reykjavik, the first thing that we wanted to do was explore the city itself. The main reason why we decided to lodge in this particular spot in Iceland is because it is the country’s largest city and capital. We figured since we had not traveled to the area before, it would be good to stay in a region that we could go to a store if we needed to fairly quickly. We also liked that we could walk to everything easily, and we could really get a good sense of the city by immersing ourselves in it this way.

Reykjavik Iceland

Our first day there, we put on our walking shoes, and went right to the downtown area. The first thing that really caught my eye were these gigantic boats right on the waterfront. I have seen boats before, but some of the Icelandic boats were on a totally different scale. There was quite a variety too, from fishing boats, commercial boats, sailing boats, recreational boats, and tourism boats as well. They looked very sturdy, strong, and able to sail the Northern Atlantic Ocean with ease. Culturally, this area historically has also relied a lot on boating and fishing as a source of food, and has had an economic impact as well.

Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland
Reykjavik Iceland

When you walk around Reykjavik, there are a lot of restaurants to choose from. I can honestly say that no matter where we stopped, we did not have a bad experience at any of them, but I do have a favorite that I would recommend personally. Located right by the ocean, there is a restaurant called Barion Bryggjan Brugghus that is really really good! They have typical bar food items, seafood, and Icelandic Scandinavian faire. When we went, my husband ordered a sampling of traditional foods with beers from their Bryggjan Brewery which is the first independent microbrewery in Iceland. It looked really neat as well with decor really paying tribute to the historic fisherman culture of the area.

Baron Bryggjan Brugghus

Wherever you go, some traditional Icelandic foods are cod, lamb, fermented shark, rye bread, puffin, and horse. We were somewhat adventurous and tried all of the above except the fermented shark and horse. We did however see others order the shark, and it has a very strong pungent smell to it. When it is fresh, the meat does have a high content of urea in it, but the fermentation process allows it to be consumed safely. It is a national dish in Iceland, and is often part of Icelandic festivals. Another very famous product from Iceland that we had for breakfast everyday while there is “Skyr.” It is a cultured dairy product that has the consistency of yogurt, but with a milder cheese type flavor. It is very high in protein, and it gave us a lot of energy to explore Iceland every day! It has been a part of the Icelandic diet since the Viking age, and it even mentioned in medieval Icelandic sources which include “Egil’s saga and Grettis saga.”

Reykjavik has many little shops in its downtown as well, and a big item that you will see a lot are woolen clothes, which makes sense with the very large sheep population. They also have a variety of coffee, food, snack, art, and trinket spots as well. It is a very lively type city, and they even have a flea market “Kolaportio” which typically takes place on the weekends down by the harbor throughout the year.

Reykjavik
Reykjavik
Reykjavik
Tulipop In Reykjavik
Walking The Streets In Reykjavik

You will want to walk around the neighborhoods of Reykjavik as well. The houses are gorgeous, and structurally different from a lot of the other areas in the world. Since the area is highly prone to earthquakes (they can get hundreds to thousands per week) the majority of homes and buildings are made from concrete, sheet metal, and stone to withstand the constant movement and seismic activity. There are often active volcanoes as well, and Iceland itself was created from the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates slowly drifting apart.

Reykjavik
Reykjavik
Reykjavik
Reyjavik

One of the sweetest parts of exploring Reykjavik, and even Iceland in general was the prevalence of fairy houses! You can see these adorable stone homes everywhere you look, and huldufolk (hidden people) are a very large part of the Icelandic culture. There have even stopped construction in areas that are believed to be homes of elves, as to not disrupt them. Historically, elves and hidden folk were associated with wealth and prosperity of the Norse and Irish settlers who originally settled in Iceland.

Fairy Houses In Reykjavik
Fairy Houses In Reykjavik

Reykjavik is such a beautiful, magical, and bustling city in Iceland. I definitely recommend this as a great place to travel to in Europe, and it is one of the most unique places on our planet. Let me know in the comments if you have also traveled to this area, and what your experiences were like there as well! Remember to click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!

https://visitreykjavik.is/homepage

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/13/a-journey-to-reykjavik-iceland/

A Journey To Reykjavik Iceland

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A couple years ago, it was a very busy period in my life. I was working all the time with crazy hours, my husband and I planned a wedding, got married, and then decided to go on a honeymoon somewhere far away, literally in a land that we only had dreamed of. This place was Iceland.

Iceland

Until that period of time, most of our travel had been primarily in the northeastern part of the United States, which makes sense since we are from the Philadelphia area. We got married in the winter, and decided to take the honeymoon a little later in the summer time. This gave us time to really plot out where we wanted to go in Iceland, and also figure out if there were tours we wanted to go on.

Iceland Lava Fields

We did end up booking Gray Line Day Tours and I would highly recommend them. The buses we went on were very clean, and the guides were extremely knowledgeable on the various areas we visited. We ended up booking 5 days, and 4 of those we used the Gray Line Tours, and the other we rented a car to explore on our own a bit. We rented the car through a company called Europcar. I think that the combination was a great way to enjoy Iceland, especially as first timers in the region.

Roads In Iceland

I was super excited for this trip, and I remember the week leading up to it, I do not think I slept much. This was a huge deal to us, and I had never gone to Europe before, so I was eager to check it out! We flew out of Newark right to Iceland, and it took about 6 hours which was not too bad. It was an overnight flight and the time really seemed to go by fast on it. The airport that we arrived in Iceland was actually the Keflavik International Airport, and this is the main airport for Iceland, and it only took us about a half hour from there to get to Reykjavik.

Aboard The Airplane Checking Out The Travel Distance
Keflavik International Airport

I was so happy to finally be in Iceland! We were in awe at the unique landscape of it as well, and the land almost had another worldly lunar feeling with all the lava fields. It is situated on both North American and the Eurasian Plates, and the island itself was formed through active volcanoes along this ridge.

Iceland

I am so excited to go into more details on this Iceland series of our stories, adventures, and also places that I recommend when you are traveling there. Let me know in the comments below if you have also traveled to Iceland. Also, remember to click that subscribe button and have a wonderful day!

https://northeastallie.com/2021/07/21/exploring-reykjavik-iceland/

Steps To Increase Your Confidence!

