This Thanksgiving, holiday shoppers are enjoying more savings than ever before… and for more days than we can recall. Retailers are offering some of the best deals for an entire week, Black Week as we call it, in an effort to boost the final quarter sales figures this year.
According to Adobe Analytics, more customers are going to stores, even for items bought online. Sales on Thursday surpassed $3.65 billion (a 28% increase). This could be partially due to the blending of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but also because many retailers chose to offer deals all Thanksgiving week. With the recent economic improvements, shoppers spent more and the retailers seemed better prepared to handle the heavy demand.
With Cyber Monday upon us today, an additional $3 billion in sales of e-commerce is expected, as per Mastercard SpendingPulse’s data.
Black Week, as our office now calls it, refers to the week of Thanksgiving thru Cyber Monday… a seven day stretch which retailers, e-commerce sites, and shoppers typically see one of the largest sales numbers of the year. With the increase of mobile phones, internet shopping, same-day pickup, and an entire week of deals, shoppers are enjoying a smoother experience in this typically hectic shopping environment.
Amazingly, Black Friday has started to spread internationally in places such as Canada and India. With the help of shoppers, international companies are exposing these new markets to the shopping festival known as Black Friday in an effort to boost sales. Early indications show positive results so far. China’s shopping bonanza is typically bit earlier during Singles’ Day, but the momentum of the growing Black Friday (or Black Week), could spread into China as well.
TOP 7 THINGS TO DO IN WILDWOOD NJ. Visiting Wildwood, NJ is always an enjoyable time… be sure to check out these awesome places in the Wildwoods and Cape May, New Jersey Shore with friends and family!
BY MULTIPLE AMERICAN STRIPE CONTRIBUTORS
Every adventure needs a starting point, here’s our recommendation…
WILDWOODS PLACE TO STAY TOP PICK:
QUALITY INN & SUITES – WILDWOOD BOARDWALK 423 E. 23rd Avenue, Wildwood NJ (On the Boardwalk) Call to Book: +1-609-522-7508 Book Online: www.BoardwalkWildwood.com
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.6 out of 7! (GREAT) Ideal for: Families, Groups, Sports Groups, Leisure, Overnight, Wildwoods & Cape May Attractions Featured amenities: Wi-Fi (Free!), Rooms with Kitchens available, Family Rooms, Oceanview Sun-Deck, Attached to Wildwood Boardwalk, Hot Breakfast with Waffles (Free!), Outdoor Pool, Parking (Free!) Wi-Fi review: Fast (2-10 MBPS), Free Location rating: on the Wildwoods Boardwalk, Near two attraction piers, Very Safe Goldilocks Bed rating: Middle of the road (Not too firm, not too soft), Triple-Sheeting American Stripe Quick Take: Going to the Wildwoods is a tradition for so many. And there’s no better way to enjoy it then to stay right on the Wildwoods Boardwalk! Literally attached to the Boardwalk, this Quality Inn & Suites is literally steps from the Atlantic Ocean, Attraction Piers, and only a short walk to almost all of the Top 7 Things To Do destinations. We found the Wi-Fi to be easy to connect. Another highlight was the breakfast with Waffles and Coffee/Tea available all day to keep our energy up! The staff was very nice and save for a tight parking lot, they were very quick for anything we requested. By the way, don’t forget to snap, selfie, and check out the giant Orange Adirondack Chair found right on the sand in front of the hotel and boardwalk. Best value hotel in the Wildwoods & Cape May County!
The Jersey Shore’s most popular oceanfront Boardwalk & Attractions combining Doo Wop design with delicious food outlets, attractions for all ages, and an endless amount of things to do. Don’t forget to “Watch the Tram Car, please!”
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 7 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: The place is the most popular Jersey Shore destination for Canadians, Beach Lovers, and Americans visiting the Jersey Shore. We did the hard work to find out what it’s all about! This is not just a Boardwalk, its an expansive playground with waterparks, rides, attractions, food, games, and so much more. And the Wildwoods is a family favorite annual destinations for many who look to go back to the golden age of Doo Wop. Fans of the Beach, Thrill-seekers, Roller-coaster lovers, Water-park enthusiasts, Shell collectors, and foodies all make this an annual visit to vacation. We can’t wait to go back!
