Millions of people rely on freeway and interstate roads for their everyday commutes, but few of them seek out the opportunity to turn a stretch of pavement into the destination for a memorable vacation. One of the best segments of interstate in all of the United States is a 90-mile span located in southwestern Pennsylvania, otherwise known as the National Pike. In an era where the costs of family fun such as going to the movies or the local amusement park are steadily on the rise, the chance to take a family or a spouse on a relaxing, antiquing vacation along the country’s oldest federally-built highway is becoming more and more popular. Here are a few ways you’ll find the best antiques trail in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Plan Recreation on a Budget
For the price of gasoline, you and your loved ones can tour a region of America that is sprinkled with shops, sights and locations that have been woven into the history and folklore of this great country over the course of several hundred years. The 90 miles can be covered in the span of a few hours if no stops are made, but the quaint culture and stunningly beautiful environment begs travelers to pull off the interstate, stay in a Washington PA hotel, and soak up some of what the area has to offer.
Find Small Towns With Big Charm
The route is identified as both Interstate 40 and National Pike on the roadside signs. Dozens of small, antique-rich townships that are virtually stuck in time dot the landscape along the 90-mile stretch, including Addison, Hopwood and Scenery Hill. These three towns are successively separated by about 15 miles of wilderness and a two-lane highway, providing perfect periodical stops for folks trying to take in as much of the local culture as possible.
Addison is perched on the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland, and Hopwood is the final stop when traveling east to west. Each feature a tiny downtown district, and the merchants that sell their wonderful antiques and other fares in these towns are jovial types that are more than happy to see and chat with tourists and other shoppers. As a result of the rich history of the region, it is a hotbed for antiques. The pace of life moves slowly in these cities, and great deals can be found in either direction on a day trip from a nearby Washington PA hotel.
Reconnect with the Nation and Nature
In an era when every member of the household is glued to their electronic devices throughout a typical day, setting out on a trip that will allow reconnection with nature and history is a much needed escape. The stretch of road features crystal clean air and all shades of green, yellow and brown. Picnicking and other recreations abound in Washington Park. Located on the eastern edge of the city, the large and healthy park can be seen from National Pike, and is the first of many things to greet visitors to the city of Washington.
A 90-mile stretch of road might not make many top-10 lists of vacation destinations, but folks with an appreciation for history and things made throughout the ages, the beauty of nature and of all that can be found on the classic highways of America will happily lose themselves in the quaint paradise.
Image Courtesy: Flickr/Speculummundi