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I think I need to start out this article by saying that confidence is not always something that develops overnight. It is almost like this snowball that drifts down a mountain, and collects momentum as it goes. This snowball can start out as a very small wee thing, but as it starts rolling, it gets bigger. I think that in a way life can be like that.

Flowers In Pennsylvania

I have had different periods in my life, where my shyness basically overtook me. In a lot of ways, I did feel confident, and I dearly loved music, reading, and individual sport, but there were definitely spots where I almost froze up in certain social situations. I was very lucky in the fact to make several good friends in my schooling years, but I always felt nervous putting myself out there. I feel like a lot of people can honestly relate to that. In a way, it was a catalyst for beginning a relationship with writing, and it was a space where I could truly put down all these thoughts that I had rummaging through my mind. Sometimes if we just take a minute to collect our ideas, we can really find extra stability in that, and you can apply that at any season of your life as well.

As I became older, it was evident to me that I had to do something with this shyness, and I would have to learn how to deal with it in a way that I could have a career, and help other people. I exceled in the sport that I participated in, and I wanted to help others learn it as a coach. There were obviously some steps to get to point A to B, so I will share what helped me, and hopefully in some way, this helps you as well. Let me take you back, because we all start somewhere.

Flowers In Pennsylvania

When I was in high school, as I wanted to totally immerse myself in the sport I loved, I started to work several different jobs to help pay for it. I was a little nervous, because I had not worked with the public in that capacity before, but I became employed in several fairly busy local shops, and I had to talk about several products and things like that. I actually feel like a professional situation like this helped me overcome some level of shyness, and it worked quite well because there were boundaries that just helped me open up my personality. Sometimes, if you have a shy type personality, just dealing with the public in this way can kind of help eliminate fears like talking to people in that capacity.

Several years later, I did manage to land an entry level coaching job, and I was lucky enough teach group classes. I was so very happy to be in this field that I had worked so long to get into, and literally it was also facing my shy nature right on. If you have a subject that you have studied, and have the opportunity to help others, it can really develop your confidence. I found my greatest confidence of all when I helped others find their own. It is scary at times going into the unknown with our dreams, but you will gain confidence if you take personal steps, even if they are small towards your goals. In a way repetition of a good pattern will strengthen you and that really builds every day in your confidence.

Summer Days In Pennsylvania

I think what I mean to say is that we all have these mountains to climb or ideas unique to us that will help the world in some way. Sometimes, it can be scary, even taking little steps, but the amazing things that will come out of it are very worth it. If you are a writer and a planner like me, you can also write down your goals, and really get into the details step by step with how you will get there. If you want to be an environmental scientist, what steps do you need to get to point A to point B? Are there classes that would help you achieve this goal? Maybe the first step would be to research different schools, and then go from there. Every step, small or large that you take to bring you closer to your dreams will help you develop a confidence that will last you a lifetime.

Initially, blogging was just an idea to me. I loved writing and journaling, but I was not always sure if I could do blogging. I researched it a lot, and decided to make a leap of faith to do this, because writing has been such a big influence in my life. I was a little nervous at first, but I am so glad that I did start to write again more, and it is so much fun to share encouraging posts, wellness ideas, and fun travel spots as well!

I hope this post inspires you in some way to go for your dreams and set the goals to get there. You will gain confidence the more that you do something, so remember that the small achievements are absolutely crucial to the big goals. They are a big deal, and you will get more confident in your studies, work, or personal goals. Charts can help too, and can sometimes help you see the larger picture and provide you with a road map of sorts.

Pennsylvania Flowers

I hope that you have a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

Wissahickon Valley Park

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Wissahickon Valley Park

One of our absolute favorite parks in the Philadelphia area is the Wissahickon Valley Park. My husband and I really enjoy a good hike, and with ample trails (the park is over 18,000 acres) you can really enjoy this natural landscape. In total this very large space also has 50 miles of trails, which is truly amazing.

Wissahickon Valley Park

I would also highly recommend visiting throughout the year as well, because of its beautiful nature setting, you can truly enjoy the four seasons that we get in Pennsylvania. It makes sense that this particular area was an inspiration for writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, John Greenleaf Whittier, George Lippard, and even William Cobbett. Many artists have enjoyed the landscape as well including James Peale, Thomas Moran, Currier and Ives, and William Trost Richards. Also, historically, mills were prevalent in the area which is now the park, and millworkers even made blankets here during the Civil War time. Quarries and various mills existed from the 1680’s until the 1880’s and it is easy to see how important the Wissahickon Creek was to the Philadelphia area.

Wissahickon Valley Park
Wissahickon Valley Park
Wissahickon Valley Park

When we walk around the park, we generally will take the Forbidden Drive Path. It was actually once known as the Wissahickon Turnpike, and is currently tagged with the name Forbidden Drive in conclusion to a protest against cars being allowed to drive in the park. There is even a parade yearly called the Wissahickon Day Parade to celebrate the anniversary of the protest.

Wissahickon Valley Park
Wissahickon Valley Park
Wissahickon Valley Park

I really enjoy the main path (Forbidden Drive) because it is wide and a more relaxing type stroll area. It also runs parallel to the Wissahickon Creek and you have an awesome view point of it the whole time you are hiking since it runs the entire length of this park. I found out when we were hiking the one day that it also won the 2018 Trail Of The Year! If you are feeling more adventurous and want to get into the woods more, there are different off shoot trails that will bring you into more rustic spots. These include the Orange Trail, Yellow Trail, White Trail, Lavender Trail, and the Andorra Meadow Loop. These trails vary in grades and terrain for the more experienced hiker.

Forbidden Drive Trail
Wissahickon Valley Park

It is so crucial that we keep taking care of this land for future generations to enjoy and learn about its history, so make sure that if you bring any containers or water bottles that you take them with you when you leave or discard of them in the appropriate bins if they are available. This is a topic that is really true to my heart personally, and it is so important that we respect all living things and nature. Wissahickon also has a very expansive volunteer program, and I will leave a link to their website to learn more about that too. They have everything from Volunteer Service Days, Individual Stewardship, Litter Clean-Ups, Trail Ambassadors, Crew Leaders, Corporate Work Groups, and even Habitat Monitoring!

