Plan our holiday in the northeast!
July 5, 2005 7:46 PM   Subscribe

Help us fill in 5 days traveling between Boston and Western PA.

My husband and I are leaving Boston Sunday, September 4 and have to be in Uniontown, PA by Friday, September 9 (wedding). What should we do on the way? Is renting a car the best way to go? Bonus points if you can suggest somewhere en route to celebrate my 30th birthday, which is on the Tuesday.

Our lack of inspiration may lead us to go directly to Pittsburgh and hang out for a few days, so I'm hanging out for good suggestions!
posted by gaspode to Travel & Transportation around Pennsylvania (16 answers total)
Why don't you stop for a while in NYC. Its on the way to PA, as in your going to have to drive through it. Theres no shortage of things to do there, and it will not take long to get to. So spend monday and tuesday there for your Bday. Go to a show or something.
posted by pwally at 7:56 PM on July 5, 2005

30th birthday: Bushkill Falls, the Niagara of Pennsylvania
posted by Doohickie at 8:05 PM on July 5, 2005

have you ever pet a giraffe? we drove from boston to pittsburgh & back a few years ago. we also stopped at a cavern with a boat ride, it think it's this one , but their site is pretty lousy. we drove past centralia - from the edges you can see smoke rising from the ground. I find roadside america to be really helpful in finding weird side trips. I wish we'd made it to the Houdini or Mutter museums. have fun, the scenery is beautiful.
posted by inky at 8:26 PM on July 5, 2005

Response by poster: Oh, we live in NYC.
Oooh thanks for the roadside america link, inky, that's the sort of thing I'm looking for!
posted by gaspode at 8:40 PM on July 5, 2005

re: inky's post; not sure what cavern that was, but it wasn't Indian Echo. No boat rides there, unfortunately.

But, speaking of Roadside America, the website, you should check out their namesake, Roadside America, the world's largest miniature village.

Might be a little far southeast for you, but I love it.
posted by jessenoonan at 9:04 PM on July 5, 2005

I am not good at the linking, and it is very late.

So, DIY.

posted by jessenoonan at 9:05 PM on July 5, 2005

If you take the NJ turnpike down to the PA turnpike (might not be the most direct route), there's stuff to see even on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Check out the Mercer Museum---it's amazing what seven guys and a horse can make out of reinforced concrete. If you've ever wanted to wander around inside an M.C. Escher woodcut, that's as close as you'll get.

Of course Philadelphia has lots to see. Naturally the Muetter Museum is its cultural showpiece.

Then there's what-all in Lancaster County.

I'm sure there are things to see in the center of the state, but in the eight or so years I've lived here, I haven't really managed to explore it very much. You could try to get a look at Centralia, I guess.

Lulu's gets a lot of attention here in Pittsburgh, but I'm not blown away by it. We have decent Vietnamese in the Friendship neighborhood that has better noodles, IMHO.
posted by tss at 9:39 PM on July 5, 2005

Oh yeah, since you're in Uniontown. Fallingwater. Kentuck Knob.
posted by tss at 9:54 PM on July 5, 2005

I'm fond of Western Mass. Shelburne Falls and its glacial potholes, Mt. Holyoke College, the Pioneer Valley in general (especially if you like used book stores). Bub's Barbeque.

If you go out that way, you'd continue out the NY Turnpike, then head south to PA. Corning, NY has a wonderful glass museum with both industrial and art stuff. You could easily spend a day there. We picked up the turnpike hotel coupon book, and ended up at a cheap and very clean old fashioned motor court a few towns away.

It wouldn't be inconcievable to hit Niagra Falls on the way. If you do, the Maid of the Mist is worth every penny, in either currency.

Depending on where in Western PA you are going, the Oil Museum in Titusville is great fun. Don't miss the tacky industry sponsored film, staring Vincent Price. There is also a train ride there, which I haven't been on.

Closer to Pittsburgh, the northern part of West Virginia is actually quite charming.
posted by QIbHom at 10:16 PM on July 5, 2005

If you're heading out to Western MA from Boston, stop at the National Plastics Museum in Leominster, MA. It's an interesting place. (Leominster being where they invented the plastic pink flamingo.)

Also, Mass MoCA in North Adams MA. Mount Greylock's nice, too. Hike or drive up, there's a fabulous view at the top.
posted by strikhedonia at 10:30 PM on July 5, 2005

I second Fallingwater. I was there a couple years ago and it was really spectacular. Amazing! I'm from Philly, and can't imagine anyone really wanting to spend a vacation there.

I'd vote for NYC and then Fallingwater.

If you do go to Philadelphia, you can also stop at the artsy town of New Hope, PA, about 45 north of the city. Lots of little shops and galleries.
posted by kdern at 5:34 AM on July 6, 2005

After posting about Bushkill Falls, I thought it might be interesting to hit that on the way out, and the real Niagara on the way back...
posted by Doohickie at 6:24 AM on July 6, 2005

The cave with a boat ride was probably Penn's Cave.

This thread had a bunch of suggestions in western MA.

Kaaterskill Falls is impressive. There is a road to near the top, but you'll need a map.

In general, I recommend the Delorme Atlas and Gazeteers. They list lots of attractions of all types, many of them obscure gems.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:28 AM on July 6, 2005

You're right, jessenoonan it wasn't Indian Echo cavern, Inky and I were wracking our brains last night trying to remember - it just came to me: it was Penn's Cave. It was a fun place to stop, check it out if you can.
On preview - I should have read the whole thread - Kirth Gerson's got it
posted by soplerfo at 6:37 AM on July 6, 2005

Falling Water is a short trip, but worth it. Second Mercer Museum. I went to the Mutter Museum in Philly last year and I thought it was overpriced ($10/person I think) and repetitive, but if you really groove on medical oddities I'm sure it's hard to beat. The Wadsworth Anthaneum in Hartford is worth part of a day if you like art museums.
posted by OmieWise at 7:47 AM on July 6, 2005

« Older Plans for a cat door?   |   Is it really that simple? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.