Duration: Three days and three nights
Your fall foliage tour couldn't start in a more vibrant place. This is a land of huge, colorful trees and charming villages. And with so much to see around here, there's a lot of nature-lovin' going around. Along the way, you'll encounter cool museums, irresistible countryside wineries, and outdoorsy fun. It's time to celebrate fall.
Start your trip in Bradford's National Historic District on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest. You couldn't ask for a better setting for a fall road trip. Tall trees tower over the area like nature's skyscrapers and squirrels scurry about, preparing for the colder days ahead. Breathe in the crisp air and start to explore your surroundings. This is what fall is all about.Read More >
Just on the outskirts of town is a place where fans and collectors from across the globe gather to experience the history of two American icons. The Zippo/Case Museum celebrates the history of America's favorite lighter and toughest knife. It's the only place in the world that sells the complete line of Zippo and Case products. If you can't find the place, just look for the 40-foot Zippo lighter with pulsating neon flames. And hey, while you're still in the learning spirit, hop on over to the next destination.Read More >
Just a few miles down the road, your next stop celebrates the accomplishments of PA's oil country. The Penn Brad Oil Museum takes you back to the early oil boom times of the first billion-dollar oilfield. Along the way, you'll be guided by oil country veterans who have lived the life and know the lingo. There's even a collection of various oil-age knickknacks like wind-up clocks, tube radios, and lunch pails to give you an idea of how folks got along in the old days.Read More >
Head east for a scenic 20-minute trip through the autumn landscape and you'll reach the little town of Eldred. These guys played a surprisingly big role in the Second World War. Eldred was the site of a large British and American munitions plant producing countless bombs, shells, and fuses 24 hours a day. Today, this museum preserves our country's history by commemorating the 40 million Americans who supported the soldiers during the epic war. It makes for an interesting place to stop before you hop back in the car and get ready to cruise through the vibrant autumn reds and oranges that make leaf peeping the premier autumn activity.Read More >
Just a short trip down Route 446 along the Allegheny River, you'll reach the Victorian village of Smethport. Stretch your legs and take a stroll through the Smethport Mansion District. The first thing you'll notice is the English Gothic architecture of St. Luke's Episcopal Church and the opulence of Henry Hamlin's mansion. In the center of town, you'll see Hamlin Lake. Its cool waters reflect colors of the mountainous surroundings. Get a lakeside seat and enjoy the view or march on to Goosechaser Trail and stroll through the lush hardwood forest along the banks of Marvin Creek. Afterwards, make a detour to the Country Porch Coffee Shoppe, part of the PA Wilds Artisan Trail. There you'll find handmade candles, engraved picture frames, artwork, and other crafty goods.Read More >
Mount Jewett sits just 20 minutes southwest of Smethport. After a drive along Scenic Route 6, you’ll take the Kinzua Bridge Scenic Byway (Route 3011) – rated as one of America’s most scenic drives. Then a quick 3-mile ride takes you to the entrance of the Kinzua Bridge State Park home of the Kinzua Viaduct and Kinzua Skywalk. The new Skywalk has a partial glass floor and a spectacular bird’s eye view above the gorge. You’ll want to take about a billion pictures as the trees put on their own fireworks display with the awesome colors of autumn. So remember to charge that camera.Read More >
Just 15 minutes away from your last stop, lies the Flickerwood Wine Cellars. Make a stop here for a quick taste of their award-winning wine. If you have any questions, be sure to ask the experts working there. They'll go out of their way to impress you with their extensive knowledge of the delicious products. Then it's only a half-hour drive back to Smethport as you catch one last glimpse of fall in the daylight hours before you catch some rest. Sleep tight. We have a busy day tomorrow.Read More >
In the village of Smethport, there's plenty to see among the Victorian houses and quaint shops. For starters, you'll want to make a stop at the Route 6 Diner. This stop, designed to mimic a railroad dining car, serves up the great American cheeseburger and milkshake. Every sip is a delicious adventure.
Awaiting you in Smethport is a good night's sleep and small town charm of the Mansion District Inn. You'll be hard pressed to find a better view of the surrounding hillsides vibrant with color than from the comfort of your room. Then, in the morning you'll wake up to gourmet coffee and fresh-baked biscotti.Read More >
The second day of your adventure starts off with a half-hour trip south on Route 46 to the town of Emporium. Make a stop at the PA Wilds Artisan Center to check out the locally crafted wares. Then hit the road down Route 120 south to Route 555 east, the Elk Scenic Drive. Keep your eyes peeled for free roaming elk along the way. They’re likely a part of the herd at your next stop in Benezette.