Wissahickon Valley Park
Wissahickon Creek

If you are traveling to Philadelphia, or live in this area, the Wissahickon Valley Park is one of the most spectacular spots that you do not want to miss. I know personally, when we need a retreat to recharge and just be in a nature setting, this place is always our go to spot. Let me know in the comments if you have visited the park as well, and make sure that you click that subscribe button!

Wissahickon Valley Park

https://fow.org

https://northeastallie.com/2021/05/11/lacawac-sanctuary-in-the-pennsylvania-poconos/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/04/20/ricketts-glen-state-park/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/04/13/shuman-point-the-poconos/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/04/06/canoeing-in-lake-wallenpaupack/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/03/16/lake-wallenpaupack/

The Best Locations In Portland Maine

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Portland Maine is a very bustling city, and it is the perfect location if you want to see amazing lighthouses, eat delicious food, and even walk around shops in the downtown region. Also, it has a very prevalent art scene with its own Arts District that is centered around Congress Street. This is home to the Maine Historical Society & Museum, the Portland Stage Company, and the Portland Museum of Art. There are also several art galleries and studios here as well.

Portland Head Light

I was really excited to see the lighthouses in Portland, and the one that we ended up visiting first was the Portland Head Light. There are distinct rock formations surrounding this lighthouse, and although it looks like petrified wood, it is actually dark grey phyllite and quartzite in various layers. When you look out into the distance on the water you will see several other lighthouses including the Spring Point Ledge Light, the Ram Island Ledge Light, the Halfway Rock Light Station, and the Cape Elizabeth Light.

Another Lighthouse that I recommend that you check out is the Bug Light (also known as the Portland Breakwater Light.) This lighthouse is not the biggest out there, but I thought it was absolutely adorable! Initially, this historic lighthouse was a marker for the end of rocky breakwater shielding the Portland Harbor. Also, the Bug Light is located right in the Bug Light Park, and we really enjoyed the walking path in this park, which gives very nice views of the water as well. We did see several families flying kites that day, and I could see making a day trip doing that as well with the wind kicking off the water a bit.

Bug Light

The Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse is located about a mile away from the Bug Light, and is another really elegant spot you will want to check out. This particular structure is considered to be a caisson lighthouse, and it marks an obstruction on the west side of the boating channel into the Portland Harbor. We really enjoyed the unique land walking path leading up to this lighthouse, and had the opportunity to see many boats in the Casco Bay.

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse
Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse
View From Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

One of the most unique hiking spots if you are visiting Portland is Mackworth Island. This location has a 1.25 mile trail, and it encircles the island so that you see spectacular views of Casco Bay. The Governor Baxter School for the Deaf is also located on this island, and it not open to the general public. Originally, in 1946, the Governor Percival Baxter donated the Mackworth Island for state public purposes, and also a sanctuary for local wildlife. One of the most unique spots of the trail are where the fairy houses are. It is encouraged for the general public to participate and you can help make little houses for the fairies out of branches and small natural materials like feathers. I feel like this is just another reason why Maine is so magical!

Fairy Houses At Mackworth Island

These are just several spots that we visited and really enjoyed, but truly, Portland has so many activities and is a great area to enjoy city perspectives while still being able to get into nature fast as well. Let me know in the comments if you have also traveled here, and what your favorite places are as well! Make sure you click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!

http://www.portlandmaine.com

https://northeastallie.com/2021/05/25/bar-island-acadia-national-park-maine/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/06/02/the-top-five-places-i-recommend-visiting-in-acadia-national-park/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/05/25/bar-island-acadia-national-park-maine/

Spruce Street Harbor Park A Fun Philly Destination

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Spruce Street Harbor Park

About a week ago, one of my close friends from Lancaster was interested in a visit to the Philadelphia area. I was really excited to see her, and the first place that I thought of that she would really enjoy is the Spruce Street Harbor Park which is located on Penn’s Landing on the Delaware Waterfront.

Spruce Street Harbor Park
Lockets Of Love In Spruce Street Harbor Park

The park literally has everything, from food trucks, music, walking paths, fountains, museums, restrooms, and ample seating with hammocks to relax on. Sometimes they also have flea markets, concerts, and other outdoor activities as well, so you will want to check their calendar before you go.

Places To Relax at Spruce Street

In the past years, we personally have gone to various food festivals there, and one time they had a really neat historic boat festival where you could actually walk on them and a historian would tell you about its past. We are history geeks, so this was right up our ally! The whole atmosphere is absolutely gorgeous, and there are even colorful lights on the trees which makes this city area very retreat like.

Spruce Street Harbor Has Outdoor Games Set Up For The Whole Family

Since Philadelphia is located right by the Delaware River, it has a strong connection to the sea, and many goods have been transported this way through the years into Pennsylvania. If you are interested in learning more about this, I highly recommend The Independence Seaport Museum which will go more in depth into this history. The USS Olympia is also part of the Seaport Museum, and originally served in World War 1. Another historical submarine, the Becuna, is also on the premises and served in World War 2.

The Independence Seaport Museum
Spruce Street Harbor

There are so many food options at Penn’s Landing, and we did end up eating there for lunch. The food trucks are awesome and some spots that I recommend are French Toast Bites, Dre’s Water Ice and Ice Cream, and of course Philly Taco. Also, there is an amazing pizza shop right off the Waterfront called The Angelo Pizza which is absolutely delicious. They are located at 229 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. When we went we ordered The Charlie Bananas, and it was so good! I highly recommend them and their pizza definitely hit the spot after a day of adventures in the city.

