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  1. Default The great exploration of PA

    Hey guys,

    I live in Philadelphia and something my Dad and I used to love doing was just going into PA and getting really, really lost. Along the way we found all kinds of cool and crazy stuff. Some of my fondest memories of my father, who has sadly past away, was some of these awesome adventures. It's been more then 10 years since I just got in a car and drove no where for the sake of doing it. I recently got into a conversation with a cab driver and we talked about road trips. I realized that I'm a full blown adult with a good job, vacation time and nothing stopping me from just going exploring for a full week. So that's exactly what I plan on doing. The plan is to get a rental car for the week, load it up with the bare essentials and set out to just see as much of Pennsylvania as I possibly can. I started looking at Roadside attraction sites and there's just tons of stuff out there to see. I want to stop in a couple of towns along the way just to see what's there and say I've been, but for the most part, I just want to get lost and see where the week takes me. Anyone done anything similar to this? I've got a long time to research up on how to make it a good trip, but honestly, half the fun is the unknown, so I don't want to spoil it.

    Talio.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Pennsylvania has gone from a state I used to try to get through quickly to a place I really enjoy traveling. PA has plenty of history, from railroading (check out the Altoona area) to the Civil War (Gettysburg, naturally) and even touching one of the Great Lakes (Erie).

    You could drive along the Lincoln Highway or hike the Allegheny Forest. Visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater or Kentuck Knob. Take a peek at the Starrucca Viaduct, or go to the home of the Zippo lighter.

    With a week's time you can make a nice loop of the state and really get a feel for the diversity that is available.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Some Similar Things

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I have also had occasion to wander around Pennsylvania and agree with you that there are any number of unique attractions. I used to make the drive between the Finger Lakes region of New York and the upper Chesapeake Bay so often that I needed new roads every now and then. In one instance I set myself the challenge to make the journey while not using any Interstate or US highways, and only state highways with at least three digits (PA-100 and higher). But that took a little planning and was not the 'Let's get lost' kind of trip you're apparently looking for. On another trip (elsewhere), knowing that I generally wanted to go southwest, I just alternated at each crossroad or intersection between a highway listed as South and one listed as West. That ended up getting me on a dirt road in a swamp, but it also made for a great serendipitous trip. You could do something similar starting our in southeastern Pennsylvania and just taking roads that go west and north, turning around if you hit a state line, until you've used up about two thirds of the time available to you. The 'find' yourself and start heading home while hitting a few places that look promising on the way.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    I live in Harrisburg and if I may make a suggestion... consider taking route 30 from Philly area to Gettysburg, then head up route 11/15 to Williamsport (3 hours maybe). That will take you near Harrisburg for a pitt stop, maybe a round of mini golf on City Island or a Capitol Building tour. A lot of the drive is along the Susquehanna River. You can see PA's version of Lady Liberty in the middle of the River near the town of Marysville. Go up to the Little League World Series Hall of Fame in Williamsport. From there, who knows! If you do get a chance, I think PA's best kept secret are the towns of Rockhill Furnace and Orbisonia. They have train and trolley rides that will bring you back in time. Here is a story I produced for a local tv station about the trolly. (Link removed for now -- it may be in an unsupported format for this forum).

    Since you are from Philly, I'm sure you've been to Hershey. If you haven't, what are you waiting for!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-26-2009 at 09:40 PM. Reason: We'd love to see the film, but that link is not loading and so I removed it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Talio View Post
    Hey guys,

    I live in Philadelphia and something my Dad and I used to love doing was just going into PA and getting really, really lost. Along the way we found all kinds of cool and crazy stuff. Some of my fondest memories of my father, who has sadly past away, was some of these awesome adventures. ................

    ............ but honestly, half the fun is the unknown, so I don't want to spoil it.

    Talio.
    That says it all Talio, go for it. Pennsylvania is the ideal State for that type of adventure. You can barely go 50 miles without running into something interesting to see. Just about every highway through the State has nooks and crannies of fascinating attractions - some of which will never make it into the tourist brochures, but fascinating when one chances upon them.

    During my trip this year I crisscrossed PA at least seven times and chanced upon amazing sights and small hamlets tucked away in the mountains, leaving me with wonderful memories and hundreds of photos. I could spend months there, never go near any of the recognised touristy sites, and come away with an album full of photos of all the wonders I found.

    Do as you state above, and just go get yourself lost. Resist spoiling such a great adventure with too much research and planning.

    Lifey who just wings it

  6. #6

    Default

    Great idea for a trip! I'm from near Philly and went to Penn State but don't live in PA anymore so I miss driving its roads. One thing I could recommend is World's End State Park, which is sort of near Williamsport. It is quite beautiful. I did a trip from NYC to Penn State recently and took detours off Rt. 80 to get to World's End on a few different scenic highways and it was a great drive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default World's End

    Quote Originally Posted by scosm View Post
    One thing I could recommend is World's End State Park, which is sort of near Williamsport. It is quite beautiful. I did a trip from NYC to Penn State recently and took detours off Rt. 80 to get to World's End on a few different scenic highways and it was a great drive.
    Here's a picture of the "World's End Chapel", which is situated right off the road and next to the river (behind the lectern).



    The roads nearby are a relaxing drive through what I consider an under explored region of the state.

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