We're going on a road trip.
The Incline

🚙 Pack your bags, Pittsburgh

We're going on a road trip.

By: Francesca Dabecco

Happy Friday, folks.

Monday is Memorial Day, so Pittsburghers will be out in the community, honoring fallen heroes, and participating in services. Our love goes out to anyone who has lost a family member, friend, or fellow service member.

There are many ways to pay respects to those who lost their lives while serving. In the South Side on Monday, there will be a Vietnam Veterans Memorial event, and if you can’t make it out, the Veterans Breakfast Club has a virtual event with the National Veterans Art Museum. Visit Pittsburgh also has a list of parades, shows, and other gatherings.

With that being said, there will be no newsletter in your inbox on Tuesday… because even your favorite Pittsburgh newsletter writer (👋 Hi, that's me, Francesca.) needs to take a break every once in awhile and observe the holiday.

Speaking of taking breaks, did you know that today is also National Road Trip Day? We asked you, our lovely readers, to send us your favorite getaways from the ‘Burgh, and you had some great suggestions. Scroll on to see what your fellow readers shared. (And by the way, here’s the CDC’s info on travel.)

🚙 4 awesome road trips from Pittsburgh (and your suggestions!)

🌊 Presque Isle State Park, Lake Erie

Where it is

It’s about a two-hour drive straight north of Pittsburgh, or a little over two hours depending which route you take. The park is just four miles west from downtown Erie. It’s the perfect drive to listen to podcasts, finish a couple chapters in your audio book, or play road trip car games with your kiddos.

Why you should go

This 3,200-acre sandy peninsula offers a picturesque coastline, perfect for outdoor activities like swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and bicycling. Or, just kick back, relax, and catch some sun rays. While you’re soaking up the sun, watching the migrating birds, and feeling the shore’s brisk wind kiss your cheeks, you just might forget you’re still in Pennsylvania.

And guess what — this year is the park’s 100th anniversary, and they’re celebrating by encouraging visitors to do 100 things at the park with the “myPI 100 Challenge.”

Incline reader Mary W. said that the “best time to go is right about now when the Cottonseed trees are spreading their seeds. Little tufts of white float through the air and it is quite magical.”

🍦 Penn State Creamery

Where it is

The Penn State Berkey Creamery is about a three-hour drive east of Pittsburgh. Yeah, that’s kind of a long way to go for ice cream, but fans of this dessert, especially Penn State alums, seem to think the trip is worth the treat.

Why you should go

For the last 150 years, the Creamery has been all about “cow to cone,” becoming a leader in dairy production and supporting education in food science. They’re known for their legendary ice cream short course, which has attracted folks from Baskin-Robbins to Haagen-Dazs, to even local shops like the new owners of Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor in the Strip District.

They even hold an annual Flavor Madness — think bracket-style March Madness, but with ice cream. This year, the Scoop Champion is between Bittersweet Mint and Death by Chocolate. Can’t pick which flavor you want to try? Don’t worry. You’ve got the whole ride to decide.

🏞️ McConnells Mill

Where it is

McConnells Mill State Park is just under an hour drive north of the city, right near Portersville and Moraine State Park. 

Why you should go

Created by the draining of glacial lakes thousands of years ago, McConnells Mill in the Slippery Rock Creek Gorge has stunning overlooks, waterfalls, and hiking trails. The 1800s historic grist mill and covered bridge are main attractions for visitors.

The State Park website said this about the geology of the park:

“The natural character of McConnells Mill State Park, the scenic gorge, waterfalls, rugged hiking trails, and whitewater creek, are all directly caused by the geology of the area. The bedrock formed more than 300 million years ago as layers of sand, mud, and peat built up in what was a coastal area. After becoming rock, these different layers were lifted to the surface in several mountain-building events. The different strengths of these rocks cause them to erode differently, helping to make the varied landscape of the park.”

Need some vacation inspiration? Uncovering PA has a list of 10 great things to do at McConnells Mill State Park you should check out.