The Angelo Pizza Is Delicious
Delaware Waterfront

Spruce Street Harbor Park is such a fun way to learn about the history of the city, eat a variety of foods, relax, and enjoy fun outdoor activities for the whole family. It is a great place for a day trip, and whether you are from the city, or traveling to it, this location has everything. Let me know in the comments if you have also traveled to Penn’s Landing, and what you thought of the area as well! Make sure you click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!

https://www.delawareriverwaterfront.com/places/spruce-street-harbor-park

https://phillyseaport.org/visit

https://northeastallie.com/2021/04/27/boathouse-row-the-iconic-philadelphia-landmark/

https://northeastallie.com/2020/12/08/a-very-philly-christmas-village/

The Top Five Places I Recommend Visiting in Acadia National Park

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Acadia National Park

One of the most magical places in the Northeast is the Acadia National Park located in Maine. The area has luscious pine trees, gorgeous ocean views, and the most amazing hiking spots. If you are like me, you will want to have an itinerary ready to go so you can make the most of your trip to this spectacular park.

Acadia National Park

When we visited Acadia National Park, one of the first places that we ventured to was Cadillac Mountain. Luckily, this spot was accessible by car, so we drove up the mountain to enjoy gorgeous vantage points since the mountain itself is home to highest point on the east coast. There are various overlooks that provide amazing nature views that you will definitely want to see of Bar Harbor and the surrounding areas.

Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park

If you like lighthouses, you will also want to visit the Bass Harbor Head Light Station. Located on a large rocky cliff, you can see why this spot has been so important for boats over the years. It was originally constructed back in 1858, and had a major impact on Maine’s economy due to the regions reliance on maritime transportation. One thing that you will want to be aware of when driving to this location is that there is a parking lot, but due to the popularity of the lighthouse, you may want to plan accordingly and try to get there at a time when it is not as crowded. When we went, it was around dinner time, and it did not seem to be that busy.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Acadia National Park

Thunder Hole is another iconic spot that you should check out in the park. This area is just pure fun, and as the name specifies, the water swooshes up in little waves to make a thunder noise! The reason behind this is that in the rocky coast area, there is a little cavern that when the wave collides with it, it makes this unique thunder sound. When we went to this area, we noticed a lot of families checking this out, and I can see how this was a popular spot for them since you are not hiking a far distance to get to the location.

Thunder Hole Acadia National Park

Jordan Pond is a picturesque spot with super clear water, and it was really neat to see all the rocks in the water with their various shapes and colors. The pond itself covers 187 acres, going to depths of 150 feet with a shoreline of about 3.6 miles. For hiking around the pond, I recommend the Jordan Pond loop, and this takes 1-3 hours for about 3.5 miles. As you hike around the pond, you will see The Bubbles, which are two mountains that rise above the pond itself. Glaciers originally formed the pond with the Wisconsin Ice sheet back in the last glacial period. We always like to think of the history of a place when visiting, and how the Earth has been shaped over the years.

Jordan Pond Acadia National Park

The Ocean Path trail was one of my favorite hiking spots in the park, and it truly does give you delightful views of the coastline. It is also not too arduous of a hike, and provided really nice spots for photos as well. One of my favorite memories from this hike was seeing a little porcupine walking across a road. They seemed very happy and content, and I think it is our responsibility as visitors to make sure that we keep the area nice for the wildlife as well, so they feel comfortable in their home.

Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park

I do also have a couple of tips as well for your journey to the park. At the time we went, all visitors did need a park entrance pass, and if you wanted to go on the Cadillac Summit Road you also had to register your vehicle. We personally stayed in a hotel in Bar Harbor, but if you are interested, the park does have campground reservations as well. I will leave a link on this post for the National Park Service, so you can check that out for the most up to date park information. I also recommend bringing a little backpack with sunscreen, water, snacks, and a first aid kit. It is always good to be prepared, especially in a remote nature setting.

Acadia National Park

Let me know in the comments below if you have also visited Acadia National Park, and what you thought of it! Make sure you click that subscribe button and have a wonderful day!

https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/index.htm

https://northeastallie.com/2021/05/25/bar-island-acadia-national-park-maine/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/05/18/why-you-should-visit-bar-harbor-maine/

Bar Island Acadia National Park Maine

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Gravel Walkway Connecting Bar Harbor To Bar Island Maine

If you are feeling adventurous, a hike to Bar Island is perfect for you when visiting Bar Harbor Maine. You literally have a time limit to go for your hike (one and a half hours before and after low tide.) There is a gravel land walking path that becomes submerged if you do not make it back in time, so make sure you check the tides before you go.

The Tide Can Move In Fast On The Path To Bar Island

Even though there is a time limit, we really enjoyed this nature walk. In my mind, I had thought that the water would be very murky since Maine is so far up north, but honestly it was very clear, and I could easily see the beautiful rocks and little shells as we made our way to Bar Island. I thought it was pretty neat that you could see these little pockets of water from when the ocean had covered the gravel trail just hours before!

Bar Island Acadia National Park

Once we arrived on the island, we noticed a sign right away that had a warning for travelers making their way through. I did take a picture not just to document this adventure, but to make sure I had the safety phone numbers in case of an emergency. No matter where you are hiking or traveling to, you have to keep safety in your mind.

The trail itself will take you through a forest region (I noticed many gorgeous pine trees, and they smelled so good!) The hike also provides vantage points of Bar Harbor and Frenchmen Bay so make sure you have your phone and camera ready to take pictures.

Trail On Bar Island
Bar Harbor Views From The Trail
Views From Bar Island

I highly recommend checking out Bar Island, and it is such a fun hike with really nice water and nature views. For safety reasons, make sure you check out the tides ahead time, and also time your hike so that you make it back before the ocean flows over the gravel lane again. I would also make sure you have sunscreen, water, snacks, and keep your phone charged ahead of time just in case if you need to call for a water taxi. Let me know in the comments below if you have also traveled to Bar Island and what you thought as well. Have a wonderful day and remember to click that subscribe button!

Watching The Tide In Bar Harbor Maine

https://www.nps.gov/thingstodo/hike-bar-island-trail.htm

https://northeastallie.com/2021/05/18/why-you-should-visit-bar-harbor-maine/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/06/02/the-top-five-places-i-recommend-visiting-in-acadia-national-park/

Why You Should Visit Bar Harbor Maine

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Bar Harbor Maine

Maine has always been this mystical place in my mind, and before we traveled to Bar Harbor, I imagined it to be a beautiful northern woodland that resided in this remote location. When we finally had the opportunity to travel there, it was like this but so much more.

