Rehoboth Beach, DE

This cold, dreary weather makes me reminisce of warm, summer days at the beach with my toes in the water.  Thinking of planning a weekend getaway for the beginning of the summer–head to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  It’s a great place to visit for a weekend if you just want to get away from the stresses of life.

My friends typically go mid-summer to Rehoboth when it is crowded with people, but I decided to travel there the first week of June with my best friend and my brother.  We arrived on Friday night, after a long drive.  It really should only take about 4 hours from CT, but was almost doubled because of an accident on the GW (George Washington bridge).  The weather was a bit chilly the first night and day, but it warmed up the last day to high 70s, close to 80 degrees.  The locals said this year’s temperature was not typical.  It’s usually a lot warmer.

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We stayed at the Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center, not your most modern style hotel.  But we had an ocean view, and that was worth it!  I’m typically not a morning person, but I was awoken by the sun rising.  The orange hue from the sun was blending with the blue sky was the most vibrant I had seen and it was beautiful.  Probably, because included with that view, was a pod of dolphins leaping out of the water.  It was the most serene moment after a few weeks of never-ending administering, grading, and inputting end of year assessments.

The hotel we stayed at was perfectly situated, facing the Boardwalk.  On the Boardwalk,  you’ll pass little shops, many filled with beach theme items (if that’s your type of decor style-which for me, is), places to eat, and a family amusement center.   I love the beach!  But, I’m not one to sit at the beach all day or for hours sunbathing.  Instead, I’d rather go and explore.  So, of course, after spending a little time at the beach, we decided to take a stroll to scope out the stores and restaurants.  And, at the little shops I found so many great decor pieces for my one day, wishful thinking house on the beach.  Plus, several great places to eat!

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Definite must go to eateries in Rehoboth are:

Soft Shell Crab
Best soft shell crab ever at Fins Fish House & Raw Bar

If you must burn off all those calories you ate, you can join the locals riding their bikes or go for a run on the Boardwalk.  Now, I’m not much of a runner but I woke up the next day for an invigorating run down the Boardwalk, where I was  sandwiched between the ocean and beautiful beach homes.  Daydreaming, I wish I could live here everyday.

If you have kids, the amusement center on the Boardwalk is the best place to take the kids after a day at the beach.   There are rides, games, bumper cars, an arcade, and miniature golf.  Both Friday and Saturday night were lively there on that end of the Boardwalk.  Now, mine you, there was a baseball tournament that weekend, so crowds of families packed the amusement center area.

Another thing I love to do is SHOP especially when I can get things at a bargain.  Just my luck, near Rehoboth Beach are the Tanger Outlets.  A short drive to find some deals and steals.  And best part, tax free!  There are about 110 stores.  The one caveat about the outlets is that they are not technically located in one area.  Instead, it is 3 different locations, all very close to each other, though.  So shop till you drop!

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I had never been to a beach community before and Rehoboth was exactly what I had envisioned–friendly people, quaint beach homes, small eclectic shops, and small-town feel.   This trip was just what I needed and I can’t wait to go back.  Happy and safe travels!

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Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia also nicknamed the City of Brotherly Love was my summer getaway  this year.  This was my second time to this city.  I had gone several years ago with my crew.  We had a blast!  But there was not enough time to do everything I wanted to.   Since it’s only about a 3 hour drive from southwestern Connecticut, why not head back!

This time I stayed at Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse, located in central Philadelphia.  It was perfectly situated.  I walked everywhere from there.  It’s a nice hotel, renovated recently.  When you walk in, you’re welcomed by the sleek decor and walls adorned with a script.  My room was simple and it was really more of a place to sleep than anything, knowing that I was only in Philadelphia for 2 1/2 days this time.

rittenhouseThe last time I came, all the locals had told us to go to Sonny’s Famous Steaks so I never made it to Pat’s or Geno’s.  So that was my first stop.  Their rivalry is well-known.  I walked there from the hotel…it was a long walk; I should have drove, but hey, I walked off the calories from the cheesesteaks even before eating it.  Plus, there really is no parking.  Pat’s and Geno’s are literally right across from each other.  They both look a lot bigger on television.  Pat’s was first; I ordered the steak wit-out cheese whiz.  The steak was shaved and lathered with cheese whiz.  The bread was amazing. Then, off to Geno’s where I got the same thing.  Geno’s sandwich had layers of steak, but my cheese was watery, which I know is from the beef juices, but that’s not my cup of tea.  For me, Pat’s was better.

When you go to Philadelphia, you can’ leave without having a Philly cheesesteak.   Personally, I think it is really going to come down to one’s own preference.  Head to Philly and you decide for yourself which is best!

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The other place that I had to go to was Reading Terminal Market.  Prior to going I had checked out their website and researched what I should try.  My list included:  try donuts from Beiler’s Bakery, get cookies from the Famous 4th Street Cookie Company, try some pastries from Termini Bros Bakery, get some fried cheese curds and a corn dog from Fox & Son, eat a pastrami sandwich from Hershel, have ice cream from Bassett’s and try pierogies from Franks-A-Lot.  I know, overly ambitious…I tried.

 

My definite must-try are the donuts from Beiler’s Bakery.  Get there early; there’s usually a line that’s wrapped around.  I got the Salty Caramel, Chocolate Mousse, Boston Creme, Apple Fritter, and Strawberry-filled donuts.  They were the lightest, most fluffiest donuts I have ever had!  And no, I didn’t eat them all in one sitting.

I also wanted to check out their Chinatown because the last time I had gone, it was one of the stops on the Hop On/Hop Off sightseeing bus tours.  It’s not really that impressive as New York City’s Chinatown.

 

Some of the other places that I’d recommend going to are:

  • Eastern State Penitentiary
  • Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • U.S. Mint
  • One Liberty Observation Deck

If you are looking for some other places to eat besides the merchants in Reading Terminal Market, here are a few of my suggestions:

 

I hope you can get away and enjoy exploring the city of Brotherly Love! Happy and safe travels!

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