Reading, Pennyslvania, located 63 mi/102 km northwest of Philadelphia, is where the concept of factory outlets first developed in the late 1960s. Today, it has more than 300 outlet stores in six complexes, so it rightfully (and legally, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) carries the title of "Outlet Capital of the World."

If you need to take a break from shopping, swing by the Reading Public Museum, a planetarium, art gallery, and history and science museum.

If you are in the area in November or December, check out Koziar's Christmas Village in Bernville, about 14 mi/22 km northwest of the city. Said to have one of the greatest Christmas-light displays in the U.S., it is considered one of the state's top 10 attractions.

In Birdsboro, about 10 mi/16 km east of the city, you'll find the Daniel Boone Homestead, a nearly 600-acre/243-hectare site that includes the frontiersman's house and six other 18th-century structures, along with a lake, picnic areas and hiking trails. Bear Creek (formerly Doe Mountain) and Spring Mountain, two of the state's many ski resorts, are also nearby.

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