#2) Cape May Lighthouse & Cape May Point State Park 215 Lighthouse Avenue, Cape May Point State Park, Cape May, NJ 08204 www.capemaymac.org https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/capemay.html The 1859 Cape May Lighthouse is fully restored and visitors can climb 199 steps to the top for a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. The original Oil Storage Building is accessible and houses a Museum Shop and accessible displays. Open daily from April through November and weekends in the shoulder seasons. Evening trolley tours and Full Moon Climbs offered during the summer season.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 7 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: This famous spot in Cape May NJ is a breathtaking place to take in the views and reconnect with the sea. People enjoy a the natural landscape of Cape May State Park, taking in the ocean breeze, wildlife, and the pristine sand. The Lighthouse is the cherry on top of the Cape May cake, with a 360 view of the coastline, wide open ocean, and beauty of the Jersey Shore.
#3) Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum 500 Forrestal Road, Cape May Airport, NJ 08242 https://usnasw.org
Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) Aviation Museum is a non-profit museum located at the Cape May Airport inside historic Hangar #1. Commissioned in April 1943, NASW served as an active dive-bomber squadron training facility during World War II. Today, Hangar #1 has been restored and transformed into an Aviation Museum that houses a number of aircraft, engines, special exhibits, and educational interactive displays. The museum invites visitors to explore aviation and military history through “hands-on,” fun and educational activities for the entire family! Bring the kids and travel back in time to this 92,000 square foot sampling of the 1940’s. Friendly leashed pets are welcome.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.5 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: This attraction is one of the coolest that combines the love of aviation, military history, and a unique collection of airplanes, jet aircraft, helicopters, and more! This makes for an excellent attraction all year round, regardless of weather and is an enjoyable experience for all ages. We plan to visit during one of their airshow’s and see some of these incredible aircraft in action!
#4) Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks is a classic seaside amusement park located on The Wildwoods’ boardwalk in Wildwood and North Wildwood, New Jersey. The park has been family owned and operated since 1969 and is currently run by 2nd generation Morey Brothers, Will and Jack. Morey’s Piers has over 100 rides and attractions. It includes three amusement piers and two beachfront waterparks.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 7 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: Wildwood isn’t your typical boardwalk… its an entertainment hotspot with a feast for all your senses. Morey’s Piers turns that up one more notch with no less than THREE action-packed piers. It will take you a week to get close to riding all the rides and slides in the amusement parks and waterparks. Not to mention, book “Breakfast in the Sky” to enjoy a stunning view of the Jersey Coast while enjoying breakfast! This is an annual vacation spot for adults, families, teens, friends, and kids of all ages… highly recommended.
#5) Wildwoods Sign 4501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260 The iconic sign is a must see and snap to capture the amazing place for your memories… year after year. It is found on the main drag near the Wildwoods Convention Center and makes for great selfies, group photos, and social media shots to share.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.8 out of 7! (GREAT) American Stripe Quick Take: We visited the sign before and after all the other attractions. Even hanging out and seeing other folks take selfies, striking poses, with the beach backdrop was a unique sight. Great spot for scrap-book photos or social media sharing!
Few people in-the-know realize the amazing boat tours available in the Cape May County area. You can book a fishing tour and challenge yourself on a day out to grab a keeper. Or book a speedboat tour that doubles as a dolphin watch! Oh and don’t forget about the majestic whale tours so you can experience the beauty of the ocean first hand. The only tough part is to choose which one!
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.4 out of 7! (GREAT) American Stripe Quick Take: We booked the awesome ThunderCat one morning to get our fill of excitement and adventure. The ocean is already an amazing sight on a beautiful, sunny day. Powering thru the water in the ThunderCat was an incredible feeling. With a maximum of 49 passengers, the 90-minute experience is really enjoyable. And then it turns up a notch, as the playful dolphins start jumping out of the boats wake! The kids just couldn’t stop talking about it days after the boat tour. We picked this experience for its uniqueness to the Jersey Shore area. It is difficult to find any vacation destinations with an experience like this one!
#7) North Wildwood Sea Wall 200A John F Kennedy Beach Dr, North Wildwood, NJ 08260
Construction of the seawall, built to protect the city from coastal storms, began in 2005 and the wall quickly became an attraction when a 6,000 feet stretch from 2nd and JFK avenues to Anglesea was capped with concrete. The total length of the wall is 8,400 feet.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.2 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: This free-to-enjoy attraction is especially great for nature lovers. This attraction was made completely by accident as it was designed as a barrier. But with the wall facing right at the inlet’s entry point, we enjoyed incredible views of the ocean, boats, shore, and were simply in awe of the view. It is not a place to spend a day, but it is worth a quick stop to take in the breeze and panoramic view while in the area.
