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Old 10-21-2010, 10:01 AM
 
892 posts, read 2,197,751 times
Reputation: 839

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Greetings fellow Pennsylvanians! My wife and I are going to taking a day trip over to Altoona this coming Sunday to do some exploration in advance of a job interview she has there next month. We'll probably wake up really early, hit town early in the morning (when a lot of stuff might be closed, that's cool, we'll drive around and snap photos) and stay until maybe 5:00pm or 6:00pm or so before we need to start making our way back.

I'm interested in hearing about stuff to see and do and eat than native Altoona folks or anyone familiar with the area would like to recommend to us? We'll want somewhere with great breakfast, a tasty lunch spot, and somewhere to grab a fun dinner. We're much more interested in everyday mom-and-pop eateries than anything necessarily "fancy" and we'd definitely like to avoid any national chains. I'd also love to know if there's a bakery or sweets shop someplace to grab some dessert to go as we're visiting some friends on the drive home.

I'm about to hit Google and search forums in earnest, but so far honestly I think all I know about Altoona (besides where the hospital is) comes from being a railroad geek and being excited about visiting Horseshoe Curve. So please, feel free to educate me on the cool things about the area! Try to stick to Altoona itself, because I'm sure we'll be making another trip to State College in the future.

What roads and neighborhoods should we be sure to see? What sights should we be sure to check out? What unique shops, museums, galleries, theaters, or monuments, etc. might we want to visit? I imagine some places will be closed on a Sunday, but I'd still like to know about them.

Finally, one last specific question, which I'm sure we'll get some feedback on next month (the interview will include a neighborhood tour) but I'd love to hear from all of your as well...do you think it's practical for a couple to rent an apartment/condo/house very close to the hospital and walk to work, getting along with one vehicle? I've read some divisive thoughts on that concept. We could always just live someplace else and get a second car, but I'm curious.

Thanks very much for your feedback!
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,306 posts, read 1,600,917 times
Reputation: 963
Hmmm...Well, if you like the railroad you can go to the Railroad Museum. (just Google it for directions) You also have the Horse Shoe Curve as you mentioned. I don't know if there will be a game, but the Curve (baseball) is there and has a nice stadium. The Mishler Theatre has something going on SATURDAY but I don't think Sunday. There isn't a ton of things to do in Altoona...Many people head to St College for things to do...about 30 minutes away. There you would have Penn State and all it has to offer and a host of sporting events and stuff.

Places to eat in Altoona...Allergro is nice for a nice Italian dinner. Some people like Jethro's but I really didn't like it much. Tims Cafe people like for lunch...Al's Tavern has good bar food. Dave's Dream in Hollidaysburg is very good. As for breakfast...I have no clue. A lot of people just head to Denny's, Kings, Friendly's, or Eat N Park. Maybe someone else on here will know of some good dive but I can't think of anything.

As for living, I personally hate Altoona. It has gone down in years. There are some nice spots but overall I don't like it. (just my opinion) If your wife takes a job there (Altoona is a great hopsital) I would probably suggest living in Bellwood or Hollidaysburg or somewhere a little out of the city.

Good luck! I hope you enjoy your visit. Oh, and Zacks (or Zaks) is good for lunch...I like that place a lot.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:53 PM
 
892 posts, read 2,197,751 times
Reputation: 839
Quote:
Originally Posted by twinmma View Post
Hmmm...Well, if you like the railroad you can go to the Railroad Museum. (just Google it for directions) You also have the Horse Shoe Curve as you mentioned. I don't know if there will be a game, but the Curve (baseball) is there and has a nice stadium. The Mishler Theatre has something going on SATURDAY but I don't think Sunday. There isn't a ton of things to do in Altoona...Many people head to St College for things to do...about 30 minutes away. There you would have Penn State and all it has to offer and a host of sporting events and stuff.
Yeah, since we only have a few hours this time around I'm sure the Railroad Museum and seeing the curve (from below for once) will be plenty to do...but I'd like to at least drive by the baseball park. You know, I love to brag on the view from PNC Park, but a rollercoaster? We don't have one of those in the outfield! State College seems like it has so much going on that we're going to designate a separate trip just to check it out, since a lot of folks working in Altoona seem to like commuting from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinmma View Post
Places to eat in Altoona...Allergro is nice for a nice Italian dinner. Some people like Jethro's but I really didn't like it much. Tims Cafe people like for lunch...Al's Tavern has good bar food. Dave's Dream in Hollidaysburg is very good. As for breakfast...I have no clue. A lot of people just head to Denny's, Kings, Friendly's, or Eat N Park. Maybe someone else on here will know of some good dive but I can't think of anything.
Thanks for all these! As far as breakfasts go, I think I want to check out Tom and Joe's Diner. We have nothing against some Eat N' Park now and then, but it sounds like a fun little old school small town kind of place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinmma View Post
As for living, I personally hate Altoona. It has gone down in years. There are some nice spots but overall I don't like it. (just my opinion) If your wife takes a job there (Altoona is a great hopsital) I would probably suggest living in Bellwood or Hollidaysburg or somewhere a little out of the city.
We'll definitely be considering all options. Ideally, our lifestyle preference is to live right next to work and walk around a little bit and need the car less on a daily basis...however we're pragmatic and picking up a second vehicle and commuting isn't out of the question. We'll be checking out neighborhoods surrounding Altoona proper as well as State College should we end up with a job offer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinmma View Post
Good luck! I hope you enjoy your visit. Oh, and Zacks (or Zaks) is good for lunch...I like that place a lot.
Thanks! We just might have to hit a couple of small "lunches" throughout the day, hehe...
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,306 posts, read 1,600,917 times
Reputation: 963
Forgot about Tom and Joes...probably a good option.

The only reason I mentioned the other areas for living is just b/c I have no idea where is safe to live anymore in Altoona. Some parts have just gotten SO BAD. Let me know if this all happens and I can put you in touch with a good real estate agent who will know the ins and outs there. (I am licensed in VA and know a lot of people back home) Whatever you do, stay away from Juniata, Altoona. We used to live there and it was fine but it really has gone down the drain. My parents moved to Bellwood and live there now and love it.

Enjoy your trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by khyron View Post
Yeah, since we only have a few hours this time around I'm sure the Railroad Museum and seeing the curve (from below for once) will be plenty to do...but I'd like to at least drive by the baseball park. You know, I love to brag on the view from PNC Park, but a rollercoaster? We don't have one of those in the outfield! State College seems like it has so much going on that we're going to designate a separate trip just to check it out, since a lot of folks working in Altoona seem to like commuting from there.



Thanks for all these! As far as breakfasts go, I think I want to check out Tom and Joe's Diner. We have nothing against some Eat N' Park now and then, but it sounds like a fun little old school small town kind of place.



We'll definitely be considering all options. Ideally, our lifestyle preference is to live right next to work and walk around a little bit and need the car less on a daily basis...however we're pragmatic and picking up a second vehicle and commuting isn't out of the question. We'll be checking out neighborhoods surrounding Altoona proper as well as State College should we end up with a job offer.



Thanks! We just might have to hit a couple of small "lunches" throughout the day, hehe...
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:51 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,669 times
Reputation: 10
altoona isn t that bad of a place to live crime wise if you are coming from a bigger city i would say it s a very safe place to live.junuata isn t as bad as the person above said in fact north junuata is prob one of the best places to live in altoona. it is however a rather small town therefore there isn t that much to do activity wise,depending on what your into.
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