Knowing what things to do in Altoona, PA, once you arrive here is your first step towards getting the best vacation.
You already know that Blair County, Pennsylvania, is home to Altoona. But do you know you’re about to vacation in the eighteenth-most populated city in Pennsylvania?
The 2020 census found that 43,963 people live there, ranking it as Pennsylvania’s eighteenth most populated city.
According to US Census ZIP Data regarding population, the Altoona MSA, which includes all of Blair County, has a population of 122,822 as of the 2020 census.
Of that number, 100,000 people resided within 5 miles (8.0 km) of downtown Altoona.
This includes the adjacent cities of Hollidaysburg and Duncansville, the adjacent boroughs of Logan, Allegheny, Blair, Frankstown, Antis, and Tyrone, and the nearby boroughs of Bellwood and Newry.
Steeped in history, Altoona is best known for its important railroad system, which was established in the 1800s and popularly called the Railroad City.
The city got its name from the Latin word “Altus,” meaning “high.” Altoona is a historic railroad town and a transportation gateway for the Pennsylvania Railroads.
Keep reading as we break down the top 25 free and fun things to do in Railroad City.
Fun Things to Do in Altoona (PA)
1. Mike’s Courtyard
Mike’s Court is a spectacular place to enjoy fun-filled entertainment and opening hours with friends or family.
Mike’s Court is a fantastic bar and restaurant where you can get the highest quality alcoholic beverages, together with delicious, freshly prepared meals.
Some delicious dishes at Mike’s Court include Italian Nachos, Godfather Pizza, Meatballs, Roast Beef Salad, Hot Sausage, Veggie Subs, and many more.
Mike’s Court is a family-friendly place that you will love to visit. You will definitely love their irresistible food and return for more.
They have an excellent staff that offers friendly service. Enjoy Mike’s Court’s signature Roast Beef Melt, featuring thinly sliced roast beef with melted mozzarella and American cheese topped with hot, sweet peppers.
2. Fort Roberdeau Historic Site
The original design of the fort dates back to the 18th century and was built to protect the region’s lead mines from enemy attack.
The site is now a reconstructed fort, farmhouses, barracks, residential quarters, and much more.
Every month, Re-enactors relive events that happened in the past and took place on location. It is an incredible spectacle.
The park also has picnic areas and hiking trails. Discover the story behind the fort by watching the reconstructions. Explore the area and pack the get yourself a picnic lunch to enjoy.
3. Myers Dutch Hill Chocolates
Are you a fan of chocolates? Need the best place to buy delicious chocolate with friends or family?
You must visit because they sell the best chocolates in Altoona, PA. A great store, Myers Dutch Hill Chocolates, offers an excellent selection of items and has a friendly and helpful staff.
Different chocolates include cherry cordials and non-pareil (milk and dark chocolate), milk chocolate and dark chocolate, and more.
Myers Dutch Hill Chocolates is a family business with a great chocolate recipe passed down from generation to generation.
The goods in the store are affordable. Visit Myers Dutch Hill Chocolates because it’s worth a stop to buy incredible chocolates that will always leave a smile on your face.
Here are the answers to things to do in Altoona for fun; consider adding this place to your list of things to do in Altoona, PA.
Things to Do in Altoona (PA) at Night
1. Mama Randazzo’s Pizzeria and Restaurant
Mama Randazzo’s is an exquisite joint that combines traditional Sicilian food with American pizzeria-style dishes.
Two immigrant families from different provinces of Italy started the restaurant.
Hot and cold subs, fries, burgers, and wings complement the standard American menu items, while the Italian menu offers fresh pizza, pasta, stromboli, and calzones.
Mama Randazzo is committed to making sure their food is fresh. The cheese is cut and shredded daily in the kitchen.
All sauces are made with olive oil, plum tomatoes, and basil. Fresh coffee beans are also mashed daily to make fresh coffee, including cappuccino, espresso, and latte.
Customers can order online, at the counter, or by phone.
This Pizzeria and Restaurant offers some of the best dining options Altoona offers.
