This summer my husband and I decided to take a few random trips across PA. We’re calling it our “Empty Nest Adventures.” We married young and started a family early. Traveling and adventure was something we never really had the chance to experience. We recently set out a fun trip down the PA Lincoln Highway. Having no agenda and no one to be responsible for, except ourselves, turned into some major fun and priceless memories.
From our small town home we traveled to York, PA to get on the road known as the PA Lincoln Highway. Followiong PA Route 30 West we found many interesting and nostalgic stops along the way. There was only one hard fast rule, we only ate at hole in the wall restaurants along the way. We avoided eating at chain establishments and enjoyed the local food recommendations along the way.
Our first stop was the Haine’s Shoe House. It’s a Roadside America attraction. We actually drove past it on the highway and had to backtrack to get to the attraction. At the Shoe House you will find an ice cream shop, small gift shop and you can pay to have a guided tour of the shoe. The shoe actually consists of five floors that contain a lot of the original furniture and memorabilia.
Of course you can’t drive the PA Lincoln Highway without a stop in historic Gettysburg, PA. We walked the town square, ate at a local restaurant and drove briefly through the battlefields. Unfortunately, a gusty storm with a lot of thunder and lightening rolled through, ,so our visit was cut short. If you’ve never discovered the history of our great nation in person at the Gettysburg sights, it’s a must see.
Stop three on the PA Lincoln Highways was Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium. The name pretty much says it all. Thousands of elephants on display inside and out. Every kind of candy you could ever imagine. There’s homemade, nostalgic, nuts and more!
More Places to Visit on the PA Lincoln Highway
Then we headed to Bedford, PA. We took the driving covered bridge tour. Eight different covered bridges. Some in use and some closed to vehicles. Along the way we detoured off to Gravity Hill. Two spots on a tiny back road where you can put your car in neutral and it will roll up hill on its own. Quite an interesting science experiment.
We spent the night at the Lincoln Motor Court. A 1930’s cottage. Complete with antique plumbing. I am usually a bit fussier about my sleeping accommodations, but I thoroughly enjoyed this quaint stay along the PA Lincoln Highway.
Roadside Attractions on the PA Lincoln Highway
It’s always fun to find unique Roadside America attractions along the way. We stopped at two on the PA Lincoln Highway during our trip. Our hosts at the Lincoln Motor Court told us about a unique 1930’s Art Deco Gulf Gas Station, in it’s original condition. The gas station is still fully functioning, but not open on Sundays. We took some time to walk around the outside of the building admiring all of the gorgeous handiwork and vintage decor.
The Coffee Pot once an unique diner, has been moved and gone through many changes. Right now, it’s just something neat to look at and take photos of.
The Bedford Village was off the PA Lincoln Highway, but well worth the small detour. When you step into the village you step back in time. Visit each building and learn about Bedford and it’s craftsman from the early years.
Watch live demonstrations, eat, enjoy treats and even make your own handmade wares. You can use a phone app for a talking tour or follow a map with printed information. We spent several hours exploring the authentic buildings and listening to the volunteer craftspeople tell their stories and make their wares.
A Moment to Pause and Remember on the PA Lincoln Highway
Our last stop was the Flight 93 Memorial National Park. We happened to make our visit to the park on Independence Day. Security was heightened and there were many visitors from all over the country.
It was such a serene site and a very emotional visit. I even had the chance to take a picture of a family that was visiting the wall with their loved ones name engraved on it. The scenery was amazing. We listened to park ranger present a program about the last minutes the passengers spent on the plane. She showed photos and gave biographies of the passengers. It was such a beautiful tribute.
The visitors center is packed full of information. I learned so many things that I didn’t know about the incidents of the day. You could even listen to the conversations passengers had with loved ones, or messages they left for them before the crashes. Again, very serene and emotional experience that everyone should add to their list of must visit places. These victims need to be memorialized and remembered for their sacrifices.
After our last stop it was off the PA Lincoln Highway and off to a hotel room in Altoona, PA to just relax for the remainder of the evening. I hope you get a chance to visit these fun and interesting places if you make it to Pennsylvania someday.
If you’ve been on the PA Lincoln Highway, I’d love to hear the places we missed that need to go on our 30 before 30 bucket list.