Indiana County Tourist Bureau logo

Indiana County Tourist Bureau logo

In celebration of the 2020 National Travel and Tourism Week, the Indiana County Tourist Bureau held a “Send Us Your Itinerary“ contest.

This year’s theme was “The Spirit of Travel,” and the Indiana County residents expressed their spirit in what they shared. Residents were asked to send in their ideas of their favorite local activities and places to visit, shop and eat when hosting an out-of-town visitor. Participants were sent a gift card from a local member.

Following are the six winners.

Shelly from Shelocta

We would start out with breakfast at Crouse’s in Indiana. From there, it would depend on time. Frye’s Antiques, GC Country Store in Glen Campbell (we have never been there, so that would be something we would like to do), Blairsville Underground Railroad, Market Street Pastries for something to eat and then to downtown Indiana to the Jimmy Stewart Museum, shopping in town and dinner at Romeo’s. If there was a play at Downtown Players take that in. Normally our friends stay with us but I would recommend either the Hilton or Hampton for overnight.

Kathy from Robinson

After eating a light breakfast at Dean’s Diner (which seems like an iconic place), we would travel to the Jimmy Stewart Museum and enjoy looking at the unique exhibits. Then after looking around at exhibits from his days in Hollywood and the military, we would hope to see a film in their theater.

Next, we would travel to the Amish countryside and enjoy ourselves while eating some delicious, home-cooked food at the Country Junction Restaurant. After a mouth-watering lunch, we would look around in the different shops and hope to bring back some unique gifts for our family and friends. As we walk from shop to shop, we would enjoy the different sights of buggies, Amish houses, and a friendly neighborhood.

As we make our way back to Indiana, we look in awe as we drive through the Thomas covered bridge and glance at the other three covered bridges. We first go to the Kintersburg, then Harmon, followed by Trusal then Thomas. We would jump onto Route 286 and head to Clymer to eat at Luigi’s Italian Ristorante.

After filling our tummies with delicious Italian food, we head to Yellow Creek State Park. We brought our bikes to ride and enjoy wildlife on the trail. This park offers amazing recreational activities including sledding and skiing (for winter) and swimming, boating and fishing (for spring, summer and fall). As we head back to our cozy, little room at the Dillweed B&B, we take a quick detour to The Meadows Frozen Custard & Yogurt.

Betsy from Homer City

A perfect day in Indiana County would be to head out to Smicksburg with my friends. We would first stop at the Country Junction Restaurant and have a delicious country breakfast that is guaranteed to fulfill anyone’s dreams of a delightful way to start the day. Then we would stroll through the beautiful countryside, taking time to stop and shop at the unique specialty shops along the way. You always need a present for someone, or maybe yourself!

Then back to Indiana to have lunch at the 9th Street Deli. They are well known for their hoagies and salads and we know we came to the right place. After a pleasant lunch we head over to the Jimmy Stewart Museum to see a wonderful display of his life, especially as a soldier and an actor. Indiana County is very proud of Jimmy Stewart! All of the touring has worked up an appetite and we head on down the street to Donatello’s Restaurant. We enjoy some scrumptious appetizers, and delicious entrees along with taking in the beautiful relaxing atmosphere.

My friends are from out of town and my cottage is not able to house them all, so we head up to the Hilton Garden Inn where they’ll be staying the night. After checking out their tastefully decorated accommodations, we head down to the C.H. Fields Restaurant for a delectable dessert and a nightcap ending my perfect day in Indiana County.

Moire from Indiana

I’d have to start this by recommending a quaint place to stay that includes a delicious farm to table breakfast at Burnhead Grazings Farmhouse overlooking a calming stream. The Spring House is right beside the beautiful white barn that houses cute lambs, donkeys, chickens and horses.

I then recommend that they head to Smicksburg, visit my favorite shop, Time Works, where they can find antiques and local crafts of all sorts including our wool-felting products.

They can purchase a felting kit and use it while taking a class at Burnhead Grazings in their farmhouse. Lunch at Country Junction Restaurant is so sweet, especially their pies!

Then I would recommend that they head to downtown Indiana and visit the wonderful shops especially the 7th St. Marketry, then head to dinner at Donatello’s.

End their evening at the fire pit by the Spring House with a nightcap.

The following day would be great to bike the Hoodlebug Trail and have an early dinner and a beer at Levity Brewing.

Kim from Shelocta

1. Eat breakfast at Crouse’s.

2. Then we’d do some shopping along Philadelphia Street and enjoy being outside as we visit from shop to shop.

3. Then get on your bike and ride the Hoodlebug Trail. Stop at Sheetz in Homer City and get a cool drink and rest at the little table just off the trail. Ride back up to Indiana and treat yourself to ice cream at The Meadows.

4. Dinner at Romeo’s. Get the chicken Mediterranean pizza. It’s the best.

Liz from Indiana

I have lived in Indiana since we moved here when our sons were toddlers, almost 20 years ago! We love Indiana, and for a small town, it has some really nice restaurants, like Nap’s Cucina Mia/Josephine’s and Spaghetti Bender’s, Donatello’s, Benjamin’s, The Grapevine and the Thai Cafe and Teerak to name a few, where we have met friends to get together to enjoy a nice meal. Another plus about living here is the downtown events, such as the Westsylvania Jazz & Blues Festival, the Northern Appalachian Folk Festival, and the numerous events at the IRMC Park. Other adventures include heading up to Smicksburg for a girl’s day out shopping, or a family day admiring the countryside and Amish country, or a special event, like my daughter-in-law’s wedding shower at the Hilton Garden Inn. We have also enjoyed the entertainment of live music at the Ramada Bar and Grill, and Levity Brewing Company.

There are so many worthy places in Indiana County to visit, and more we’d love to see and try, like Lemoona House and El Tesoro Mexican restaurant. But I must say that the thing about Indiana County that we love the most is the people. People here look out for one another and help each other. I’m hoping that we continue to do our part to keep our community strong and healthy during these trying times of COVID-19, and find a way to come out on the other side of it even stronger.