Pittsburgh - Gettysburg - Philadelphia

Old Feb 23rd, 2020, 10:42 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pittsburgh - Gettysburg - Philadelphia

We (my wife and I) will be in Pennsylvania from May 23rd - 31st. We will be arriving in Pittsburgh the morning of Saturday, May 23rd and departing from Philadelphia on the morning of Sunday, May 31st.

We have a tentative itinerary in mind. The only "musts" is we have to be in Philadelphia by Tuesday evening, May 26th, as my wife is attending a conference there from May 27-29.

We are looking for suggestions or ideas, such as:
  • Itinerary advice and ideas
  • Cool neighborhoods in Philly and Pittsburgh that are outside of the touristy downtown cores
  • Hotel suggestions that may fit within our budget (under $200/night)
  • Ideas for places to see or scenic routes to drive between Pittsburgh - Gettysburg - Philly
  • Breweries and food suggestions - we do like our craft beers, and food can be 'local' cuisine or ethnic (we like to mix it up and taste the best of what a city has to offer)
Our interests are driven by food, history, good coffee, beer and breweries, farmers markets, scenic drives, cool neighborhoods and boutique shopping. Working on a medium budget where we try to keep our costs to $150 a day or less (excluding accommodations), but not unwilling to splurge if we find something we *must* do.

Our tentative itinerary looks something like this:
May 23 - 24: two days/nights in Pittsburgh
May 25: rent car and road trip to Gettysburg/Harrisburg. We were possibly thinking of staying in Harrisburg, since there are some breweries I was interested in checking out there, and some interesting museums, like the Civil War Museum and State Museum of Pennsylvania. Then driving from there to Gettysburg the next morning.
May 26: Gettysburg - this seems like it would be ideal since it is the day after Memorial Day and it may not be as crowded. Drive to Philadelphia in the evening and drop rental car.
May 27 - 31: Four days and five nights in Philly. I would consider using one of those days for a day trip somewhere, like Lancaster County. For three of our nights in Philly, we are staying at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown right across the street from the Reading Terminal Market. The foodie in me is rejoicing! But we need a hotel for the night of the 29th and 30th.

I will add that we spent a day and a half in Philly last year, so we did visit some of the biggies like Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Elfreth's Alley, and Christ Church Burial Ground. So these aren't a must. I thought this time would be a great opportunity to see Philly outside of the Old City.

Thanks in advance for any itinerary ideas or advice!

Last edited by jeverett; Feb 23rd, 2020 at 10:45 PM.
jeverett is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2020, 03:54 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,594
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For your last two nights, you might consider somewhere in the Brandywine Valley, just outside of Philadelphia. Nearby is the Brandywine Battlefield State Park (Revolutionary War), Brandywine River Museum (art of Andrew Wyeth), Winterthur estate (home of Henry Francis Dupont, a collector of Americana) and Longwood Gardens (over 1000 acres, now housing a Victory Beer Garden). Beautiful scenery in this area too.

You would be less than an hour from Philadelphia Airport (probably 30-45 min).

There are nearby breweries (https://www.bvbrewscene.com/).
mama_mia is online now  
Old Feb 24th, 2020, 03:58 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,594
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also, on your drive from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg, you might consider the Flight 93 Memorial. I find it to be very moving. It reminds me in a way of Gettysburg--the open space a solemn reminder of the events of that day.

https://www.nps.gov/flni/index.htm
mama_mia is online now  
Old Feb 24th, 2020, 07:52 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,407
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fallingwater is somewhat on the way between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, about 30 minutes south of the PA turnpike, a busy but iconic stop. Tours must be booked in advance but walking the grounds (for a fee) is available unless parking lots full. Between Pittsburgh and Fallingwater a person could stop at Ft Necessity where George Washington surrendered (to the French? must be, I've already forgotten), free. Actually if visiting Ft Necessity, Fallingwater, and the Flight 93 Memorial a person could avoid the Turnpike altogether, prettier and free highway driving through the green hills/mountains. If you drop down to I-68 in MD for some reason to go east you could hook up with I-81 and into Harrisburg that way, if you do go this way Cumberland MD is a great historic city on the Potomac.
tom_mn is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2020, 08:09 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,876
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
The Pennsylvanian (Amtrak train #42) leaves Pittsburgh Union Station at 7:30 every morning and arrives in downtown Harrisburg about 1 PM. You get to ride through the famous Horseshoe Curve and see a couple of town that you might want to see like Latrobe. Rolling Rock is still made there and Arnold Palmer was from there. It wouldn't be hard to rent a car in Harrisburg to go see Gettysburg an Lancaster.
tomfuller is online now  
Old Feb 24th, 2020, 11:04 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3,194
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I second the 9/11 Memorial in Shanksville. Very moving and a pretty drive to and from the highway to the site.

In Philadelphia, The Alexander Hotel in reasonable and in a neighborhood with many shops. The Magic Garden on South Street is interesting and it is just about a block from the Italian Market on 9th.
gardendiva is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2020, 06:55 PM
  #7  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,983
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Interesting neighborhoods in Pittsburgh not always on the tourist track include, IMO, Shady Side and South Side.

Consider a ride up the funicular ("incline") to a restaurant with a view over the city from Mt. Washington. The better ones with a good view aren't inexpensive, but the views are wonderful.

Consider visiting the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh:
https://www.nationalityrooms.pitt.edu/

Since you've already seen some of Philadelphia's highlights, but not those of Pittsburgh, consider shifting a night from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.

You've gotten some great ideas about stops en route. I would just add that staying on the turnpike when it suits is not a bad idea. You get some great scenery with lanes that are wide enough to allow a quick off-road glance, and honestly, some of those back roads can be narrow enough, twisting enough, and slow enough to make for some very wearing and wearying travel.

Enjoy!
kja is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2020, 10:27 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks to all of you for the great ideas. A lot of interesting ideas for us to consider while planning this. Taking the Amtrak from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg is tempting, but it also means skipping Shanksville and Latrobe (we wanted to stop and see Mister Rogers's home and grave here), which are two spots we definitely want to stop and see. We'll just see where the day takes us. And maybe we'll dip down into Maryland as one of you suggested.

Like any trip, there are hard choices. I'd love to spend an extra day in Pittsburgh, but that means giving up Gettysburg, which I don't want to do, since we have to be in Philly by the evening of the 26th for my wife's conference.

Love the Brandywine idea and may include that as part of a day trip from Philly on Friday the 29th. I think that the Alexander Hotel may be the hidden gem we were looking for for a hotel in Philly. Really great price for that location in comparison to other hotels in the vicinity.

Any of you foodies out there have any recommendations for food in Pittsburgh and Philly (or in between)?
jeverett is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2020, 10:32 PM
  #9  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,983
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Alexander is great. You might also look at the Independent Hotel.
https://www.theindependenthotel.com/

Mt. Washington restaurant (stunning views over Pittsburgh's point): Monterey Bay Fish Grotto.
https://www.montereybayfishgrotto.co...10thConference

Great food in Philadelphia: Caribou Cafe
CARIBOU CAFE - Home

Enjoy!

Last edited by kja; Feb 24th, 2020 at 10:35 PM.
kja is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2020, 10:34 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by kja View Post
The Alexander is great. You might also look at the Independent Hotel.
https://www.theindependenthotel.com/
Thanks!
jeverett is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2020, 10:36 PM
  #11  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,983
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
P.S. I just edited my post to add some restaurant recs.
kja is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2020, 04:28 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 75,949
Received 22 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by gardendiva View Post
I second the 9/11 Memorial in Shanksville. Very moving and a pretty drive to and from the highway to the site.
+ 1

We've been twice and want to return now that the bell tower has been completed.

I would definitely include Fallingwater. Amazing. We added nearby Kentuck Knob as well.

If you want a hotel reservation nearby, the Holiday Inn Express is very surprising. Looks more like a mountain lodge than a typical HIX with beautiul indoor pool.
https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpres...X-_-US-_-DONPA

The resort, Nemacolin, was an interesting stop for a lunch.
https://www.nemacolin.com/

Last edited by starrs; Feb 25th, 2020 at 04:33 AM.
starrs is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2020, 03:24 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,628
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since you are going to Latrobe, you could then head to Johnstown. There are two very good Flood Museums, one downtown and a National Memorial one at the site of the dam. Also an incline plane which is steeper than the ones in Pittsburgh.... Then an easy drive to the Shanksville.
SusieQQ is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2020, 04:48 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,319
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Family visitors in Pittsburgh like staying in the downtown area at the Hotel Monaco which has a neat bar downstairs and a rooftop bar. When my buddies stay there, they walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge (one of the "three sister" bridges) to see PNC baseball stadium (it IS amazing) and the Andy Warhol Museum. People have mentioned going up the incline on Mount Washington; the fave family restaurant there now is Altius.

Other family likes have been the B&Bs in the Shadyside neighborhood--especially the Inn in Negley.(I am not a B&B person, so...) Shadyside is not far from Mr. Roger's actual Beechwood Blvd neighborhood in Squirrel Hill, and unfortunately, very near the synagogue where a white supremacist recently shot up Holocaust survivors who came to worship. The irony is still not lost on the area residents. Anyway, Tom Hanks spent a lot of time in Squirrel Hill and Shadyside areas for the film production because even after Mr. Rogers sold his family home, he and his wife downsized to the ground floor of Cathedral Mansions at 4716 Ellsworth Avenue in Pittsburgh's Shadyside neighborhood. He would then walk to his production studio at WQED (on 5th Ave close to Central Catholic High School, which quarterback Danny Marino attended).

Shadyside and Squirrel Hill abut Oakland, which contains both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University plus the Scaife Art Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the Cathedral of Learning. Family has liked to gather at The Porch on Forbes for a bite and a brew because of its view of the Cathedral. Just round the corner is the Phipps Conservatory, nestled in the 452 acres of Schenley Park.

The craft beer area that I like especially is the Lawrenceville area. The problem with brewery tastings is that one limits himself to that brewery; many of the bars in Lawrenceville provide an array. Industry and Bierport Tap Room provide solid selections. There are many breweries there too: https://www.discovertheburgh.com/pittsburgh-craft-beer/

As far as restaurants with beer, the restaurants run by The Big Burrito Group are reliable. Kaya, its Carribean type place, is located in the Strip District. The Mad Mex on South Highland has bartenders whom the family refers to as "beer whisperers." You tell Steve there what type of beer you like--and the ABV you like--and he'll wrestle up some for you to taste.

Hope this is helpful. AZ
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2020, 04:40 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 823
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, AlessandraZoe, for some great ideas!
GinnyJo is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
adam09
United States
27
Apr 20th, 2009 12:34 PM
adam09
United States
36
Mar 19th, 2009 05:09 PM
rpbuttery
United States
4
Mar 16th, 2008 03:22 PM
Shannon
United States
18
May 12th, 2002 05:32 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:09 PM.