Bar Harbor Maine

I remember the drive up to Maine ended up taking a full day from the Philadelphia area. (I would estimate about 15 hours with rest stops. If you traveled from Philly to Bar Harbor in one day without stops, it would probably be about 13 hours.) New England is so gorgeous and it made the drive easy honestly. As you travel more north, there are these lush evergreen and pine trees that line the road, and it smells so good!

Bar Harbor Maine

As we finally got to the Maine state line, it was dark outside, but we still ended up taking Route 1 along the coast just in case if we could still sneak in some views. The roads basically emptied as we made our way up the coast, and at times it did seem pretty dark because there were not street lights in some of these areas.

One tip I do have for you is to gauge where you are at all times. In the not as populated areas of Maine where it was a little more remote, we did end up losing phone reception at some spots. Luckily, it is not that difficult to just continue going the same direction for awhile, and the reception did come back, it could just get a little spotty at times. By time we arrived at our hotel, it was dark at night, and we quickly settled in so that we were rested for the next days of adventures!

Bar Harbor Maine

The next day we were up early and ready to explore Bar Harbor! The town itself is so pretty and is lined with restaurants, coffee shops, and little boutiques. Our favorite coffee shop was “Choco-Latte Cafe.” They have delicious coffee, bagels, sandwiches, and even chocolates. When we went, my favorite was the roast beef sandwich, and it was a perfect meal before a long day of hiking!

“Choco-Latte” Coffee Shop In Bar Harbor Maine

We stayed in a hotel right by Main Street in Bar Harbor, so we ended up just walking to everything the first day. The coastline is so pretty and it was dotted with boats, so it made it a fun little area to walk around.

Sea Life At Bar Harbor Maine

The sea life is very present, and as you get close to the water line, you can see mussels enjoying the sun on the rocky areas. We also did see a crab walking as well which was pretty neat. If you enjoy seeing the marine life, there are a lot of whale watching places dotted along the city if you want to check that out. When we went, it was extremely foggy, so we did not end up going, but I heard from the locals that this is a really fun activity! Other activities that you might enjoy when traveling here are hiking, bird watching, and mountain climbing. This scenic area really caters to the outdoor enthusiasts!

Bar Harbor Maine

I am looking forward to going more in depth with our adventures here in this series all about Maine, and the next feature will be about Bar Island in Bar Harbor so make sure you stay tuned for that! Let me know in the comments if you have also traveled to Bar Harbor Maine, and what your experience was like there. Make sure you click that subscribe button and have a wonderful day!

https://www.visitbarharbor.com

https://northeastallie.com/2021/05/25/bar-island-acadia-national-park-maine/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/06/02/the-top-five-places-i-recommend-visiting-in-acadia-national-park/

Lacawac Sanctuary In The Pennsylvania Poconos

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The Lacawac Sanctuary is located in the Pennsylvania Poconos and has over nine miles of trails to hike. It is also a major influence in the scientific community through initiatives of research, education, and preservation with the conservation of the land located in this upstate Pennsylvania region. The Sanctuary has some of the absolute best hiking trails in the Pocono area, you will be amazed at the vast forest landscape and of course Lake Lacawac which is a “Registered Natural Landmark.”

The Lacawac Sanctuary
The author hiking on a path in the Lacawac Sanctuary

This lake in particular has a connection to American history and nature that began back in the 19th century. The land was once a summer estate for William Connell, a business man who served in the House of Representatives. Years later, Colonel Louis A.Watres posessed this land during the development of Lake Wallenpaupack, a man made dam created to generate power in the Pocono region. In the 1900s, his grandson, L. Arthur Watres, identified Lake Lacawac as the southern most unpolluted glacial lake in the United States. Luckily, he had connections to many scientists of the time and together they formed the Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation.

The Lacawac Sanctuary
The Lacawac Sanctuary
The Lacawac Sanctuary

If you are a teacher, The Lacawac Sanctuary also provides resources for pre-K to 12th grade students. They have really great field trip opportunities that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) so if you are interested, I will leave the Sanctuary’s website on the bottom of this post so you can check it out. I think it is amazing that they let students really get involved in a real nature setting. This will honestly help them appreciate the Earth for all of their lives, and who knows perhaps they may even become interested in environmental science!

The Lacawac Sanctuary
The Lacawac Sanctuary
The Lacawac Sanctuary

When we arrived at the Sanctuary, it was really amazing to find out all of the resources that it provides for the community and scientists around the world! It was a very relaxed type day when we went, and there were not too many other hikers out and about. In addition to the trails, we could hear so many birds talking and singing to each other. You can tell that the wildlife is very comfortable in this expansive space. As our trail led us down to the beautiful Lake Lacawac and we did see a snake, so this is something to be aware of on your journey here. He did not bother us at all and slithered right into the water, but you will want to make sure that you really watch your steps.

A snake at the Lacawac Sanctuary
The Lacawac Sanctuary
The Lacawac Sanctuary

It is always very important to be respectful of the land whenever you go hiking, and especially in the Lacawac Santuary. There are research studies being conducted on the site from lake ecosystems to even turtle ecophysiology so it is crucial to really stay on the hiking paths. If you are traveling to the Poconos I highly recommend this area if you enjoy hiking! Let me know in the comments if you have traveled here as well and what you thought of it. Remember to click that subscribe button and have a wonderful day!

https://www.lacawac.org/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/03/16/lake-wallenpaupack/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/04/06/canoeing-in-lake-wallenpaupack/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/04/13/shuman-point-the-poconos/

Why It Is So Important To Spend Time In Nature

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Pennsylvania Poconos

I think one of the most profound things that I have found and took note of from an early age was nature. One of my first memories is stepping out to the porch on a rainy day, talking to a kitten and taking note of a magnificent rainbow drifting in the sky. As we put a bowl of milk down for this small creature, I looked into the cloudy sky melting with rain and sun, and I was truly amazed that such a thing as a rainbow could exist.