2. Eat’n Park
Eat’n Park restaurants are chain restaurants that started off in 1949. The restaurants sell breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
They also strive to provide fresh and healthy food throughout the day. In 2018, Eant’n Park spent $20 million on locally sourced ingredients through the FarmSource program.
Fresh fruits and vegetables and an ever-growing salad and fruit bar are cut daily for meals.
You can stop by for breakfast and indulge in bananas on French toast or a breakfast/lunch combo (called a smile), or they might prefer a freshly baked salmon filet for dinner.
The restaurant’s menu has a wide variety of options and is definitely worth adding to your list of things to do in Altoona, PA, for an unforgettable dining experience.
3. Railroad City Brewing Company
Railroad City Brewing Company, located in historic downtown Altoona, Pennsylvania, offers a large selection of the best hand-crafted beers.
We are a craft nano-brewery based in Altoona that offers a selection of quality beers.
Each beer at Railroad City Brewing Company is handcrafted in small batches and crafted precisely.
The products rotate, but the brewery always has at least three or four beers.
Railroad City Brewing Company produces an ever-rotating selection of locally brewed beers spanning traditional, modern, and experimental styles.
Railroad City Brewing Company is open every Wednesday and Thursday from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM and Friday and Saturday from 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
You’ll have an opportunity to chat with Railroad City Brewing Company locals and learn new things about the place; the staff is friendly and helpful.
In addition to the beautiful atmosphere, you will also enjoy good background music.
Things to Do in Altoona (PA) For Couples
1. Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark
The Horseshoe Curve was designated a National Landmark in 1966. Since then, it has become an important point of interest in Altoona.
Today, more than 50 freight trains pass through the arch a day. At 2,375 feet long, the Horseshoe Curve is a marvel that transported freight and passengers over the Alleghany Mountains.
Today, visitors can stop by the visitor center for more details on the history of the Horseshoe Curve and its construction and purchase souvenirs.
2. Boyer Candy Factory Outlet
Are you an old fan looking to buy your favorite retro candy? Looking for the best American candy?
The Boyer Candy Factory Outlet is a fantastic location and the source of the finest candies produced in America. Therefore, you’d love to go there.
Boyer Candy Factory Outlet offers smoothie cups, mallo cups, smoothie cups, peanut butter cups, and other gluten-free Boyer Candy in different variants, from individual to bulk items.
Boyer Candy is a classic American confectionary that makes unique confections, creamy milk chocolate, and fluffy marshmallows.
If you love tasty peanut butter, you will definitely fall in love with the unique combinations of crunchy peanut butter and caramel in great smoothie cups.
Boyer Candy Factory Outlet owns cup candy and has perfected cup candy throughout history.
The delicious candy is for young and old, yet it will become a favorite of everyone who has not tasted beautiful sweets.
3. Railroaders Memorial Museum
One of the most exciting things to do in Altoona, Pennsylvania, is to visit the Railroaders Memorial Museum, which deserves a place on your wishlist.
One of the most important contributions to the Industrial Revolution is thought to have been made by the American railroad.
He employed thousands of people in Altoona alone.
The museum has three floors of exhibits. It is home to exhibits that explore life on the railroad, train travel, the process of running the railroads, and an in-depth study of how Nazi terrorists targeted the Altoona Rail Zone for their attacks.
Visitors can look back at the historic ethnic neighborhoods and how people of all different ethnicities came together to become part of the railroad lifestyle.
An exhibition dedicated to the wives of railway workers shows the hard work that women put in at home.
Things to Do in Altoona, PA For Kids
1. Lakemont Park
Lakemont Park is located near the Peoples Natural Gas Field and has been an entertainment attraction for the city since 1894.
Lakemont Park offers 30 attractions, including three roller coasters and three water attractions. The remaining attractions are theme park favorites such as the swings, tilt and turn, and Ferris wheel.
Visitors can use some of the go-kart tracks, a bouncy inflatable house, pedal boats, and a mini-golf course for an additional fee.
True to its title, Lakemont Park also has plenty of green space for guests to enjoy the natural environment and explore the trails with families.
