The Glass Trail, the Reading Hub
As you might guess, glass, that prismatic spectacle, is the muse of the art world around these parts. From instructive tours and talks to colorful galleries, studios and shops, some of the most beautiful artisan glass runs along Route 222 from Lancaster up to Bethlehem. This roadtrip takes you to the doorsteps of the artists themselves, so they can share their work, experiences, and creative workplaces with curious visitors.
Start your journey at the anchor site, The GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, in Reading. What started out as an eyeglass factory is now an uberglass headquarters with workshops on glassblowing, glass beading, glass fusing and more. There aren't many more intimate ways to observe the creative process, and these artisans are passionate about sharing their enthusiasm. Pay a visit to the workplace of studio director Nathaniel Walker Dubbs and get a first-hand look at his process as he develops his new series of platters adorned with industrial imagery. For a look at a different type of work altogether, stop by the studio of Ben Sharp. His glass sculptures abstract the typical uses of glass, and make a fantastic use of color. Keep in mind there's also a large theatre for films, so check to see if there's a showing. After a while, visit the studio store for one-of-a-kind gifts (make sure to pick up one of their famous tees with the cool GoggleWorks logo). Don't forget to pick up a list of all the glass artisans in the area - if you have time, you can perform a self-guided tour highlighting the legacy of Reading's stained glass heritage and antique glass.
Once you've seen enough glass for the day, head 2 miles east to the summit of Mount Penn, where you'll find an unlikely architectural landmark. Although the Pagoda isn't associated with any specific spiritual or ethnic communities, it has nevertheless got the ability to keep drawing visitors year in and year out. The building has a remarkable lifespan, and since it was donated to the city in 1911, the Pagoda has been used as everything from an art gallery to a snack bar. Explore the Pagoda's fascinating and strange history on the fourth floor museum and gift-shop, where you can learn about the history of Mount Penn, and why quarry owner William Abbott Witman, Sr., decided to build this monument in the first place.
Judy's on Cherry Restaurant (Reading)
Superbly flavored Mediterranean-style dishes made with the freshest ingredients, authentic herbs and spices, all masterfully created by owner Judy. Try the hearth-fired pizza or the fresh from the oven Focaccia di Judy, perfectly crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside — and don't forget the extra virgin olive oil. Everything is a handmade work of art in itself.
Abraham Lincoln Wyndham (Reading)
Kick your feet up in this 4-star hotel conveniently located in Reading's downtown area. Then practice the art of living in the lap of luxury.