Cultural Heritage · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Maritime Heritage · microtransit · Mobility · museums · travel plan

Texas and Oklahoma City and Country Destinations

Historical Tourism Victorian Architecture Cowboys Cowgirls Public Art Trails and Vintage Railroads  

Museum DistrictHouston is the largest city in Texas and the US South as well as America’s fourth-largest. A cosmopolitan destination and home to an energetic arts community, Houston was founded in 1836 near the banks of Buffalo Bayou. The city was named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and commander at the Battle of San Jacinto, 25 miles – 40 km – east of where the city was established.

sxsw crowds on 6th street on Saturday music night.Austin, on the eastern edge of Texas Hill Country, is the state capital, the live music capital of the world, a center for film, home to the University of Texas and Formula 1’s Circuit of the Americas raceway. The city’ parks and lakes are popular for hiking, biking, swimming, boating and other outdoor pursuits as well as a ballet, world-class museums and a unique shopping experience.

Nimitz MuseumHill Country Fredericksburg is one of the earliest German settlements with a district encompassing 40 blocks of buildings dating from the mid-19th century The Admiral Nimitz Museum is a landmark since the late 1800’s when it was the old Nimitz Steamboat Hotel.

Galveston Victorian HomesGalveston is located on Galveston and Pelican Islands on the Gulf Coast It was the main port of the Texas Navy and later served as the capital of Texas During the 19th century it was a commercial center the largest city in Texas and a major port in America. It has six historic districts including the Silk-Stocking District and the East End with 463 buildings the Strand contains Victorian era buildings adapted for use as restaurants antique stores museums and art galleries.

San Antonio MissionsSan Antonio’s rich heritage is best experienced in its 18th century Spanish colonial missions, residential areas dating from the 1860s and the local museums that celebrate the city’s past. The Mission Trail is a walking, biking or driving experience of the five local missions and the centuries of local history and culture. The San Antonio Mission Trail begins at the Alamo and winds southward along a nine-mile stretch of the San Antonio River.

Downtown Dallas Arts DistrictDallas is a relatively young city with a colorful past. In 1839, John Neely Bryan, a lawyer from Tennessee with a taste for adventure, wandered into the area and was impressed with what he believed to be the perfect ingredients for a trading post and eventually a town: plenty of raw land, Indians with whom to do business, and the river. The young city’s can-do spirit helped bring the railroads to the area in the 1870s, the Federal Reserve Bank in 1914, Southern Methodist University in 1915, Love Field Airport in 1927, the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936 and DFW International Airport in 1973.

Cowboys Cowgirls Wineries Public Art Trails and Vintage Railroads

Main Street, Grapevine, TXGrapevine is a small town located between Dallas and Fort Worth and is home of DFW International Airport, the world’s fourth largest, with nonstop service from more than 200 cities, including over 50 international destinations. Main Street in the historic downtown has a public library, recreation center, antique stores, restaurants, bars, theaters, a park, and many specialty shops. Here, you can also bottle your own wine, explore Historic Nash Farm, the Botanical Gardens and Lake Grapevine.

Fort Worth downtownFort Worth was settled in 1849 as an army outpost along the Trinity River as one of eight forts assigned to protect settlers on the advancing frontier. The cattle industry was king for a generation of people working the Fort Worth leg of the historic Chisholm Trail, which ran from the 1860s to the 1870s when the Texas & Pacific Railway arrived. In the years that followed, oil and aviation brought new wealth throughout the region. The post-war years found Fort Worth capitalizing on its strengths as a transport, business and military center. Cultural pursuits included the development of the city’s internationally acclaimed museum district.

Food Brews and Spirits in Fort Worth you can experience cowboy cuisine, trendy farm-to-table, authentic Mexican and bayou fare. Highlights include beef briskets, pork ribs and locally grown, organic artisan cheeses, alongside nicely paired wines. Artisanal distilleries offer straight bourbon, premium blended whiskey and vodka made from black-eyed peas. Also handcrafted beers, some brewed with milk, honey and sugar, accompanied by live music and local food trucks.

