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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Beautiful and Colorful Street Art in New Wilmington Pennsylvania

Street Art Wall Mural in New Wilmington Pennsylvania by J Muzacz
We're avid travelers and enjoy taking road trips all over the United States, especially through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. When you travel by get the opportunity to see all kinds of cool things that you normally wouldn't see if you were traveling by air. During our road trips we enjoy seeking out outdoor wall murals and street art, and documenting what we find along the way.

A few weeks ago we took a road trip out to northwestern Pennsylvania and visited New Wilmington, located in Lawrence County. If you're unfamiliar with the area, New Wilmington is about 1 hour north of Pittsburgh and about 1 hour 45 minutes south of Erie. It's about 15 minutes from the Ohio and Pennsylvania border.
Street Art Wall Mural in New Wilmington Pennsylvania by J Muzacz

Street Art Wall Mural in New Wilmington Pennsylvania by J Muzacz

The borough is home to around 2,500 residents and you'll find the historic Westminster College located in the downtown business district. It's also situated right in the heart of Amish country. The town of New Wilmington was established in 1797-1798.

While visiting New Wilmington we stumbled upon a really cool outdoor wall mural (street art) by the artist J. Muzacz, an artist based out of Austin, Texas. This artist travels all over the world painting commissioned wall murals and street art. As you can see from our photographs, he's extremely talented! The locals told us that the mural was completed in June of 2017.
Street Art Wall Mural in New Wilmington Pennsylvania by J Muzacz

The wall mural is located on the Fresh Market building located in the downtown area. On the side of the building you'll see five panels that depict scenes from around the area...including the Old Order Amish and the Banks Covered Bridge. The entire mural is beautiful and extremely colorful! On the front of the Fresh Market you'll see another mural which rounds out the entire design.

If you're going to be visiting the New Wilmington area, we highly recommend that you stop by to check out this fantastic wall mural by J. Muzacz. It's absolutely incredible! You can double-click on each photo in this travel feature to have it open up in a new browsing window & in an enlarged size. You'll be able to see the details a lot better.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Boutique Shopping in Downtown Stone Harbor

Shopping in Downtown Stone Harbor - New Jersey
We love visiting Stone Harbor and the Wildwood areas in New Jersey and go down to the Jersey Shore as often as we can. When we're in the area, I like to spend an afternoon or evening doing some shopping in Stone Harbor. Why Stone Harbor? Because you'll find some of the coolest boutique store in the state!

If you're heading to Stone Harbor to do some shopping, you'll want to head to the downtown business district where you'll find several streets lined with shops and boutiques. For the most part, you'll have to pay for parking if you want to park close by. If you want free parking, be prepared to park several blocks away.
Shopping in Downtown Stone Harbor - New Jersey

Here's a partial list of some of the stores that you'll find:

Seashore Ace
The Olive Tree
Trendz Home
Trendz Jewelry
Mimi's Shop & Suncatcher Surf Shop
Gypsy Lane Home
People People
Wayward Gardener
Jewelry Studio
Coastal Fix
Blue Eden & Sea Foam Soap
Hoy's 5 & 10
Island Art
Paisley Christmas Shoppe
Eco Alley
Global Pursuit
The Original Fudge Kitchen
Ocean Galleries
The Tea Shoppe at Stone Harbor
The Spotted Whale
Talk of the Walk
+ Many More!
The Walk at Harbor Square in Stone Harbor - New Jersey

Town Clock in Stone Harbor New Jersey

One of my favorite places to visit is The Walk at Harbor Square which is the heart of Stone Harbor's famous 96th Street shopping district. It's filled with specialty shops and eateries. It's beautifully landscaped and really nice to walk through.  You'll find at least 12 stores and eateries located within just that area and many shops and restaurants located up and down the same street.
Shopping in Downtown Stone Harbor - New Jersey

One of my favorite stores to visit is the Hoy's 5 & 10 which sells all kinds of beautiful jewelry items, apparel for the family, home decor & kitchen items, toys for the kids, beach items, cosmetics, OTC medications, beauty products and more. I love their variety of products and I certainly love their affordable prices. Every time I go in there...I purchase several items for myself and/or to give as gifts.

