So Is The Vessel a Tourist Trap?

No. It’s pretty awesome. Yes, there are lots of people. Before getting my ticket I thought we had to purchase them. The fact that it’s basically a giant work of art you can walk on makes it amazing. It’s not every day you see something so cool. 

It’s science fiction meeting the future!

Go check out The Vessel.

Once In A Lifetime Journey

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclaimer policy here. Never leave without travel insurance.

What Produces the Flame?

Geologists from the Indiana University Bloomington and representatives from Italy conducted a study in 2013 to try to determine why the gas is being produced and how it affects the atmosphere. Findings showed that the gases produced have higher concentrations of ethane and propane gas compared to similar features in the world. Regarding methane gas, the evidence indicated that the grotto produces about 2.2 pounds of methane every day. Further, they determined that the gas originates from the Rhinestreet Shale which occurs about 1,300 feet below the surface.

The production of gas at the falls has been a mystery because the conditions for shale to produce gas are not met. Usually, shale must be hot for it to disintegrate into smaller gas molecules. However, the shale from which the Eternal Flames Fall draws its gas from is cool, shallow, and younger than common gas-producing shale.

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New York is the busiest and most crowded city in the world, and thousands of tourists visit the city every season around the year. All the seasons and months have distinctive attractions, events and festivals, and fascinating things to do in NYC.

The summer season begins in June and ends in August. The weather is scorching, humid, and sweaty at the end of summer, August, in NYC, but it has various lovely tourist attractions in New York. Tourists can enjoy several cool spots, fantastic things to do, and New York Events in August.

Here we discuss various fascinating spots to explore, unique attractions and exciting festivals, and New York City Events in August 2023. You will get information on planning a trip to New York in August.

Once In A Lifetime Journey

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclaimer policy here. Never leave without travel insurance.

Tourist Attractions In Pennsylvania

Into bodybuilding or weight lifting? Industrial machines? Colonial taverns? There’s a museum for you in York PA!  

Considered the “Father of World Weightlifting” – which includes both powerlifting (as pertains to weight) and body-building (sculpting the muscles) – Bob Hoffman started a trend that was popularized by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1970s and still continues to this day.

You can delve right in at the Weightlifting Hall of Fame @ York Barbells

A history buff? Find out how people got their news during in the 1700s by touring the York Colonial Complex, in the City of York PA, which includes The 1741 Golden Plough Tavern, the adjoining 1755 General Horatio Gates House, and the 1812 Barnett Bobb Log House, which was moved here in the 1960s.

The Tavern belonged to a family of German heritage who lived and worked there. On the first floor, the tavern room was as close as it got to network news, as travelers would eat, drink, and share gossip of the day.

Learn about our industrial heritage at the Agricultural And Industrial Museum where large-scale printing presses, overhead crane rails, a 1916 trolley car from downtown York, a working gristmill water wheel, and artifacts from many York factories can all be found.

It’s a wonderland for both kids and adults.

Christopher Columbus’s artifacts from the time he Sailed the Ocean Blue in 1492 are kept in a vault in little ole Boalsburg. Amazingly, yes. At the Columbus Chapel and Boal Museum (20 minutes from State College, in Happy Valley PA).

It almost seems too suspect to be true. The cross that Christopher Columbus used to claim unexplored land and his circa 1400s Admiral’s Desk in a vault in this tiny mid-PA town? And, slivers of the True Cross of Jesus, too?

Well, at least one of those has been authenticated, the other taken on faith. But both artifacts and much more have ended up in this small town location, the home of 8 generations of the Boal family.

Find out how this came to be on a tour of the Boal Museum and Chapel for a story that will blow you away. This is surely one of the most poignant tourist attractions in the Mid-Atlantic States.

The center of everything stamps and stamp collecting is also within a 20-minute drive of State College PA at the American Philatelic Society Headquarters at the Match Factory in Bellefonte, a lovely “river runs through it” kind of Happy Valley PA town and center of the universe for all things philatelic.

“Philatelic” may be a mouthful of a word, but in essence, it concerns stamp collecting and postal history – with an emphasis on academic research. Who knew that the hobby some of us pursued as kids could be so exciting? The museum and research library are top-notch.

Penn’s Cave and Wildlife Park is one of the only caves in the USA you tour completely by boat. You can’t miss ads and billboards for this attraction about a 25-minute drive from Penn State.

Touted as the “Only all-water Cavern AND Wildlife Park” in America: See It By Boat!” this show cave has been delighting tourists for 133 years.

The All Sports Museum at Beaver Stadium, at Penn State in State College PA will impress even those who dislike sports. I didn’t go to Penn State, and I don’t have much interest in sports.

