As anybody who's ever been to Bucks County knows, this place has got charm bottled and ready for sale. But it's looking in between the obvious stops and byways that make joy in this region really memorable. Finding the brilliant little stops beyond the bend in the road. That's what "shunpiking" is all about, shunning the obvious and taking an odyssey to the hidden gems along the way. On this roadtrip, follow life along (and into) the canal, then scurry your way up north for some country-road surprises tucked away in the Lehigh Valley.
Wet and wild is the country way in the Laurel Highlands, where the rushing wet stuff in the Youghiogheny River rules the roost. And beneath the surface, you'll find caverns that stretch for miles beneath the rolling river above. Dried off, you'll love the personalities of the towns that have sprung up in and around the parks and rivers. And the multi-generational businesses that have flourished in those towns. There's a reason these families didn't want to pack up and move away from the history and beauty of this region. A fair amount of bragging rights go along with growing up in the area of Fort Necessity, where George Washington started his career. Now it's your turn to explore, as only a good shunpiker should.
When you're practicing the art of shunning turnpikes, there's no better place than Pittsburgh's countryside and the Great Lakes region. You'll do your sightseeing along endless stretches of country roads lined with big red barns and mooing cows. But it's not all backcountry. Make a stop at any of the towns and you'll find smiling faces ready to treat you to some down-home cooking and cool folksy crafts. Your nights are spent on the front porch of the local inn, catching up with the locals and listening to tall tales. This all might have sounded like a fantasy 100 miles ago, but you're a shunpiker now and it's time to take the dirt roads less traveled and roll.