While the historic Lincoln Highway stretches from Times Square in New York City across the country to San Francisco, one of the most inviting areas of this cross-country Highway is the 200-miles from just east of Gettysburg to just west of Greensburg, PA. Forget Mapquest, and leave the Garmin at home. With the Lincoln Highway, travel is easy – west to east or east to west!
Plan to take home something special from your road trip that was made in this area; not a trinket from another state, or worse yet, another country! Our PA Artisan Trail ~ Handmade along the Highway artisans were juried into this select program. The marketplaces that exhibit their fine old world crafts were also specifically selected because of their knowledge of the craft and of the process the participating artisans used to create those one-of-a-kind crafts. For a complete listing of all participating marketplaces, click on Find the Art.
Select from Tour A or Tour B. If your schedule permits, do both!
Tour A – Irwin, PA to Bedford, PA – two days
- Irwin is a Main Street community with a vibrant business district – from the unique shops and cultural opportunities, to the three-story mural that graces a building on the historic Lincoln Highway (75 Pennsylvania Avenue). Muralist Wayne Fettro captured this community’s strong ties to the mining industry, the four streetcar companies that operated in Irwin, and the first traffic stoplight.
- On your route to Greensburg, leave wild and crazy Route 30 at the traffic light and follow the old Lincoln Highway (now Toll Gate Hill Road) past the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce. You can’t miss the oversized vintage Packard Car that is the first of five Roadside Giants of the Lincoln Highway. Students in five different school districts designed and created these; the project was coordinated by the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor.
- By the time you get to Greensburg, lunch at Café Barista on Otterman Street will be calling your name. Down the block is the new Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center, a partnership between the City of Greensburg and the University.
- A walk down Harrison Avenue will lead to the restored Greensburg Train Station. Heading back down Harrison Avenue to Pittsburgh Street (the old Lincoln Highway), watch for the beautiful mural at 112 West Pittsburgh Street. This mural tells the story of Greensburg being the very first community in the Commonwealth to have a PA State Police unit.
- Drive one block. At the traffic light, make a left onto Main Street and travel 2 blocks to the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. This is one art museum that is people friendly and very inviting. Check out their An American Marketplace for take home gifts and souvenirs. This is one of the select marketplaces for the PA Artisan Trail ~ Handmade along the Highway program.
- To stay on the old Lincoln Highway, follow the Lincoln Highway road signs. It is somewhat of a challenge in this area because the historic route criss-crosses with Route 30.
- After rejoining Route 30 East, turn LEFT at traffic light into St. Vincent College. (If you are visiting in late July or early August, you’ll be able to catch the Pittsburgh Steelers Football Team who uses the Campus for their training camp. There is no cost to observe.) Follow the road to the roundabout (not left to the security building) and travel ¾ way and head towards the College. Bear RIGHT at the Y to visit the 1854 Saint Vincent Gristmill on your right. In addition to the great Gristmill video, you’ll be able to purchase bread made from the flour that is milled in this historic structure.
- Retrace your route back to Route 30/Lincoln Highway.
- A lodging option in this area is the Wingate Inn near the intersection of Route 30 and 981 in Latrobe. If Ligonier is your destination, make a reservation at Campbell House Bed and Breakfast on East Main Street, Ligonier. You’ll be able to walk to all town shops from here. Looking for a Lincoln Highway-era lodging experience? Check in at the ABC Motel on Route 30, just east of Ligonier.
Day Two, Morning – Latrobe to Bedford
- Turn RIGHT at the Route 30/981 intersection to remain on the Lincoln Highway and head south for a bit; then turn LEFT onto Arnold Palmer Drive (yes, that Arnold Palmer).
You’ll not only pass Arnie’s home, but you’ll pass his country club as well as you head into the community of Youngstown. At the Y in town, bear LEFT to stay on the Lincoln and to rejoin Route 30 towards Ligonier.
- Heading east through the Loyalhanna Gorge, you’ll enter the beautiful Laurel Highlands.
- Less than a mile ahead on the right is the Lincoln Highway Experience. This is the perfect start to your Lincoln Highway Visit. Before you even see the exits for Ligonier, you’ll see the Route 259 turn to the north. Slow down and check out the 22’ high gas pump Roadside Giant of the Lincoln Highway that is at the intersection of Route 30 westbound and 259 N. This is the 2nd of five Roadside Giants in the 200-mile Corridor. To remain on the Lincoln Highway, make a LEFT to enter the Borough of Ligonier at the first exit. Make time to stroll around historic Ligonier and peruse the boutique shops and great eateries. Before leaving the Ligonier area, cross over Route 30 to Route 711 South and visit the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Their paperweight weight collection is outstanding.
