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Discounts for Philadelphia and Amish Country

The appeal of Philadelphia for mature travelers is easy to comprehend. It is clean and friendly and boasts a great historical heritage that is highlighted by the Bill of Rights. In order to make it less expensive for senior travelers to enjoy the diverse attractions of the area, Philadelphia has joined forces with Lancaster County in Pennsylvania, home of the Amish community, to initiate a program of discounts.

The historic area of Philadelphia has been labeled “America’s most historic square mile.” Two of America’s most treasured monuments are here--Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. This compact district contains dozens of other sites of historic importance, almost all of them within easy walking distance of each other.

Philadelphia boasts the third-largest art museum in America, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with more than 500,000 paintings, sculptures, period rooms, displays of arms and armor, plus frequent special exhibitions. The surrounding neighborhood, comprised of several city blocks, contains a number of other museums, including a Civil War library and museum and the Franklin Institute of Science, plus schools and colleges with theaters and exhibitions.

Along with these attractions, Philadelphia has created a discount program for mature travelers. “Seniors on the Go” is a booklet containing a list of discounts for transportation, hotels, tourist attractions and restaurants. Seniors 65 and older can ride Yellow Cabs to any destination in the city for a fee of $1.30, and the city’s transit authority, SEPTA, offers free transportation for those 65 and over, Monday through Friday during non-peak hours and all day on weekends.

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Most of the discounts listed in the booklet are offered to members of AARP, while others simply list varying age minimums. Applicants are issued a “Ben’s Pass,” named after Philadelphia’s most prominent historical figure, which must be presented to merchants, hotels and other participants in the program along with either proof of age or AARP membership card.

For a copy of the booklet and a comprehensive “Philadelphia Official Visitors Guide,” writeto Philadelphia CVB, 1515 Market St., Philadelphia 19102, (800) 537-7676.

Pennsylvania Dutch Country is the home of the “Plain People” (Amish, Mennonite and Brethren) who abide in Lancaster County, Philadelphia. The center is the city of Lancaster, about 60 miles from Philadelphia and about 75 minutes by either car or Amtrak. (The latter offers frequent rail service between the two cities. Mature travelers more than 65 pay 25% less than the $22 regular fare.)

The area’s appeal to senior travelers comes mostly from a people whose lifestyle is similar to the America just after the turn of the century. The Pennsylvania Dutch have chosen to live without electricity, automobiles or television.

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Yet there is a profusion of comfortable hotels, fine country restaurants and historical and entertainment attractions. Guests can visit working farms and villages, take a buggy ride or an old-fashioned railroad ride and enjoy Hershey’s Chocolate World, which adjoins the Hershey theme park.

There are wineries, galleries, museums (wax, quilts, railroad, clocks, vintage automobiles), food factories (Lebanon baloney, cheese, candy) and dozens of specialty shops (handmade wood, leather, ceramic and food products). Throughout the year there are festivals, fairs, auctions, sales and home tours.

Lancaster County has compiled a list of discounts for mature travelers that includes 20 different attractions throughout the county, 45 hotels and motels and 24 restaurants. In addition to the list of discounts, a colorful map and visitors guide to Lancaster County and the Pennsylvania Dutch Country will be sent upon request at no charge.

The 32-page guide includes listings of attractions, shops, markets, hotels, motels and inns, tourist and farm homes, restaurants, colleges, tours, maps and an annual calendar of events.

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For a free copy of both the guide and the senior discount list, contact the Pennsylvania Dutch CVB, 501 Greenfield Road, Lancaster, Pa. 17601, (800) 735-2629, Ext. 2201.


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