True-grit innovation, harmonious design, and a commitment to advancement. An American Stripe Original Piece.
March 2018. BY MULTIPLE AMERICAN STRIPE AUTHORS. Photos by Tesla.
American Stripe Index (ASI 7) score: Tesla Model X earned a 7 out of 7.
Few companies have been called revolutionary in automotive history. In fact, most of todays companies choose to “evolve” rather than revolutionize in a never-ending march to better bottom lines.
Then there’s Tesla: the black sheep or the unicorn, depending on whom you find having dinner with that evening. The hallmark automakers call Elon Musk’s company one built on broken promises, too small to succeed, and even poor quality. It looks like resting on laurels are the flavor of the day with these automakers… because now they are behind… waaayy behind. Now with the Tesla Model 3 (featuring RFID credit card type key, AutoPilot, and well-designed interior) launch in the rear-view and the ramp up to production inclining (not without hiccups), the established boardrooms are really in a panic. It is evident in their R&D products, the speeds promised to market, and challenge to maintain their own “Brand Value” in the age of Tesla. The innovation of Musk and his team has caused a shakeup in the automotive world to force Brand Value to be determined again by innovation, quality, and enjoyment. Not on a dripping sink of un-exciting features, “mid-cycle refreshes”, mundane interior/exterior styling, and fossil fueled movement. Short of releasing an excellent, safe, and efficient flying car, the major automakers will find themselves with upset stock holders and changing board-rooms if they don’t take notice of the changing winds which require adjusting the sails. Make Automobiles Great Again, please!
Lets take an in-depth look at the areas where Tesla has the upper hand:
A tablet as the dashboard. And designed for simplicity. Tesla must have looked at the changing consumer habits, with a tremendous movement to portable devices (Thanks Apple iPod!), and chose to apply it to their automobile. If one examines the history of in-car navigation, vehicle setting controls, or even simply playing music, there is a stark realization that large, established automakers were already behind the times. For years, many local audio shops and tuning shops, something like you see on the Fast & The Furious movie series, were AHEAD of these billion-dollar R&D departments. Touch screen technology, better audio amplification, equalizer settings, smoother updated navigation, and even rear-view camera technology has existed in the smaller shops for years before you could check the option box on your next Toyota, Honda, Ford, or basically any other major automaker. It is a wonder that bluetooth streaming and parking cameras with sensors is a “recent innovation” for these Goliath automakers (probably still not standard on most of them). And of course the simplistic screen on Tesla’s cars house all of the above… with a promise of ongoing updates over-the-air (time to toss those $500 upgrade Nav CDs the car companies have tried to sell us). How silly?
Electric Battery Technology:
AAA Roadside is a wonderful service for many consumers. With one excellent service being a battery service or replacement on-the-spot. With the adverts seen on TV, radio, billboards, consumers are led to think their cars can handle the toughest roads, the Sahara desert, or up the three feet of water. But careful, that battery may give out without any advanced notice. Tesla, on the other hand, is able to provide a minute-to-minute update on battery charge levels, load level, and even the overall range remaining (as it relates to recharging the car). Not to mention, it runs on the batteries only. No Gas, Diesel, or anything else. Plus almost all the cars are above a 200 MILE range… well above the daily average commute and a range very few mainstream buyers will find a challenge to live with. Sorry, Another point for Tesla here.
Car Charging Infrastructure:
This is probably one of the most important areas of innovation. Or what we call “common sensovation.” We imagine a board meeting with Tesla’s top folks. Now image the topic of the day is to locate and roll out the charging infrastructure. The established German companies, in this scenario, might need to break for an 18-month long study of road surfaces, air densities, tire testing, and the like. The established American companies may treat this exercise with a bit less importance, with Pick-Up Trucks being their bread-and-butter business product. The Brits may select major cities as the best location, with less focus on robust electronics, and more on the rarest seat hide. Tesla, again, took the common sense (and incredibly expensive) approach of major roadways, taking into account range limits of the lowest-range cars and taking up real-estate that is otherwise left useless. See examples like a New Jersey mega-malls most inconvenient (and rarely used) overflow parking area. Or in the oversized lot of an Upstate New York diner with the best cookies. Usually, the Tesla Supercharges are found in upscale, safe areas with easy access to food, restrooms, and the like. Range anxiety only occurs if you purposely try to test your own metal limits. Otherwise, let the car tell you where to stop to juice up, stretch, and grab some snacks to keep going! Well-played, Tesla, Well-played.
