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Greater Reading: An Outdoor Adventure and Cultural Haven

By Marina Jokic

Pennsylvania is known for its picturesque wilderness and many outdoor activities. The Commonwealth is filled with scenic mountains, valleys, and farmlands. More specifically,Greater Reading area or Berks County combines the state's outdoorsy charm with a rich historical tradition and a wonderfully saturated cultural and artistic scene. To those looking to experience Pennsylvania German heritage, history, museums, and great entertainment, Greater Reading abounds and beckons.

Lisa Haggerty, Marketing Manager of Greater Reading Convention and Visitor's Bureau, chose Greater Reading as her home for many reasons, from spectacular natural beauty and changing landscapes, to an incredibly diverse architecture that evokes ages past. There are Queen Anne style row homes and mansions within the area's historic districts as well as old stone homes in the countryside --- a wonderful contrast that gives tourists a taste of both worlds. Centrally located within a few hours' drive from major metropolitan cities like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C., Greater Reading is popular with tourists and can deliver a unique travel experience. It offers a glimpse into Pennsylvania's formative past while also making contemporary arts and culture very accessible.

The town holds many events which turn out to be great hits with visitors and residents. "Festivals like Berks Jazz Fest and the Fiddle Fest invite attendees to enjoy great music," Haggerty adds. There is also a World War II Weekend all about history, while Kutztown Folk Festival pays tribute to the Pennsylvania German tradition. The unique cultural heritage in the area has influenced all facets of life there from food and music to artistic expression. If you are a history buff, you'll enjoy Greater Reading's many museums. If you are a foodie, you can take advantage of a number of food-themed events, among them the Hamburg-er Festival, Chile Pepper Festival, Pretzel Fest and Oktoberfest. For a relatively small town, it certainly puts on an impressive portfolio of events, and offers residents and visitors alike an eclectic mix of cool and interesting things to do year round.

When asked specifically about the Pennsylvania wilderness, Haggerty tells us that there are a ton of places to experience outdoor adventure in the Greater Reading area among them are Blue Marsh Lake, Nolde Forest, and French Creek State Park for hiking, biking, swimming, and a number of winter sports. Most notably, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is one of the best hawk watches in the world, which recently opened the very first accessible trail. Recently, the region attained Bronze Level Ride Center status from the International Mountain Biking Association for its exceptional mountain biking trails and experiences

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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