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Choosing the best time to visit Reading is very much a matter of personal preference, and the city has events and attractions throughout the year. The Spring Break period in early March is one of the busiest times, thanks to the Reading’s proximity to outdoor activities in nearby Hershey Park and Dorney Park, and to the coast. The Berks County Jazz Festival takes place from the end of March to early April, and also attracts a high number of visitors to the city. During the summer months of May to September it can be hot and humid in Reading with temperatures in July of around 29 degrees Celsius. The May Day Festival over the first weekend in May brings in the crowds, and Labour Day weekend at the beginning of September marks the end of summer and it can also be very busy. Christmas and New Year are popular times for breaks in Reading, and there are dozens of family orientated events at the Goggle Works Art Centre and in local museums, churches, theatres and galleries. Autumn is quieter and still relatively mild, so a visit to Reading in October or November is also worth considering.
Peak season is from May to September when school summer holidays see a rise in demand for flights and accommodation in Reading. Low season is generally agreed to be from November to February and flights are cheaper, though Christmas and New Year are the exception. It’s possible to find bargain flights at all times of the year, and shoulder season times from March to May and October to November are an inspired choice. Weather is still relatively mild thanks to Reading’s humid subtropical climate, and beautiful scenery and a range of local events means that there is still plenty to appeal to travellers during quieter times.
Reading, Pennsylvania is an excellent choice for holidays and trips, and is popular with business visitors thanks to its extensive commercial and financial network and its enviable location. The city is the county seat of Berks County, and was once one of the most important railroad hubs in the US.
Today, Reading is a vibrant city that boasts exceptional facilities that are enjoyed by locals and visitors. The town has its own symphony orchestra, several chorale societies, a chamber music society and a civic opera, and visitors can catch performances throughout the year in a range of central Reading venues.
The Goggle Works is an arts centre that is located in a renovated Second World War goggle factory in the centre of Reading. As well as a great programme of exhibitions and shows, you can also see independent films in the on-site theatre.
One of the most striking Reading landmarks is a Japanese-style pagoda that was built on Skyline Drive in 1908. It was originally intended to be a hotel, but didn’t go as planned and today you can make the most of superb views over Reading or enjoy a coffee or a visit to the gift shop. Another Reading attraction is the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower which was built for the local fire department and as a forest observatory in 1939. It’s just a mile along Skyline Drive from the pagoda and well worth a visit for the incredible panoramic views of up to 60 miles (96.5 km) from the 120 foot (36.5 m) tower.
Reading boasts a truly enviable location and the city is just 40 minutes from Pennsylvania’s famous Amish country and approximately 1 hour from Philadelphia. You’re also just 2 or 3 hours from New York, and Reading is only 3 to 4 hours from the scenic coastal resorts on the New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware coast.
There is an excellent local bus service that covers Reading and Berks County and it is used by locals as well as visitors. Fares are reasonable and buses are clean, while well marked routes ensure that getting around Reading is easy. You’ll also find plenty of local taxi services who provide a good 24 hour service for fair, set rates.
Although there is a small local airport it isn’t open for commercial flights, so most international travellers arrive in Reading via Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). There are car hire outlets in the airport for those who want to drive to Reading, and there is also a regular shuttle bus service.