Driving Experience (Not including AUTOPILOT):
Its not surprise most cars are finally moving to “customizable” settings for driving experience… social media has made all of us more prone to changing preferences. One moment we are catching up on the latest episode of Game of Thrones, the next we are learning how to make honey-roasted chicken with pecan crusting on YouTube. And of course, Tesla, being plugged-in to the mainstream life experiences, molds their vehicles to the same. Not only are Teslas cars and EUV(?)s relatively spacious for occupants, the battery packs make for ideal weight distribution, all placed and distributed flat across the bottom of the car. Next time you go to a NASCAR, IndyCar, or F1 race, just ask any team engineer about “lower center of gravity.” Add to this a FIVE-setting air suspension (because two or three options just don’t suffice), remarkably variable steering wheel (from soft to sport), and what feels like a million torque (a very rough estimate!), and you are now getting the first taste of a Jetsons type of life. NOTE: Driving a Tesla in any tunnel can feel like you are a Star Wars pilot getting ready to enter battle. It is really an amazing experience. Once again, you may just want to set aside that Ultimate Driving thing.
Fit & Finish:
Quality can be defined by automakers as terms that most don’t understand. The phrase “panel gaps” comes to mind in this instance. It is true Tesla’s historically have larger gaps between door panels, trim pieces, and detail trim pieces. But it is a tremendous overstatement to say it is not par for the automotive industry; if not, a bit above par. We’ve had cars from the large automakers, who tout their millions made (akin to McD’s millions of burgers theme) as a stamp of quality. We beg to differ. Small automakers have proven to be better and worse then their “mainstream” counterparts, reflective of a non-accurate correlation. Tesla’s use of Diamler parts for electronics, suspension, and structural elements is a genius move to use well-reputed and proven parts for the details that small automakers typically find challenging (firms like Aston Martin even had issues with until more recently). The Modern design of the interior, truly EPIC seats, and non-standard pieces are made well enough to not experience creaks or rattles that can drive you insane. The seats are beautiful, and comfortable even for longer trips, save for a missing center console in the six-seat config (which Tesla has since remedied). Fit & Finish is really a point of great achievement for Tesla, given that one long-term German SUV in our fleet rattles in very cold weather. Tesla gets an above average rating in this department (especially when considering they don’t have a noisy engine or exhaust to “hide” any fit/finish noise).
Seriously folks, AutoPilot is really ridiculously amazing. And freighting, and relaxing. All at the same time. In our Model X tester, we took several long trips across the mid-west (Chicago area) to the North East, and even up to the great Lakes in NY. AutoPilot was extremely convenient for those long, lonely stretches which can put even the most caffeinated drivers into a stale mood. And this was just AP 1 (the first generation). We can’t even imagine how much better AP 2 will be with time. Funny thing is, the big automakers already have the parts and pieces of this technology… but chose to slow the roll out in a bid to maximize profits and minimize R&D costs. AutoPilot combines lane departure warning, radar cruise control (first found on German lux sedans decades ago), and electric steering, all into a bundle that just works. If this car had an Apple logo on it, we wouldn’t have thought anything of it. The only time AutoPilot struggled to keep up on our journey was during an incoming snowstorm and when lane marking were “modified” to be gentle to road works folks. Otherwise, it was reliable, convenient, and an absolute necessity to make a long journey more enjoyable. Tesla continues to promise updates to improve using only their built in cell-phone update system. Incredible.