Oklahoma Historical Tourism Victorian Architecture and Cowboy Culture

Guthrie Historic DistrictGuthrie lies along one of the primary corridors into Texas and Mexico and is a four-hour drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The city is in the center of the state, about 32 miles – 51 km – north of Oklahoma City, in the Sandstone Hills region of Oklahoma, known for hills of 250 to 400 feet – 120 m – and oak forests.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OKOklahoma City unassigned lands urban renaissance oil discovery historic districts and museums. A little over a century ago, Oklahoma City was a grass and timber land of gently rolling hills flattening out into prairie. Today, it sprawls across 625 square miles of America’s heartland and a population of over a million. Oklahoma City’s unique past and bright future can be experienced through its many distinct districts. Check out what to eat, enjoy and experience in each eclectic district. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage museum features one of the most comprehensive collections of Western art in the world; it depicts the rugged spirit and rich influences of cowboy culture.

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canals · Cultural Heritage · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Rivers · travel plan

Delaware and Lehigh Valleys Coal Iron Steel and Canals

The Coal Iron Steel and Canals of the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys

The Delaware & Lehigh five county region of Northeastern Pennsylvania developed in the late 18th Century because of the anthracite mines, the iron and steel industries, and the canals built to reach Philadelphia.

Delaware Canal and RailroadLand People and History the Lenape of the Delaware Valley hunted deer, grew grains and vegetables, and caught seafood along the coast.  The Lehigh Valley was of great importance because it was one of their main east-west pathways, intersecting with major north-south aboriginal trails in the Delaware Valley. Despite its prominence as a crossroads, the Great Valley was the site of few permanent villages, although they often camped at the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers in what is now Easton.

Delaware and Lehigh Valley Local Native Plant Gardens Family fishing in New Hope and the Bristol Amish Market 

Troxell Steckel HouseThe first Europeans in the Lehigh Valley were Scots-Irish who followed the Saucon and Indian creeks and established settlements in today’s Northampton County. Large numbers of Germans came into the Lehigh Valley in the 1730s.  Among them were the Schwenkfelders from Saxony and Mennonites, known for their skills as craftsmen and millers, and for establishing schools.  Most of the Germans became known as Pennsylvania Dutch and grew maize, squash, wheat and livestock. At least 50 different nations and ethnic groups have been identified among the immigrants of the 1800s; many arrived at Ellis Island and traveled straight to the Lehigh Valley. Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton thrived by the late 19th Century.

The Delaware and Lehigh Valleys played a major role during the American Revolution. George Washington’s crossed the Delaware River in 1776, the second reading of Declaration of Independence was held in Easton and the Liberty Bell was hidden from the British here.

Edmund Marion Ashe Courtesy, Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery, The Pennsylvania State UniversityThe Discovery of Anthracite in 1791, Carbon County set the stage for America’s Industrial Revolution, the founding of small towns, the birth of industrial powerhouses such as Bethlehem Steel and the development of the Lehigh and Delaware Canals. Also known as stone coal because of its rock-like hardness, it appeared atop hills and under valleys in seams or veins up to 12 feet thick. Industries involving iron, steel, Portland cement and zinc processing flourished, followed by tanneries, silk and textile mills. These raw materials led to commercial, transportation and cultural opportunities along a 165-mile route through the Wyoming, Lehigh and Delaware Valleys.


Vulcan Iron Works in Wilkes BarreTransportation and Communications the Lehigh River carved a trail that would eventually become the backbone of future transportation routes. Footpaths along the river banks gave way to canals, then to railroads, and finally to modern-day highways. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Lehigh Gap, a dramatic landscape where the Lehigh River breaks through Blue Mountain, also known as Kittatiny Ridge, the final ridge in the Appalachian chain. The Delaware Canal was built during the early 19th Century from Easton to Bristol on the Delaware River fostering development of textile mills such as the Grundy complex, steel mills like the Fairless Works and planned suburban community like Levittown. Completion of the Lehigh Canal further accelerated development of the Valley.