At the heart of Pennsylvania Elk Country is a quiet village home to the largest herds of free-roaming elk this side of the Mississippi. From the Elk Scenic Drive (Route 555) turn onto Winslow Hill Road and travel north to the Elk Country Visitors Center and viewing area. Wander the site and take pictures or have an elk guide show you around. Then continue north to Winslow Hill Scenic Overlook Viewing area where you’ll get an even better view of the land and elk. On your way back down you may want to grab a bite to eat at the Benezette Hotel. Or if you can wait, a 40-minute drive north takes you to Gunner’s in St. Mary’s. Before you know it, you’ll be at your next destination – the Allegheny National Forest.Read More >
From Benezette travel northwest to Route 255 and through the town of St. Marys and onto the Longhouse National Scenic Byway (Route 321) arguably one of the most scenic roads in Pennsylvania, with plenty of breathtaking overlooks for great picture taking. Go onto Route 59, which takes you through the Allegheny National Forest and onto our next set of destinations.Read More >
Follow Route 59 to the Rimrock Overlook and give yourself one of the most amazing views of the forest below. It's a pretty popular destination for hikers, nature lovers, and gawkers. And just a short walk down a rock staircase will take you past a narrow crevasse, scenic cliffs, and giant boulders. You couldn't ask for a prettier picture.
Continue on Route 59 and stop at Jake's Rocks Overlook and smell the fresh air from 2,000 feet above the Allegheny National Forest floor. Numerous trails weave through the area. And all of them make for a pretty picture as you check out the multi-colored foliage. On your way back down, you'll find lots of picnic space to stretch out and relax.
Continue on Route 59 for about 5 minutes between the dam and the Kinzua Marina and you’ll find the Kinzua Point. It’s a great place to end your expedition through the colorful forest canopy. The information is open on the weekends during the fall, so be sure to stop by and pick up a map or kick back with an afternoon snack. No matter what you do, the view is spectacular.
As you head into Warren, we recommend a stop at the Blair Museum. To celebrate 100 years of operation, John Blair’s company built the Blair Museum in his honor and in the honor his associates. These dedicated employees have served New Process Company and Blair customers for an entire century. Within the museum are letters from President Roosevelt, notes from John L. Blair, official documents and historical artifacts and archives, all attesting to important role the company played in PA’s history. This is your last stop after a busy day on the road. By now, you’ll be ready to rest up for another fall day on the road.Read More >
Authentic Italian cuisine in a friendly atmosphere. What more could you ask for? Stop by for some pasta, a family-style salad bowl, or a perfect steak.
Take good ol' Scenic Route 6 to 89 north and make your way to the town of North East. The Lake Shore Railway Historical Museum should be your first stop. This is where Pennsylvania celebrates its railroading roots. The museum preserves a historic collection of railroad and transportation artifacts that span the decades. When you're done walking around, stop by the shop for some cool train-related souvenirs. Then make your way back to the car and head over to your next stop.Read More >
Just a 5-minute drive and you're at our first winery stop of the day. What goes better with the crisp autumn air than a tasty bottle of wine? Presque Isle Wine Cellar is a family-owned winery in the heart of Lake Erie's wine region. You have a personal invite to browse the wares or sit down by the creek for a fall picnic.Read More >
Make a quick trip up the road and head over to the South Shore Wine Company. It was 150 years ago when this land was first cultivated for grape growing and winemaking. Today you can step down into the stone wine cellar for a taste of the goods. You don't have to be a connoisseur to appreciate the history and architecture of this place.Read More >
Continue up East Main Road for about 5 miles and you'll find yourself on a 250-acre farm at the edge of North East. Here you'll find nationally recognized wine produced from homegrown grapes. Drop by Arrowhead Wine Cellars for a collection of reds, whites, and blushes then check out the farmer's market next door for some fresh fruit. It is harvest season, after all.Read More >
This inn offers a wonderful glimpse of the history of this area in North East, PA. From the moment you arrive, you'll be greeted with a world of vintage craftsmanship and charming service. Innkeepers Peggy and Dave know what it takes to keep a weary roadtripper happy and comfortable.Read More >
Once you're down from the trees, there's a whole lot to learn about Lackawanna's mining history right here in Scranton. Fortunately, the Lackawanna County Coal Mine Tour is here to teach you all about it. Journey 300 feet beneath the surface with your tour guide as they take on a trip into the tunnels and shafts of this 150 year old coal mine. You'll see just how dangerous this old profession really was and how brave those miners had to be.
Straub Brewery is a friendly place. So friendly in fact, that they're inviting you in for a free tour. They've been serving beer for decades and are experts when it comes to making, discussing, and drinking the stuff. So stop in and pick up a free pint of your favorite brew from their Eternal Tap.
Nestled along the edge of the Allegheny National Forest, this small town comes with one impressive past. Here you can enjoy the crisp autumn air as you stroll along the beautiful downtown streets and stop in the local shops and take in the mansions built from the lumber trade.
This newly opened winery sits atop the Red Hill Summit at the gateway to the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi. These folks pride themselves on their wide selection of reds, whites and fruit wines. A stop at the tasting room and gift shop isn't just recommended. It's an absolute must. Once you pick up your delicious wine, have a seat at the lounge or rear deck for fantastic views of the valley below.