Altoona, Pennsylvania

altoona, PAWhen thinking of a city to visit for a getaway vacation or to rehome your family in many don’t think of the city of Altoona, Pennsylvania.  Often people have a desire to live and visit larger cities that offer more amenities and attractions than their current city of residence.  Altoona, Pennsylvania is located in the central part of the state.  It is a small city that is in the county of Blair.  Currently, Altoona is ranked 11th in population in the state with around 46,000 people residing there when the last census was taken in 2010.  Most of the residents of the city live within 5 miles of the center.

When visiting Altoona, PA makes sure to include a trip to one of the Sheetz locations.  Mr. Sheetz is from the Altoona city area and this is the place where is all started.  Sheetz is a convenience store that also sells gas along with Made-To-Order food.  Customers are able to purchase many items at their fingertips with a menu that is made to order with many options. Sheetz has 400 locations with their presence in six states.  All the stores are owned and operated by the Sheetz company.  So, make sure to stop by and fill up your gas tank and the families’ tummies.

Altoona also has one of the largest selections of shower doors in the area.  There is a specialized team that has contracted to represent highest quality shower doors to homeowners in the state.  They have worked very hard to offer versatility and customizable glass shower doors and are very eager to help you with achieving that very special look in your bathroom.  Every visitor or homeowners who call into these special companies in Altoona receive a free design consultation and estimate to meet all your shower door decisions.  They also have a no obligation, risk-free, and costs nothing to the customer guarantee.

Altoona was grown as a railroad city and since the recent decline, the area is working to recover the from the industrial and decentralization regressions.  It was a major town during the railroad ‘boom.’  The city was named by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1849.  The Pennsylvania Railroad used the city as a site for their maintenance complex.  The meaning of the word “Altoona” is Altus, which in Latin means high.   During the 19th century, the city grew rapidly.  Within 25 years the city went from a population of 2,000 to nearly 20,000.  The growth was a result of the railroad industry during times that the country was at war. Thanks to the rapid growth and the Pennsylvania Railroad the city was valued as one of the most valuable in the North.  The city was build on the convenience of the railroads running throughout and central location of the city in the state.  These two things brought many important meetings to town during the civil war.  This helped shape the city that is present today.

With the Pennsylvania Railroad having such an influence on the city, it is only natural to assume that this would become a part of the tourist attractions in the area. The landmark also is listed on national historic places of attractions.  A well known curved segment of the railroad path was constructed by the Pennsylvania Railroad is well known as the Horsecurve.   The curve was designed to elevate trains in elevation over the Allegheny Ridge to head west.  Before the construction of the curve, the ridge was a major challenge when trains were heading to the west.  Before the industrialization of the railroad, the canals build in the state were used to complete this.  The curve is about 2,375 feet long and 1,300 feet in diameter.  The final leg of the project completing the Horsecurve was completed in 1854.  The curve became a tourist attraction for watching the trains in 1879.  The attraction now has a visitors center and an inclined plane to raise visitors up the side of the mountain to observe the trains first hand as they travel around the curve.  The visitors’ center is open April-October and offers a small museum along with historical artifacts and memorabilia.  More recently a larger Railroader’s museum was opened in the center of the city of Altoona.  It is known as the Railroaders Memorial Museum and is open year round.  The attraction in open Monday through Saturday during the day.  The museum has three floors of exciting exhibits and information on the Pennsylvania Railroad along with historical information and documentation on the city of Altoona and the surrounding areas.  If you are looking for a history lesson or your children love trains, this is a must see on your trip list.

Not only is this city an attraction for the train lover, but also the baseball fans.  Altoona is the home of the baseball team the Altoona Curve.  The Altoona Curve is the minor league team for the major league team the Pittsburg Pirates.  The team is named after the historic attraction horsecurve.   The team is an awarding winning team and has been in the city since 1999.  The team plays at the People Natural Gas Field located right outside the center of the city and they are able to sit 7,210 fans along with standing room.  The team and stadium run tons of promotions during the baseball season bringing the experience to a family level.

The city also offers many attractions from small amusement parks, caves, and miles upon miles of great hiking trails.  The trails offer biking opportunities, areas for fishing, along with great kayaking and canoeing attractions.  Make sure to check out the local restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner after a great day visiting the local landmarks.  The city of Altoona is a place with a historical past that can bring your vacation some fun, some exploring, and a few history lessons.  From the smallest person in your family to the oldest the city of Altoona is sure to have something to offer.

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