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Visiting Indiana County, Pennsylvania
About an hour and twenty minutes northeast of Pittsburgh, you will find some wonderful hidden treasures. Rural Indiana County has many unique small towns to explore. If you are looking for hand made crafts, wineries, specialty foods, and quaint eateries, than I suggest you plan a day trip to Indiana county!
There are many seasonal events in Smicksburg, Check the additional resources below to explore these events.
In addition, the Dayton Fair, which is an agricultural fair, occurs every August. Though Dayton is in Armstrong County, it is less than ten minutes from Smicksburg, in fact, you must drive through Dayton to arrive in Smicksburg. I highly recommend this fair. I had wonderful times there as a child. I remember the fair having camel and elephant rides as well as pony rides! There are also typical carnival rides, games, and food as well as various shows throughout the week. You can watch tractor pulls, bands, a pageant, rodeos, circus', demolition derby, harness and horse racing, and many other types of shows. The shows vary from year to year.
Dane Castle is modeled after a castle in London and is open to tours. You will get to go inside the replica and look at weaponry, armor, and medieval art. There are also several horses and Great Danes on the property. The castle is also available to rent for weddings and events. The owners hope to add more attractions in the future such as an archery and jousting area. This miniature castle is quite a find for this rural county and definitely worth checking out!
A nearby attraction is the Mahoning Dam. This dam was built in 1941 by the the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers to prevent flooding in the area. There are excellent picnic and playground areas as well as walking trails.
Buttermilk Falls is home to a 45 foot waterfall. According to visitindianacounty.org, this property was owned from 1931-1956 by Mr. Fred Rogers grandfather, Fred McFeely. This area is a protected piece of land.
You can also visit four covered bridges that were built in the 1800's, go on a Underground Railroad walking tour, and various other historical sites. For more information, visit the links below.
If you have ever wanted to visit Lancaster, but do not want to travel the four hours from the Greater Pittsburgh Area, than you should visit Smicksburg. It's just a short day trip away and the surrounding area is home to many Old Order Amish. Smicksburg is on the border of Indiana County and is actually considered part of Armstrong County. But, it is by no means out of the way!
As you drive through the country on your way in to town, you will pass by the homesteads of Amish families and you will see friendly Amish waving to you as they pass by in their buggies. Many Amish even have small shops where they sell homemade goods. There are also shops that sell Amish goods for the families. Some handmade Amish wares that you can find are, Amish furniture, quilts, and cheeses. Be sure to stop at the cheese factory! I recommend the horseradish cheese. You must also stop at Windgate Vineyard and Winery, because what good is cheese without some wine?
After you have browsed the many unique stores, stop and have some lunch at Thee Village Eatery. It is an excellent choice. You can sit in the enclosed, raised deck during the summer months and watch the shoppers and the Amish roll by. When you're done eating, don't forget to stop at The Chocolate Shop where you will find old favorites as well as chocolate made on site. Remember the chocolate icecubes? You can find them here!
Ready for dinner? Why not go to the Amish Wedding Feast where you can enjoy a traditional Amish wedding meal while a narrator dressed in authentic Amish clothing tells you about Amish wedding traditions as well as the customs of the Amish?
The best time to visit Smicksburg is on a Saturday to ensure that all the shops are open.
Downtown Indiana is a bustling place and the hub of Indiana, Pa. Not only is this area home to thousands of IUP students, but it is also a year round home for many. Downtown Indiana has a plethora of things that will keep you busy. There are a variety of consignment stores, specialty stores, and boutiques to browse as well as antique stores. There is even a costume store.
Other unique places to check out when you are downtown are the Asian Market and Sheesha King, a hookah bar specializing in Middle Eastern shisha, tobacco flavored with molasses.
Though there are plenty of dining options, I recommend that you check out The Coney Island, no not THAT one! This restaurant is named after the island in Ireland, but you can still get hotdogs here!