The 1862 floods destroyed all the dams, locks and canal boats and coal shipping shifted to railroads.  The Lehigh Valley Railroad, which ran through Easton and on to New York City, was the first rail line to have a significant impact. The Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad and Reading & Pennsylvania Railroad created competition for shipping coal and other goods. The Delaware Canal was a transport link with limited industrial impact on the rural, farm region it flowed through.

Colonial Industrial Quarter BethlehemCulture and The Environment in more recent times, the region has been in the forefront of land conservation, historic preservation and an arts movement that celebrates land and landscapes. The local culture draws from the Moravian settlements experience in which all men were equal, hence a unique and broad cultural environment in which music, art, education and religious tolerance flourished, as shown in the communal dwellings, churches and industrial structures in Bethlehem and Nazareth.

Industry and Commerce Travel Itineraries in the Delaware & Lehigh Valleys of Pennsylvania

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Cultural Heritage · Historic Towns · intercity transit · museums · travel plan

Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region

Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, visitors to Colorado Springs can enjoy commanding views of Pikes Peak from just about any part of town. The multiple recreational opportunities afforded by the nearby mountains include everything from hiking to taking in the breathtaking geological wonders at Garden of the Gods Park, Cave of the Winds and the Paint Mines Interpretive Park.

Garden of the Gods Colorado SpringsColorado Springs has a Thriving Arts and Cultural Scene

History the area’s first inhabitants were American Indian people. The Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho and other tribes gathered at the base of Pikes Peak, near its abundant springs. During the 18th Century both French and Spanish flags flew over the region. But with the Louisiana Purchase more Anglo-American explorers and settlers began to venture west. In 1859, Colorado Springs history is marked with the founding of Colorado City which became the first settlement in the Pikes Peak region. It was the territorial capitol for a short period and served as a supply camp for miners traveling to the mining camps west of Denver.

Old colorado cityBy 1871, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad facilitated visits to a Victorian spa resort town at the base of Pikes Peak. The stunning scenic beauty was not the only thing that attracted people to the area. The sunny conditions and dry, mild climate of Colorado Springs made these communities popular for people suffering from poor health, especially tuberculosis.

cog railway colorado springsGold was discovered on the western slope of Pikes Peak, one of the richest gold strikes in American history. Almost overnight, the Cripple Creek Mining District grew from an isolated cattle pasture to the home of more than 50,000 people. By the turn of the 19th century, Colorado Springs was called the city of millionaires.

Since the 1940s, Colorado Springs has been home to major military installations including Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, the U.S. Space Command, NORAD, Schriever Air Force Base and the United States Air Force Academy.

Mollie Kathleen Gold MineColorado Springs is a National Trust for Historic Preservation Distinctive Destination

Colorado Springs was selected for its walkable historic areas, its commitment to sustainability and its natural attractions and ample recreational opportunities in the nearby Rocky Mountains. Activities range from family itineraries to educational, cultural and a wide range of outdoor programs: rafting, biking, rock climbing, horseback riding and fishing.

Train Rides experience scenic beauty and historic travel aboard the Broadmoor’s Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad and Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad.

colorado springs streetcarFood Tours enjoy culinary secrets in the heart of Downtown Colorado Springs or Historic Manitou Springs at six diverse dining locations serving unique food and drink tastings.

Art Galleries and Shopping for over a century, artisans have been inspired by the amazing beauty of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. Local art can be found in one-of-a-kind boutiques, discount stores and world-famous chains.

Ghost Town MuseumMuseums Step back in time and explore the Wild West at the Pioneers Museum or Outlaws and Lawmen Museum.  Enjoy the art and culture at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.  A variety of experience ranging from space and aviation to natural history, railroads and ghost towns.

Sports Colorado Springs is home of the U.S. Olympic Committee and Training Center. The high altitude, pleasant climate and natural beauty make training or competing here a unique location for your team and sport.

