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*I received a free item, but in no way did it influence my opinions.
If you are looking for a 2-3 day getaway that is away from the hustle and the bustle of work-life, Altoona, Pennsylvania is your ideal destination. With visitors coming from State College, PA, Harrisburg, Johnstown, and Cumberland, Maryland, Altoona offers an array of activities that will make even the most difficult person happy. Whether you’re coming to explore the rich railroading history or taking your child to their first baseball game, Altoona makes the perfect family-friendly destination on any budget.
Family-Friendly Getaway in Altoona, Pennsylvania
After a short drive from one of the neighboring towns, Altoona offers mountain-views and some of the most vast shopping centers around the area. In between the shopping stretch of Plank Road, is the brand new Fairfield Inn and Suites where we stayed. Situated near shopping malls, the Altoona Curves baseball stadium, and directly beside of a VA hospital, the hotel is perfect for any guest who may be visiting.
A Perfect Stay At Fairfield Inn And Suites Marriott
As you enter into the front of the Fairfield Inn and Suites Marriott, a beautiful, modern lobby awaits you. A business center is off to the side and the free continental breakfast and all-day coffee is easily accessible. Down the hall, a large indoor swimming pool and exercising room is available for guest to make their stay as close to home as possible.
After checking into our room, we were so relieved to finally be able to relax somewhere that was clean and had everything we needed including; a coffee maker, large shower, desk, closet, and two queen beds. I especially loved how our room had a large desk. Even though, I was on vacation, I still had a lot of work to do, and the desk was the perfect spot to do my work. It also served as a great place for my messy kids to eat food during our stay.
From a good night’s rest to a relaxing stay with the family, Fairfield Inn and Suites has everything you need to make your stay the perfect stay.
Travel Back In Time At Baker Mansion
Baker Mansion is a great location to learn about one of the most prominent families in Altoona’s history. Home to ironmaster, Elias Baker and his family, the Baker Mansion was built in the 1800’s for a mere $15,000.
The Baker Mansion does not look as huge and extravagant as some of the mansions we see today, but on the inside, the mansion is over-the-top with gorgeous decor. As soon as you enter the mansion you are met with high ceilings, extravagant decor, and many original pieces. Since the tour of the mansion is guided, this tour can be kind of long for little children who do not understand history. Although, there are few fascinating hands-on pieces that my kids loved, they were way too young to fully enjoy the mansion.
The tour of the mansion allows you to tour 3 levels of the home (basement, main, and upstairs) and can last well over an hour.
Since the last of the Baker family died in the early 1900’s, The Blair County Historical Center now owns the mansion.
Tom and Joes Delicious Food in Downtown
Since we arrived in Altoona later in the afternoon, our second stop of the day was Tom and Joes. Located in downtown Altoona, Tom and Joes has been serving the folks of Altoona for over 75 years. On the outside, Tom and Joe’s Diner looks small, but on the inside, the place is flowing with life. In fact, the diner has already had to make several expansions just to host it’s daytime crowds.
If you’re lucky enough to visit Altoona, be sure to try Tom and Joes! This place has such delicious food at an affordable price; I tried their salad and it was overflowing with taste.
Since Tom and Joes is a family-owned restaurant, their hours are a little out of the norm.
Tom and Joes is only open from:
7am to 2pm Monday – Friday
7am to 1pm Saturday
7am to Noon on Sundays
The Everett Railroad was one of the most unique experiences we had while in Altoona. Travel aboard an almost 100-year old steam engine and make ordinary memories extraordinary. Whether you’re taking a family trip for ice cream, or off to the pumpkin patch, the Everett Railroad is guaranteed to make those family memories memories you will never forget.
Each train ride starts out in Hollidaysburg in an actual train yard. From there, riders are shuttled to their destination which usually takes between 60-75 minutes, one way. This is just enough time to keep antsy children intrigued and keep them from being bored.
Aboard the train, everything is vintage to look just like the train did back in time. Open the train’s windows and enjoy a fresh summer breeze, or come in the winter for a heated train ride.
Our ride on the Everett Railroad was a blast! Although, a little noisy, the train was the perfect activity in the middle of a long day.
Take Me Out To The Ole’ Ball Game, Altoona Curve Baseball Game
Many visitors of Altoona come just to watch an Altoona Curve Baseball game. With tons of family-friendly entertainment and affordable prices, an Altoona Curves baseball game is a great location to take your little sluggers for a fun night out.
Even if baseball isn’t your thing, the Altoona Curve’s baseball team makes watching them very entertaining. Throughout the course of the game, mascots come out, fireworks shoot into the sky, and games are played. There is literally so much entertainment happening during the game, that it is impossible to be bored.
This was our first baseball game and since my kids can be kind of antsy, at times, I worried that they wouldn’t sit still. That was definitely not the case at the Altoona Curve game because they couldn’t get enough! They sat most of the night, laughing, and when they got bored, we bought them some of the affordable snacks at the refreshment stands.
The Altoona Curve baseball game lasted well past 9pm, but we left early because we had another long day exploring Altoona coming up the next morning.
Our adventure in Altoona was so much fun, but there is more, stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!
Planning a trip to Altoona, check out Explore Altoona for more travel information.