2. Municipal Aerial Trampoline and Adventure park
Looking for a fun and engaging park to visit with your friends and family? Looking for the best year-round indoor recreation park?
You must visit Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park because it is the perfect place you need.
The Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park is a fantastic indoor playground for you and your family or friends because it constantly has new activities to try.
You can organize your child’s birthday party, picnic, meeting, and other family events in the park.
Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park can handle everything for your successful events, from preparation and hosting to clean-up and other entertainment, because they have experts to do the job, especially organizing parties for children of any age.
Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park have long been the best choice for hosting great children’s birthday parties.
The indoor adventure park has something fun for everybody, including climbing walls, basketball, obstacle courses, classic trampolines, and others.
It would be best to take a child’s birthday party to an indoor park or visit with friends and family to climb, bounce, play, dunk, and enjoy some fun experiences.
3. Valley View County Park
This park is breathtaking, with thick vegetation, natural pathways, and lush green grass.
There is a golf course, a playground, and picnic spaces.
Enjoy a fantastic picnic with loved ones and friends while taking in the breathtaking views, stroll along the luscious paths, play disc golf or soccer, and break up your daily routine.
Relaxing and spending a pleasant day here with your loved ones is ideal. It is also a famous and popular wedding venue due to its stunning beauty and peaceful atmosphere.
Indoor Activities to Do in Altoona (PA)
1. Altoona Community Theatre
The Altoona Community Theater has a subscription list of over 1,300 and is worth adding to your list of things to do in Altoona, PA.
From 1993 to the present, Altoona Community Theater (ACT) has won numerous awards in regional and state competitions for Outstanding Acting, Outstanding Original Writing, Production Award, and Best Production.
In the past, ACT has presented musicals (Mamma Mia!), classical productions (My Fair Lady), and classics (Romeo and Juliet), as well as children’s plays (Bunnicula).
A series of four to six productions are performed each season, so visitors are advised to plan their visit.
ACT also organizes seminars for education and training. ACT offers a summer program for youth and teens for those spending the season in Altoona.
2. Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art
If you’re an art lover, add a visit to the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art to your plan for things to do in Altoona, PA.
SAMA ( Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art) is an extensive museum with five satellite locations.
SAMA boasts artistic exhibits and is also home to over 4,000 permanent works of art. The collection includes international and local artists’ sculptures, drawings, paintings, and prints.
SAMA includes artwork from major artists with other artists, including Andy Warhol and Mary Cassatt.
Visitors can participate in any of the many yearly professional development and fundraising events depending on what time of the year you visit.
These events mix food, music, drinks, and art into unforgettable experiences, such as the Art of Wine and Fashion and Blue Monday.
3. Curious Corner Children’s Museum and Discovery Centre
For parents visiting with children, visiting the Children’s Museum and Discovery Center at Quaint Corner can provide hours of entertainment and education.
The Curious Corner focuses on helping children learn through fun activities that allow their tactile memories to be more reliable than a lecture.
The building is categorized into four floors, and each exhibit has time to play and learn.
Starting with the stuffed animal clinic on the 3rd floor and climbing walls on the lower level, kids are engaged from the moment they walk through the gate.
The Quirky Corner offers several special occasions throughout the year, including visits from Santa and birthday parties.
If you’re not in Altoona with kids, put this attraction on your list of things to do in Altoona, PA.
Romantic Activities to Do in Altoona (PA)
1. Galactic Ice
Galactic Ice started business in June 2000, offering the Altoona/Blair County area its first rink.
Galactic Ice is home to the Altoona Area Your Ice Hockey Association, three high school hockey programs, Penn State-Altoona Hockey, and Sitting Bulls Sled Hockey.
Other ice sports are found at Galactic Ice, such as Learn To Skate programs and figure skating. Galactic Ice organizes other exciting and fun events such as birthday parties, private tours, public skating, corporate events, and more.
Galactic Ice has a spacious lobby, meeting rooms, and an off-ice training center that athletes use for team meetings, team building, video sessions, and more.
2. Finelli’s Italian Villa
For an unforgettable dining experience, visit Finelli’s Italian Villa in Altoona, PA.
