Scenes of an Early Summer in Philly

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Spring has sprung, Philly.

You got your free Rita’s in March – on the first official day of the season – and now, finally, it’s time to break out the shorts and/or T-shirts: the temperature will likely surpass 80 degrees today, and if it gets up to 84 degrees, we may have record-breaking heat on our hands.

The winter may have been mild, but that’s no reason not to celebrate. We’ve rounded up some of the finest Philly posts about spring today – enjoy!  Read more »

11 Reasons Why Spring is the Best Season for Restaurants

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Spring is the best. Of all the seasons to be an enthusiastic eater living in this city, it is absolutely in the top four. I mean, just go outside and take a deep breath! Everything smells like that wet sock you lost under the washing machine last week. Everything squishes when you walk. It’s 75 degrees today with a thousand percent humidity and it will probably rain three or four times—always just when you need to step outside for a minute. What’s not to love?

Spring is like summer without all that deadly sunshine. It’s like winter without Christmas, New Year’s Eve or sledding, but with lots of allergies! Spring in Philly is the only time of the year when you can end up wearing shorts, a parka, a raincoat and sunglasses all on the same day—or all at the same time! And that’s exciting.

And in the city’s restaurants? Come on… Spring is awesome. Obviously, all of us here at Foobooz World HQ are very excited about spring, so here are 11 other reasons why we’re so happy that spring is finally here.

Read more »

Happy Spring! Here Are Two Treats You Can Get for Free Today

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Philly’s streets might be a snowy, slushy mess today, but it’s the first day of spring! And that means it’s only a matter of time until we’re eating outside in 70-degree weather (just like we were, you know, a few weeks ago).

You know what else spring means? Of course you do – free Rita’s.  Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Active in Austin

At Travaasa, guests can try their hand at horseback riding. Photo via istockphoto

At Travaasa, guests can try their hand at horseback riding. Photo courtesy of Travaasa Experiential Resorts

Most vacations are punctuated by a staid lineup of activities, like regrettable sunbathing and reservations at lackluster seafood joints. While some sojourners favor the familiar, more intrepid types face a dilemma: Should they bite their tongues and hit the beach, or plan a more outside-the-box getaway? For the latter, there’s Travaasa, a 72-room “experiential resort” in Austin that marries action-packed instructional programming (daily dude-ranch-inspired classes) with leisure (tranquil spa treatments and farm-to-table dining). Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Spiritual in Upstate New York

Mohonk Mountain House. Photograph by Jim Smith

Mohonk Mountain House. Photograph by Jim Smith

At this point in American history, we could all use a little more peace and relaxation, a bit of Zen, and there’s arguably no better place to find this than up in the Catskill Mountains, a quick three-hour hop due north.

Once a schmaltzy resort area popular with the Don Rickles set, the region has lately become a destination for those seeking inner peace, thanks to its easily navigable cluster of spiritual getaways like ashrams and temples. The experiences here are as varied as people’s reasons for visiting. At Ananda Ashram in Monroe, you can stop by for a yoga intensive, or lessons in Sanskrit. Over at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch in Woodbourne, an hour northwest, 70-plus acres offer seriously serene nature walks and a detoxifying Russian wood-burning sauna. Closer to Woodstock, Zen Mountain Monastery has a popular Sunday morning meditation-for-beginners series as well as Zen for kids. Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Outdoorsy in West Virginia

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The Greenbrier combines lush nature with modern grandeur. Photo via istockphoto

The six-hour drive from Philly to the Greenbrier resort sets the tone for what’s to come: Busy four-lane highways morph into quiet two-lane country roads that cut through mountains so densely covered in trees, you begin to wonder if West Virginia is one big state park. The property’s meandering driveway leads you to the gleaming white hotel, which rises like a mirage. This, you will think to yourself, is the definition of old-school class. But there’s no need for posturing — the Greenbrier was built in the 1700s and has hosted royalty, celebrities, 26 presidents, and Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, who recently held their training camp on-site. Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Healthy in Miami

Workouts with a view. Photo via Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Workouts with a view. Photo via Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Sure, Miami — a city arguably best known for its late-night partying and accompanying please-don’t-raise-the-blinds mornings — might not seem like the ideal place to kick-start a healthy lifestyle. But the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, a towering 150-suite beachfront property nestled on the tamer north end of Miami Beach, doesn’t dish out typical South Florida debauchery. Instead, it offers an impressive 70,000-square-foot wellness facility — a veritable playground (complete with rock wall, spin room and juice bar) for guests seeking a Goop-like health and fitness overhaul. Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Hungry in the Poconos

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Photo via istockphoto

If we’re being technical, the Lodge at Woodloch bills itself as a luxury spa destination — and with its indoor pool, salon, trio of hot tubs, and a treatment menu that stretches from body wraps, facials and massages to hydrotherapy and reiki, that’s certainly an apt descriptor. But this resort, tucked three hours away from Philly in the far northeast corner of our state, is also (surprise!) a food lovers’ paradise. Read more »

SEPTA: Don’t Take Selfies on Train Tracks

By Jim Pickerell, 1936-, Photographer (NARA record: 4588217) - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16927090

SEPTA tracks in Philadelphia’s Northwest suburbs. | Jim Pickerell, (NARA record: 4588217)U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain.

Chances are you’ve seen more than one photo of a young couple strolling aimlessly along a set of old-wooden train tracks. The images are iconic, they’re romanic — and they’re risky. While train track pictures are a photographer’s dream because of the elegant converging lines and scenic backdrop, they’re also a train engineer’s worst nightmare.

As the weather warms up, and the trees begin to bloom, SEPTA is attempting to discourage spring photographers looking to hold such photo shoots from heading to the tracks.  Read more »

What Spring Sounds Like in Windows-Open South Philly

Dickinson Square Park | M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Dickinson Square Park | M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

There are a lot of ways to measure the arrival of spring in Philly.

Technically, it began March 20th, before the last snow of the year, weeks after that deadbeat groundhog waddled out of bed. Easter isn’t usually a bad benchmark—although that, too, was followed by snow this time around. I used to welcome it the first time my cat delivered a dead baby animal to the doorstep, but ever since Saffron retired, I go by a more optimistic milestone: the first weekend that the windows stay open.

Which is to say, finally, happy spring.

Did it feel good? In true Philly fashion, it was almost too warm. Did it look good? Let’s just say there were a lot of jean shorts and tube socks walking down my block Saturday afternoon. Did it smell good? “Sweet” and “breeze” very rarely go in the same sentence around these parts.

But damn, did it sound good. From Friday night through Sunday evening, last weekend was a pitch-perfect snapshot of the finest season in the finest city. (Brief disclaimer: I’m from here and can’t distinguish the rolling tide of the ocean from the rolling tide of I-95.)

This is what spring sounds like in windows-open South Philly:  Read more »

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