Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Summer trips, and the midstate's hidden gems

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jul 6, 2014 9:41 AM

Photo by Courtesy:

The Strasburg Rail Road is known for its trips through the Amish countryside.

What to look for on Smart Talk on Monday, July 7th, with guest host Ben Allen:

It’s the summertime, which for many, means its a time for trips, festivals, and discovering new places. That could translate into a visit to the Poconos, exploring Amish Country in Lancaster County, or taking a drive out to Pittsburgh. Those trips are often cited as a big driver of economic growth: according to the state, Pennsylvania tourism is a $38.4 billion dollar industry, growing almost 4 percent from 2011 to 2012.  

Behind all of those numbers and trips are regional tourism boards, First Lady Susan Corbett, and the Pennsylvania Office of Travel, Tourism and Film. They’re tasked with promoting and encouraging you and me to take a trip, and keep the economy growing.

On Monday’s Smart Talk, we’ll figure out what’s different this year, where tourism is growing and where it’s flagging, and hear all about the hidden gems in the midstate - those places that few know about but are so, so good. 

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Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Corbett and Diane McGraw,Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Office of Travel, Tourism and Film


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Joel Cliff, Director of Public Relations, PA Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau and Sharon Altland, Vice President, Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau

Joining us will be First Lady Susan Corbett, Diane McGraw, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Office of Travel, Tourism and Film, Joel Cliff, Director of Public Relations, PA Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Sharon Altland, Vice President, Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-07-07 08:14

    Mal emails:

    Visit the memorial and learn what the 40 Heroes of Flight 93 did for America on 9/11/01.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-07-07 08:15

    Anne from York County:
    For York County …
    We offer Factory Tours – UTZ and Snyders in Hanover
    Recreation with 8 county and 3 state parks and Roundtop Mountain adventure
    History and Central Market in downtown York
    Steam into History the new civil War train ride beside the Rail Trail in New Freedom
    The York Fair is coming up in September

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-07-07 08:23

    Pat from Waynesboro:

    Our capitol is one of the most beautiful in the nation, we have visited 32 of them. Each as a history to tell.

    Suggestion for visiting western PA:

    Fort Ligoner, Fort Necessity, Jumonville Glen (where a young George Washington’s shooting of a French officer sparked the French & Indian War)

    Closer to my home — Blue Ridge Summit, PA — The Battle of Monterey Pass. Through this pass the Confederate troops retreated after the Battle of Gettysburg. A thrilling story.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-07-07 08:51

    Rick writes:

    Blobfest this year July 11-13

    Phoenixville where the theatre scene in the Original Blob movie was filmed. Weekend street fair, tin foil hat contest, music, dance, and a reenactment of the movie patrons fleeing the movie theatre. Crazy fun!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-07-07 08:53

    Linda tweets:

    The rails to trails path along Pine Ck in the midst of Pa Grand Canyon. 5-star bike trekking from Ansonia to Blackwell.

    Hawk Mt. isn't hidden but it is a gem. Stellar views.

  • Lisa img 2014-07-07 09:03

    Get back to nature!

    Hawk Mountain and Presque Isle State Park for migration birdwatching (starting in August).
    Cherry Springs State Park for best dark sky in the state for stargazing.
    Elk viewing in Benezette.
    Virgin forest at Cook Forest State Park and Alan Seeger Natural Area near Penn Roosevelt State Park.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-07-08 07:43

    John emails:
    The Ned Smith Center for Nature and Arts Annual Nature and Arts Festival will occur Saturday July 26th, 9:00 – 4:00 in Millersburg. 70 activities, most free - for all ages. Also, the Grand Opening of the DeSoto Outdoor Amphitheatre featuring 4 music and arts performances Friday night July 25th. Please review the offerings on our website or call 717-692-3699 for more information.