Purchases of our 2024 PA Calendar and PA Amusement Parks Book

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Philadelphia City Hall: The Beautiful Heart of Philly

Today we start some adventures through Philadelphia. We recently spent some time in this great city and had a great time. We start with the natural starting point for anyone approaching the city through Broad Street from the North, City Hall. We prefer to take this route in to the city because it remains generally traffic free and gives a dramatic entry into the city. The first Center City building that comes into view is the civic heart of the city, City Hall. This building is one of my overall favorite skyscrapers, with it being so dramatically different from pretty much any other building out there. 
You are greeted with a view of City Hall pretty far north on Broad Street, which maintains a straight, 13 mile route through most of the city of Philadelphia.
Our first stop in the city took us to City Hall. It is incredible that this building serves as not just the government center for the city, but also as a lively recreational center, with a performance area, a splash park, and courtyards filled with singing street performers, and absolutely beautiful architecture.
It is the largest municipal building in the country and remains the tallest building in the world without a steel support system. It is 548 feet tall with a masonry structure and marble facade.
 The first floor has granite and brick walls that are 22 feet wide in some places in order to support the weight of this elegant building.
This building is absolutely massive in scale and is thoroughly impressive. With a reservation, you can visit the observation deck of the tower and tour this impressive building. 
William Penn initially planned for there to be a city hall on this plot of land in 1682. More than two hundred years later, this plan became a reality. It took 30 years to complete construction on this stunning building, which ended up being the tallest habitable building in the world from 1894 to 1908, and the first secular building in recorded human history to hold this title. It was the tallest in the state until 1932 when one of my other favorite skyscrapers was built, Pittsburgh's Art Deco Gulf Tower.
City Hall remained the tallest in Philadelphia for most of the 20th century, thanks to a gentleman's agreement that no building be taller than William Penn's statue at the top of the tower. The statue remains as the tallest atop any building in the world at 37 feet. 
The view of City Hall from the stunning One Liberty Observation Deck
It is a superstition that the breaking of this agreement in the 1987 with the construction of One Liberty Place kept the Philly sports teams from winning championships. When the first Comcast Tower was constructed in 2007, a construction worker placed a figurine of William Penn atop the highest girder of the building and the "Curse of Billy Penn" was broken with the Phillies winning the World Series in 2008. When the second Comcast Tower was built, another William Penn figurine was placed on the highest girder, and the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl. Additionally, the Philadelphia area team, the Villanova Wildcats, have won two of their three NCAA titles since the "curse" was broken.
It is great to see a civic building that also serves as a social gathering place for the people of the city.
The view from Ben Franklin Parkway
And the view from Logan Square. 

Philadelphia City Hall is an absolute treasure of a building that serves as a the heart of the city in so many ways. Be sure to check out this stunning building. 


Beautiful Scenic Overlook at Round Top Park: Near Sayre, PA

Municipal parks are always a great place for local people to go and have a small picnic, a group picnic in pavilions, to bring kids to play on playground equipment, or to simply go for a short walk or hike on a nature interpretive trail. Seldom do these parks also include an excellent scenic overlook. Athens Township's Round Top Park, near Sayre, offers a stunning view of the Susquehanna and Chemung River Valleys and nearby New York State. 
The park even has swings set up for people to take in the beautiful views.
This site in Bradford County is located within close reach of many other beautiful scenic overlooks, including Lambs VistaMarie Antoinette Overlook, Wyalusing Rocks Overlook, Mt. Pisgah County Park Overlook, and more. The rugged glaciated plateau geology of the Endless Mountains region lends itself well to these types of scenic overlooks and vistas. We highly recommend checking them all out.


Lambs Hill Overlook, A Stunning View in Bradford County

There are some things that we seem to naturally gravitate to on our page here. Among these things are amusement parks, waterfalls, covered bridges, hiking opportunities, historic sites, railroads, roadside stuff and more. The thing that tends to capture my attention more than almost anything in the state are Pennsylvania's stunning scenic overlooks and vistas. The rugged terrain of the state lends itself to having so many tremendous views. With this plethora of views, many of these scenic overlooks tend to get overlooked. One such place like this is the Lambs Hill Vista/Overlook in Bradford County. Tucked away, deep on a state forest road, is a maintained picnic area and clearing by the DCNR to open up access to this great view on the eastern edge of Tioga State Forest.
You are greeted with a tremendous view of rolling hills, farmland, and a view at 2322 feet from the edge of the Appalachian High Plateau, over the the Glaciated Low Plateau, with the High Plateau picking up again out in the distance. Due to the resistance of the sandstone at this location to weathering, it has remained while the remnants for the next 900-1000 feet below have weathered away. The result of this is just a stunning view over several geologic formations.

There are some picnic tables within feet of the clearing for the overlook. 
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Bradford County is filled with so many great overlooks, amongst these are the Marie Antoinette and Wyalusing Rocks Overlooks. For more of the state's fantastic scenic overlooks and vistas, check out our list of more than 50 of the state's great vistas and overlooks

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