When your trip gets closer and you're more certain of where you're staying and for how long, I may be able to suggest a few local restaurants.
I would Hit Knobels of I-80
then drive south to Hershey then west I-76 PA Turnpike to Kennywood then North to Waldemeer then head north east home
*** Edited 3/25/2008 7:06:48 PM UTC by PcMan***
If you want something a little more unique and don't mind driving into the city go to The Church Brew Works (http://www.churchbrew.com/). Along with being a brewery, they have a fine dining menu and IMO the best pizza in the city.
There is also Rivertowne Pourhouse (http://www.myrivertowne.com/) which is also a brewery. Nice family run place, good food, good beer and a local atmosphere. No tourists here.
I can't imagine you needing a full day at Dorney, but I would plan for a full day at Knoebels and Kennywood, and use the Preview Plan for Hershey to get an evening preview and then at least half the following day. Have fun. PA is heavenly for parks.
I've driven through PA plenty (behind the wheel of a semi), but never had a chane to actually GO there.
That tip for Hershey might be one i'll use.
Are there any semi-major back roads i can use to bypass the major interstates and still make good time? PA is so beautiful and I want to check it out in more detail (maybe with a Yeungling in my hand!)
There Stoudt's Brewing Company is just off of the PA Turnpike. http://www.stoudtsbeer.com/
The Appalachian Brewing Company has a couple of brewery's in the Harrisburg area. http://www.abcbrew.com/index_flash.htm
Lastly the Lancaster Brewing Company in in Lancaster City, and their Milk Stout is excellent. http://www.lancasterbrewing.com/
This is only about 2 miles north of 78 along Route 61. The portions they give are downright sinful. Check out the fries in the picture on the home page --yeah, that's one serving.
This is a Pennsylvania Dutch "family style" restaurant, although I've grabbed lunch there myself when I was on business. They charge you by the number of "meat entrees" you order (chicken, ham, sausage-- order 1 or all 3, they'll keep bringing as much as you can eat.) It's right off 78 as well.
If you want some off interstate driving, you could take 22 as an alternate to part of 78/81 near Hershey. They basically run parallel in that area. Going across the lower part of the state, you could take 30 instead of the turnpike. The old "Lincoln Highway"-- very historic and picturesque. You could pick it up at Breezewood and follow it almost the whole way to Pittsburgh.
Bear, those fries look INSANE!
Might want to try them covered with the sausage gravy from the red Arrow Diner in Machester, NH. It's one of hidden gems here in NH. If you can find it, it's worth it!
My first ride on Phoenix was at night, after a short rain storm and it instantly jumped to my #1.
Trust me, the Red Arrow is worth it!
I thought I'd dig this topic up because I'm planning my own PA coaster swing and was looking for some input. There are already some great ideas here, some of which I've already used to help plan my trip.
My plan is fairly ambitious for the 4 days I have off from work next month, but I'm coming from Indiana and want to hit as many PA parks as possible. This will be my first multi-day coaster trip and was wondering if the following plan was feasible:
Day 1: Wake up very early and drive the 7-8 hours to Lakemont Park. Then head over to Knoebel's, making a quick stop at DelGrosso's if possible. 3 parks in one day...am I in over my head? hehe.
Day 2: Go to Dorney and use my Platinum Pass, leaving for Hershey in the early evening to take advantage of Hershey's preview night.
Day 3: Hersheypark all/most of the day, then drive toward Pittsburgh.
Day 4: Kennywood all/most of the day, then head home.
My original plan was to just hit the 3 bigger parks and take my time, but once I started researching the great historic parks of PA I decided a rushed trip would be better than passing up some of these gems (Leap the Dips, Knoebels, etc.) since it will probably be a long time before I make it back to the state.
Any other advice/ideas that haven't been mentioned yet? The budget will be tight, so I'll be looking for cheap motels and food. Basically looking for thrills with few frills...hehe.
I'm hoping to make this trip on June 8-11 (Sunday-Tuesday). Any advice will be appreciated...especially if you respond with inside info about Flying Turns miraculously opening by then! :-)
Thanks for reading/responding!
My opinion: drop Del Grossos -- even though it's only thirty minutes or so from Lakemont. You won't be missing anything terribly historic or exciting, except for the food. But Lakemont and Knoebels are must-do's, IMHO.
Depending on what day you hit Dorney, you can easily hit most of the more exciting attractions in a couple hours or so, so that checks out fairly well.
If there's any way, a few hours at Waldameer would be quite justified. A great little park with lots of character and history, including the new Ravine Flier II this year.
Otherwise, your plan looks workable -- exhausting, probably, and with no room for problems or rainouts, but workable. Good luck!
On your travel between Hershey and Kennywood, if you aren't too tired, I would suggest you look for lodging off of one of the turnpike exits (not Breezewood though). There's nothing cheap around Hershey or Harrisburg, but you might be able to find an inexpensive motel out in the more rural area along the turnpike. Plus, you'll be that much closer to Pittsburgh in the morning.
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