Overall Design (AmericanStripeIndex ASI 7):
In daily life, social media and personal wants are always dancing around a balance between the “look-at-me index”, product quality, and personal enjoyment. There is always a mix of all three when it comes to consumers considering basically any product. So the American Stripe Index (ASI 7) is designed to follow the intention of the automaker, rather than the preference of our team. NOTE: The best achievable score is a 7 (Seven) out of 7. Tesla’s marketing is our yardstick with a focus more on personal enjoyment, innovation, and the “look-at-me” element only on special occasions as strong dose rarely enjoyed (like a rare cup of wine). The Model X tester featured the gull-wingesque swan doors. And they do attract attention when used. Its a special type of attention similar to the feeling of a valet opening the door for you at a fine restaurant, or the feeling one may enjoy when getting fitted for a custom suit. Special, with a purpose, and done with elegance. So the doors, in this instance, are designed to have the Model X serve as a daily driver and yet a luxurious limousine for the weekend. The Model S features unique pop-up door handles to a more muted, but similar effect. So on the American Stripe Index (ASI), the Tesla Model X scores a 7 out of a maximum 7.
TOP 7 THINGS TO DO IN LANCASTER PA.Visiting Lancaster, PA is always a wonderful time… be sure to check out these awesome places in Dutch Amish Country with friends and family!
BY MULTIPLE AMERICAN STRIPE CONTRIBUTORS
To jumpstart your trip, find your basecamp (place to stay)…
TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY:
CLARION INN & SUITES – LANCASTER PA 1492 Lititz Pike, Lancaster PA Call to Book: +1-717-293-8400 Book Online: www.ClarionInnLancaster.com
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 5.8 out of 7! (GREAT) Ideal for: Families, Groups, Sports Groups, Leisure, Overnight, Lancaster Attractions Featured amenities: Wi-Fi (Free!), Authentic Amish Buggy at entrance, Hot Breakfast with Waffles (Free!), Outdoor Pool, Parking (Free!), On-Site Restaurant & Bar Wi-Fi review: Fast (2-10 MBPS), Free Location rating: Central Lancaster, Main Road, Very Safe Goldilocks Bed rating: Middle of the road (Not too firm, not too soft), Triple-Sheeting American Stripe Quick Take: The highlight of this location is… its location! Literally in the middle of Lancaster, this Clarion Inn & Suites is a short drive to almost all of the Top 7 Things To Do destinations. We found the Wi-Fi to be easy to connect. Another highlight was the breakfast with Waffles stamped with an Amish Buggy design! The staff was very nice and save for a packed lobby at check in, they were very quick for anything we requested. By the way, don’t forget to snap, selfie, and check out the authentic Amish Buggy found at the front entrance (no charge). Best value for a hotel in Lancaster!
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.1 out of 7! (GREAT) Ideal for: Families, Groups, Sports Groups, Leisure, Overnight Highway, Hershey, Lebanon, PA Turnpike Featured amenities: Wi-Fi (Free!), Hot Breakfast with Waffles (Free!), Outdoor Pool, Parking (Free!), On-Site Restaurant & Bar Wi-Fi review: Fast (2-10 MBPS), Free Location rating: Central Lebanon, Hershey Exit, Highway access, Very Safe Goldilocks Bed rating: Softer than average, Comfortable American Stripe Quick Take: This hotel was reminiscent of a classic brick hotel, located right off the “Hershey Exit” on the PA Turnpike. It is easy to find great food options (Lebanon is the Bologne capital of the US!) nearby. Hershey as well as Lancaster are only a short drive away. During our visit, PA Renaissance Faire was on and visiting was a treat. The best views are on the upper floors of the main building (perfect for business travelers). For groups and larger families, they have an “all-suites annex” which have more square footage, easy access parking, and balconies to overlook the pool in some rooms. When visiting Hershey and/or Lancaster, we will be back because it was an excellent value for the price paid.
HAMPTON INN BY HILTON – MANHIEM LANCASTER PA 2764 Lebanon Road, Manheim PA Call to Book: +1-717-665-6600 Book Online: www.HamptonLancaster.com
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 7 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) Ideal for: Families, Groups, Sports Groups, Leisure, Overnight Highway, Lancaster, Manheim, PA Turnpike Featured amenities: Wi-Fi (Free!), Hot Breakfast with Waffles (Free!), Outdoor Pool, Parking (Free!) Wi-Fi review: Fast (2-10 MBPS), Free Location rating: Manheim, Near Manheim Auto Auction, Hershey Exit, Highway access, Very Safe Goldilocks Bed rating: Softer than average, Very Comfortable American Stripe Quick Take: We found the typical, first-class Hilton experience at this Hampton Inn in Manheim PA. The staff were super-friendly, welcoming, and well trained. There was a classy design to the hotel exterior with “runway” lighting along the driveway. The lobby look fresh and modern with sturdy, attractive furniture and patterns. They put out fresh cookies right as you enter (very hard to resist!). This Hampton can be spotted right off the PA Turnpike. The knowledgeable staff pointed us to some delicious local flavors to try out. The PA Ren. Faire is literally across the street and the pond out the back was an incredible sight to enjoy after a long drive. Very highly recommended if you can spend the couple extra bucks!
