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On the Map, Under the Radar: Williamsport, PA

July 9, 2010

One of the best things about being a solo traveler is the ability to drop everything on any given weekend and head to whatever destination strikes your fancy at the moment. As much as I love visiting big cities and more popular destinations, sometimes you just need a little small(er)-town charm every now and again.

Williamsport, Pennsylvania is one of those towns. It’s not exactly completely under the radar—millions of people descend on Williamsport each August for the Little League World Series and hotels are booked for miles—but it’s one of those simply delightful locales that more people would visit in the off-season if only they knew about it. Roughly three hours from Philadelphia and three and a half hours from New York City, Williamsport is nestled in Pennsylvania’s Wilds region. The drive to Williamsport along the I-80 corridor is scenic and verdant in late spring and early summer and takes you through the heart of the Susquehanna River Valley. Recently voted the second safest town in Pennsylvania, Williamsport is an ideal weekend destination for the solo traveler.

Things to Do in Williamsport:

  • Visit the Peter Herdic Transportation Museum – Located roughly in the center of town, the Museum documents the evolution of transport in Williamstown, from the horse and buggy to the street car, to more modern modes of mobility.
  • Take a tour of Millionaire’s Row. Williamsport was nicknamed the “Lumber Capital of the World” during the late 1800s, and the lumber barons who made their fortunes there built stately Victorian homes along Fourth Street. The City offers a guided trolley tour of this historic boulevard.
  • Ride the Hiawatha – A recreation of the original Hiawatha, a paddlewheel riverboat in operation during Williamsport’s early history, this vessel offers various cruises from hour-long excursions to dinner cruises down the Susquehanna River.
  • See the Little League Museum – Williamsport hosts the Little League World Series each year because it’s where Little League was born. See the spot where the first Little League game was played and explore the history behind the League’s formation.
  • Dine at the Old Corner Hotel – It’s not a hotel—at least not anymore—but this dining establishment is simply one of the best and not to be missed. With its stained glass windows, turn-of-the-century charm, and simply divine cream of potato soup, Old Corner Hotel is one of Williamsport’s jewels. Count yourself lucky if Sean is your waiter. Ask him anything. He’ll fill you in about anything you’d want to know about the area.
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