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Cultural Heritage · eServices · Historic Towns · Italy · Logistics · Mobility · museums · Travel

Trapani Marsala and Western Sicily Food and Wine Traditions

Trapani is near ancient Drepanum where a naval battle took place in 248 BC during the First Punic War between Carthage and Rome which ended in a major loss for the latter. The city is world renowned since the 16th Century for its coral artisans whose works can be viewed at the Pepoli Museum. A stroll through the historic center will acquaint the visitor with buildings and monuments representative of the various cultures and traditions that passed through this city:

Trapani view from ericeThe Jewish quarter and Palazzo della Giudecca;

Casalicchio and its Arab roots;

Palazzo Cavarretta, home of the Trapanese Senate;

The Jesuit Church and College;

San Lorenzo Cathedral and the Crucifix by Flemish painter Van Dyck.

papazzo della giudeccaWestern Sicily is also the Erice Medieval Borgo, Segesta with its Greek temple and theater and the Egadi archipelago, comprised of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo. Further along the coast, facing Africa, are: the port and canal of Mazara del Vallo; Selinunte with Europe’s largest archeological park; San Vito Lo Capo and the Scopello Faraglioni.

Western Sicily Italy mapMarsala was founded in 397 BC as Lillibeo by the Phoenicians who survived the destruction of Mozia; it was a major city during the Punic, Roman, Arab and Norman periods. Today, it is best known for a prestigious wine-liqueur that carries the city’s name and the landing of Garibaldi’s Mille in 1860 which led to the unification of Italy.

Ancient Marsala’s origins are reflected in its majestic cathedral, the adjacent 16th Century Arazzi Fiamminghi museum, the suggestive Porta Garibaldi sea view and entry to the Spanish quarter. Artistic and cultural itineraries include: the Sibilla Grotto, the archeological museum with the remains of a Carthaginian ship and Lilibeo artifacts and the Laguna dello Stagnone with its windmills and salt marshes.

CathedralExperiential Tourism in Trapani Marsala and Western Sicily

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Marsala WineMarsala wine’s bouquet full of intense aromas of dried fruit, spices and dates and dried figs, the dry and sweet taste and the high alcoholic qualities that increase to depending on the maturation and refinement in the bottle. Dried Marsala, served fresh, is an excellent aperitif. A delicious combination is with strong, spicy and tasty cheeses such as ragusano, pecorino cheese but also gorgonzola or parmesan. It is an exceptional dessert wine, in harmony with the traditional Sicilian pastries. But the combination with food is not essential; Marsala is also a wonderful meditation wine to sip at sunset.

cassata sicilianaSicilian cuisine is like the island’s colorful architecture; extraordinary dishes rich in decorations and styles influenced by the many cultures that have come here. Marsala is a jealous custodian of the many culinary traditions on the island. Some typical dishes: Mussel Soup, Peppered Mussels, Boiled Broad Beans, Aubergine Parmigiana, Eggplant Caponata, Eggplant with Schnitzel, Stuffed Peppers, Crushed Olives, Baked Pasta, Pasta with “Qualeddu” and Sausage, Pasta with Bottarga, Pasta with sardines, Pasta with sea urchins, Gnoccoli with conger sauce, Busiata with matarocco, Pasta with lobster, Tuna ammuttunatu, Sarde with “beccaficu”, Marinated mackerel, Codfish, swordfish with salmoriglio, Trigliole e Cuttlefish of Stagnone, Scaloppine with Marsala, Lamb or goat stew, Sicilian Cassata, Cannoli, Sfinci, Sfincioni of San Giuseppe with ricotta, Cappdduzzi of ricotta, Pignolata, “Mustazzoli of honey or cooked wine, Cassateddi of fig, Cubbaita, Cuccia, Marturana fruit, Queen biscuits, Taralli and Tagliancozzo.

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America · Atlantic Coast · Historic Towns · Logistics · Maritime · Maritime Heritage · museums · Travel

Palm Beach Florida and the Maritime Museum

The Town of Palm Beach is the easternmost town in Florida, located on an 18-mile (29 km) long barrier island between Lake Worth Lagoon on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. At no point is the island wider than three-quarters of a mile (1.2 km), and in places it is only 500 feet (150 m). The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the neighboring West Palm Beach and Lake Worth.

