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Local Flair

  • Writer's pictureMarcy Lytle

Jim Thorpe and More

This little quaint town showed up on charming towns of America sites more than once, and we wanted to go - so we did! We stayed in a cute former ice cream shop, now turned airbnb, right on the main road - decorated with vintage decor - and it was perfect for the two of us. For the next eight days, we took road trips in all directions, leaving early and arriving back "home" in the evening, and it was SO FUN.

One day we drove to Bethlehem, PA and had breakfast on the patio at the Flying Egg - it was delightful. Then we walked the Colonial Industrial Quarter, the Burnside Plantation, and observed the Moravian settlement there. We had a 1pm tour for the Steel Stacks and trestles which rose high above the town and were fascinating to see. Next was an early dinner at The Bayou, probably one of the best we had the entire trip. I had collard greens and fries, and they were delicious together! And one fun stop was The Attic, where I scored lots of jewelry for under 20 bucks!

That evening we enjoyed a drive in movie The Beast at a Becky's Drive - In - like no other! The land was terraced so cars were like stadium seating when parked, there were two huge houses that sold concessions (good food!), a train for kids and even a playground - it was so fun - loved it so much. Another fave of the trip.

The next day was Lititz, PA - another picturesque town with lots to see. Wilbur's Chocolate Factory is a must-stop, as well as Julius Sturgis Pretzels. We bought pretzels shaped like horse and buggies! At 10 am, we had a Moravian church tour - learned their history - our guide was awesome - and listened to him tell about the love feasts they still have. On to Kissel Hill Fruit Farm to enjoy a home cooked meal while sitting on the lawn - chicken, potatoes and coleslaw, then homemade ice cream, all served by the Amish. Delicious.

Next, we had a buggy tour at Abe's Buggy Rides - driven by an Amish man named John who said the best thing is to be "thankful to the good Lord." And on to Strasburg where we played mini golf in a beautiful lush green forest at Village Green. Played cornhole, too!

On Sunday we visited Coal Mine No 9 and tour a loud train down into the mine, and heard the history and the poor working conditions, as anthracite was mined years ago. After the tour, we ate lunch at Coal Miner's Grill - shared a Philly and fried pickles - both delish.

This was near our home base, so we opted to walk Jim Thorpe after lunch and shop. The town is situated against the Poconos, is rich in history, and has shop after shop and eatery after eatery as you stroll the old streets. One store had a porch sale of all sorts of things under $10. I love a good sale!

Near the river is the Lehigh Gorge Train and we had tickets for 4:30 pm - but the ride wasn't all that fantastic. Maybe in the fall, it would be. We did meet a nice couple, though. Right across the street was Molly Maguire's Irish Pub - sat on the patio and enjoyed our meal.

Monday we drove to Eagles Mere - a country club type community - where we only stopped for lunch at a deli - delicious tuna sandwich! Our son had told us were near where the Little League World Series was being played, so we went to a game - and experienced all sorts of God-winks in getting there! What a fun surprise as we watched a super close game, and then observed the Japanese team bow to the American team that was kneeled on the field, in prayer!

After the game, we shopped a bit in downtown Williamsport and met a nice lady at a shop where I bought several things, and she asked us to pray for her dad and her daughter. We actually had lots of prayer opportunities!

Dinner was at The Brickyard there, on the patio again - our fave. My taco salad was served on its side, spilling out of the tortilla bowl - so pretty.

The next day we left early to spend the day in Hershey, PA and go to Hershey's Chocolate World! We had chosen four attractions, we had a sensory experience with a box of chocolates, rode a trolley around town and learned about Milton Hershey (generous man!), created our own chocolate bars too - and shopped in the store - it was all so fun. So much free chocolate! And the town of Hershey was so clean and beautiful.

We then walked the Hershey Gardens - he loved the roses and I loved the weeping cedar trees!

Ate dinner at The Chocolate Grill - delicious Mediterranean Chicken - and shared carrot cake. Such a pretty drive back to Jim Thorpe...

On Wednesday, we drove to Doylestown PA to tour Fonthill Castle - a must see for sure! Henry Mercer was a tile maker and very eccentric, as evidenced in his castle. Concrete bookcases, story tiles, it was fantastic! Saw his museum, as well.

Enjoyed lunch at Doylestown Inn - The Hattery - super cute inside (a wall of luggage!). Drove by Peddlers Village (not impressed) and on to New Hope - another quaint PA town with shops and a pretty bridge that crossed over into New Jersey. A pretty covered bridge nearby, as well - oh, I love covered bridges!

The next day was an early drive to Bushkill Falls and Raymondskill Falls were we hiked and climbed steps to observe beautiful waterfalls - both fairly easy to access. We had lunch in nearby Milford at The Waterwheel Cafe - and saw the biggest waterwheel ever, there!

Drove on to Quiet Valley Historical Farm where period actors demonstrated and gave talks - met a Jewish family with 8 kids. One hit his head pretty hard, so we toured with the other kids while the parents took care of him. Learned about a lot of tools we'd never seen before. Beautiful setting.

On to Stroudsburg to walk downtown, and happened upon music on the square. Grabbed at burger at 309 (Jon loved it!), sat on the steps and met another couple, and listened to a band on a summer evening in August...not bad at all...

On our last day, we enjoyed breakfast at a dive around the corner run by a mom and her kids - the kids waited on us. Best food! Then we had a tour of the Packer Mansion that sat atop a hill overlooking Jim Thorpe.

Such a fun trip, every single minute, and we were so thankful for the good weather, new friends, provision, and fun.

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