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Details on America on Wheels and Crayola Factory in Pa.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

GETTING THERE: To get to the America on Wheels museum in Allentown, Pa., take Interstate 95 north for about 75 miles, then I-476 north for about 57 miles. Go east on U.S. 22 for five miles, then take PA 145 south for almost two miles, then turn left on West Hamilton Street and drive for about a mile. (West Hamilton meets North Front Street.) Easton is about 17 miles northeast of Allentown via U.S. 22 east. The Crayola Factory is in downtown Easton, off I-78 at Exit 75 (from Washington) or off U.S. 22 at the PA 248 exit (from Allentown).

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WHERE TO STAY: The Holiday Inn Allentown Center City (904 W. Hamilton St., 610-433-2221, http://www.holiday-inn.com) can be a bargain (I paid $70 by bidding on Priceline), but it's in a sad area of downtown Allentown that has little else to offer. Another option is the Comfort Suites (3712 Hamilton Blvd., 877-424-6423, http://www.comfortsuites.com), across the street from Dorney Park, a seasonal theme park. It has doubles starting at about $120. In Easton, the Quality Inn (185 S. Third St., 877-424-6423, http://www.qualityinn.com) is just one block from the Crayola Factory; doubles start at about $70.

WHAT TO DO: The Crayola Factory (30 Centre Sq., 610-515-8000, http://www.crayola.com/factory) is $9.50, seniors 65 and older $9, free for children younger than 3. Purchasing advance tickets online is strongly encouraged. Open Tuesday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m.; closed Jan. 5-14. The America on Wheels museum (5 N. Front St., 610-432-4200, http://www.americaonwheels.org) is $7, seniors 62 and older $5, ages 6-16 $3.50, free for kids 5 and younger. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m., except holidays.

WHERE TO EAT: Skip the McDonald's on the Crayola Factory grounds in favor of more interesting fare nearby, such as the family-friendly Pearly Baker's Alehouse (11 Centre Sq., 610-253-9949), housed in what was, in the 19th century, a YMCA. In Allentown, the Bull & Bear Restaurant (462 Union Blvd., 610-432-5230) is a respectable greasy spoon and a most convenient eatery to America on Wheels.

INFORMATION: The Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, 800-747-0561 or http://www.lehighvalleypa.org.

-- S.V.


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