Road Trip Series: Day Trips

While the summer may be winding down, there is still time to take advantage of the warmer weather. The Northeast region of the U.S. is a prime location for a spontaneous road trip. Here are a few highlights:

Centralia, P.A.

In May 1962, a trash fire swept beneath the ground of the town as it burned through an exposed coal seam.  The desolate town is believed by many to have inspired the film “Silent Hill”. Sony Pictures describes the location as “stuck in permanent purgatory.”


Evans City, P.A. 

This city claimed its fame after George A. Romero, who died on July 16, 2017, filmed “Night of the Living Dead.” The horror classic used Evans City Cemetery to film its opening scenes.

Evans City has a few spots dedicated to the film: The Living Dead Museum, marker plaque, and the cemetery itself. “Night of the Living Dead” was added the to the National Film Registry in 1999. Several more zombie films were filmed in the town, all paying homage to Romero’s debut film.

Lyndhurst, N.J.

New Jersey is home to one of the nine Medieval Times locations in the U.S.  In Lyndhurst guests can watch falconry, horseback riding, jousting, and sword fighting while dining on the multi-course meal included in the ticket.

The Lyndhurst castle, founded in 1990, also has a small, but intriguing torture museum for an additional cost ($2 per person as of July 2017).  Medieval Times has a list of discount codes on their website, including junior knight training for children ages 5 to 12. The junior knight program is on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. through August 30, 2017.

New York, N.Y.

Although currently undergoing renovations, the Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company #8 is the former headquarters of the spirit-stopping team from “The Ghostbusters”. The firehouse in Tribeca, N.Y. included a sign from the sequel and two painted emblems on the sidewalk outside the building. This is a location to keep on a list for the future, once the renovations are complete.


Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.
Ticonderoga, N.Y.

A Trekkie in Ticonderoga spent fifteen years researching, constructing, and finalizing replicas of the sets from “Star Trek: The Original Series.” The recreation is open for tours, where fellow Trekkies can board the set of the Starship: Enterprise. James Cawley built the set using blueprints provided by costume designer, William Ware Theiss. The set is the central location for the third annual Trekconderoga on August 25-27.

Wall Township, N.Y.

Camp Evans, a former U.S. Army base, is now the home of The InfoAge Science History Learning Center. On the site of a National Historic Landmark, InfoAge showcases the camp’s role in radar development, nuclear weapon research and radio and space communications.

Fans of the video game “Fallout” and those generally interested in history can tour an authentic fallout shelter. Restored in 2008, the Fallout Shelter Theater exhibit is located in the basement of  the Marconi Hotel. Other InfoAge exhibits include artifacts related to radio technology, vintage computers, electronic warfare and space exploration.

West Windsor Township, N.J.

For his radio adaptation of H.G. Well’s novel “The War of the Worlds,” Howard E. Koch changed the setting from England to the state of New Jersey. The village of Grover’s Mill in West Windsor Township became the location of an alien attack.

Koch’s adaptation was aired on the CBS Radio series, “The Mercury Theatre on the Air” on October 30, 1938. A large plaque and educational pathway that explains the history of the broadcast are in Van Nest Park. A nearby coffee shop, Grover’s Mill Coffee, is full of posters, memorabilia, and FCC letters pertaining to the broadcast.


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