Though Washington DC has taken Philadelphia's place as the capitol of the United States, it remains a bustling metropolis rich with American history. Independence Walking Tours' guides––all of whom have at least a bachelors degree in history––dredge up past centuries' landmark events and scandals during their 75-minute walking tours. Their narration blends historical facts and local insight, with stops at Betsy Ross House, Walnut Street Prison, and Independence Hall, where teens often go to escape their uncool parents.
Led by founder and experienced parapsychologist Carol Haughey, the Oakford Paranormal Society fulfills two objectives: investigate paranormal activity, and teach others how to recognize it. Their members travel to houses, taverns, and even woodlands that are reportedly haunted, bringing cameras and other equipment in order to gather evidence. When on an assignment, they examine the site's history in tandem with their own recordings to document any otherworldly presences—they even have a group solely devoted to interpreting EVP, or electronic voice phenomena, which happens when a ghost gets hold of an auto-tune device. And, in the interest of education and recruitment, they welcome the public to their meetings and workshops free of charge.
Smart Tan–certified managers oversee all the comings and goings at each Island Sun Tanning location as staff members help patrons shade shift with bronzing equipment and products by Devoted Creations and Designer Skin. UV beds cool skin with air-conditioning systems and calm the senses with aromatherapy mists. MP3-player docks increase the relaxation potential, allowing bodies to settle into the beds' contoured confines and listen to their favorite music or bedtime stories read by Morgan Freeman.
For patrons seeking sunless options, staffers utter secret passwords that open the doors of VersaSpa and Mystic Tan spray-tan booths, which leave bodies bronzed for up to seven days. Red-light-therapy sessions aim to firm and tone skin, and hydration stations combine steam, radiant heat, and liquid vitamins to extend the life of new tans.
When not reuniting bodies with their ideal shades of bronze, the caring crew has worked to fight hunger in the local community by collecting donated canned goods for Philabundance.
The staff at New Balance of Philadelphia & South Jersey isn't concerned with simply selling shoes—their mission is to pair customers with the footwear that will carry them comfortably through life’s arduous steps. Understanding that an ill-fitting pair of athletic shoes can cause pain to joints and potentially damage knees, hips, and the back, associates measure the length and width of each client's foot and conduct a gait analysis to chart the trajectory of their stride when walking normally or running through ball pits. The data are collected to help the staff match clients with their ideal shoe, keeping them running longer and looking good while doing so.
Blue Mountain Vineyards owners, Joe and Vickie, are pinot pioneers. Beginning with a 5-acre experiment in 1986, they discovered that the soil of the Lehigh Valley does a fine impression of French terrain, making it suitable for growing the grapes of cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and other European varietals. Since then, they've expanded to a 50-acre plot, where they now produce wines that have won awards from the Fingerlake International Wine Competition and Appellation America.
Panoramic views of the Blue Mountains overlook scenic terraces at the vineyards, where grapes spring from soil that soldiers roamed during the Revolutionary War. Tastings, concerts, and other events fill the winery's glass-flanked deck, spilling onto an outdoor patio surrounded by ponds as tranquil as a silent lullaby. Visitors admire the vines during tours, and they can also adopt their favorites to preserve the vines' flavorful histories.
The Wine Room of Cherry Hill spotlights more than 25 Californian grape varieties, which guests handcraft into their very own batches. Under the tutelage of winemaking pros, students de-stem and crush the fruit, then learn to press it with authentic Italian wine presses. Finally, each batch is ready to be poured into bottles adorned with customized labels, which guests may opt to purchase and take home.
Besides winemaking, The Wine Room plays host to a variety of events—from food and wine seminars to private birthday parties—in a reception area inspired by a Tuscan courtyard.