Going on Faith

AUG-SEP 2016

The Magazine for faith-based travel planners.

Issue link: http://digital.goingonfaith.com/i/712833

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Page 20 of 35

going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] By Bob Krist, courtesy Bucks Co. CVB Top: a gallery in New Hope near Philadelphia Bottom: Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Bucks County. By Anthony Sinagoga, courtesy Bucks Co. CVB This outdoor wonderland has become such a city escape that the area has been dubbed the San Francisco Bay Area's park. "It is very unique to have such a rural area so close to a big city," said Christine Bohlke, sales and marketing director for the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We are known for outdoor adventure. There are no new commercial buildings on the beaches, which is one reason why they are so beautiful. It's very different from southern California." Even the weather is a reason to stay in Marin County instead of the nearby metropolis, since Mount Tamalpais holds back San Francisco's famous fog, and temperatures average about 15 degrees higher than those across the Bay. Visitors to Marin County can enjoy the warmer temperatures while choosing which scenery they would prefer, including ancient redwood forests and undeveloped seashore. The Muir Woods National Monument is a nature lover's favorite for its 1,000-year- old giant redwood trees. Groups can marvel at these massive 260-foot-high red- woods while viewing interpretive displays or on a guided program with a park ranger. Tours also run through Point Reyes National Seashore's wilderness sanctuary and Angel Island State Park's historic immigration station. After indulging in the area's natural wonders, groups can enjoy some culinary delights at local shops offering artisan cheeses, fresh oysters and other agricultural products. www.visitmarin.org [ BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA ] A 44-room concrete castle called the Fonthill Museum stands out among Pennsylvania's rolling hillside, but it also tells the compelling story behind one of America's creative geniuses: Henry Mercer. This artist influenced not only tile making, but also the entire area of Bucks County. Located just outside Philadelphia, the region has embraced Mercer's legacy with sites dedicated to his artis- tic contributions and has also promoted other local artists. The result is a county full of historic towns and artist colo- nies that attract visitors looking for more than just a cheap hotel rate. Art galleries, local shops, more than 30 restau- rants and other historic sites can keep groups engaged in the area for days. The Fonthill Museum in Doylestown is one of the most celebrated attractions in the area, since Mercer built and lived in it. Guests can tour the castle's interior filled with Mercer's personal collection of ornate handmade tiles, more than 6,000 books and other interesting artifacts. Doylestown also welcomes guests to the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, and the Mercer Museum, which showcases Mercer's extensive collection of historic tools from early Americans. New Hope is another town that stands out in Bucks County for its walkable downtown filled with art galleries, eclectic shops and views along the Delaware Canal. Planners can set groups loose in New Hope's Peddler's Village, which houses 65 specialty stores on 42 acres of landscaped gar- dens and brick walkways. While in town, groups will also often jump on the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad for a 45-minute ride through Bucks County's picturesque countryside. www.visitbuckscounty.com www.visitbardstown.com 800.638.4877 We're not just any small town. We're the Bourbon Capital of the World ® as well as the most beautiful small town in America, according to Rand McNally and USA Today. Since 1770, spiritual seekers have journeyed to Kentucky's Holy Land. Whether you visit the home of Trappist Monks or the oldest Catholic cathedral west of the Allegheny Mountains, you're sure to stand amazed in the presence of Bardstown's centuries-old religious heritage.

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