A Lincoln Highway Driving Tour Through Westmoreland County
Travel Time: 6-8 hours (depending on how much time is spent at each location)
Travel Distance: 45 miles
Take the day to explore the beauty, history, and culture of Westmoreland County! This tour includes art museums, historical sites, state parks, and local icons from Irwin to Laurel Mountain.
- Begin your trip at the westernmost end of Westmoreland County near Penn Lincoln Memorial Park. Get on Route 30 E, and in approximately 5 miles, turn left into McDonald's. This McDonald's location is the home of the BIG MAC MUSEUM, featuring a 14ft. high Big Mac statue, and hundreds of artifacts marking the history of the Big Mac sandwich, which grew from its humble origins in Uniontown, PA to being a worldwide sensation. Spend about 10 minutes at this stop.
- Get back on Route 30 E and head east for approximately 7 miles. At the stoplight near Gabe's, turn right onto Tollgate Hill Road (the original Lincoln Highway route) and continue over the hill, under the overpass, and onto W Pittsburgh St. At the seventh stoplight, turn left onto S Main St. and find a nearby place to park. Take some time to walk around downtown Greensburg, visit any shops you desire, and see a few of the local architectural beauties. THE PALACE THEATRE (21 W Otterman St.), THE WESTMORELAND COUNTY COURTHOUSE (2 N Main St.), and THE GREENSBURG RAILROAD STATION (Harrison Ave.) are all great places to see. THE WESTMORELAND MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART is a 5 minute walk up Main St. and features brilliant artwork from Southwestern PA artists and many others. It is recommended to spend about 45 minutes in downtown Greensburg.
- When you're ready to continue, get on E Pittsburgh St. heading east from Greensburg, then turn left onto Arch Ave. At the top of the hill, take a slight right turn onto Route 119 N. Follow Route 119 N for about 3 miles, then turn left onto Hannastown Road. In less than a mile, turn left onto Forbes Trail Road, then arrive at HISTORIC HANNASTOWN/ THE WESTMORELAND COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. This is a great stop to learn all about the early settlers of Westmoreland County, and to explore the reconstructed Hannastown site which was the first seat of Westmoreland Co. Plan to spend 45-60 minutes at this stop.
- Follow Forbes Trail Road, Hannastown Road, Route 119 S, and Arch Ave. back to Greensburg, then take a left turn onto Route 30 E. Stay on Route 30 E for approximately 4.5 miles, then at the top of the hill, you can see THE INN AT MOUNTAIN VIEW on the left side of the road. This inn serves as a classic example of a roadside gem from the old days of the Lincoln Highway.
- Continuing on Route 30 E, in approximately 3.5 miles, turn left at the stoplight onto Saint Vincent Drive. From there, you can turn right into WINNIE PALMER NATURE RESERVE which features lovely walking paths and information about local habitats inside the beautiful red barn. You can also turn left onto Fraser Purchase Road to head up toward the SAINT VINCENT BASILICA, a stunning Catholic church completed in 1905. SAINT VINCENT COLLEGE is also the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers spring training camp. Plan to spend 45-60 minutes at this stop.
- Heading north on Saint Vincent Drive, make a 1/4 turn at the traffic circle onto Monastery Drive, then turn left at the stoplight onto Route 981. In approximately 1.5 miles, you'll arrive in downtown Latrobe. Find a suitable place to park, then head to the intersection of Main St. and Ligonier St. There on the corner, THE LATROBE ART CENTER features local artwork and a small cafe. Behind the art center is JAMES H ROGERS PARK which features a charming fountain and a statue of television icon Mr. Rogers - a Latrobe native - sitting on one of the park benches. One block down Ligonier St. from the Art Center is a sculpture to commemorate the location of Strickler's Drug Store, home of the first Banana Split Sundae. If you continue straight and walk to the right on Depot St., you can see DiSalvo's Station, where historic railroad and Italian cuisine meet. Allow 30-45 minutes for this stop.
- When you are ready to move on, hop back in the car and take Main St. less than a mile before turning right onto Lincoln Ave. In about a mile, turn right onto Route 982 and follow it south for approximately 1.5 miles. At "the Cloverleaf" intersection with Route 30, take the second exit toward Ligonier. In approximately 1 mile, turn right into the parking lot of THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY EXPERIENCE. This site features artifacts and memorabilia from the early days of automobile transportation on America's first transcontinental Highway. Allow about 45 minutes for this stop.
- Get back on Route 30 E and continue for approximately 7 miles. This route will take you on the twists and turns of the beautifully scenic LOYALHANNA GORGE. In 7 miles, the historic IDLEWILD & SOAK ZONE amusement park is on the right. Hailed by some sources as the best children's amusement park in the world, IDLEWILD is also the third oldest operating amusement park in the United States. A family can easily spend all day at the park, but for this itinerary a drive-by will do.
- Continue east on Route 30 for approximately 3.5 miles. As Ligonier first becomes visible, turn left onto W Main St. and follow it into town. The heart of Ligonier, THE LIGONIER DIAMOND, is a fantastic place to park and walk around. With a lovely gazebo and many local shops to explore, it is well worth the time to look around. A short walk down S Market St. will take you toward FORT LIGONIER. This impressive historical site houses a world-class museum of 18th century artifacts and an expertly reconstructed fort. Built in 1758, Fort Ligonier was the last fortified supply depot built along the Forbes Road as the British advanced on French-held Fort Duquesne in modern-day Pittsburgh. On October 12, 1758 before construction was even completed, the fort was attacked by French forces, but successfully defended by the Pennsylvanian Provincials posted there. Plan to spend 60-90 minutes in downtown Ligonier.
- From LIGONIER DIAMOND, drive east on Main St. then take a slight left when the road forks onto Old Lincoln Highway E. The next 1.5 miles of your trip are on the original route of the Lincoln Highway. Shortly after getting onto Old Lincoln Hwy E, you'll see THE EASTWOOD INN on the right side of the road. This classy restaurant has entertained notable figures like Dean Martin, Arnold Palmer, and Neil Armstrong in the 85+ years it has been open.
- After Old Lincoln Hwy E merges back onto Route 30 east, turn right onto Route 381. In approximately 1 mile, turn left onto Linn Run Road. In less than a mile, you'll arrive at LINN RUN STATE PARK. Linn Run offers a lovely topography for hiking and picnicking.
- When you are ready to continue, retrace your steps back to Route 30 and turn right to head east. Continue for approximately 1 mile and you will arrive in Laughlintown. Stop in at THE COMPASS INN for a taste of colonial life and travel in North America. After its construction in the late 18th century, the Compass Inn experienced enormous amounts of traffic and patronage until the 1860s when railroad expansion displaced travel through Laughlintown.
- To finish your trip through Westmoreland County, keep driving on Route 30 E for another 5 miles to reach LAUREL HILL SUMMIT. Hope you enjoyed your trip across Westmoreland County!