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Weekend Trips from Bethlehem, PA

View of the Philadelphia Art Museum and city skyline

One of the greatest things about going to college in the Lehigh Valley is that we are basically in the middle of everything! So get your homework done, grab your friends, and head off on a memorable road trip. Here are a few of the best places to go during a free weekend at Moravian College:

Jim Thorpe

Stroll through downtown’s dozens of unique shops or visit the historic Asa and Harry Packer mansions (if the Harry Packer mansion looks familiar, it's because it was the inspiration behind Disney’s Haunted Mansion). History buffs can also visit the Old Jail and hear its many ghostly tales. Outdoor-lovers can hike or bike along the town’s trails or spend the day sunbathing at Mauch Chunk Lake Park. And sports fans don’t want to miss the burial place and memorial of Olympian Jim Thorpe.  

Philadelphia

You can check out the usual tourist sites like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and grab a bite to eat at Reading Terminal Market. Or you can check out the city’s lesser known locations. Pay Ben Franklin a visit at Christ Church Burial Ground or try on legit Mummer’s garb at the Mummer’s Museum. Also, no visit to Philadelphia is complete without venturing down Broad street and catching a game at Citizens Bank Park or the Linc.

Cape May and Wildwood

Cape May and Wildwood are completely different towns at the Jersey Shore, but the ideal weekend involves visiting both. Cape May is best during the day so you can fully appreciate its ornate Victorian homes. Be sure to go to the Point, so you can see the sunken ship, climb the lighthouse, and search for some Cape May diamonds. Wildwood comes alive at night and you don’t want to miss its famous boardwalk: two miles of rides, shops, arcades, and eateries. Just be sure to “watch the tramcar, please.”

Baltimore

Though it is slightly further away, Baltimore is definitely worth the drive. Shop and dine around Inner Harbor, and visit the National Aquarium. Water taxis can transport you rather quickly to other parts of the city, if you don’t mind the rocking and rolling of the harbor’s waves. Fort McHenry is a site everyone should see at least once. It’s where our national anthem was written, after all.

New York City

No matter your interests, NYC has something for you. Enter a lottery for an inexpensive Broadway show (though good luck winning tickets to Hamilton). Greenwich Village has the best eateries and exploring Central Park may take up an entire day. You could stroll along the river in Lower Manhattan while the financial district bustles around you. But don’t confine yourself to Manhattan alone. There are four other boroughs with their own unique sites!

Pittsburgh

Getting to the City of Bridges requires quite a drive, and you might need a three-day weekend. You can visit the zoo or catch a game at PNC Park. Spend the morning walking along the three rivers that converge at the city’s point. Be sure to visit the Strip District and eat a Primanti Brothers’ sandwich, and see the best view of the city at night by taking one of the hundred-year-old inclines up to Mt. Washington.

Washington, D.C.

Our nation’s capital is one of the best places to spend a weekend, especially if you are a college student. Why? Because a majority of the sites (the monuments and all of the Smithsonian museums and zoo) are FREE! Spend the day at the National Mall, or in one of the 17 Smithsonian locations throughout the city. You could also explore other neighborhoods within the city, like Dupont Circle and Georgetown, each with their own unique flare.

Reflecting on The 1742 Experience
Claire Boucher, Social and Digital Media Manager
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