8 Places You'll Want to Discover Not Far From Pittsburgh
Point a compass north, south, east, west and everywhere in between. We chose eight destinations, each within a few hours' drive of Pittsburgh, with lots to explore at every step.
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go for: GIGGLES AND GHOSTS
Conneaut Lake Park may be Pennsylvania’s most haunted amusement park. Founded in 1892 as Exposition Park (more a showcase for local livestock and machinery innovation), it was later renamed to reflect its transformation into a tourist destination with rides and hotels. The lakeside park was a big draw at first, but competition from other parks and multiple fires have plagued Conneaut Lake Park over the years. In 1943, lightning struck the historic Hotel Conneaut and a large portion of the structure was destroyed. The park seemed doomed as owners came and went and debts mounted.
In 1997, Conneaut Lake Park became a not-for-profit public trust, and improvements were made. The renovated Blue Streak roller coaster was classified “historic” by the American Coaster Enthusiasts, and a water park was added. The park’s 2018 season begins on May 26.
But the Conneaut ghosts never left; a bride named Elizabeth, who supposedly died in the 1943 fire, has been seen walking the halls at the Hotel Conneaut, and the book “The Ghosts of Hotel Conneaut and Conneaut Lake Park” sparked phantasm fever. The annual autumn Spiritual Expo promises sightings, readings and hobnobbing with fellow ectoplasm enthusiasts. Like Elizabeth, you may never want to leave.
Vacavi Cafe is a coffee shop
with class, but it’s more than beverages. The flaky asiago bagel sits light on a long trip, and the coconut curry chicken salad on a pretzel roll is sweet and earthy. Desserts, doughy and fruity, are unmissable.
100 Water St., Conneaut Lake, Pa.; facebook.com/vacavicafe
Driving Time: 1.5 hrs.