Short And Sweet Road Trips From Pittsburgh That Aren't To Cleveland
It is not that we have anything against Cleveland, but there are definitely other great road trips to take from Pittsburgh that aren't to one of our rival football team cities. And let's be honest, chances are you have already visited Cleveland as it is one of the closest big cities to the 'Burgh.
So, with that in mind, we have rounded up a list of short and sweet road trips from Pittsburgh that are not to Cleveland, that you absolutely must put on your travel bucket list ASAP. From woodland resorts to unbelievable state parks — even secret amusement parks — there is something for everyone on the diverse list below, so grab a friend and start planning your road trip getaway today!
Note: distance and travel time may vary depending on traffic
Oglebay Resort, WV
Travel Duration: 1 hour 7 min (57 miles)
Spend a day hanging out in wild and wonderful West Virginia at the one and only Oglebay Resort. From chilling at the spa to running through the obstacle course, visiting the animals at the zoo or just enjoying the friendly woodland wildlife, there are nearly endless activities here to keep you busy for a day — or rent a cabin in the woods and be entertained for an entire weekend. It's hard to believe a little slice of paradise is only just over an hour south of the city. Oh, and while you're in West V, don't forget to fill up your car since gas is hella cheaper.
Rogers Flea Market, OH
Travel Duration:1 hour, 4 min (54 miles)
One man's trash is another man's treasure, right? If you want to experience a flea market like those you hear of down south, a trip to Rogers is in order; not to mention the drive through the Ohio countryside is great on its own. Every Friday this several-acre flea market comes to life with vendors, merchants, antique dealers, Amish made goods (their fresh baked donuts are to die for), locally grown farm fresh produce, and even animals! I almost bought a baby fox from here many, many moons ago ... Ohio laws are more relaxed, clearly.
Ellwood City, PA
Travel Duration: 46 min (40 miles)
Want to check out an adorable small town with great mom & pop shops, parks, and history? Ellwood City is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by you. The downtown stretch full of AH-MAZ-ING locally owned bakers, restaurants, gift shops, community plaza, and history center, while on the outskirts you will discover the picturesque Ewing Park trails, the Connequenessing Creek, and plenty of secluded picnic areas. If you really want to experience the town in all its glory, visit during an event. Recommended stops while you are in the area: Windy Ridge Dairy and Shakespeares Pub and Resturant.
Travel Duration: 2 hours 41 min (174 miles)
Everyone is already familiar with Presque Isle State Park in Erie, but just a little while northeast is an equally exciting and way less touristy Great Lake hangout spot. On the ride here you will witness miles of vineyards to your right and the Great Lake with plenty of pull-off spots and lighthouses directly to your left. No matter if you just drive past or stop to admire the nearly-vacant beaches and vineyards, you will not be disappointed with your road trip here.
Wagon Trails Animal Adventure, OH
Travel Duration: 1 hour 19 min (77.4 miles)
Get up close and personal with safari animals without going all the way to Africa! At less than an hour and a half drive away there is no excuse to miss out on this fluffy, fun adventure. I mean seriously, who doesn't want to make friends with the reindeer?
Allegheny National Forest, PA/NY
Travel Duration: 2 hours 1 min (112 miles)
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of fantastic nature parks in Pennsylvania, but the Allegheny National Forest has to top them all. This dense forest spanning from northern PA to southern NY is full of nothing but hundreds of acres of untouched land, and the landscape remains absolutely beautiful because of it. Don't forget to stay for when the stars come out at night; this is one of the few areas around where you can see the Milkyway!
Savage River State Forest, MD
Travel Duration: 2 hours 51 min (176 miles)
Perhaps not the shortest drive on this list, but definitely worth every bit of the distance. Savage River State Forest is home to some pretty unique spots — specifically the graffiti-covered High Rock, overlooking miles of the horizon. This is a spectacular viewpoint to watch the sunrise or sunset at — or just take photos for your Instagram. We don't judge.
Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, OH
Travel Duration: 1 hour 33 min (91.9 miles)
Attend a hippie festival, scuba dive, camp out, or just show up for a day of play in the quarry, it does not matter what you come to do, Nelson Ledges Quarry Park is a sanctuary for good vibes and fun times that you absolutely need to be a part of.
Travel Duration: 1 hour 12 min (63.9 miles)
With a population of less than 50, you can really enjoy the simple life of the Amish when you visit Smicksburg. Surrounded by rolling acres of farms, the tiny town consists of a winery, an Amish furniture store, several gift shops, farmers market store, an equestrian stable, a delicious steakhouse and saloon, and to top it all off, a castle!
Conneaut Lake, PA
Travel Duration: 1 hour 33 min (94.4 miles)
Kennywood is overrated — skip the long lines and spend a day riding some vintage amusement park rides at Conneaut Lake Park, then cool down in the lake or waterpark, and when you get tired, rest at the Hotel Conneaut — you can even bring your pup for a fun day out at this nearly-secret spot!
Laurel Highlands, PA
Travel Duration: 1 hour 23 min (70.7 miles)
From the locally famous town of Ohiopyle to Pennsylvania's tallest point, Mount Davis, and hidden underground is the Laurel Caverns, there is certainly no shortage of breathtaking natural sites in the Laurel Highlands. Alternatively, there are also no shortages of commercial attractions like spas and great shopping and dining areas for when you need to escape the elements. Honestly, because there are so many sites to see in this region, one of the best ways to experience it all is by having no specific destination in mind, just stop at all the interesting spots you come across.
Moundsville State Penitentiary, WV
Travel Duration: 1 hour 15 min (68.0 miles)
Most of the time we wouldn't condone going to jail, but this is an exception. The Moundsville State Penitentiary has long been left abandoned by the living - but is now considered one of the most haunted locations around. It's open for daytime tours and ghost hunts if you are brave enough.
Old Economy Village, PA
Travel Duration: 28 min (18.2 miles)
You only have to travel half an hour away to essentially step back in time at Old Economy Village. This historic landmark is still set up how it was over a century ago, giving visitors a look into life in the good ol' days — if you can call it that.
Hartwood Acres, PA
Travel Duration: 21 min (11.9 miles)
There is something magical about Hartwood Acres that keeps drawing thousands of visitors to the site every year. It could be the spectacular 16th-Century style Tudor mansion, or the gardens and 600+ acres of land waiting to be explored. Whatever it may be, this location is a great option for when you want to get out and explore but not spend too much time in the car.
Travel Duration: 1 hour 21 min (75.2 miles)
You know when you want to go out for a night on the town but you don't want to see certain people? We have all been there. Luckily you can get away from the normal crowd and mingle in on the nightlife scene in this hip college town.
Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike
Travel Duration: 2 hours 7 min (131 miles)
Walk for miles along this urban-exploration-lovers' dream destination. The abandoned PA turnpike looks eerie and sketchy, but actually, there are often cyclists and joggers who use the paved road for exercise, so if you were feeling a little hesitant because you watch too many serial killer documentaries, you should be alright here. Just look out for the furries with guns.
Travel Duration: 22 min (20.7 miles)
If you are looking for an exciting commercial day out, jump in the car and drive to Cranberry. This rapidly growing area has everything from their very own Market District Giant Eagle, to outlets, department stores, thrift shops, a community pool, live entertainment, and so much more to keep you busy on your toes all day. Plus, when you get hungry, you have a plethora of dining options for whatever your budget may be.