Life in Reading
Berks County - A Great Place to Live!
Education is a major force in Berks County as evidenced by its five local colleges and universities as well as 18 public school districts. Culture and recreation are equally important to Berks. The Santander Center and the Santander Performing Arts Center attract headliners like Elton John and traveling theater companies. And the Goggleworks represents our continuing commitment to the arts by showcasing the work of local artists, providing art classes and renting studio space. The Penn Corridor is greater Reading's hub for arts, culture, dining and entertainment. It will reconnect residents with their urban core. The Greater Reading Expo Center supports large consumer and business tradeshows, and the Reading Symphony Orchestra and the Reading Public Museum are considered among the best in the state. In addition, the Berks Arts Council presents the largest jazz festival on the east coast. For sports fans, there’s Reading Phillies baseball, and the Royals Professional Hockey Club.
The picturesque countryside of Berks County provides many recreational opportunities. The Berks County Parks and Recreational Department maintains and operates several historic sites, camping, and recreational facilities. Blue Marsh Lake offers swimming, boating, and fishing – or take a stroll through the heavily forested, scenic hills of French Creek State Park. The Nolde Environmental Center and the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary provide unique educational opportunities as well as the chance to enjoy the beauty of nature.
For the metro crowd, there are endless restaurants and cafes, two shopping malls, and the famous Vanity Fair Outlet complex. Within an hour’s drive the Philadelphia suburbs offer the Philly Premium Outlets, an Ikea, and King of Prussia Mall. Or hop on Route 222 and visit Lancaster with its own outlet complex and Park City Mall in addition to downtown’s Central Market. An hour north puts you in Allentown’s Lehigh Valley Mall and the Allentown Fairground Farmer’s Market.
Living in Berks County means you’re truly home. You and your family can take advantage of the community arts, local wineries, shopping malls, and gourmet restaurants. Reading ranks fourth nationwide in minor-league sports markets, hosting our own minor-league hockey, arena football, and baseball teams. You’ll also find the great outdoors in your backyard, including the National Scenic Appalachian Trail, two state parks, lakes for boating, swimming, and even ice fishing and skating in winter!
You’ll enjoy town and country living, since you’re within driving distance to major metropolitan areas like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. From local recreational activities to the cultural and historical events of three high-energy cities, it’s all waiting for you.
Cultural amenities include:
GoggleWorks, a restored factory, is one of the largest, most comprehensive interactive community arts centers in the country. The GoggleWorks offers an exceptional opportunity for visitors to experience and learn about the arts in a working studio environment.
The Santander Center combines a turn of the century performing arts center with a modern event arena. The Santander Performing Arts Center is home to the Reading Symphony orchestra, and hosts other events including Broadway musicals and nationally acclaimed plays.
The Arena portion of the complex is the home of Reading Royals (EHCL ice hockey team), Reading Express (Arena Football League), and Reading Railers (minor league basketball).
In addition to sporting events, the arena plays host to major music concerts, and other forms of entertainment, such as: Elton John, Celine Dion, American Idol tour, Neil Diamond, Champions on Ice, Disney on Ice, WWE Wrestling, and professional boxing matches.
The Reading Public Museum is right next-door to the Hospital. Discover a wonderful collection of Pennsylvania German folk art, come face to face with Nefrina, an Egyptian mummy, stroll a beautiful 25-acre Arboretum, or see billions of stars at the Reading Public Museum’s digitally enhanced Planetarium.
Learn more about what Reading has to offer: