Reading, Pennsylvania in Berks County just 50 miles from Philadelphia in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, it is the 5th largest city in the state. It is perhaps most famous for being the home of the “Reading Railroad” found in the Monopoly game. Below are some of the top destinations in and around the Reading area.
Visit the Pagoda
The Reading Pagoda is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Just what is a medieval Japanese building doing in the middle of Pennsylvania? Well in 1908 construction finished on the Pagoda with hopes of becoming a luxury resort atop Readings’ Mt. Penn, however that idea was a flop as it was denied a liquor license and foreclosed on by the bank. 3 years later the ground became property of the city and the Pagoda has been open to the public ever since. This beautiful 7 story building is open weekends from noon to 4 and gives a fantastic view of the city of Reading and the surrounding lands. This is an unforgettable Reading landmark so out of place that it is sure to be remembered.1
Goggleworks Centre for the Arts
More than just a gallery, Goggleworks allows you to interact with your art and offers workshops in ceramics, mixed media painting, glass fusing, photography and beaded jewellery. Unique to Goggleworks is the fact that, in addition to being a gallery, it is also an active workshop for artists with on-site glass, ceramics, wood and photo shops where art is created and demonstrations are held in front of your eyes. The original building was opened in 1871 and manufactured optical glass used for making lenses, eventually making goggles during World War II renaming itself Willson Goggles and giving the centre its name.2
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
Anyone with an interest in the Revolutionary War will love the Hopewell Furnace, an iron foundry in operation since 1771, creating many things since that time including casting armaments during the war. You can catch demonstrations of how sand molds are crafted for use in creating ironworks, sheep shearing in the spring and a fabulous heirloom apple orchard offers apple picking in the fall with apples only one dollar per pound. In addition to this you can explore the grounds on your own and take in the scenery of this beautifully restored mill, its building and scenic property.
Crystal Cave Park
Just a 30 minute drive north of Reading is one of Pennsylvania’s true natural wonders at Crystal Cave Park. You’ll go underground and see just what a bit of water and a few centuries can do. Tours last an hour and run from March through November, taking you 125 underground to explore the awesome caverns and unique formations, be sure not to miss the Cathedral Chamber one of the most amazing sites anywhere. On-site along with the cave are a mini golf course and an ice cream parlour and café serving fast food as well as Pennsylvania Dutch specialties. Visiting the cave is an especially tempting offer as being an underground cave it stays cool year round so be sure to pack a jacket if you think you might get chilly.
Fairgrounds Mall and Farmers Market
If shopping sounds like a good way to spend the day then the Fairgrounds Mall is the place for you. However the real gem is the Farmers Market which serves some of the best food in Reading. Being in the heart of Dutch country you will find fantastic Amish food including “broasted” chicken, sausages and other meats plus amazing baked goods, as well as more varied cuisine from around the globe. This is among the best places to eat in Reading, but be sure to check the hours, as being a farmers market it has limited hours each week.
Hiking Neversink Mountain
If you love the outdoors you should checkout the trails at Neversink Mountain. With over 500 acres of hikeable terrain this beautiful wonderland will keep you busy as long as you wish to be. Trails are very well marked and easy to follow and rated from beginner to advanced with hiking time, trail length and points of interest already laid out for you beforehand. If you need help on what to wear hiking the knowledgable staff can assist you. You may run in to deer, turkeys or songbirds as well as the diverse moth and butterfly population of the mountain alongside the beautiful flora native to the area.
Where East Meets West on the Neversink River
Reading is a fantastic place to live or visit with many things to do and see, so feel free to explore yourself and find something fun. Check below for directions to all locations mentioned.
Find Your Destination in Reading, PA
The Pagoda Reading, 98 Duryea Drive, Reading, PA 19602, USA
140 North 3rd Street, Reading, PA 19601, USA
963 Crystal Cave Road, Kutztown, PA 19530, USA
2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson, PA 19520, USA
2934 North 5th Street Highway, Reading, PA 19605, USA
25 North 11th Street, Reading, PA 19601, USA