But, I gamely went to Beaver Stadium, home of the Nittany Lions, and the second largest college stadium in the country (at 106,500 seats, second only to U of Michigan, with 109,000 seats), to check out the All Sports Museum.

I’m glad I did. The stadium itself is imposing, but the museum swept me up in the fierce devotion, positive striving, and competitive spirit of the “Blue and White.”

Also on campus, wander among the blooms and sculptures at the Arboretum at Penn State: H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens.

A copse of evergreen trees pierces the sky, and colorful sculptures and flowers beguile throughout this serene arboretum. No wonder it’s one of the most popular attractions on campus.

Learn about the heroes and legends of America’s first government rebellion – post Independence on a boat tour through Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper Fleet.

Book an hour sightseeing cruise on one of the several paddlewheel boats in the Gateway Clipper Fleet for an overview of Pittsburgh PA history, with a crash course on Pennsylvania History.

While plying the three rivers that run through Pittsburgh, a historian narrates the area’s history from 1681, when King Charles II granted 45,000 square miles of land to William Penn to modern times.

Top contender for the quirkiest of tourist attractions in the Mid-Atlantic States, you’ll be sure to stare in wild-eyed wonder at this fantasia of a back, front, and side yard – Randyland.

On the same street and steps from The Mattress Factory, Randyland – the wildly colorful brainchild of Randy Gibson, whose goal was “to bring happiness to his neighborhood” – is such an ecstatic, iridescent, geometric, disjointed, engrossing, eclectically decorated home and property, it’s become a media darling.

“Mr.” Fred Rodgers grew up about 1 ½ hours from Pittsburgh in this small town. Visit the museum devoted to him – Fred Rogers Center, on the campus of Saint Vincent College in Laurel Highlands PA.

An ordained minister, Fred Rogers considered his television show to be his ministry, leading one reviewer to write, “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood makes us feel safe, cared for, and valued.

Wherever Mr. Rogers is, so is a sanctuary.” The Fred Rogers Center was the prime resource for both the Documentary and the Tom Hanks film. (Yes, Hanks spent time here doing research).

It also features a small museum where you’ll see Rogers’ four different colored sweaters – knitted by his mother (that he alternated every day and couldn’t differentiate due to his red-green color blindness), puppets used on the show, plenty of photos, and quotes by Rogers and others about him.

Fred Rogers died in 2003. He was, as many said, “an island of peace.” We sure could use him now.

Get a glimpse of majestic creatures in the (protected) wild at the Elk County Visitor’s Center outside of Clearfield County in Benezette PA.

The best time to see these moose/deer mashups is at dusk and dawn. And, the best place to see them is through the Elk County Visitor’s Center’s picture windows or by walking the trails around open fields.

Stumbling on Bilger’s Rocks in Clearfield County, a 20-acre natural wonder, is akin to discovering Angkor Wat Temple in the midst of a Cambodian jungle. Roots and trees shoot out from rock outcroppings, some overtaking them entirely.

This geological phenomenon was caused by “frost wedging” – where angular boulders broke off from the surrounding mountainside, creating narrow stone passageways, caves, and moss-covered stone chunks – some as high as a 5 story building and perfect for climbing.

If you’re seeking one of the really wildest, out-of-the-way tourist attractions in mid-Atlantic states, Bilger’s Rocks fits the bill.

We can learn a lot about forest management from the Native Americans who knew how to do it right. The Clearfield County Historical Society provides an overview.

Timber and logging were central to the wealth of Clearfield County, as this 1880 “One-Percenter” brick home, overlooking the Susquehanna River, attests.

White pine grew quickly and floated well on the river, so the logging company owner who owned this home could watch his product float – and his money grow – from the front porch.

See taxidermied animals juxtaposed with antique cars at Grice Clearfield Community Museum, Clearfield. Lynn “Scoot” Grice is very into ammo and autos. And animal mounts.

After serving overseas in WWII, he got into firearms, opening up his own gun store in Clearfield PA – the largest in the state – which provided him with the funds to start collecting his favorite automobiles.

Now, those with the same fascinations can see over 70 antique and classic cars with over 800 taxidermied animals mounted on walls and scattered around the collection.

See the very first version of Budweiser Beer at Dubois Area Historical Society in Clearfield County PA. Tom Mix, Hollywood’s first “Western Star” was born and raised in Dubois PA. Though he lived in L.A., he came home to see his Ma on occasion.

There’s also a whole exhibit about Dubois Brewing Co.’s Budweiser Beer – the original Budweiser. Until Anheuser Busch purchased the name from this historic PA brewery.