When I was younger, we traveled and were on the road a lot, moving from Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, and various other places in the Northeast. All my family is from the Philly area, but we ended up branching out a lot. I devoted myself to music and writing. I will say that writing has been the constant in my journey at every age, and this drive is what made me create this blog for you all today.

Pennsylvania Poconos

When I met my husband, he was definitely on the same wave length with me in regards to exploring the great outdoors. Whenever we can, we absolutely love to go to various parks and hiking adventures. You will find that many of the guides or suggestions on this site are related to this, and I think that the reason being is that we are very inspired by nature.

The Author With Her Husband In The Pennsylvania Poconos

It is the truth in the world that belongs to nature, and I think that we must truly care for it. My advice is to try to get out in an earthy type setting every day a little if possible, even if it is to take a walk around your neighborhood.

If you are ever very deep in thought about something, one of the best ways to clear your mind is taking a couple minutes, and just get outside and breathe. Just taking this time and listening to the birds and the wind can really center you. It is so healthy and good for the mind and soul to get fresh air, appreciate the Earth, and relax. I always recommend bringing a small notebook along with you, and you can write some poetry or thoughts down in it and just be present.

Pennsylvania Poconos

Somehow the world looks a little brighter if we just get out in the sun a little more. You will feel inspired in your day to day activities if you cherish the Earth, and find the peace in its delicate beauty. I hope this post inspires you to get outdoors today! Let me know in the comments below if you have a favorite activity for the spring and summer time. Remember to click that subscribe button, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

https://northeastallie.com/2020/12/10/green-spaces-for-health/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/04/28/actions-to-get-out-of-a-slump/

Actions To Get Out Of A Slump!

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The Author checking out flowers in the Poconos

In this blog, it is important to me to share ways of finding positive focuses in life, whether it is through travel, or your wellness journey. One thing that is so crucial is to know how to get out of a slump, and I honestly think that by really working on this, you can have a lot of positive changes happen day by day.

To me, I feel like a slump is nervous energy that is not directed in an encouraging manner. If you are an over thinker, or if you dwell on certain situations, this can be more prevalent. It is definitely possible to counteract this behavior, especially if you work on it every day. Someone once told me, if you have that nervous energy it is okay, it just means that you care a lot about something. It is just important to figure out ways to use that energy!

The first step is honestly to prioritize your goals, and what you need to get done. There are obviously necessities such as working, maintaining good hygiene habits, and the day to day tasks that we all have. I have found it extremely helpful, throughout my life, to make a list. You will want to write down things that you have to get done immediately, then short term and long term goals. You will feel very accomplished after completing each thing, and this will encourage a confidence too! For example, as a blogger I may have the goal of writing at least one post a week, so every week on a certain day, I am blocking out time to write.

Once you have your list and action goals you will want to see what works with your particular situation. Honestly, you may want to go about it slowly. (An example of this would be to add one positive action in your day to day routine, even if it is just ten minutes.) Or you could also go all in, and I think that the approach can vary due to personal preference. You may want to experiment with it and see what works for you!

When I am overthinking a project, work task, or house cleaning, I feel a weight being lifted off of me after I start going for it. In any manner, it is a good idea to have that balance of rest, healthy habits, daily goals, or any changes that you want to implement.

I hope this post motivates you in a positive direction in your life! Let me know in the comments what your goals are as well, and I will be rooting for you! Remember to click that subscribe button and have a wonderful day!

https://northeastallie.com/2020/12/10/green-spaces-for-health/

Boathouse Row The Iconic Philadelphia Landmark

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Boathouse Row Philadelphia

Boathouse Row is one of the most identifiable spots in Philadelphia. When you take the Schuylkill Expressway, you will drive past Boathouse Row right before you get into Center City. It is right by the Art Museum and the historical Fairmount Water Works.

Boathouse Row Philadelphia

The weather was absolutely gorgeous this weekend, so we made a little time to stop by Boathouse Row for a little walk to take it all in. There is a walking path (the Schuylkill River Trail) that is right beside the boathouses (the address is 1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA 19130.) It is a very long trail, and they even have really cute push bikes that you can rent located in between the Water Works and the Boathouses if you are interested in that as well.

Boathouse Row Philadelphia
Boathouse Row Philadelphia

Boathouse Row is very significant in the history of Philadelphia, and started with the construction of the Fairmount Dam and Water Works. Originally, this dam was created in 1821 to withhold brackish tidal waters from going into the city’s water supply. Eventually, this formation between the dam and East Falls created a tidal river into slack water which appeared like a very long freshwater lake. Back in the 1800s, the surface was ideal for ice skating in the winter months, and rowing in the summer. The first historical note of rowing took place back in 1835 between the Imps Barge clubs and the Blue Devils.

Boathouse Row Philadelphia
Boathouse Row Philadelphia
Boathouse Row Philadelphia

There was a lot of enthusiasm from the community in response to this race, and it sparked the formation of different barge clubs. During the 1860s and (mostly 1870s) the boathouses that we see today were created. Currently, Boathouse Row also is the center hub for many rowing regattas, which include the Independence Day Regatta, the Head of the Schuylkill, the Navy Day Regatta, Stotesbury Cup Regatta, and the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. The boathouses are viewed as the center of the rowing community across the United States.

Boathouse Row Philadelphia

As we hiked around the area, we noticed an elevated path, that seemed to rise above the historic Water Works, and gave an amazing view of the area. I later found out that this was the Cliffside path area, and it was originally constructed in the 1820s. The areas on the cliff that you will want to check out are the Mercury Pavilion, Rustic Pavilion, Distribution Arch, and Reservoir all linked to the Engine House. The day we went, we could see from this vantage point that there was probably a wedding at the Water Works because we noticed trucks filled with flowers milling in and about!

Cliffside Path
Cliffside Path
Cliffside Path

Boathouse Row truly connects the past history of the city to the present, and gives visitors an opportunity to learn about the context of the land, while enjoying its beauty at the same time. Our families are from Philadelphia, so on a personal level, we really have a connection to it as well, but I believe everyone will really enjoy this landmark when traveling to the city! It has always been this hub of great activities, get togethers, sports, entertainment, and hopefully will be enjoyed for many years to come!

