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e2 May 12th, 2003 04:40 PM

PA turnpike
I need to be in Pittsburgh for work on a Thursday and Philadelphia to meet friends Friday night, and, as I've never spent any time in PA and understand it's beautiful, am renting a car to spend Friday driving to Philadelphia. I live in TX and grew up in the west and am accustomed to long stretches behind the wheel, and enjoy that as a means of seeing the countryside.

I hear the PA Turnpike is a lovely drive (even though it's a turnpike?). Would you suggest I take the turnpike vs. other lesser-traveled state highways?

If you could stop at 1-2 destinations along the way, what would you recommend? Lancaster?

Thanks in advance!

Stephanie May 12th, 2003 06:27 PM

I'd say try Route 30, goes across the bottom part of PA too and more countrylike scenery.

bookhall May 12th, 2003 08:17 PM

Stephanie's suggestion is excellent. Rte. 30 will take you through some of the rugged terrain of western PA, Gettysburg, and the PA Dutch country (Lancaster area.)

Seamus May 12th, 2003 08:37 PM

I'm a Pennsylvanian transplanted to Texas. The downside of the turnpike is also its upside - it is a controlled access road. You'd have to get off (go through toll booth) to do any sort of looking around other than the drive-by kind. This is by design, as it is meant to be an express route to where you are going. There are rest area plazas with food along the pike, but you go by rather than through towns. Since you have the time, I'd second the Rt 30 suggestion. Just allow some extra time - it will likely take 7 or 8 hours.

hoosier_native May 13th, 2003 06:08 AM

While I've never been on route 30, I agree with the above posters that if you have the time and enjoy stopping to see sights along your way, take that instead of the turnpike. My husband and I have taken the 'pike several times and it suited our needs - a "direct" route to our destination with stops only for gas and to use the bathroom. Plus you have to pay to get off of the thing! From your comments, I do think the more scenic route will be more enjoyable for you. Have a safe drive.

k_999_9 May 13th, 2003 08:08 AM

When people refer to the PA Tpke as "scenic," they're probably comparing it to some of the less-scenic highways. True, the PA Tpke does have some interesting tunnels and sights, particularly as you get closer to Pittsburgh, but the 30 will be the more scenic (much slower) route.

Ann41 May 13th, 2003 12:42 PM

Thanks. I needed a good laugh. I'd like to meet those people who told you the turnpike is scenic. Guess they've never driven through the year-round construction or tried to get into or around Breezewood on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.

Anyway, Pennsylvania is a very nice state, away from the turnpike, and 30 is a good route. I'd stop in Gettysburg.

SusieQQ May 13th, 2003 03:44 PM

I agree that 30 is much more scenic, but will take "forever" to drive. Even with the on going construction, I would suggest the turnpike. I've been driving the length of it all my live and I do consider it a beautiful drive.

KimV May 13th, 2003 05:40 PM

Route 30 has many turns and hard on the brakes for a while after Breezewood heading east. But boy is our turnpike full of potholes and there are concrete barriers up for construction a good part of the way. Maybe you could get off the turnpike around Lancaster and take route 30 for a while through Amish country.

sonodust May 15th, 2003 02:54 PM

I hate to be a downer, but taking Route 30 across the state will be a nightmare!! Take the turnpike, get to Philly in 5 hours or so, and let your Philly friends show you around. Stopping off in Lancaster is a decent idea, and then taking Rte 30 from there will take you through farmland, then though Philly's Main Line towns, and then into Philly. That will only add an hour or so of travel time.
Good Luck.

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