Route 6 and the Lincoln Highway, both designated Pennsylvania artistic byways, allow motorists to savor the state’s signature scenery and delve into creative corridors, which exhibit the talent of local artists, craftsmen and performers.
Here are some not-to-miss “art-full” stops along or near these rich pathways.
U.S. Route 6, which stretches for more than 420 miles in Pennsylvania, is lined with vast forests, fertile farmland and understated small towns.
View how local photographers interpret Pennsylvania’s natural landscape at The Potter County Artisan Center in Coudersport, which displays images of the PA Wilds by award-winning photographer Curt Weinhold and other local shutterbugs. Visitors can also shop for jewelry, books, treats and handicrafts created by other Potter County artisans.
Christian Dorflinger’s elegantly cut lead crystal adorned the tables of U.S. presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson. See the largest collection of his work at the Dorflinger Glass Museum in the tiny village of White Mills and meander the walking trails within the serene 600-acre wildlife sanctuary that surrounds the museum.
Sweet-smelling natural soaps are made at Sea Hag Soaps & Art Mercantile in Brackney (located in Susquehanna County). Locals love their natural formulas, commitment to local ingredients and delightfully named concoctions like “Plumeria – I Wanna Marry Ya” and “Prudish Potpourri.”
The Endless Mountains’ fiber artisans are the stars at The Home Textile Tool Museum in Rome – where you can try out old-fashioned spinning wheels, looms, and tools – and at Quilter Corners of Wyalusing, a self-guided driving tour of barns, businesses, homes and historic sites festooned with handmade quilts.
Many culinary craftsmen, who are using locally farmed materials and introducing new techniques and products, have set up shop on Route 6. Sample the sweet Allegheny Gold wine at Conneaut Cellars Winery and Distillery, the handmade Pennsylvania Jack at LeRaysville Cheese Factory or the aptly named Route 6 Red Ale at River Barge Brewing Company in Wyalusing.
The nation’s first coast-to-coast highway, the Lincoln Highway spans nearly 3,400 miles, from San Francisco to New York City. >The route celebrated its centennial in 2013, and the portion of the highway that runs through south-central Pennsylvania is peppered with quirky stops and inventive attractions that highlight the area’s history.
Don’t miss the Lincoln Highway Experience in Latrobe, where you can learn about the highway and iconic Pennsylvania roadside architecture situated along the route, including a lunch stand shaped like a coffee pot, a hotel shaped like a ship and a house shaped like a shoe.
The Pennsylvania Artist Experience Trail, which runs along the Lincoln Highway from York to Lancaster and continues on to New Hope, boasts a significant number of artistic landmarks. Notable stops include Keystone Art and Cultural Center and Phillips Museum of Art in Lancaster, Chester County Art Association in West Chester and Wharton Esherick Museum in Malvern.
While Gettysburg teems with storied battlefields and historical sites, the city is also home to a thriving community of artisans. Eat your way though the city with Savor Gettysburg Food Tours, which takes visitors on a tour of esteemed locally owned restaurants and confectionaries. Or visit downtown Gettysburg to peruse artsy shops like Gallery 30 and Lark Gift Shop.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Jean Bonnet Tavern in Bedford is a worthy stop right off the highway for a nourishing meal, a night’s rest, or a souvenir. The establishment’s Cabin Shoppe offers books on local and state history, Pennsylvania metalwork and handmade soaps, lotions and candles.
Sign up for a workshop at Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, where renowned craftsmen teach classes on blacksmithing, ceramics, jewelry, textiles, glass, painting, drawing, photography and more.
Spend an afternoon at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Ligonier, one of the museum’s four branches in central and southwestern Pennsylvania. Be sure to check out the museum’s exquisite paperweight collection, including vintage, antique and rare pieces in all sizes and shapes.
Muralist Wayne Fettro’s 11 works portraying life along the Lincoln Highway can be spotted while traveling along the route. In Bedford County, visitors can see his interpretation of two vintage cars traveling on the highway painted on the side of a barn near Schellsburg. Or stop in the small borough of Irwin to see a Fettro mural representing the community’s mining and industrial history.