Palm Beach ViewIn 2018 Palm Beach was ranked the 27th wealthiest place in the United States

The wreck of the Providencia is credited with giving Palm Beach its famous name. The Providencia was traveling from Havana to Spain with a cargo of coconuts harvested in Trinidad, when the ship wrecked near Palm Beach. Many of the coconut were planted along the coast and a grove of palm trees soon grew on what was later named Palm Beach. Today the tallest coconut palms in the United States can be found along this coast.

The Lake Worth portion of the waterway, filled with mega-yachts, was a fresh water lake until Henry Flagler opened it to the ocean. Flagler was the railroad tycoon who opened Florida all the way to the Keys and his Lake Worth mansion, now a museum, is open for tours.

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Maritime Museums in Historic Towns

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The Palm Beach Maritime Museum opened in 1999 with four facilities, following a lengthy restoration and construction program:

Palm Beach Coast Guard Stationthe U.S. Coast Guard Station Boathouse and President Kennedy command post and bomb shelter on Peanut Island;

the marine science field office and dock on the Intracoastal Waterway;

an educational center and ferry dock at Currie Park in West Palm Beach;

the Palm Beach Maritime Academy K-8 Charter School on S. Dixie Hwy. in West Palm Beach.

PB MaritimeJohn F. Kennedy’s Bunker was constructed by the SeaBees under the direction of the Secret Service. Peanut Island is very near the Kennedy Compound in Palm Beach and the bunker was a nuclear war contingency facility during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

An innovative Virtual Port includes automated data collection from in situ sensors – salinity, turbidity, pH, tides, current – as well as real-time television both above and underwater.

The Palm Beach Maritime Academy is a Charter School, operated by the Palm Beach Maritime Museum that meets the guidelines for the School District of Palm Beach County, with a focus on maritime studies: science, technology and history.

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Savannah Georgia and the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

Savannah was founded in 1733 on the Savannah River, it became the colonial capital and later the first state capital of Georgia. Its port was of strategic importance during both the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Location Savannah lies on the Savannah River, approximately 20 miles -32 km – upriver from the Atlantic Ocean. It is also located near the Intracoastal Waterway. The Ogeechee River flows toward the Atlantic Ocean some 16 miles – 26 km – south of downtown Savannah.

Savannah DowntownDiverse Neighborhoods over 100 distinct neighborhoods can be identified in six principal areas of Savannah. The city’s location offers visitors access to the coastal islands and the Savannah Riverfront, both popular tourist destinations. Other picturesque towns adjacent to Savannah include the shrimping village of Thunderbolt and three residential areas that began as summer resort communities: Beaulieu, Vernonburg, and the Isle of Hope.

The Savannah Historic District is one of largest in the United States

Culture Savannah has a rich and growing performing arts scene, offering cultural events throughout the year, including the Savannah Book Festival held annually on Presidents’ Day weekend in the vicinity of historic Telfair and Wright squares, includes free presentations by more than 35 contemporary authors.

Savannah historic districtArchitecture Savannah was named as America’s second-best city for Cool Buildings and Architecture, behind Chicago. The historic district has 22 squares that vary in size and character, from formal fountain and monuments to playgrounds.

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Scarbrough House is the elegant setting for the Museum’s collection of ship models, paintings, and maritime antiques. It was built in 1819 for one of the principal owners of the Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The architect, William Jay from Bath, England, created one of the earliest examples of domestic Greek Revival architecture in the South. Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum restored the house in 1996-97.

Images for Ships of the Sea MuseumWilliam Scarbrough was a shipping merchant, born in North Carolina and educated at the University of Edinburgh, who came to Savannah in 1802, at the age of twenty-six.  In 1818, he became a principal investor and president of the Savannah Steamship Company and began construction of a new house – later called the Castle – on West Broad Street in one of Savannah’s most fashionable neighborhoods.