TOP 7 THINGS TO DO:
#1) Fulton Theatre 12 N Prince St, Lancaster, PA 17603 thefulton.org
Central Pennsylvania’s premier regional theatre & National Historic Landmark combines Broadway caliber musicals, comedies and dramas with the grandeur of ornate Victorian architecture.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 7 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: The place is ranked 1st on Tripadvisor’s Things To Do. We visited to find out why… and boy where we amazed! Places like this are becoming a rare site in our modern times. This intimate theater is a piece of the old world that we don’t mind going back to enjoy more of. Ornate detail work, masterful acoustics for shows, and classic elegance makes you feel like coattails would be required just to go inside (thankfully they are not!). Fans of history, architecture, or just beautiful things… please go see this place or better yet, enjoy a show there.
#2) American Music Theatre 2425 E Lincoln Hwy, Lancaster, PA 17602 https://amtshows.comAmerican Music Theatre is the only theatre of its kind in the country that features both touring concerts and Original Shows. This 1,600-seat theatre hosts more than 300 live performances a year – from Broadway tours to rock legends to famous comedians to today’s hottest acts. Since its debut in 1997, they’ve welcomed Grammy winners, CMA winners, Tony winners, and even Oscar winners to their stage. They’ve also featured some of the most talented musicians, vocalists, and dancers in the nation in their own Original Shows. No other theatre in the region offers a wider variety of performances, year in and year out. Take the opportunity to catch a show in the comfort of one of the most premier venues on the East Coast for live entertainment.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.5 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: This famous spot in Lancaster is popular not so much for its detailed decoration, but for all the incredible performances that happen there. People enjoy a wide variety of entertainment, all year round. We enjoyed a wonderful concert on our trip and the quality of performers is what brought us there. Not to mention, the building and facilities were modern, so no struggles to really enjoy the show.
#3) The Amish Farm And House 2395 Covered Bridge Drive, Lancaster, PA https://www.amishfarmandhouse.comIn 1954, the play, “Plain and Fancy” was a smash hit on Broadway. The Broadway hit drew a spotlight as the play was featured around the Amish lifestyle and their home: Lancaster County. This was the tipping point of a tourist boom the progressively grew from 25,000 annual visitors to 2,000,000 by 1960. Due to the increase of tourists and invasion of privacy of the Amish, Lancaster-local Adolph Neuber believe that there should be a place to accurately learn about the Amish, while respecting their privacy. An Amish family opened their home and property to visitors for tours. Since 1955, The Amish Farm and House has been connecting the Amish community and the public. Tour Lancaster County’s Amish Farm and House. Opened nearly 60 years ago, The Amish Farm and House has hosted travelers from around the world visiting Lancaster County. Experience Lancaster County’s Premier Amish Attraction with our farm and house tours.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.5 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: No trip to Lancaster is complete without visiting an authentic Amish home or enjoying an Amish Buggy ride. It is what made Lancaster famous and influenced food, development, and culture of the area. As such, this local spot was highly recommended. It may not be completely true to a typical Amish, but it is as accurate as tourist’s comfort will allow… short of having to wear boots and walking thru the farm fields. Definitely worth the time to plan a visit to this Amish Farm and House.
#4) Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park 2249 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, PA https://www.dutchwonderland.com With over 35 rides, attractions, and shows, Dutch Wonderland is the perfect place to spend time together as a family. Cool off in Duke’s Lagoon water play area and make discoveries at Exploration Island, where dinosaurs come to life!
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.8 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: For the kids, Lancaster has a pretty cool take on your traditional entertainment. Dutch Wonderland is the subject of the day. Its a traditional Amusement Park, Water Park, and Show place geared for Kid-Friendly family fun. But being in Lancaster, it takes on a Dutch Amish twist, with Dragons and Dinosaur themes! If you have little ones who dream of magical places, this is a must do for a day or two.
