Taking in all of Philadelphia's history could take days, but the folks at Philly By Segway somehow manage to compress the city's sights into two-hour tours. Starting along the Delaware River, excursions pass landmarks like Penn's Landing, Independence Hall, and Elfreth's Alley, the nation's oldest residential street. Besides historical attractions, tours stop by other notable spots, like the art museum's "Rocky steps," which Sylvester Stallone famously climbed in his one-man adaptation of Rocky & Bullwinkle.
Accommodating up to six participants, every tour is led by one of Philly By Segway's Adventure Captains. Besides narrating the entire trip, captains snap pictures throughout, which are available for guests to take home afterward.
It all started with a farmer's generosity. In 1924, a civic-minded citizen handed over 16 acres of lush farmland and a small group of critters to the Borough of Norristown. Today, the Elmwood Park Zoo and the Norristown Zoological Society welcomes guests in hopes of creating a future stock of wildlife lovers and conservation advocates. A menagerie of around 300 beasts indigenous to the Americas—including jaguars, howler monkeys, timberwolves, and bald and gold eagles—peer back at visitors. Even though they're from Africa, giraffes get in on the fun too during certain seasons, grazing on foliage and the toupees of particularly tall patrons. Guests can also spy on more than 15 species that are threatened or endangered. All the while, smaller animals mosey around at the petting barn, tots climb aboard gentle ponies, and winged beauties sail through the air at the butterfly preserve.
Midnight Productions stages professional theater performances with an emphasis on special effects and technical splendor. This commitment to impressive displays of lighting, sound, and scenery characterizes the company's annual productions, which include a run of Jesus Christ Superstar and a thrilling haunted house in Newtown.
After graduating from Vassar College in 1997, vintner Tom Carroll Jr. continued his education in California, where he taught himself about viticulture and enology to achieve a lifelong dream of opening a winery. Three years later, he returned to his hometown to found Crossing Vineyards on a plot of land situated a short distance from George Washington’s Delaware River crossing. The winery mingles historic charm and pastoral surroundings with modern technologies, such as a sterile HVAC bottling system and solar-energy panels. Tom and his parents, also co-owners, built the facility around eco-friendly winemaking practices, such as composting waste and using cover crops, a technique that prevents topsoil erosion and helps vintners sing the young grapevines to sleep.
Crossing Vineyards' European-style wines have won more than 115 awards in both national and international competitions over the past 12 years. The winery offers tastings and wine-pairing classes in an onsite educational area and hosts an annual summer wine-and-music series on its sprawling, 15-acre property.
The New Hope & Ivyland Railroad winds through the grassy hills and sweeping valley vistas of Bucks County, much the same as it has since the first tracks were laid more than 100 years ago. Not much has changed in the decades since—except for the fact that today, its passengers likely carry smartphones to commemorate their trips instead of hiring an oil painter to join them on the journey. The railroad has pushed into the modern era with a mission to preserve the "Golden Era of Steam Railroading"—a mission it furthers with public rides on its antique passenger train.
Every hour each Friday–Saturday—and sometimes on other days as well—an authentic steam or diesel locomotive pulls a train of restored 1920s passenger coaches and an antique bar car out of the station for a 9-mile history tour. As the train chugs through the countryside, narration unveils some of the history of the railroad and surrounding county. The railroad also offers special themed holiday train rides, dinner express outings, and a singles' mixer held in the bar car, where riders can connect by discussing the season's hottest conductor hats. Trains depart from Lahaska Station or the original New Hope Station, which has been in operation since 1891.
European wines might as well run through the veins of Sergio and Violetta Neri, who each come from families with histories that are deeply rooted in the terrain of Greek and Italian vineyards. That passion and history has translated into a decade of award-winning wines at the Neri family's Hopewell Valley Vineyards. Visitors are welcome to tour the picturesque acres of sunny fields, or hang out in the tasting room to listen to live jazz on the weekends and sip one of the vineyard's carefully crafted white, red, or rose wines.