Due North or Thereabouts

The honorable William Penn, late governor of Pennsylvania, was chosen agent to the Court of Britain, and directed to deliver the petition to the King himself and to endeavor by his personal influence to procure a favorable reception to this last address.
--Mercy O. Warren






Depending on where you're coming from or going to, some of these attractions may make logical overnight stops on your way to or from my house. Some of them are just good way points to stop and stretch your legs for a little while, which is always nice, as long as you aren't traveling with a pet who would be stuck in the car.

Harrisburg is the state capital of Pennsylvania and is easily accessible off of I-81 north of the Penn Turnpike, about 2 hours from here. In addition to the statehouse, for those who want to get the entire history of the Civil War, there's the National Civil War Museum. The State Museum of Pennsylvania serves as the Smithsonian of the state; you can see everything from ancient natural history to the latest technological breakthroughs in its four floors of exhibits. The Susquehanna Art Museum started as and continues to be a museum dedicated to art education for all ages.

  • A Chocoholic's Dream come true: Hershey is chocolate scented. I've only driven through the outskirts of town on I-81 and just inhaling had me craving a good Kiss of the chocolate kind. (We won't comment on cravings I might or might not have for any other kind.) Their website says it all, except YUM, YUM, YUM! (Hershey is about half an hour northeast of Harrisburg.)
  • The Lehigh Valley is about 4 hours from here, accessible from I-81 or I-78. Allentown has its own wonderful Billy Joel song. Bethlehem, far from being the hometown of the Messiah, was the hometown of Bethlehem Steel until 2003, when the last of the company's assets were sold to an overseas interest. From 1913-1964, Bethlehem Steel owned the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts, where the U.S.S. Lexington (now on permanent display as a museum in Corpus Christi, Texas!) and many other warships were made during its ownership.
  • I don't even want to know why it's called Happy Valley, but State College is nestled snuggly within it. Home of Penn State University and all its NCAA Division I sports programs, State College is about 75 minutes due north of Schellsburg. Eventually, I-99 will connect all the way through from the Penn Turnpike here in south central PA to I-80 in north central PA, just above State College. For now, you can get to within about 5 miles of State College on a major interstate highway.
  • Reptiland in Allenwood is just off of I-80, on U.S. 15 southeast of Williamsport. It's a world-class zoo specializing in reptiles and amphibians - a perfect stop for any family with kids as long as Mom and Dad are game!
  • Home of the Little League World Series, Williamsport is a beautiful stop in the northern part of the state. I learned the 4-in-hand technique of playing handbells at a workshop in Williamsport back in 1991. Strange the things you remember!
  • The headquarters of Zippo, the lighter people, includes a museum and gift shop. It's in Bradford, PA, off U.S. Route 219 in Bradford (making it a good stop if you're interested in touring the Great Lakes on your visit this way).
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