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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Visiting the Gettysburg Lincoln Train Museum

No trip to Gettysburg would be complete without a visit to the Gettysburg Lincoln Train Museum located at 425 Steinwehr Avenue in Gettysburg Pennsylvania. The museum is about a 5 to 10 minute drive from the downtown business district and within walking distance of other tourist attractions located on Steinwehr Avenue.

When you visit the museum you will learn about President Lincoln, a little bit about his family, the death of his young son Willie and of course...the death of President Lincoln himself. One thing this museum really focuses on is the funeral procession of Lincoln's body by train from Washington D.C. to his final resting place in Springfield Illinois.

Once you enter the museum you'll be standing in their gift shop where you'll pay your admission. They let you into the museum portion in groups, so if you need to wait, feel free to do your souvenir shopping ahead of time. In the gift shop you'll find all kinds of cool souvenirs like hoodies, t-shirts, toys for the kids, jewelry, collectibles, housewares, candy, beverages, train items and more!

We only had to wait 10 minutes before the group was allowed to enter and once in the hallway you will be greeted by President Abe Lincoln and several television video screens. An actor who plays him will give you some history about the president, his family and his death. The screens walk you down a hallway which is lined with photographs & collectibles. This portion only takes about 5 minutes to go through.

After you are done with that, you'll enter the train museum and will be escorted to some benches in front of a large train display and video screen. A film comes on that lasts about 10 minutes and tells you about the funeral train. Where it started, the major cities it goes through, the millions of people who showed up in each city to pay their respects and then it's arrival in Springfield Illinois. As the video plays, the train goes around the track and stops in various major cities. This gives you a good perspective on how beloved President Lincoln was and how long his funeral procession lasted (by train) going through all of those cities.

Once we were done watching that, they gave us about 15-20 minutes to roam around the train museum to check out all of the various displays. We saw hundreds of different trains, collectibles relating to the railroad, some artifacts & collectibles from the civil war and even some collectibles from the 1970's and 1980's. Hubby loved seeing their very small collection of items from the movie Star Wars!

One of the things we really enjoyed seeing was their large train display that sits in the middle of the room. This display is really large and you can interact with it by pushing varying buttons to get trains to go around the track, to get buildings to light up, carnival rides to move and all sorts of other things. This display was great for both adults and children.

If you have small children or grandchildren along with you during your visit, you'll find a small play area where they can sit down at a table and play with some Chugginton Train Toys and have some fun. I noticed that several families would let their kids sit and play as they walked around and looked at the various exhibits and items on display.

After we explored the various collectibles and items they had on display, we boarded their "mock" train car for the next part of our our. This train car was set up to resemble the kind of car that Lincoln's body would of ridden in until he got to his final resting place. The car has several benches in it, a faux coffin and video screens on the wall. You sit in the car and a video comes on giving you information about his funeral procession by train. As the video plays, the car does rock back & forth and up & down to assimilate what a real train feels like. My husband thought this was really cool. This part of the tour lasts about 10-12 minutes and was very informative.

Once we were done...we headed back out into the gift shop and did a little bit of souvenir shopping. We found their prices to be extremely reasonable, so I picked up a few items for our grandchildren while we were there. After you go outside, you'll find a train car to the right of the building and you can the kids can climb in there for a little bit of fun.

Overall, we really enjoyed our visit to the Gettysburg Lincoln Train Museum in Pennsylvania. It's open daily April through November and then December through March they are open Thursday through Monday. You can visit their website for hours of operation, driving directions and to obtain information about special rates that are available to groups.

Note: All photos are copyright Pennsylvania & Beyond Travel Blog. These photos are clickable, and if you click on each one, it will open up in a new window and in an enlarged size, so that you can view the smaller details up close.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

5 Great Places to Get Ice Cream in Wildwood

When you visit Wildwood you'll find hundreds of different places to get ice cream. Some of these places are right on the Wildwood boardwalk and some are sprinkled throughout the island itself. Many of them offer the classic flavors and others will offer 100's of different combination flavors along with various toppings.

Visiting the Jersey Shore just isn't complete unless you try out some icy-cold treats and today, we are listing five of them for you to consider. Here are our Top 5 Great Places to Get Ice Cream in Wildwood New Jersey.

1. One of the most famous and BEST places to get ice cream is from Kohr Bros who has been in business since 1919. They have some of the creamiest and smoothest ice cream and frozen custard on the entire east coast! You'll find them at several different locations in Wildwood & Cape May. If you ask my husband, this is his favorite place to get a classic chocolate cone!

2. If you're looking for a fun family experience we recommend that you check out Cool Scoops which is a Doo Wop style ice cream parlor. They have a lot of different flavors of ice cream and offer sundaes and milkshakes too! My grand daughter loves this place because of all of the different toppings that they have to offer. What makes Cool Scoops super fun is the adorable vintage-style car seats that you can sit in while enjoying your icy-cold confection. Aren't they adorable?

3. Hassles Ice Cream Parlour is definitely on our top 5 places to get ice cream when visiting North Wildwood. This parlour has a lot of your classic flavors & popular flavor combinations that are rich, creamy and delicious. You get really nice portions with Hassles and their prices are decent too. After you've enjoyed your ice cream, you can take in a round of miniature golf which sits right behind their parlour! Looking for bike rentals? They've got those too.

4. Rounding out our list is Ken & Mary's Ice Cream and More which is located on the boardwalk. While they don't look like much, their ice cream is good and super affordable. In addition to the icy-cold treats, they offer your classic-style soft pretzels and cold beverages too. They're not fancy here at all but it's a great place to the kids.

5. The Seashell Ice Cream Parlor is located in North Wildwood, about 1 1/2 blocks back from the boardwalk. They offer your classic flavors, mixed flavors and you can get milkshakes here too! My little grand daughter likes coming here due to their bright decor colors & she likes that we will sit outside at one of the tables or on a bench to enjoy our ice cream. Their's is pretty good when it comes to taste and we find that their prices are affordable too.

Well, there you have it. Our list of 5 Great Places to Get Ice Cream in Wildwood New Jersey. Some of these places are located directly on the boardwalk and others are a few streets back.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

16th Street Beachfront Playground in North Wildwood

If you are visiting any of the areas on the Wildwoods Island and looking for a free beachfront park for the kids to play in...then I would highly recommend that you check out the 16th Street Playground in North Wildwood. Out of all of the playgrounds on the island, this one is our favorite!
The playground is located at 16th Street but runs the width of a few blocks. It's beachfront and you can see the ocean from a few locations and paid meter parking is nearby. You can find free parking on nearby streets if you look hard enough for it.
This is a sandy playground with a lot of different things for the kids to do. At the northern end of the playground is a public restroom but it's only open seasonally and during certain hours of the day. Every once in awhile you will find a mobile vendor nearby with his food cart selling hot dogs, cold drinks and ice cream but they are expensive. You can bring your own picnic style lunch with you.
Every time we are down on the island we always take our little grand daughter over to this playground and she will play for hours! She loves getting on the cars, climbing all through the train, the wooden ferry and the other things that you will find there.
This playground is extremely clean! There are benches that you and can sit down on and watch the children play. It sits right on the beach and there is beach access at several locations along the beachfront playground. While there are several others on the Wildwood island...this one is our absolute favorite one to visit.
Note: You can click on each photo in this travel feature. It will open in a new window and will automatically enlarge so that you can see a bigger & more detailed view. Enjoy!