Altoona is a peaceful tourist attraction, located in the state of Pennsylvania and it is worth visiting due to its wonderful tourist attractions and beautiful surroundings. According to the 2010 census estimate, there were 46.320 residents in Altoona. The city grew around the rail-road industry, and is currently working to recover from the industrial decline and urban decentralization. Still, Altoona is a pleasant city, with many types of accommodation for its tourists, such as hotels, motels and outdoor camping sites. The venues are also very diverse, ranging from restaurant, pubs, takeaways or coffee shops.
Top Attractions Within Altoona
Downtown Altoona Historic District is the national historical district of the town. This district contains 240 buildings that go back as early as the 19th century and include residential, civic, social and religious buildings. It is a great place to spend and afternoon just walking around on the streets and going in the small retail boutiques or in the souvenir shops. There are also many coffee houses with terraces, so if you are tired, you can always enjoy a hot cup of coffee or a refreshing lemonade.
Mishler Theatre is a beaux-arts building located in Altoona. It was designed at the beginning of the 20th century and ever since, it has been the cultural spot where concerts, theatre plays and opera shows are held. At one point, the building was renovated and the theatre reopened in the 1960s with a performance of The Sound of Music. Nowadays, tourists can go in and take a tour around the building as well as backstage.
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is a wonderfully built Roman Catholic Church, located in down-town Altoona. This cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona. The Cathedral was built in 1924 and the architectural style of the building is a combination of Baroque and Classic. The cathedral is worth seeing, both from the outside and on the inside.
Altoona is a lovely city that must not be missed should you find yourself in the surrounding areas.
Altoona developed as a railroad town and was incorporated in the year 1867 though it was founded in 1849. The demand of locomotives fuelled the rise of the city. There are many historical sites in the city that are tourist attractions.
1. Visit Horseshoe Curve National Historical Landmark: Visit this historic landmark of a curved section of the rail track that facilitated the trains going to Pittsburg. An engineering marvel, it was declared as a Historic Landmark in 1966. It has a museum and a gift center and the tourists can walk the steps or ride the funicular. It is also a good picnic site.
2. Go cave hunting: There are networks of caves around Altoona which can be explored to see the underground formation. The equipments can be rented from Nittany Grotto Club.
3. Catch a show of Altoona Symphony Orchestra: This 75 year old Symphony Orchestra is a leading Orchestra in Central Pennsylvania. It regularly gives performance in local Mishler Theatre.
4. Go Rock Climbing: Altoona is in a mountainous region, so there are many rock climbing spots available near the city. Some of them are Coburn Area for beginners, Double Secret Quarry for people who are somewhat trained and for advance level try Huntingdon Rocks (be sure to ask locals for permission first).
5. Have a fun filled day in Whipple Dam State Park: Originally built for a saw mill, this dam is now a state park where one can boat, swim, hunt, see wildlife and do ice fishing in winter.