🌳 Fallingwater

Where it is

Fallingwater is about an hour-and-a-half drive south-east from Pittsburgh and is located in Ohiopyle State Park in the Laurel Highlands.

Why you should go

If you’ve heard of Frank Lloyd Wright, you’ve heard about his masterpiece, Fallingwater. It was built in the late 1930s, and it’s likely the most famous home in all of Pennsylvania. You can admire the architecture from the outside or book a private tour of the living space. It’s amazing design seems to fit perfectly among the trees, only adding to the natural beauty surrounding it.

The house was designed as a weekend getaway for Lilliane and Edgar J. Kaufmann, the owners of Kaufmann’s Department Store in Pittsburgh. The total cost of construction was $155,000, which adjusted for inflation, would be equivalent to about $2.9 million today. But of course, this landmark, or grand work of art, is completely priceless.

So why take a trip to Fallingwater? Well, it made the Smithsonian’s list of 28 Places to See Before You Die, and it is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the ‘Burgh.

🚗 Where are yinz headed?

Shan O said:  “Here's what we like to do that's dog-friendly since we love to get out of the city and always take our husky with us!

North Park: We make this a day trip by taking a picnic and our bikes. We ride (with the husky tied to my husband's waist!), picnic, then rent a kayak and paddle around on the lake. Fun, and a short drive from town!

Moraine State Park: The bike trail is awesome, and there are plenty of places to stop and sit for a snack while looking at the lake. Plus, if you want to camp, there are places to do so.

Keystone State Park: Lots of great hiking, and a very idyllic setting. We go there and relax and drink in the quiet.

Laurel Ridge State Park: Another great place to hike. Love it here.”

Jayme B. said: “We love a trip to Cleveland. Some of my favorite stops are the West Side Market, the Christmas Story House, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and grabbing some sweet treats from Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes (in Rocky River and Avon).”

Laura E. said: “Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Cooper’s Rock State Forest in Morgantown, Kentuck Knob (the other Frank Lloyd Wright design), and Ohiopyle.”

Cathy B. said: “Favorite road trip: Chautauqua Lake, NY. Bemus Point is especially nice and only 2.5 hours away!”

🔍 I Spy

Nonmember: How’s your yinzer knowledge?

Today our members — a.k.a. Incline Insiders — got the answer to an exclusive round of I Spy in their newsletters. That's it above, The original Carnegie Music Hall, currently the New Hazlett Theatre.

Here's how it works: Yesterday we showed Insiders a closeup photo and asked them to tell us where the photo was taken. Today, we shared the answer, the winner, and some info about the spot.

Put your yinzer knowledge to the test, and join us as an Incline Insider today.

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📽️ Watch "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" at Movie Night on the Lawn at Hazelwood Green Plaza's lawn (Hazelwood)

🍻 'Hop' over to the Bay 41 for the Traveling Beer Market pop-up series all about local brews (Lawrenceville)

🌳 Learn about the edible plants that grow in this urban oasis during the Allegheny Commons Plant Walk(North Side)


🐶 Grab a leash and your furry friend for the #PETSburgh Virtual Pet Walk benefitting Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh, today though June 6 (Online)

💛 Support local makers at the Lawrenceville Pop-Up Market at Radiant Hall and Ice House Studios (Lawrenceville)

🚲 Pedal on over the Bicycle Heaven for its annual Bicycle Show and Swap Meet, today and tomorrow (North Side)

🍻 Order from food trucks, play outdoor games, and enjoy a beer at Sly Fox Brewing's pop-up at The Highline (South Side)

🐧 Go on an African adventure with vultures, flamingoes, penguins, and more at Pittsburgh's National Aviary (Northside)


🌃 Laugh under the stars at Musical Mayhem! with Arcade Comedy Theater, a backyard BBQ, hip-hop jam, and comedy show (Downtown)

One more thing …

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Remember, we’re taking a much-needed holiday, so we’ll catch up again on Wednesday.

— Francesca at The Incline

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