#5) Tanger Outlets Lancaster 311 Stanley K Tanger Blvd, Lancaster, PA https://www.tangeroutlet.com/lancaster/storesEnjoy fashionable savings at over 65 stores and designer outlets located on Route 30 East, approximately 1 mile on the right after the highway ends. Brand name stores include: Polo Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Nike, Talbots, Kenneth Cole, Coach, Gap, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Guess, Fossil and many more.Be sure to visit Shopper Services when you arrive to pick up a coupon book or join TangerClub for additional savings. Check us out on the Tanger Outlet website. Think Outlets, Think Tanger.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6 out of 7! (GREAT) American Stripe Quick Take: Who doesn’t love some shopping when getting away for a few days. Lancaster’s Tanger Outlets are the ideal spot for some Shop-Therapy. The variety includes the spectrum of well-known brands (from low cost to high-end) and the deals are steals! We picked up a jacket and two pairs of shoes in our short time there… all at an unbelievably low total cost. Parking and traffic were the only challenges but probably because the weekend weather brought out so many people. TOP TIP: Grab the coupon book at the information area for even better discounts!
Located just outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Spooky Nook Sports is the largest indoor sports complex in the United States, providing regulation courts and playing fields for more than a dozen sports under one roof. In addition to the 700,000-square-foot indoor facility, The Nook offers an outdoor field hockey pitch and a climate controlled dome used for field hockey, soccer, football, and more. The Nook is the premier destination for clubs, tournaments and competitions. Make it an overnight experience and stay at the featured hotels (above) near the Spooky Nook Sports Complex.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.2 out of 7! (GREAT) American Stripe Quick Take: To see is to believe. This is what the folks at the Nook told us when planning our visit. The square footage doesn’t remotely capture the feeling of entering the expansive facility. Large is an understatement and it is a sight to behold with all the sports activities happening within our view. Basketball, Soccer, and football all playing in your field of view… and we weren’t even participating! It must be something of an amazing experience for training teams or tournament participants when they visit the “Nook.” They allow visitors with daily passes for working out or just enjoying a quick game (when tournaments are not on). Worth a visit and tour at least!
Plan a getaway for your family to Hershey, PA and experience everything from thrilling coaster rides and chocolatey adventures to premier dining and luxurious spa treatments. You’ll leave with sweet, chocolate-filled memories that can only be made in Hershey The Sweetest Place On Earth!
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 7 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: Do you know of any places that smell like chocolate while walking down the street? We do, Hershey PA! That’s why we chose this destination as a day excursion while in the Lancaster PA area. Not only was the must-taste Hershey Chocolate Tour an interactive, delicious experience, but the Choco theme park nearby was a hit with adults and kids in the group. We will be sure to make this destination a return spot, if not to sample freshly made Hershey chocolate anytime we are in Lancaster PA.
TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN HERSHEY PA & LEBANON PA. Did you know Hershey is not just the name of a chocolate bar… but an actual town? And you can find famous Lebanon Bologna, the next town over!
BY MULTIPLE AMERICAN STRIPE CONTRIBUTORS
Every adventure needs a starting point, here’s our recommendation…
HERSHEY / LEBANON PLACE TO STAY TOP PICK:
CLARION HOTEL – LEBANON HERSHEY EAST 625 Quentin Road, Lebanon PA (On the Main Road) Call to Book: +1-717-273-6771 Book Online: www.ClarionHotelHershey.com
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.4 out of 7! (GREAT) Ideal for: Families, Groups, Sports Groups, Leisure, Overnight, Lebanon County & Hershey Attractions Featured amenities: Wi-Fi (Free!), Family & Business Suite Rooms, Restaurants On-site & nearby, Hot Breakfast with Waffles (Free!), Outdoor Pool, Parking (Free!) Wi-Fi review: Fast (2-10 MBPS), Free Location rating: on the Main Road (RT-72), Central to restaurants, hospital, and other local businesses, Very Safe Goldilocks Bed rating: Middle of the road (Not too firm, not too soft), Triple-Sheeting American Stripe Quick Take: Central Pennsylvania is an incredible place with a unique history. And this hotel is located within a short drive to much of it. Literally off the “Hershey” exit on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Clarion Hotel is a beautiful building on its own. It’s main “tower” is made of brick and concrete, built by the townspeople of Lebanon in a show of unity and development many years ago. And Lebanon PA is known for its famous Bologna all over the world… so its a must try when in the area. Afterwards, head over to Hershey Park, take a Hershey Bus Tour, or just enjoy the awesomeness of Hershey Chocolate World… the most fun we ever had “learning” about chocolate (by eating it!). Best Value hotel near Hershey and Lebanon County!
