Home » The Historic Area of Altoona & Blair County, Pennsylvania

The Historic Area of Altoona & Blair County, Pennsylvania

 Raise of hands if you enjoy a relaxing getaway? I remember being cooped up in my 8-5 job dreaming of the next vacation. Anything to get me OUT of the four wall cubicle I was stuck in day after day. Can you relate? Every day we wake up and the day progresses much like the one before. When I became a mother I gave up the cushy 80 hour work week and started my own business. I wanted to raise my child and had the means luckily to do it. Travel was a huge passion of mine so it seemed fitting to incorporate that in my business. I think taking a vacation is such a vital part of our lives!! The benefits are off the charts that I could spend a day writing about all the studies done proving it! I have made it my job to help people find great, off the beaten path, places to visit without breaking the bank. Places that you can learn something from or just unplug and recharge while amazing memories! 

Today, I would like to share our trip to the historic downtown area of Altoona, PA and surrounding Blair County area. Once in town we checked into the gorgeous Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Altoona. I would like to take a moment and say their outdoor patio is so relaxing (I seriously dream about returning with my laptop)! After exploring all day we found ourselves sitting on the lounge couches watching fireflies🐝, sipping coffee☕ & enjoying the table fires at night. 

 Another neat thing that happened while staying here….the Freedom Road Rally was in town. These beauties, pictured above, were rolling in and out! 

Talk about a “Welcome”.

When the weather is nice I would suggest a stop at Delgrossos Amusement Park! We really enjoyed this attraction, you can check out my FULL review here.

 Many consider this area to be the “Railroad City”. For good reason at every turn you can see train tracks, steam engines or visit establishments like the HorseShoe Curve. For more than a century Altoona, PA was one of the most important rail facilities in the United States.

While at the play area in the Canal Basin Park we found several replicas of the lock mechanisms, and how the people lived along the canal.

 “At this major terminus point for the Allegheny Portage Railroad, cargo was unloaded onto rail cars while loaded section boats were pulled out of the canal; both were then hauled on a series of levels and steam powered incline planes. 

Two large water basins were located off of Bedford Street and Juniata Street in town. Connecting the basins was a canal lock, where boats proceeded into the upper basin along the Beaverdam Branch of the Juniata River (sourced content from here)”.

 We learned a lot about the area’s history while exploring the different hiking trails and park.

On our first trip to Altoona, PA my son saw saw a caboose in the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum’s yard.  That sealed the deal for us to return and explore the area more.

 If you enjoy 🚂🚃🚃🚃 trains as much as he does this area does NOT disappoint!

The museum is not extremely large but it does have three floors to explore. They also have a gift shop and garage where you can see them working on these fascinating engines! I could share so many photos of exhibits but I think you should really plan a trip (not just stalk my pictures haha)! 

My favorite part of the museum you ask?? The replica of a bar that women were not allowed to sit at. This opened up a great discussion amoungst my son and I. Since we live in a time that women can sit where men do, it was interesting to explain to him that “back in the day” that was the norm.

Every time I come to this area it pulls me in. I find myself looking forward to our next visit! If you are looking for a great getaway, family vacation spot or just a place to pass through, I would recommend this area highly!! It offers so much my family has honestly just scratched the surface.

Have you ever explored the “Railroad City”?

What do YOU look for in a vacation destination??



  1. Erica M
    August 9, 2018 / 12:49 am

    Altoona looks like such a cute place to visit. I grew up partly in PA, but had never ventured in this direction. I agree that vacations are so important. And I totally need to go on one soon since the last time I went away was right before the 2016 election.

  2. Unknown
    August 9, 2018 / 2:18 am

    I'm in Erie and never thought of Altoona as a vacation spot until today! So much of Pennsylvania is unspoiled and beautiful with lots of history. I often forget that so thank you for reminding me.

  3. Lucile Coo
    August 9, 2018 / 5:55 am

    I haven't been to Altoona before. I believe my nephews would really like going to train museum.

  4. Jennifer Maune
    August 9, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    Looks like such a fun and relaxing place! Great way for kids to learn about the importance of trains too!


  5. meximoments
    August 9, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    I love visiting historic places like this!!! I've never been to PA but its definitely on our list. My daughter wants to go see Hersey! LOL!