Friday Five – Favorites!

Happy Friday! It looks like the weekend is going to fantastic (at this point, as long as the forecast doesn’t include snow I’m calling it fantastic!) for running! I’m joining the Friday Five linkup again with Mar (Mar on the Run), Courtney (Eat, Pray, Run DC) and Cynthia (You Signed Up for WHAT?!).  This week’s topic is ‘Favorites’.  I love topics like these because it’s such a fun way to get to know other people, and to see what their interests are. I had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted to list and as I sit here typing this out I am staring at more snow and dreaming of being able to go outside without elventy billion layers on I decided to go with my 5 favorite weekend/road trip destinations.

So, without further ado, here are my 5 favorite places for a quick day trip, or long weekend trip (in no particular order)

Washington DC. This is a quick 4 hour trip from The Burgh and there is always SO much to do…most of it for free! I made it down one year for the Cherry Blossom Festival, and haven’t been back since so I am dying to go sometime this year! This is great if you have a 4 day weekend coming up; some of my favorite things to do is to:

Walk the Monuments at Night – they are stunning, powerful pieces in the daytime but there is something extra special about seeing them illuminated against a dark backdrop. If you make a trip there, I highly recommend this!  

WWII Memorial

WWII Memorial

Museums. Duh! Most of them are free which is awesome (also means they are crazy crowded sometimes), but my favorite is the Udvar Hazey Center.  My husband is an aviation nut and he loves seeing the planes up close; I am a history nerd who has slowly been drawn into the world of airplanes and I love walking through the WWII sections, and seeing the fighter jets up close! This museum houses 1 of the 2 B-29 bombers, the Enola Gay, that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan (the 2nd is at destination #2!); it’s amazing to see pieces of history like that.

Enola Gay...up close!

Enola Gay…up close!

Arlington National Cemetery. We  walked the entire length of the cemetery from the old section, all the way to JFK and the Eternal Flame and continued on to see the Changing of the Guard. This is a must see. Again, it’s an incredibly powerful ceremony and something that everyone should see at least once in their life.

Arlington

Arlington

Wright Patterson Air Force Museum, Dayton OH. This is another quick 4 hour drive from home, and there is so much to see in the museum that we usually make this an overnight trip. This (free) museum is located ON Wright Patterson Air Force Base (where I supposed to run my marathon last year, and then didn’t)  houses the 2nd B 29 ,the Bockscar, a really nice display commemorating the Doolittle Raiders, and if you are so inclined, can sign up for a shuttle that takes you to a different part of the base to see all of the old Air Force One’s and some experimental planes that never made it to the big time.  The museum is laid out in such a way that you can wind your way through the history of flight starting with the early years, and WWI, then visit the WWII displays, through the Cold War (including an awesome missile display), Vietnam, the Gulf War and present day.  We try to go here yearly, and missed last year’s trip so I am itching to get back there!

Not the Bockscar, but a terribly grainy photo of a P-40...one of my favorite planes

Not the Bockscar, but a terribly grainy photo of a P-40…one of my favorite planes

Gettysburg (Any other Pittsburghers fight the urge to add an ‘h’ to the end of every “burg”??). Once again, it’s about 4 ish hours and there is so much to see that it’s good if you can make this a long weekend trip (3 or 4 days). We really enjoyed walking the battlefields, and stopping in the little mini museums that are set up all over the place.

Pickett's Charge

Pickett’s Charge

One thing we didn’t get to do last time we were there, but would like next time is take a tour of the Jenny Wade house. If you go to Gettysburg, make a reservation at The Dobbin House; this is an original home built in 1776s. Downstairs is open for lunch and dinner and you can see the original exposed beams and wood floors. Upstairs open for dinner, is still layed out like a normal house and you can sit in big comfortable wing chairs by the fire. The waitress dress in period clothing and the bread basket is to die for.  Trust me, and thank me later.

