What are two of the most exciting words in the English language? You’ve got it. Road trip! With summer on its way, now’s the perfect time to plan a quirky road trip. But, let’s face it. We don’t always have the funds or the time to hit the road for days on end. This road trip to Pittsburgh’s best roadside attractions will keep you pretty close to home while promising tons of fun. Ready? Off we go!
Map out your road trip!
Start by mapping out your road trip. Here's a fun itinerary you can follow to a T or use as inspiration to create your own road trip from scratch. Or, add and remove stops to best suit your needs and interests. Be forewarned, though. When we say a "quirky road trip," we mean it. Let's go!
1. Randyland – 1501 Arch St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Let's start our road trip in the Mexican War Streets Neighborhood of Pittsburgh and, more specifically, the artistic masterpiece that is Randyland. Artist Randy Gilson transformed a dilapidated building into a work of art that, today, attracts visitors from all over. Stop by between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. daily to visit. And, keep an eye out for Randy, too.
2. Trundle Manor – 7724 Juniata St., Pittsburgh, PA 15218
Off to stop number two - the city's coolest tourist trap. Yep, that's just how Trundle Manor describes itself. Explore the home that's filled with all kind of oddities, like old medical devices and taxidermied animals. The catch? You've got to call ahead for an appointment. (Do so at least a week ahead of time.) And, you've got to pay.
But, it doesn't have to be with cash. Donations - such as old medical devices or weird items - are also accepted.
3. Big Mac Museum – 9061 US-30, Irwin, PA 15642
By now, you've probably worked up quite an appetite. How about a Big Mac? More specifically, how about biting into a Big Mac at the official Big Mac Museum in Irwin? Browse the memorabilia in the museum, which celebrates the world-renown sandwich (invented right here in Western PA). Snap a selfie next to the world's biggest Big Mac. And, of course, sit down to a quick bite to eat.
4. Koontz Coffee Pot – 108 Telegraph Rd., Bedford, PA 15522
Refreshed? Ready to head to our next destination? It's a biggie. Next, we'll head to the Koontz Coffee Pot in Bedford. Originally a lunch stand, the Coffee Pot debuted in 1927. The eatery is long gone. However, the coffee pot itself remains a fun tourist attraction.
5. Gravity Hill – Napier Township, PA 15554
From over-sized coffee pot to a natural phenomenon (or optical illusion, whichever you prefer) we go! Our next stop is Gravity Hill, also in Bedford. Ever seen a ball roll up hill? How about your car? Well, that's what visitors claim happens on Gravity Hill. Put your car in neutral and feel it roll uphill. (Of course, if you
do visit Gravity Hill, make sure there is no traffic and it is safe to stop.)
6. Playthings, Etc. – 2483 William Flynn Hwy., Butler, PA 16001
Ready to reclaim a bit of that childhood magic? Head to Playthings, Etc. in Butler. The "World's Coolest Toy Store" looks just like a stealth bomber. (If you think it looks awesome in the daylight, just wait til darkness falls!) Step inside and you're in for a real treat. Discover toys from decades past as well as some of today's most popular toys. (Plan to spend at least a few hours inside; it really IS that much fun.)
7. The Snowman – 238 E. Portersville Rd., Portersville, PA 16051
Who's ready for a cold treat? Next stop: The Snowman. Ice cream or shaved ice is a welcomed treat any time of the year, right? But, it doesn't get better than ordering that treat from an adorable, over-sized snowman. The Snowman Portersville boasts a delicious menu of such popular items as shaved ice, ice cream, milkshakes, and smoothies. Got your pooch with you? The Snowman's got a scrumptious treat for him, too.
8. Mars Spaceship – Mars, PA 16046
Quirky is the name of the game with this road trip. And, now we're heading to Mars. No, not the planet. But, the small town where residents refer to themselves as Martians, and the centerpiece of the town is - what else? - a spaceship. Stop by the spaceship for selfies before exploring the town itself. Tour the Mars Train Station. Send a postcard from Mars - from the Mars post office. And, eat at one of the local eateries.
9. Kecksburg Acorn – 5113 Water St., Mt Pleasant, PA 15666
While we're on the subject of space....what do you think of UFOs? If they intrigue you, you'll love the final stop on our quirky road trip. The Kecksburg Acorn has a pretty cool story behind it. A UFO landed in Kecksburg in December of 1965. What it was, no one really knows. However,
Unsolved Mysteries rolled into town decades later to shoot a segment on the mystery. The space acorn? It's the recreation of what witnesses said they saw. Today, it's a fun spot for taking selfies. And, Kecksburg holds an annual UFO festival, with this year's set for July 27-29, 2018.
Rev up the engine, and hit the road on this road trip to some of Pittsburgh’s best roadside attractions. Then, since you’ll definitely want to stay cool all summer long,
check out this road trip to some of the best hidden beaches around Western PA.