American Journeys RV Travel Information
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If you're heading out into Bucks County for some fun shopping, you might want to stop at Peddler's Village, RTS 202 & 263, Lahaska (55 minutes from Phillie), 215-794-4000. Here you'll find over 70 unique shops, eight restaurants, a museum, and 42 acres of landscaped gardens and winding brick walkways. What kind of goodies can you expect to find in the stores? They have jewelry, accessories, clothing, leather goods, collectibles, handicrafts, home furnishings, decorative items, toys, fine art, and gourmet foods in case you need a snack on the way back to your rig.
You'll also want to wander through Lancaster County Pennsylvania Dutch Country, just 60 miles away, before heading home. While wandering through this Amish country stop at Strasburg and hop a ride on the Strasburg Rail Road, 301 Gap Rd, 717-687-7522. Not only will you enjoy riding on one of America's oldest steam trains but you'll get to enjoy a unique perspective of the surrounding Amish farms as you slowly chug by.
A trip to Chadds Ford will give you a chance to visit the Brandywine River Museum, RTS 1 & 100, Chadds Ford, 610-388-2700. This Civil War grist mill has been converted into an art museum where you will find a large collection of Wyeth Family works.
If you are a collector of Franklin Mint pieces, you'll want to drive to Media and the Franklin Mint Museum, Rt. 1, Media, 610-459-6168. Not only will you get to view their collection of sculptures, paintings, and photographs but you will also have a chance to discover how artisans create Franklin Mint collectibles.
Heading down State Highway 30 East to Country Route 542 will take you Batsto, NJ, where you can step back through time. Here at the Wharton State Forest and Batsto Historic Village, RD 9, Hammonton, NJ, open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day and Wednesday to Sunday the rest of the year, 609-561-3262, you'll find raw bog ore which was used at the Batsto Iron Works, a charcoal kiln, and the 1870s Wharton Mansion which is open for tours. On the grounds you'll also find a general store stocked with goodies like the villagers would have used, a stone barn, an ice and milk house, a piggery, a stable and carriage house, and a threshing barn.
Gardeners will want to make the drive to Longwood Gardens, Rt. 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000. Strolling its 1,050 acres will give you a chance to see manicured gardens, glass- enclose conservatories, ancient trees, illuminated fountains, and a children's garden.
Another side trip I would highly recommend is Valley Forge National Historical Park, N Gulph Rd. & Rt. 23, Valley Forge, 610-783-1077, where George Washington and his men camped out during the bitter winter of 1777-78.
Start at the Visitors Center where you can pick up a self guided brochure and see some amazing artifacts including George Washington's sleeping marquee. Next head out to see reconstructed soldiers' huts, the National Memorial Arch, Washington's Headquarters, earthen fortifications, 17th, 18th, and 19th century homes, the Peter Wentz Farmstead, and Daniel Boone's maternal grandparent's Morgan Log House. All in all there are 3,000 acres for you to scout by car, bus, biking, or hiking. Walking this land will give you a real appreciation for the courage it took to form our country.
While in the Philadelphia area you'll also want to see the Winterthur Museum and Gardens, Rt. 52, 6 miles northwest of Wilmington, DE, 800-448-3883. This country home of Henry Francis du Pont has been transformed into a museum housing exhibits of American decorative arts made or used between 1640 and 1860.
Outlet shoppers will want to make the hour drive to Reading where you'll find outlet heaven. The Reading Outlet Center, 801 N 9th St., Reading, 610-376-0206, has more than 70 designer brand stores. At the Reading Station Outlet Center, 951 N 6th, Reading, 610-478-7000, there are fashion, jewelry, gifts, and home furnishing stores to tempt you with bargains from 20% to 70% off.
Then if your feet hold out, you can head to the VG Outlet Village, 801 Hill Ave, Reading, 800-772-8336, to wander through over 85 more stores including Lee, Healthtex, JanSport, and Wrangler. How many stores are there all together? Present count puts it at about 300 so you'd better grab a comfortable pair of walking shoes before you head out the door.
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