View From Cliffside Path of Water Works and Boathouse Row
View From Cliffside Path of Boathouse Row

Let me know in the comments if you have also visited Boathouse Row or the Water Works and what you thought of the area as well! Also, do you have a personal favorite spot in Philly? Let me know! I hope that you have a wonderful day and remember to click that subscribe button!

https://www.visitphilly.com/things-to-do/attractions/boathouse-row/

Ricketts Glen State Park

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Ricketts Glen State Park (located in Benton Pennsylvania) was highly recommended to us by a lot of locals when we stayed in the Poconos. This majestic park is known in upstate Pennsylvania for having amazing immersive nature trails with 22 named waterfalls. Within it are 13,193 acres of land located in Sullivan, Luzerne, and Columbia counties.

Ricketts Glen State Park
Ricketts Glen State Park

Most of the waterfalls are located within the Glens Natural Area, and we personally took the loop going on the Highland Trail which is a little more then 3 miles. As you hike through the trail, you can tell that this area has a lot of older growth timber, in combination to the newer wildlife that inhabits this region as well. The forest was very peaceful, and had a lot of shaded areas with the multitude of trees.

Ricketts Glen State Park
Ricketts Glen State Park

The path in the forest brought us directly to the waterfall trail, and going into it, it is easy to follow, but you will want to use caution because it can get steep in certain areas. I personally did take a little tumble because I was going down a stair path very quickly, and I believe it had rained earlier on that particular day, so you will want to be careful in your stepping.

Ricketts Glen State Park

This is another area which I highly recommend wearing hiking shoes, or something that will support your feet well in a hilly type terrain. We also brought a little bag with sunscreen, water, snacks, and sunglasses. Whenever you go into nature type settings, it is very important that you take safety into account first and foremost!

Ricketts Glen State Park

As we walked around the loop, we were in total awe with how vast and diverse the waterfalls themselves were. They are all very unique, and it is interesting how this ancient land has formed over the years. For this reason, you will want to set aside extra time to really enjoy this gorgeous area, especially if you like taking nature pictures!

Ricketts Glen State Park

If you enjoy mesmerizing nature perspectives, this is the perfect spot for you when you visit upstate Pennsylvania! Let me know in the comments below if you have visited Ricketts Glen before, and what you thought of the area. Make sure that you click that subscribe button and have a wonderful day!

Ricketts Glen State Park

https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/RickettsGlenStatePark/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/03/16/lake-wallenpaupack/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/04/06/canoeing-in-lake-wallenpaupack/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/06/22/wissahickon-valley-park/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/04/13/shuman-point-the-poconos/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/05/06/why-it-is-so-important-to-spend-time-in-nature/

https://northeastallie.com/2021/05/11/lacawac-sanctuary-in-the-pennsylvania-poconos/

Shuman Point The Pennsylvania Poconos

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When my husband and I travel, we always look for amazing hiking locations. Luckily, when we went to the Pennsylvania Poconos, we had ample opportunities. One of my favorite spots was Shuman Point because of its expansive forest resting right by Lake Wallenpaupack. The trail that we took was about three miles long, and because we stopped to take snack and water breaks, it was about an hour and a half to walk through it.

Shuman Point Trail
Shuman Point Trail

Shuman Point is one of the very last undeveloped regions that are by Lake Wallenpaupack. This specific spot was farmed before the man made lake was created in 1926. What we thought was very interesting was that parts of the farm still remained enact, even all these years later. This stone wall still boarded areas of the park, and at one point, it literally went directly into the water. This would make sense, given the fact that the lake in question was not constructed yet back then.

Shuman Point Trail
Shuman Point Trail

As we walked through the trail, we noticed a variety of beautiful plant life. There were a lot of pine trees, which were very refreshing to smell as we walked by the lake. We also noticed a lot of boulders that were left behind from a time long ago, that most likely formed from glaciers pulling through the Pennsylvania soil. There was also a lot of ferns and moss covering the region.

Shuman Point Trail
Shuman Point Trail
Shuman Point Trail

Let me know in the comments below if you have also gone to Shuman Point, and what you thought of it. I highly recommend it to nature enthusiasts, just remember to pack some snacks, water, sunscreen, and good hiking boots for this adventure! I hope you have a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

https://northeastallie.com/2021/05/11/lacawac-sanctuary-in-the-pennsylvania-poconos/

Canoeing In Lake Wallenpaupack

Lake Wallenpaupack

http:visitwaynecounty.com/place/Shuman_Point_Natural_Area

Lake Wallenpaupack By The Shuman Trail

Canoeing In Lake Wallenpaupack

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When we traveled up to the Poconos to explore Lake Wallenpaupack, we were immediately fascinated by everyone boating or in a canoe. My husband is pretty avid when it comes to the outdoors, so he was definitely for the idea of taking a canoe out on the calm lake waters. After checking into it, our hotel actually did offer free canoe rentals with our room so that was pretty sweet. If that is something you are interested in, you will want to check with yours before you go.

Canoes By Lake Wallenpaupack

To prepare for canoeing, I did a couple steps beforehand, and these will also help you as well! Summers in upstate Pennsylvania are very sunny, so you will want to apply generous amounts of sunscreen before you go out boating or on the water. The water reflects the sun back at you, so it is really important that you take steps to insure you do not get sun burnt. I also brought a very large hat, extra water, snacks, water shoes (your feet are going to get wet), and of course even more sunscreen! We wanted to take pictures on the lake, so a neat trick for you is to bring a little sandwich bag for your phone. That way, say if it happened to get a little splash of water on it, the phone would be safe. I put mine in a sandwich bag, and then in the snack container to keep it out of the sun as much as possible as well. After you are out of the water, it is also nice to have extra towels and clothing with you. When we go on a trip, we usually try to do as much as possible in a short amount of time to really take in the area, so this helped save time to go right to the next activity afterwards. The hotel provided us with safety vests, paddles, and the canoe itself.

