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 »

Cheat Sheet: Your Go-To Guide for Storing Spring and Summer Produce

Greensgrow's spring CSA share | Photo via Facebook

Greensgrow’s spring CSA share | Photo via Facebook

There is nothing worse than getting home from the farmers’ market with an overflowing bag of beautiful produce, then realizing you actually have zero clue where in your kitchen you should store any of it. If you’re like me, you end up just throwing everything in the fridge and praying for the best, then going on with your day. (Hey, I’ve got things to do: My Sunday Aztec Clay mask is not going to apply itself!) But no more of this uncaring produce-related behavior. We are adults and adults store their leafy greens in the right place! To figure out, uh, where that is, we chatted with farmer Katelyn Repash and CSA manager Katie Jacoby of Greensgrow, an urban farm in Kensington, to get the full scoop on how, exactly, to store our favorite spring and summer produce properly. And again, if you’re anything like me, you’re doing plenty of things flat-out wrong. Read more »

Philadelphia Running Calendar: 10 Spring 2016 Races to Have on Your Radar 

As we mentioned just yesterday, spring is right around the corner (12 days, folks!) and we could not be more jazzed. And with the spring comes a slew of spring races. To help you narrow the long, long list down, we reached out to some of our runner friends in Philly and asked them which spring races they can’t wait to run this year.

They listed ‘em off and now we present you with this: 10 spring races to have on your radar, from annual favorites like the ODDyssey Half Marathon to newbies like the Philly 5 Mile. Take your pick! Read more »

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