Life in West Reading, Berks County
West Reading, home of Reading Hospital - Tower Health, is a thriving borough with a walkable downtown that features shops, restaurants and boutiques. Within a few blocks, you can fill your dark chocolate fix, sample a sumptuous Sangiovese, pick up locally grown fruits and vegetables or get a bite to eat at one of the many diverse restaurants.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
The surrounding area is no stranger to the great outdoors. Berks County is one of only 37 Bronze Level Internal Mountain Bicycling Association Ride Centers in the nation. More than 125 miles of biking and hiking trails can be found at Antietam Lake, Blue Marsh Recreation Area and French Creek State Park, among others. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is world renown as one of the best places in North America to watch the annual hawk migration, and Crystal Cave Park offers underground tours of stalactites and stalagmites. Additionally, skiers can find fresh snow and powder at Bear Creek Mountain Resort, less than 30 miles from West Reading.
Arts and Culture
Reading is home to numerous arts and cultural events, including the Berks Jazz Festival, which has brought 10 days and nights of world class jazz to the county annually for more than 25 years. At the downtown Santander Performing Arts Center, recognized as one of the top 100 concert venues in the country, you can see entertainers from Elton John to Jerry Seinfeld. The Reading Symphony Orchestra and Reading Choral Society offer more traditional performances. Additionally, each year tens of thousands of people flock to Reading for World War II Weekend, which features history re-enactors, vintage WWII aircrafts and military vehicles.
GoggleWorks Center for the Arts
The Reading Public Museum and Neag Planetarium, located next to the hospital's West Reading campus, offer historical and educational programs for adults, families and children. Reading also boasts the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, a massive downtown former factory that is home to 34 resident artists with whom you can visit while they create their work. Sign up for classes to receive personal art instruction or spend an afternoon in the Taylor Backes glassblowing studio of the internationally known artists Will Dexter and Karla Trinkley, who create one-of-a-kind glass creations.
If you crave competition, Reading ranks fourth nationwide in minor-league sports markets, hosting our own minor-league hockey team, the Reading Royals; arena football team, the Reading Express; and baseball team, the Reading Fightin' Phils. The annual Friends of Reading Hospital Road Run offers runners a chance to participate in a 5K competitive run or a 1-mile fun run/fitness walk that benefits HeartSAFE Berks County. Additionally, every June and August, road racers flock to Reading for the hill climbs, one of the only true forms of road racing left in the country.
Berks County consists of 18 public school districts and one private Catholic school. Wyomissing Area High School is consistently ranked one of the top high schools in the country by US News & World Report. In neighboring counties, you can find elite, private, boarding schools such as the Hill School and Lancaster Country Day School. The county is also home to four higher educational institutions: Albright College, Alvernia University, Penn State Berks and Reading Area Community College.
More on Berks County
Learn more about Berks County and the surrounding areas by visiting www.visitpaamericana.com.
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