Canoe And Supplies By Lake Wallenpaupack

Once we arrived at the lake, they pulled a canoe right up on the edge of the water. Since I had never done this before, I honestly was wondering how we were going to get it moving! We took a couple steps forward into the lake holding the canoe and jumped right in. (This is where those water shoes come in handy!) Luckily, it went right into the lake with ease.

Lake Wallenpaupack

We had hiked the day prior, and the water looked fairly calm. It was not too windy, but I think because you are on a canoe, you do feel the movement of water a little bit more. It is a completely different perspective being on the water, and it was so neat to see the houses lining the lake, other boats, and keeping an eye out for fish. We did see really little ones and that was so cool! A couple times, larger boats would fly by, and to keep our balance in the canoe, we kind of ducked down into it to keep it steady. Coordinating our paddling was something else we figured out there, but once we got it, we were flying around Lake Wallenpaupack.

Canoeing In Lake Wallenpaupack
Canoeing In Lake Wallenpaupack

I would recommend going on a canoe if you are traveling to the Poconos, and it is a very fun outdoor experience! It is imperative that you take safety first into account and really be aware of your surroundings. You will also want to check out the weather, and make sure you ask your hotel if there are any other safety measures you will want to take when on a canoe, and always wear your life jacket! It is especially important if you have not done this before that you take all safety measures into account before your journey.

Lake Wallenpaupack
Lake Wallenpaupack

Let me know in the comments if you have gone on a canoe before, and what you thought of it! I hope that you have a wonderful day, and remember to click that subscribe button!

https://northeastallie.com/2021/04/13/shuman-point-the-poconos/

https://www.visitpa.com/region/pocono-mountains/lake-wallenpaupack

https://northeastallie.com/2021/03/16/lake-wallenpaupack/

Adventures In Hibernia County Park

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Around a month or so ago, one of my best friends told me that she was scouting a location with nature perspectives. She is a photographer based out of Lancaster Pennsylvania, and was searching for something somewhat local, and also a place that provided gorgeous backdrops. Then, she had a really great idea and mentioned Hibernia Park, which sounded amazing since it also has connections to Pennsylvania history. When she mentioned that we should go together to explore the location in depth, of course I was in!

Photo Credit Marisa Renee Photography

We live in the Philadelphia area, so the park, which is located in Coatesville was only about a 45 minute drive. I think from the Lancaster area it was about the same, so if you are visiting either Philly or Lancaster, this could be a nice place if you are looking for a beautiful park to relax at on your travels. One of the first thing that we noticed upon arrival (we pulled into 1 Park Road, Coatesville, PA 19320) was the ample parking that was available. I am sure that depending on the time of day or year this can fluctuate, but it was nice that there was a large lot at the time we visited.

Photo Credit Marisa Renee Photo

After greeting our friends, my husband and I were literally awe struck by this immaculate mansion that looked elegant and historic all at once! That day, we did not go on a tour, but apparently, they do have them available. At one time, this place was home of Ironmasters in the 19th century.

Photo Credit Marisa Renee Photo

I thought it was very interesting that the Hibernia Mansion was once the home of Thomas Costigan, a Philadelphia contractor, and his wife Mary in the 1880s. They had their own railroad car and used it on various occasions to travel between the city and Hibernia. Another Philly native, Colonel Franklin Swayne, who was a prominent real estate lawyer, purchased the mansion in 1894. Once he settled in to the region, he farmed, raised sheep, and sold ice. His dedication to the property continues its legacy to this very day.

After we looked around this building a bit, we decided to go right into the walking trail. Many trees embraced the walking path, and some were even labeled. These included Sassafras, Black Oak, Sycamore, and Eastern Hemlock. We were amazed at how tall these trees were, and it seemed as if they were dancing with the sky! Eventually, the trail led to a little overlook section and Chambers Lake. It was really neat to see little canoes and boats out with people enjoying a sunny day right on the water.

History danced with the present, as we hiked past the Iron Forge And Furnace Complex. You could actually see part of the Water Wheel Ruins and it is amazing that this structure has stood all these years. The legacy of the iron masters of the past reveals a more industrial time in Pennsylvania.

Our final stop on our hiking adventure was the Hibernia Childrens Fishing Pond. This really sweet pond actually is just for children to fish, and the limit is 5 trout per day per child! (In Pennsylvania we really love our fishing.) My husband also spotted a really cool frog at this pond that looked like it was the size of a hand!

Hibernia is an amazing park with such rich history, and if you are traveling to the area, this is a must visit place! The location has been put on the National Register of Historic Places by The United States Department of The Interior, and it is a spot to be enjoyed by many for years to come. Hibernia County Park also has playgrounds, pavilions, park offices, restrooms, open fields, camping, and even picnic areas. Make sure you check out their website for more up to date information, and reservations.

https://www.chesco.org/4625/Hibernia-Park

Photo Credit Marisa Renee Photography
Photo Credit Marisa Renee Photography
Photo Credit Marisa Renee Photography

Also thank you very much to Marisa for highlighting various areas of the park with your photography! Marisa is the best in the business, and is one of the most talented photographers I have ever known. She is based out of Lancaster Pennsylvania and you can contact her at https://www.marisareneephoto.com/ and her Instagram handle is @marisareneephoto. She is an amazing sweet person and will help you feel comfortable and confident in your photoshoot, so make sure that you book with her today!

Perkiomen Trail Pennsylvania

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There is something about early spring that gets the local crowds in Pennsylvania excited. We love the longer days after a winter cooped up inside, especially since our winters here can be very dark in addition to the bitter coldness. I mean, we absolutely love our snow days (when we do not have to drive anywhere) but there is something magical about the start of spring.

Perkiomen Trail

This weekend, we wanted to go for a hike to really soak up the sun and get fresh air. We decided to try out the Perkiomen Trail. The trail itself runs about 20 miles and hugs the route of the Perkiomen Creek from Oaks to the Green Lane Borough. The nickname for this trail is the “Perky” and it utilizes the former rail bed from the Reading Railroad.

Perkiomen Trail