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum Educational Programs

Women Pirates like Rachel Wall, Grace O’Malley and Madame Cheng are featured in an interactive program about the exciting role female pirates played in maritime history.

Scrimshaws are decorative carvings on walrus tusks, whale teeth or other bits of bone.  Following the traditions of the great scrims handers, you can learn to make your own piece of carved art.

ships of the sea exhibitSailor Valentines it was customary for sailors to give gifts.  A popular offering was the Sailor’s Valentine or Shell Mosaic.  Sailors would create these items with shells, beans, cloth, and other pieces of scrap material they found on board or gathered from various ports.

Girl Scouts Troop Tours Juliette Gordon Low had family connections to the historic steamship Savannah and her cousin was a Confederate pirate. A WWII vessel was named after her.

Savannah’s role during the Civil War at Sea.  Topics include, the Union’s blockade of the city, blockade runners, and the lives of sailors in the Union and Confederate Navies, as well as important Naval operations in the Savannah area.

USS Savannah and her storied history of service in the United States Navy, from 1933-1946, on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, from operation Torch to operation Magic Carpet.

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The Delaware River Waterfront and Philadelphia Maritime Museums

The Delaware River Valley is the metropolitan area centered on the city of Philadelphia, the region’s major commercial, cultural, and industrial center. The region’s excellent road and rail network make it the perfect location for a vacation or business trip to the Middle Atlantic States. Philadelphia International is a major airline hub with daily connections to North American destinations and from major European cities.

Phila ViewThe River and the Environment

The Delaware River is comprised of 36 tributaries and flows 330 miles from New York to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to the Atlantic Ocean. It extends from the Catskill and Pocono mountain springs and streams flowing down to the Delaware Water Gap where steep slopes give way to gently rolling hills and sweeping valleys. Then, it stretches 134 miles from the Trenton falls to the mouth of the Delaware Bay.   

Blackbeard and the Golden Age of PiracyDelaware County and River Towns Marcus Hook’s historical significance comes from its identity as a maritime town. Originally a Lenape settlement, it became a New Sweden trading post in the 1640s with shipbuilding and fishing as early industries. The Hook was also a haven for pirates in the early 18th century and its market provided a place to sell plundered goods and re-supply for their next voyage.

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The Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild maintains and sails historic ships to bring the past to the present. A non-profit organization that teaches and practices seamanship, traditional restoration, maritime culture, and sailing skills in a fun and team focused setting.

crtsy-drwc-spruce-street-harbor-park-aerial-popped-550VPThe Independence Seaport Museum features the Schooner Diligence, designed and built by Joshua and Samuel Humphreys in Philadelphia in 1797 for the Revenue-Marine and later transferred to the Navy. Schooners like Diligence played a vital role in the development of the early Navy in defending American merchant ships from attacks by Britain, France and the Barbary pirates.

The original Diligence served in the West Indies Squadron under John Barry, who commanded the Frigate United States during the Quasi War with France in 1798-1800.

The Cruiser Olympia was launched in 1892 and is the oldest steel warship afloat in the world. It has some the first modern luxuries aboard warships, including refrigeration, a fresh water distiller, steam radiators for heat, electric lighting, and a blower-operated ventilation system. Olympia required a new breed of sailor specifically trained in steam-driven and electrically-powered technology.

Washington PierPier 68 is a place to relax and enjoy the Philadelphia waterfront where you can learn about the tidal ecology of the Delaware River, its watershed, or engage in recreational fishing. Design elements include:

An Entrance Deck with whimsical painted poles and repurposed maritime bollards to create a distinctive gateway for the pier. Located just off the future trail extension, this space serves as a resting spot for those using the trail and as a place where shopping center visitors can quickly experience the Pier Park.

ferry-and-bridgeCruise the Delaware River north or south from Philadelphia and make your way to Chesapeake Bay by way of the C&D Canal or take the Ferry to Camden to visit local attractions like the battleship New Jersey.

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