Seashore Ace is another store that I enjoy visiting! It's like an ACE Hardware store, but even better! I decorate my home in a beach & coastal style and I love going into Ace to find furniture, lighting products and coastal decor for my home. They have some of the prettiest and most unique items!
Stone Harbor - New Jersey - Water Tower

Please note...the majority of the shops & stores in the district do NOT have public restrooms! If you need to use a public restroom, you'll want to head to the marked Stone Harbor water tower and follow all of the public restroom signs once you get there. It's within a short walk from the downtown business area. Those are the ONLY public restrooms in the area that I'm aware of, besides the few you find at eateries and restaurants which are available to their patrons only.

Unlike some of your other seaside towns, Stone Harbor has their own unique "upscale" and "artsy" vibe. I admit, their prices are generally HIGHER than the prices you'll find on the Ocean City or Wildwood Boardwalks, but their quality of merchandise is a lot better. Yes, you can find some bargains and deals there, but it's not like the gift & souvenir shops you find on the boardwalk. Just wanted to give you a head's up on that.
Club 18 Mini Golf in Stone Harbor - New Jersey

We love visiting Stone Harbor in New Jersey and I always spend at least one afternoon or evening shopping in the downtown business district. After we're done shopping, we usually grab a bite to eat from a local eatery and then find a place to play miniature golf. One of our favorite mini golf places is called Club 18 and you'll find it nearby.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Exploring Wildwood Nature Park in Harrisburg

Wildwood Park Nature Center in Harrisburg Pennsylvania
The Wildwood Park and Benjamin Olewine Nature Center is located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It's right off interstate 81 and within walking distance of Harrisburg Area Community College. If you need GPS coordinates: Wildwood Park 100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, PA. 17110.

Park Visitor's Information: There are several different parking lots available (all offer free parking), but we recommend the "Nature Center Lot" if you plan on visiting the Benjamin Olewine Nature Center too.If you plan on walking the trails or using the picnic grounds...the park is open from dawn to dusk.
Wildwood Park Nature Center in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

The walking trails range from easy to moderately difficult. Some of the trails are paved, some are wooden boardwalks and a few are uneven dirt trails. You can take baby strollers and wheelchairs on the boardwalk and paved trails. Dogs are allowed as long as they're friendly and must be kept on a leash. I recommend bringing along bottled water, sunscreen and bug spray.

If you're a historical maker hunter like we'll find the Wildwood Park Historical Marker located at the entrance to the Nature Center Parking Lot (intersection of Wildwood Way and Industrial Road). Here's what it says.
Wildwood Park in Harrisburg Pennsylvania - Historical Marker

Wildwood Park

Inspired by 'City Beautiful' advocates Horace McFarland and Mira Lloyd Dock, Wildwood Park opened its first trails in 1907. The largest of several Harrisburg parks designed in 1901 by leading horticulturist Warren Manning, it was part of a nationwide movement to enhance recreation, nature preservation and flood control in urban areas. Formerly Wetzel's Swamp, this Dauphin County park provides both educational and recreational opportunities.

By: 2005 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Wildwood Park in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

In my honest opinion, the best time to visit Wildwood Park is during the late spring season and early fall seasons. The weather is cooler, so you don't mind being outdoors in the elements. Every time we visit, it's not overly-crowded, unless they're hosting an event or if school/scout groups are visiting. Even then, the only thing that might get crowded is the indoor Nature Center itself.

There are park map information markers along the trails and you can pick up a free paper park map at several locations, including at the Nature Center. You'll want to wear season-appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes if you plan on hitting the trails.
Wildwood Park Nature Center in Harrisburg Pennsylvania

The purpose of this feature is to document the Wildwood Park historical marker. If you would like to check out our more extensive features on Wildwood Nature Park (the trails, nature center and picnic grounds), you can find that feature right here on the blog too!