Though Washington, DC, has taken Philadelphia's place as the capital of the United States, it remains a bustling metropolis rich with American history. Grim Philly's tour guides?all of whom have at least a bachelor's degree in history?dredge up past centuries' landmark events and scandals, even ghosts and pirates, during their 75-minute walking tours, which made the Philly Hot List three years in a row. Their narration blends historical facts and local insight, with stops at a theater that was once a prostitution mecca for working girls of the night, the site of the first bank robbery, and Independence Hall.
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 Old City, Society Hill and the historic district, and some parts of South Philly, such as the Italian Market and the Magic Gardens. Besides historical attractions, tours stop by other notable Philly spots some of which were frequented by Sylvester Stallone while he was in town filming 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 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, gray wolves, and bald and golden eagles?peer back at visitors. Guests can also spy on more than 15 species that are threatened or endangered.
Home to a rousing lineup of award-winning wines, Sharrott Winery's passionate staff helps make the nuanced art of drinking wine more easily accessible. Located on 35 rolling acres, the winery and vineyard crafts a host of varietals from start to finish—tending to rows of grapes and fermenting the juices at their on-site facility. Samples of nectars such as the silver medal-wearing dry riesling or the trio, a grape trifecta that results in smooth notes of vanilla, lilac, and fresh cherries, are available inside the spacious tasting room, which overlooks the vineyard so grapes can mature before guests' very eyes.
Winner of several NJ Wine Competition awards, including 2010 Winery of the Year, Tomasello Winery has been owned and operated by three generations of Tomasellos since 1933. Today, the founder’s grandchildren teach their children the family business on a 70-acre winery, nestled in the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. The historic wine-growing area’s rich soil and sunlit fields produce not only flavorful reds and whites, but also unique sparkling and fruit vintages. In five tasting rooms scattered across the state, fans can sample the Tomasellos’ wines, from the semi-sweet Winter Chill white to the full-bodied blackberry wine, a tasty ingredient for sauce reduction. Tomasello winery also ships wine directly to 17 states.
The legacy of Plagido's Winery stretches back to the late 17th century. That's when Italian-born Plagido Tomasello came to the United States and put down roots on a plot of land in?Hammonton, which he nurtured into a thriving farm. Four generations later, Tomasello's descendants continue to till the same earth, planting select grapevines and then hand-picking their fruit to make?award-winning wines. Each wine is fermented on the premises in either stainless steel or oak barrels. Customers can taste the wines during tours of the?winemaking quarters?at times, directly from the barrel.