- Now it is up and over the mountain towards Jennerstown – only a 12 minute drive barring any coal trucks – for lunch at Green Gables Restaurant. To reach the Restaurant, take a LEFT at the Jennerstown traffic light and travel ¼ mile. This dining experience will surely become your favorite; ask for a table by the waterfall. After lunch, see if you can spot one of the vintage reproduction gas pumps painted by professional artist Nat near the parking lot. Next to the Restaurant is the Mountain Playhouse, PA’s oldest professional stock theatre company. If touring in the summer/early fall, get tickets to see professional theatre at its finest – from Broadway musicals, to British farces, and even original screenplays – all in a refurbished Gristmill.
- Just prior to the Route 30/219 interchange, you can’t miss the Bicycle Built for Two Roadside Giant of the Lincoln Highway at the Second Time Around. This is the third of five Roadside Giants along the 200-mile Corridor. It’s giant companion is the oversized praying mantis.
- Return to Route 30 and turn LEFT to continue east. At Duppstadt’s Country Store in Buckstown, turn RIGHT to visit the temporary Flight 93 Memorial; it is truly hallowed ground.
- After heading up and down the mountain, you’ll see a herd of bison on your left, as well as a beautiful three-sided mural on the large bison barn. Across the street is the Bison Git Shop, and site of another painted pump and interpretive exhibit.
- Next up is Schellsburg and its myriad antique shops.
- Entering Bedford, you may think your eyes are playing tricks on you when you spot a 2 ½ story Coffee Pot structure that is located at the entrance of the Bedford County Fairgrounds. A few years ago, the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor saved the 1927 building from demolition, moved it less than ¼ mile from its original location, restored it and listed it on the National Register of Historic Places. A photo op for sure!
- Tour downtown Bedford, Fort Bedford Museum, and head north on Route 220 to experience Old Bedford Village – there’s always something neat going on there!
There are several overnight options for lodging on Day Two:
- For a Lincoln Highway-era experience, stay in one of the retro tourist cabins of the Lincoln Motor Court just east of Schellsburg. When is the last time you slept in a cabin where the crickets sang you to sleep?
- Looking for a Bed and Breakfast that offers fine dining and spirits mixed in with lots of history? Call either the Jean Bonnet Tavern B&B (between Schellsburg and Bedford); OR, if you’d rather be in town, try Bedford’s Golden Eagle Inn on Pitt Street. The Log Cabin Gift Shoppe next to the Jean Bonnet Tavern offers our PA Artisan Trail ~ Handmade along the Highway fine crafts.
- For deluxe accommodations, there’s nothing like a room with a view at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa, just a couple of miles south of Bedford. Take a RIGHT at Richard Street/Route 220 South. This experience will knock your socks off. And, their Marketplace Gift Shop also offers our PA Artisan Trail ~ Handmade along the Highway items.
Tour B, Everett, PA to Abbottstown, PA – 3 days
Day One, Afternoon – Everett
- Driving east from Bedford, you may be tempted to take the bypass around Everett. Don’t….follow the Lincoln Highway into downtown Everett and experience the charm of this Main Street community. Find out why its original name was Bloody Run. Check out another Wayne Fettro mural on Main Street. Just across from the mural is the Union Hotel which was recently restored. Stay in one of their twelve custom rooms, grab some breakfast, lunch or dinner; then hang out in the cool underground tavern.
- As you motor east on your way to rejoin Route 30, a giant ice cream sundae will lure you over for a cold one. Shortly after that is the 4th Roadside Giant of the Lincoln Highway – a 12’ diameter quarter coin on your right at Down River Golf.
- Looking for Lincoln Highway-era lodging? Check in at Travelers Rest, an authentic Lincoln Highway motel situated between Everett and Breezewood. Proprietor Bowman will show you what real Pennsylvania hospitality is all about! You’ll also see one of the 22 reproduction 1940s painted gas pumps in front of the motel.
Day Two, Morning – Breezewood
- Great home-style cooking next door at Travelers Café. Unless you need gas, carefully navigate your way through Breezewood, an area still serving the travelers’ needs in a super-sized way.
- As you weave your way up and down and around the Lincoln Highway, you’ll end up in McConnellsburg (you’ll need to leave Route 30 to stay on the Lincoln and get to this charming historic district). Settled in 1760s, McConnellsburg was a popular stopping point for travelers. Head straight to the heart of town to see another Fettro mural. It isn’t hard to know what early motorists thought of Fulton County – see look on motorist’s face as his car overheated! There is a 1928 Lincoln Highway concrete marker between the mural and Fulton House. Antiques are plentiful in this town.