Finell’s Italian Villa is an exquisite restaurant built from the remains of a Dutch kitchen and started business in 1993.
Since it began, the family has been the front staff of the establishment, with the owners serving as bartenders, hosts, managers, and chefs.
The menu mixes traditional Italian dishes with American gourmet cuisine, including beef, fish, veal, and chicken recipes.
In addition to salads and soups, the menu is full of appetizers and wines.
A few appetizers include Drunken Mushrooms, Grandma Gallo’s Cheese and Meat Platter, Steamed Scallops, Artichoke Hearts Poached in Wine, Parmesan, Garlic, Lemon, and Butter.
Stop by this spectacular culinary attraction and sample some of the best appetizers it has to offer.
3. Leap the Dips
The Leap the Dips roller coaster is a historic landmark from the early 20th century.
This roller coaster is the oldest functioning roller coaster in the world. Located in Lakemont Park, it is over 100 years old.
Although it does not offer fast speeds, it will give you an unforgettable and exciting experience.
Take your tour to Lakemont Park and ride on this vintage wooden roller coaster.
Cheap Things to Do in Altoona (PA)
1. Benzel Pretzel Outlet
Benzel Pretzel Outlet is a profound manufacturer with over a century of experience, providing various products made with precision and care.
Benzel Pretzel Store tries to provide quality products while promoting sustainable practices in manufacturing operations.
Fantastic stores try to make their customers happy and work for the joy and satisfaction of their customers.
The staff at Benzel Preclet Outlet is friendly and helpful, and you’ll be greeted warmly as soon as you enter the store.
The origins of the unique business come from an immigrant from Germany named Adolph Benzel, who entered Altoona, Pennsylvania, in 1911.
Benzel came to town with a fantastic family recipe to start a pretzel bakery and made a name for himself in and around the town.
People come from far and wide to buy Benzel’s excellent products at their local store; the store provides friendly service, a fantastic selection of products, and a great shopping experience.
2. People’s Natural Gas Field
Peoples Natural Gas Field was first called “Blair County Ballpark” and can seat about 7,210 spectators at a time.
The stadium is currently used only by a minor league baseball team called the Altoona Curve.
This park is rated as one of the best views in the Minors as it overlooks the Allegheny Mountains and the “Skyliner” roller coaster at nearby Lakemont Park.
The park offers a variety of seating options and fares, including Skybox seats, first grandstands, and a picnic pavilion.
Anyone who chooses these picnic spots can get a full buffet without having to carry their food or clean up.
3. Blair Country Historical Society, Inc.
The Blair County Historical Society highlights the significance of Altoona, Pennsylvania, throughout the past century.
In particular, Baker’s Mansion is one way the Blair County Historical Society shows the wealth of Altoona citizens, such as iron master Elias Baker, who built the mansion in 1849 for $15,000 during the Gilded Age.
It also runs a World War II exhibit that shows how the war affected a city within a city that was quite like Altoona.
Visitors can also learn why Altoona was an important Nazi area of attack.
Another thing worth checking out might be The Baker Mansion Lecture Series, which is free to enter (although donations are suggested).
Free Things to Do in Altoona, PA
1. Harmony Horsemanship Center
Harmony Horsemanship Center is an incredible place where horses and people come to enrich their lives.
Christine Wertz is a fantastic instructor who loves horses and teaches children and adults how to ride them properly.
Harmony Horsemanship Center offers top horsemanship training for people of all skill types and age ranges.
Harmony Horsemanship Center helps beginners build confidence in the most fun, friendly, and safe environment.
The center also provides experienced and competitive riders advanced learning opportunities to help advance their skills to greater heights.
The center works hard to provide a positive, progressive horse riding experience.
We are sure you will have fun with your friends or family at Harmony Horsemanship Center, as it offers your child a safe and fun start and helps build horse confidence.
The resort offers Horse and Pony Pals camping. It’s a wonderful opportunity for campers to enjoy outdoor activities and make friends while exploring and playing with horses and ponies.
The camp offers lessons such as health and fitness, natural horsemanship, leadership, and teamwork and promotes self-confidence.