Plan a day, and perhaps a night at Doolittle Station. This compound of old train cars has been pulling travelers off I-80 in greater and greater numbers lately. That’s because owner and visionary, Dr. Rice has been collecting singularly iconic train cars.

He repurposes them as hotel rooms and restaurants – including a fire-oven pizza parlor, a brewery, an ice creamery, fine dining, and a 50’s diner. Stay overnight in Teddy Roosevelt’s travel Pullman or a renovated Circus Train.

Explore this nearly hidden village and blow your own glass bowl at Glasslight Studio (about a 40-minute drive from West Chester in Chester County PA).

Having had experience with half a dozen drop-in glassblowing classes in other studios around the country, I can honestly say that the full-day make-and-take class at Glasslight is the most hands-on, immersive experience you will ever have as a novice.

Up the street, the hidden burg of St. Peter’s Village is not gussied up for the tourist trade. But seekers of the off-the-beaten track will find much to love here – especially the rocky, tree-studded French Creek that both rages and meanders over and through boulders behind Main St.

It’s such a stunning scene that those who know how to find St. Peter’s compare it to Brigadoon. 

Into tiny little art villages? You’ll adore Yellow Springs in Chester County PA, which has both Civil War, Medical Hospital, and resort history, and is now strictly an arts enclave.

Dedicated to the visual arts, environment, and the village’s 300-year history, Historic Yellow Springs now hosts one of the largest Annual Art Shows in the region, showcasing the work of 209 artists over a 2-week period every spring.

Purchase real food from real chefs at the Artisan Exchange at Matlack Industrial Center. Have your friends told you that you should be selling your sublime gluten-free cheesecake to the masses? Are people constantly gushing about your version of the cake that your great-grandfathers baked for Irish royalty?

Corporate types with a passion for something other than office work – a product, an heirloom recipe – can build a business at the Artisan Exchange without risking their retirement nest egg. And fans of homemade, artisanal foodstuffs will find nirvana here.

There are currently 54 vendors who sell directly to the public every Saturday from 10-2. This Under the Radar Attraction is a great way to meet the person who made your food.

1. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

The Statue of Liberty is the nation’s most iconic monument, a symbol of hope to millions of immigrants on their way to Ellis Island.

Tourists can visit both attractions via a ferry operated by the National Park Service that meets passengers at Battery Park and runs continuous loops throughout the day.

The first stop is the statue, where visitors can enjoy views of both the monument and the New York City skyline at no charge. You can also purchase tickets to access the pedestal or crown, although crown passes sell out at least six months in advance.

Be sure to wander through the museum in the base of the statue and check out the extensive educational signs, statues, and historic markers.

The ferry stops next at Ellis Island, where there is a museum on the first floor of the main building, an architectural masterpiece that once served as the main processing center and hospital from 1892 to 1954. On the upper level, tourists can wander the rooms of the quarantine wing and see some of the original bunks and facilities used by those hoping to start new lives.

Inside are poignant exhibits, with walls of photos, documents, and personal stories that capture defining moments in American history, one person at a time.

Tourists should plan at least a half day to enjoy sightseeing at both attractions, or if pressed for time consider hopping aboard the ferry and using the ride to get phenomenal views of these New York City landmarks from many angles.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in New York City

Allentown Historic District

This place is fantastic because it offers so many residential and business opportunities!

The greatest of New York culture may be found in this area.

Allentown, one of Buffalo’s oldest enclaves, is a living testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

In addition, the natural surroundings in the residential area help to create a calming atmosphere.

They’re the locations where the atmosphere is as exciting as the music.

Some of Buffalo’s most exciting music venues may be found in Allentown.

In Buffalo, the Allentown Historic District is located just north of the central business area.

Three-quarters of a mile away, Lake Erie can be seen.

The area has a creative vibe unlike anything else in the city, thanks to its beautiful brick structures and vibrant residents.

North Street, the district’s northern limit, is the district’s highest point.

Visit Allentown Historic District, which has a variety of exciting things to do for visitors.

Address: Buffalo, New York, 14201 Allentown, NY

So Is The Vessel a Tourist Trap?

No. It’s pretty awesome. Yes, there are lots of people. Before getting my ticket I thought we had to purchase them. The fact that it’s basically a giant work of art you can walk on makes it amazing. It’s not every day you see something so cool. 

It’s science fiction meeting the future!

Go check out The Vessel.

New York City Tourist Attractions

With there being so much to do in New York City, planning a trip can feel overwhelming. Our plan (to eat and drink a lot) was derailed as we were sucked into the tourist attractions…a lot. So here are my thoughts on the 11 touristy things we did while we were in NYC.

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