Step foot onto the lush landscaped grounds of the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, and you're instantly transported to the Victorian era—a time when ladies toted lacy parasols, gentlemen sported tall silk hats, and children played with coal-powered Game Boys. Beyond the stately mansion's immaculately manicured lawns and brick façade lie 17 restored rooms, replete with lavish Rococo and Renaissance revival furnishings, elaborate ceiling designs, and Victorian-era appliances such as cast-iron stoves and gas-lit chandeliers.
This museum of Victorian architecture and culture hosts weekly tours, as well as a monthly Upstairs Downstairs tour that explores the lives and challenges of women in Victorian-era Philadelphia. The mansion also stages theater performances throughout the year, featuring the works of Victorian-era greats including Charles Dickens, Bram Stoker, and Louisa May Alcott.
Dominique Ponko sits at the head of the class, leading yogis through muscle-lengthening postures with the steady flow of her deep, rhythmic inhales and exhales. It’s been a long journey for Dominique. She first sought out yoga at the age of 26 to help her cope with life-threatening seizures and a slow-growing brain tumor. Yoga comforted her through three difficult years, welcoming her into a space for healing spiritually before she was able to find the proper medicine to help her heal physically. Though still a little shaky, Dominique has triumphed and opened four yoga studios—voted Best of the ‘Burgh in 2010—to inspire her students to ease their ailments, build strength, and find inner peace.
During her studio's heated Vinyasa-flow classes, an enthusiastic and supportive instructor guides students through a series of strengthening postures that work to increase flexibility and build muscles. Warm, balmy air courses through the studio, pricking beads of sweat on brows to help detox bodies and loosen stiff muscles into deep, soothing stretches.
Erie’s first and only power-yoga studio, yogaErie was voted Best Yoga Studio in 2010 by Erie Times-News readers. Taught by registered or certified instructors in a room heated to a gentle 85 degrees, most of the classes on the schedule are fit for all levels of experience, from the twistable-as-taffy to the first timer. The studio’s basic class focuses on building a strong yoga foundation, so yoga architects can develop a solid base of skyscraping poses. Throughout the class, students focus on their breath, alignment, and the mental and physical strength needed to box up unnecessary burdens and heave them out a window. In the all-levels classes, an instructor leads a power flow that offers both modifications and challenges so practitioners can pull back, push forward, or slide sideways as needed. Gentle directional lighting throughout the space fosters a warm glow on the walls that mysteriously attaches to the faces of students and continues to glow long after class has concluded.
The Sovereign Performing Arts Center has been a part of Reading since 1870, and has played many roles in that time. Built as a market, with a Masonic Temple on the upper floors and a bird university on the roof, it soon became the Academy of Music. Then, in 1917, the Rajah Shriners purchased the facility and turned it into a venue for vaudeville, motion pictures, and live appearances, laying the foundation for its current incarnation. Decades later, the Berks County Convention Center Authority purchased the Rajah Theater and treated it to a $7 million renovation, including a new air-conditioning system and more comfortable seating.
Lackawanna River Heritage Trail's picnicking spot. The University of Scranton's hallowed halls. The Hill Section's architectural marvels. Touring these popular sites on foot would take hours, but Segway of Scranton offers sightseers a more efficient way to pound the pavement. Sensitive to the body's movements, the two-wheeled segway speeds up and slows down based on how its helmeted rider shifts and can reach speeds of up to 12.5 miles per hour. The vehicles glide collectively on guided tours that pass filming locations for The Office, navigate Nay Aug Park's paths, and head to tranquil spots such as quarry outlooks. Along with conducting group tours, Segway of Scranton rents its rides for self-guided excursions, corporate events, or private get-togethers.