2. Canoe Creek Limestone Kilns
Canoe Creek Limestone Kilns is an abandoned 20th-century kiln belonging to the Blair Limestone Company.
Blair Limestone Company is located in Canoe Creek State Park. The area is known for its abundance of limestone.
Two kilns operated on the park property produced quicklime for the steel and iron industries.
Discover the remains of historic furnaces that were located in the park. Visiting this spectacular park is one of the best fun things to do in Altoona, PA.
3. Canoe Creek State Park
With over 900 acres of land, the park has lush vegetation, a tranquil lake, a disc golf course, hiking trails, an old 20th-century limestone, and an oil field.
Canoe Creek State Park offers access to various outdoor recreational activities such as camping, fishing, kayaking, swimming, hiking, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and much more.
In the park, you can explore the nature trails with tall trees, go for a nice swim in the water, try fishing, enjoy a picnic, and then camp in the evening.
You can spot waterfowl, bats, eagles, and bats at Canoe Creek State Park.
Other animals in this park include deer, chipmunks, squirrels, orioles, turkeys, bluebirds, and many more.
This park is a popular spot for ice skating, sledding, and skiing in the winter.
The snowy winter landscape in the park is an amazing sight. This park is an ideal escape from the everyday routine.
Add a visit to this park to your list of things to do in Altoona, PA, if you want to explore the region’s natural beauty.
Cool Places to Visit in Altoona (PA)
1. Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
The old railroad at this location was the first to be built in the Allegheny Mountain region.
The railway was primarily a freight railway operated from the 19th century until 1854.
The railway has contributed significantly to improving the region’s accessibility to other areas of the country.
Today’s site features the remains of a railway, a historic pub, a replica engine room, a stone bridge, a tunnel, and nature trails.
The Staple Bend Tunnel is believed to be the first railroad-built tunnel in the US. The tunnel was used as a restaurant throughout the 19th century and was often frequented by train passengers.
The house has been renovated to depict how it was perceived over time accurately.
You can visit a replica engine room and see various machines, including a real railway engine. This location is a popular tourist attraction in Altoona and is frequented by many train enthusiasts.
2. Baker Mansion
Built in the late 19th century and now a museum, the Baker Mansion was the former home of the Baker family until 1914.
Today, his museum is a tribute to the Baker family’s story and the region’s local history.
Exhibits at the museum include vintage furniture, china, paintings, home decor, books, a piano, and many other artifacts belonging to the Baker family.
Elias Baker was a blacksmith who moved from Altoona in 1836. In 1844, he built a house here.
Visit the castle and discover the fascinating life of the area’s elite in an earlier century. Touring this museum has been one of the best fun things to do in Altoona, PA, for some time in history.
3. Castle Halloween Muse
Among the many great museums in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the Castle Halloween Museum is worth adding to your list of things to do in town.
Pamela Apkarian-Russell is an avid collector of Halloween costumes. He displays his collection of more than 40,000 objects in a museum in a three-story 19th-century house in Altoona.
The collection includes wreaths made from human hair, games, costumes, candy jars, hair pieces, decorations, a Harry Potter-themed room, slot machines, statues, voodoo-themed flags, paintings, and many other items.
Visitors must make an appointment to visit the museum in advance, and a maximum of six people are allowed on each tour.
4. Lenny’s Classic Car Collection
One of the best things for car enthusiasts to do in Altoona, PA, is to visit Lenny’s Classic Car Collection, which is well worth adding to your checklist.
This museum has a wide selection of antique cars such as The 1935 Rolls Royce 20/25 Sadanca D’Ville 1950 Jaguar MK V, 1951 Bentley Mark VI, 1957 T-Bird with Birds-Nest, 1982 Aston Martin V8 Volante, and more.
Visit the museum and see this incredible collection of vintage cars.
Everyone who visits Altoona, PA, returns with stories of an incredible experience and itch for an opportunity to revisit this city because of its wonders.
From sprawling shopping malls to historic parks and roaring rivers to modern casinos, you can have a better experience with our list of things to do in Altoona, PA.
Why haven’t you packed yet?