Hersheypark® was originally created by Milton S. Hershey as leisure grounds for employees of Hershey’s Chocolate Factory. Today, the family theme park welcomes guests from around the world to experience Hersheypark Happy all year long! They host 4 Seasons of activities.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 7 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: The place is the popular worldwide for families and people of all ages who want to experience the thrill of 14 unique rollercoasters, over 70 park attractions, an expansive Waterpark & ZooAmerica. We did the “sweet” job to bring you our thoughts! This incredible place is packed in summer, but even stays busy all year long. We tried to pack in an entire day of fun but with so many attractions in the park, we simply did not have the time to enjoy each ride, attraction, food option, and still get some coaster-time in! There are awesome chocolate-themed characters and rides from kid-level to thrill-seeker level including the “Wildcat” wooden coaster. Thank goodness for the waterpark, but be ready to “wet your bathing-suit” because there are huge slides to try there as well! When can you send us back?!
#2) Hershey’s Chocolate World 101 Chocolate World Way, Hershey, PA 17033 www.hersheys.com See, smell, touch, do and, of course, taste, all the excitement at HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction in Hershey, PA. Admission is FREE and so is the Chocolate Tour attraction! Other experiences are also available as part of a package.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 7 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: There is no where else that we know of where you can make your own custom-made Hershey’s Chocolate bar… and watch it get made in front of your eyes! Not only that, this place is a haven for people who love Chocolate, and those who enjoy a bit of history too. We took the full experience out for a spin including the Chocolate Tasting Experience, Trolley Works Tour, Create Your Own Candy Bar, 4D Chocolate Movie, and the Chocolate Tour. It easily made for a fun, family experience as well as learning about the incredibly heart-warming work of the Hershey Chocolate Company as a whole.
Shops from A-Z (Areopostale to Zales) at outlet prices! Get your shopping done and have some money leftover for some fun. Plan ahead and locate your favorite stores before you shop (or park).Be sure to stop by Shopper Services when you arrive to pick up your Little Red Book of Big Savings and to learn more about the many ways to optimize your Tanger shopping experience. Stores Open Today 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.5 out of 7! (EXCELLENT) American Stripe Quick Take: With not one, but TWO outlet shopping experiences nearby, we were totally excited. The outlets offer coupon books for savvy shoppers, but also a “Best Price Promise” and some of the most well-known brands. We were impressed with the size and upkeep of the shopping centers. The deals at the huge selection of stores were pretty good too!
#4) Mount Hope Estate & Winery – Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire 2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim, P 17545 Mount Hope Estate and Winery, a year-round facility and home to the Swashbuckler Brew Pub, Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, Celtic Fling, Theater in the Mansion and other seasonal productions, specializes in unique entertainment and culinary experiences. 35 acre grounds recreate an Elizabethan village featuring costumed merriemakers, 22 Royal Kitchens, 13 spectacular stages, over 90 shows daily, manicured gardens, artisans, award winning wines and ales.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6 out of 7! (GOOD) American Stripe Quick Take: Mount Hope Estate & Winery is the home of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire during the late summer but has events occurring all year long. We attended one of the Spring events where we tasted some great food, enjoyed a beautiful setting, and tasted some wine’s they had on offer. It was a good experience overall, and a nice stopover near our hotel, the Clarion Hotel in Lebanon PA.
Dutch Wonderland is the Pennsylvania theme park designed for families with young children in mind. With over 35 fun-filled rides and attractions, Duke’s Lagoon water play area, and live entertainment, Dutch Wonderland offers a host of fun things to see and do.
American Stripe Index™ (ASI 7) rating: 6.8 out of 7! (GREAT) American Stripe Quick Take: This is the perfect stop for a family staycation. With kids rides galore, water rides, and learning experiences, Dutch Wonderland is one of the best Theme Parks for kids. The park has been open and growing since 1963. And we see why. We highly recommend it for growing families with young kids.