Pool [Reflect] by Jen Lewin; photo courtesy of Crystal Whitman Photography
In 2016, Baltimore’s office of Promotion& The Arts launched a weeklong “Light City,” thefirst large-scale light, music and innovation festival in the United States, and drew 400,000 people. The free festival transformed Baltimore with colorful and creative sculptures and interactive elements. Now in its third year, the event has expanded to three weekends and some weekdays in between. The first weekend, dubbed “Neighborhood Lights,” is an artist-in-residence program. Working in 14 neighborhoods, a dozen artists received a $15,000 grant per assignment to create an illuminated visual or performance art project.
The main event, Light City, features more than 50 attractions scattered about the Inner Harbor— on land, on the water and in the trees. Last year’s Light City festival included a life-size artsy deck of cards, giant illuminated sculptures of all shapes and sizes, and a row of glowing teeter-totters. On April 14 at 8 p.m., a parade with marching bands kicks off the Light City week of festivities, which includes concerts, food vendors and an interactive children’s area. Rounding out the week is Labs@LightCity, a four-day free or “pay what you can” conference that focuses on social innovation and equity through seven topics, including education and health. Scheduled speakers include chef Art Smith and former NFL players Aaron Maybin and Matthew Rice (aka Mateo Blu).
Baltimore’s Royal Sonesta Harbor Court hotel (550 Light St.) is off ering a Light City package that includes glow necklaces and a complimentary“Glow” cocktail (“electric blueberry fizz” and “Light City lemonade” are two choices) in their Explorers restaurant, which has fantastic harbor views.
Neighborhood Lights: April 6-8; Light City: April 14-21, 7 to 11 p.m. nightly, Friday and Saturday extended until midnight; Labs@LightCity: April 18-21 (hours vary). 410-752-8632, lightcity.org
Courtesy of Allenberry Resort
Head for the Hills
Set along the Appalachian Trail in central Pennsylvania, the historic Allenberry Resort reopened its doors this past fall following a year of extensive renovations. Wide-plank floors were polished back to life, and 75 rustic-chic guest rooms in an array of historic and barn-style buildings were redesigned. The 1820s Stone Mansion offers a wraparound porch, four guest suites and a main-floor kitchen and living room (the suites can be booked individually or together). Guests staying at Meadow Lodge can enjoy sweeping views of the property from the common room’s wall-to-wall windows.
The 57-acre resort overlooks Yellow Breeches Creek—a limestone stream revered by fly fishermen for its trout—and offers many ways to unwind. There’s a playhouse where a young John Travolta participated in the summer stock program (Curious George will be playing in March, and Steel Magnolias runs in April), a new spa for massage treatments, and porch rockers that provide views of tall pines and the burbling stream. You can also learn how to cast like a seasoned angler at Allenberry’s two-day fly-fishing clinics, which are held in partnership with TCO Fly Shop’s Orvis-certified experts, who teach everything from rod setup and fly selection to the feeding habits of trout and how to release your catch. Room rates begin at $149.
Allenberry Resort, 1559 Boiling Springs Road, Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania; 717-258-3211, allenberry.com
Courtesy of Hotel Revival
Sing and Stay
Located in the heart of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, Hotel Revival is slated to open in March with a quirky perk: Three private karaoke rooms are located on the main floor of the boutique hotel, each with a nod to a different musical era. Diners can opt for Square Meal, a restaurant that features seasonal American fare, or rooftop restaurant Topside, with cityscape views and seafood specialties inspired by the Chesapeake Bay. Also on the rooftop is The Garden Bar, a space for intimate gatherings, workshops and tastings.
The 14-story hotel’s 107 oversize guest rooms offer a residential feel, featuring decorative pieces that include work by local artists and a quilt with abstract images of the Chesapeake Bay. Some rooms have knotty, wide-plank hardwood floors inspired by pilings from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Rates begin at $149.
Hotel Revival, 101 W. Monument St., Baltimore; 410-727-7101,