Tag Archives: PA

Warren Pennsylvania Weekend

Every quarter, IHG Rewards has a special called PointBreaks.  Hotels across the world are available for booking at five thousand points nightly.  I’ve taken advantage of this many times.  Sometimes the hotels are inconveniently located, sometimes they have just been renovated, at other times the hotel is about to be reflagged.

My recent stay was in Warren, Pennsylvania – I though a small town retreat would be good.  Warren is located near the Allegheny National Forest.

The Holiday Inn is located on the outskirts of town – at first look I thought it was a converted government building.  This hotel was quite large, with a restaurant and a bar.

This building is located in downtown Warren. Referred to by locals as "The Point"
This building is located in downtown Warren. Referred to by locals as “The Point”
Fountain outside The Point
Fountain outside The Point – not working, likely do to the time of year of my visit.

The Plaza Diner came recommended by the clerk at the Holiday Inn.  I could have eaten at the hotel, but I was looking for something local.  It was quite packed, given the size of the town.  I sat at the counter, watching the work.  There are two kitchens – one in the front window, the other hidden from view.

Plaza Diner downtown Warren, PA
Plaza Diner downtown Warren, PA

Duffy’s came recommended by one of the local bartenders.  Long and narrow, I sat at the bar at the back.  Famous for their grilled vegetables, which were excellent.  There are many ghost signs in Warren – the one beside Duffy’s is for a previous business, advertising an Oyster and Chop House.

Duffy's - Ghost Sign
Duffy’s – on a side street just of the main
The nearby Kinzua Dam
The nearby Kinzua Dam

On my way out of town, the hotel staff recommended that I stop and see the Kinzua Bridge, so I took a trip through the National Forest to find it.

Road Sign - Longhouse Scenic Byway
Longhouse Scenic Byway

Almost unannounced, this appears.  Pennsylvania was a major producer of oil, and this is one of the few remaining power houses, long decommissioned.

Powerhouse Historic Site
Powerhouse Historic Site

I reach my destination – the Kinzua Bridge in Mt Jewett, PA.  Originally a railroad bridge, three hundred feet high and two thousand feet long, it was opened in 1882 and closed permanently in 2003.  A tornado went through the valley, collapsing the supports.

It’s now becoming a state tourist attraction.  One can walk out the train tracks, and there’s a viewing platform at the end, with a glass floor.

Kinzua Bridge, Mt Jewett
Kinzua Bridge, Mt Jewett

Mount Jewett, Pennsylvania is located about half an hour from Warren.

Warren, Ohio 2013

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Once I left Cleveland, OH I had a specific destination in mind.  I love museums, and have a fondness for automobile museums.  I’ve been to both the Chrysler and Ford museums near Detroit.  While researching, I found the National Packard Museum.

Having left Cleveland in disgust over the traffic situation (many, many roads closed for the filming of Captain America), I took a leisurely drive to Warren, OH, the birthplace of Mr. Packard.  It was here that the Packard Automobiles were first manufactured.

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Warren, OH is a small town near the PA border, steeped in history.  The National Packard Museum is quite small, mostly confined to two large public rooms.  The first room houses some displays, signs, check-in and the gift shop.  The larger room houses the automobile collection.  It was a bit crowded when I was there, although with cars, not visitors.

The wonderful people at Best Western had given me a free night which I had to use before it expired, so I stayed at the Best Western Penn-Ohio Inn, located in Hubbard, OH.  A very nice choice.  Welcoming (with cookies!), spotlessly clean, and an indoor pool.  I never actually went in to Hubbard, but ate at a local restaurant which wasn’t so good.

PA is just minutes away, so my stop the next morning was in the town of Sharon.  Another place that reeks of turn of the last century beginnings.  There, I found Ryer’s Shoe Store.  Self-promoted as “The World’s Largest Shoe Store”.  They had a good sale on ECCO shoes, and in PA clothing and footware are exempt from state taxes.  Bonus!

Next stop:  Jamestown, OH

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Future Travel:

August:  Fort Wayne, IN; Little Rock, AK; Oklahoma City, OK; Albuquerque, NM; Colorado Springs, CO

November:  Istanbul, Turkey

April:  Amsterdam, NE; Lisbon, PT

Travelling to Canada (2)

The trip didn’t go precisely as planned.

There was no stop in South Carolina, Delaware or Pennsylvania.  Instead, my first overnight stop was in Statesville, NC.  I arrived early in the evening while the sun was still shining.  Took a small tour through town, which looks pleasant enough.  Stopped at a Mexican restaurant near the hotel, then done for the night.

Day two had me stopping, late afternoon, in Youngstown, Ohio, where I met up with a friend.  Some hanging out at the hotel, which had an onsite restaurant and bar.  Across the parking lot was another Mexican restaurant.  Food was excellent as was the service.

Weather played a large part in changing my return trip.

We left Youngstown after only one night.  The temperature was 21C when we left.  Forty minutes later it was 8C.  There was a huge rainstorm after we crossed the border into Canada, and by the following day everything was covered with snow.

Now I’m back in Toronto, high in the sky while I plan my next trip.

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Travelling to Canada

Time to leave the sunshine coast of Florida.  I’ve been here since early December, and usually leave late in March.  Unfortunately, Easter arrived so bloody early I got stuck here.  My travel day is set for Sunday, the 7th of April.

My first stop will likely be at the Best Western in Bennettsville, South Carolina.  No particular reason, except I’m trying to keep my Diamond member status, and driving on I95 through the southern states is rather bleak.  Most cities are located well off the highway.

From there, I’ll arrive in Bear, DE to visit a friend for a few days.

The next stop will be the Genetti Inn & Suites in Hazle Township, PA.  A friend is staying there on a short golf vacation.  I’ll be catching up with him for one day.  After that, I should be in Canada on 12th April.


2013 is the first summer in some time that I don’t already have travel plans in place.  I’m town between visiting the east coast of Canada or taking a trip down Route 66 in the US.  The cost difference between the two is substantial.

The big event for 2013 has already been booked.  I’ll be leaving for Turkey on 31st October, visiting Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia and a few other cities.

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