- Now, it’s up and away again over the mountains until coming into the town of Fort Loudon, once a busy stagecoach stop, but now a sleepy small town. The old Lincoln rejoins Route 30 just east of Fort Loudon.
- Heading east, you’ll see how the landscape and geography change. After motoring between and up and down mountain ranges, the land levels out and you can see the bounty of Pennsylvania farms. It is no wonder that this area is rich with fruit orchards and vegetables. Stop by a roadside stand to take home the freshest produce. Just outside the village of St. Thomas is another Lincoln Highway mural that perfectly captures the importance of agriculture to this area.
- Across from Burger King and a hair to the east of Shatzer’s Fruit Market is the 5th and final Roadside Giant of the Lincoln Highway – an awesome 1920 Selden Pick-up Truck reminiscent of early pick-up trucks that hauled fruit and vegetables from this area.
- After navigating through the next commercial strip, you’ll enter Chambersburg. In 1864, confederate troops burned the town when it refused to pay a ransom demand of $100,000 in gold. Over 500 structures were left in ruins. Today, it boasts a lovely historic district with an active Main Street. To orient yourself to this region, stop and tour the Chambersburg Heritage Center at the town circle with fountain.
- Perhaps the Capitol Theatre will be offering a performance. Adjacent to the Theatre is the Council for the Arts; they always have an interesting exhibit in their gallery. Or, walk a block north and tour the 1818 Old Jail.
- Continue east on the Lincoln Highway and as the Lincoln veers off to the left through Fayetteville, you’ll see another mural on the Lincoln Lanes building. This mural tells the story of Franklin County and all the recreation it has offered throughout the years.
- If it’s antiques you are looking for, don’t turn at Lincoln Lanes and stay on Route 30. All the yellow painted buildings on both sides of Route 30 are full of antiques.
- Soon you’ll be traveling through the scenic Caledonia State Park and Michaux State Forest areas. The Appalachian Trail crosses the Lincoln Highway here.
- As you head towards Gettysburg, one stop to make is at Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum, which sits between the old Lincoln and Route 30. Not only will you see more than 8,000 elephants, but you’ll be tempted by fresh roasted peanuts, fresh fudge made right there, and a variety of old-fashioned candy.
- To remain true to the Lincoln, cross over Route 30 and travel to the village of Cashtown. By taking this route you will see what Adams County residents are proud of (besides the battlefields). They are proud of their orchards – there are thousands of rows of orchards all around the county, but they aren’t visible from Route 30. The Cashtown Inn is a great place to stay overnight and/to have lunch or dinner. Be on the lookout for some of their ‘spirited’ guests. The Adams County Winery is only 3 miles from the Inn; take home a bottle of the Tears of Gettysburg wine, a 9-time award winner!
Day Three, Morning
- The Lincoln Highway runs straight through the National Park Service’s Gettysburg Battlefields. Be sure to begin your tour of the Battlefields at the official NPS Visitor Center which is just south of town.
- Just as you enter Gettysburg, watch for another Lincoln Highway mural on the side of the Gettysburg Shopping Center. Trying to stay on the Lincoln Highway in Adams County is easy, but the signage is tricky. It is called Chambersburg Street on the west end of Gettysburg and continuing after the roundabout, it is called York Street.
- Downtown Gettysburg’s Main Street is chock full of shops, restaurants and souvenir shops. Make time to stop at Gallery 30 and Artworks; both these shops offer the Handmade along the Highway products, as well as other interesting artwork for the home and clothing/jewelry.
- Need to fit in eating with shopping? Look no further than the Blue Parrot Bistro Restaurant. Or, if you want some diner food, check out the Lincoln Diner on Carlisle Street. Almost across from the Diner is the beautifully restored Majestic Theatre, which offers both independent films and live performances.
- In the heyday of the Lincoln Highway, the 10 miles between Gettysburg and New Oxford were dotted with tourist cabins and motor courts. Today, the road is dotted with antique shops. They are just a warm-up, because once you get to New Oxford, antique malls abound, and they are all within walking distance. Likewise, there are many Bed and Breakfasts. Be careful navigating around another roundabout there.
- Continuing east to Abbottstown (the oldest town in Adams County), you’ll see a few more antique shops and yet another roundabout. Another mural, the last, graces the front of the Abbottstown Fire Department building. For a really special dinner, eat at the Altland House, right on the circle. Lovely rooms are also available upstairs.
If you would like more information about traveling these 200 miles of the Lincoln Highway in PA, order our 60-page Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor Driving Guide for only $2.50 (this includes shipping and handling; and visit our website at www.LHHC.org Be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter at the bottom of the homepage. You can reach us at 724-879-4241 or write to us at LHHC, 3435 Route 30 East, Latrobe, PA 15650.