Kinzua Dam This is a good day trip, and is gorgeous! In the spring/summer the mountains are a lush, beautiful green, full of fire red, yellow and orange leaves in the fall, and a blanket of white in the winter. I grew up about an hour from here and loved taking day trips there with my parents. They have plenty to see and do, including self-guided nature trails! I haven’t been in ages, so I have no pictures of my own, but I snagged one from the Google machine.

Source. It really is even prettier in person

(Source). It really is even prettier in person

Ohiopyle Admittedly, I’ve never been here before but I have heard so many great things about it I know that I need to see it! Much like Kinzua, the scenery is beautiful and there is something for everyone!

(source) I can't not go see this!!

(Source) I can’t not go see this!!

 

 What’s your favorite weekend destination? I need to add to my list!

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14 thoughts on “Friday Five – Favorites!

  1. I love this list! Ohiopyle is so much fun. I’ve gone down for white water rafting and I want to go some time this summer again! Niagara Falls is a great weekend trip, and so is Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. Pittsburgh is so close to so many places! Love it 🙂

  2. Lots of places I haven’t been on this list but I have been to DC and seen the monuments! I love DC. It’s been quite a while since I have been there but I really enjoyed the college trips I took. I love weekend trips to Orlando which is about 2 hrs from me and if I want a slightly longer trip I head off to the Keys. Of course there’s always the option of a weekend cruise because we have 5 ports in Florida!

  3. It’s always fun going to DC. It is nice that there is alot of free activities to do. My best friend lived there for 6 yrs. It’s funny she moved there from Gettysburg where she said it was super boring…haha. She isn’t a history buff.

    • Gettysburg is…different! To be honest, the first time I went, I wasn’t very impressed but I’ve done some research over the years and have started to appreciate it a little more. When I went, I was kind of expecting it to be like DC so I was more than a little disappointed! Now, I am itching to get back there and check a few things out!

  4. Great list! I love DC. My husband is an aviation nut too and can talk about Wright Patterson alllll day and night. He loves that place. Any time one of those old planes comes to a local airport for show we go.

    I like Niagara Falls, Philly (that’s a bit far for a day trip, but ok for the weekend), and Baltimore for the aquarium and inner harbor stuff. We’ve also been known to take off on a summer day and hit up either Presque Isle or Cleveland (our kids like the Cleveland Zoo more than Pittsburgh and there’s also the Hall of Fame up there).

    • Our husbands sound a LOT alike!! This past summer we were able to go for a ride on a B-17 and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so happy!
      I’ve never been to Baltimore, but would love to see the aquarium! The only time I ever made it to Cleveland was for an 8th grade field trip and we went to the Science Center, which was really cool, but…I will always say anything in Pittsburgh is better than Cleveland 😉 !

  5. I would love to visit DC in cherry blossom time but haven’t yet. I was in Gettysburg 2 years ago for an event called Greyhounds in Gettysburg, which is a national event for people to bring their retired greyhounds to. It was my first weekend trip alone with Django–and actually his first weekend trip ever–and we had so much fun! They have tons of events that you can bring your greyhound to (like a BBQ and ice cream social), but I enjoyed just walking Django alone through the battlefield. It’s a very special memory! Since we got him, we always try to take weekend trips with him, so that usually means renting a house and going hiking somewhere in West Virgina or NY.

    • That trip to Gettysburg sounds like so much fun!! There are SO many fields to walk – I’m sure Django was in heaven!
      DC in cherry blossom season is oh so pretty! It’s a mad house, but so worth it! We actually stayed just outside of DC in Chantilly (I think?) and that was perfect! The hilarious part was that we went to see the blossoms…saw some, and that night a huge storm blew in and the next morning most of the blossoms were on the ground :-(. They were pretty while they lasted though!

  6. LMAO – as a burgh girl I’m with you on the adding an “H” to the end of words. haha. And YES DC rocks!! part of the reason I moved here is to be closer to my parents in Pittsburgh. Great weekend trip.

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