Lewistown is located 3 hours west of Philadelphia and 3 hours east of Pittsburgh. Highway Route 322 and Route 522 are the two main roads leading into town. Lewistown is 60 miles west of Harrisburg on Rt. 322 and is positioned 45 miles west of Selinsgrove and 35 miles east of Huntingdon on Route 522.
Amtrack service uses the train station located at 150 Helen Street. Trains stop twice daily - one heading west, one heading east. For more information, see www.Amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL. FYI- The Lewistown Train Station has the special distinction as being the oldest surviving structure known to have been built by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR). Serving freight shippers or passengers since it opened in 1849, the building is also thought to be the oldest station in continuous use in the United States.
The Mifflin County Airport, 547 Airport Road, Reedsville, PA 17084 717-667-6829, [email protected]
Lewistown is a small town, so there are no buses that travel the area, but there is taxi service available. Most of the shopping and restaurants are in the same general area (all within a few miles) so it is not extremely difficult to walk from place to place. There are various restaurants and shops at other places surrounding the downtown area, but shouldn't be considered to be within walking distance.
The main landmark in Downtown Lewistown is Monument Square. The monument is 64'6" tall, is made of Vermont marble, and was built in 1906. The figures on each side of the base represent the four branches of the military at that time - Navy, Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery. At the base on the south side is a special stone that came from the tomb of Abraham Lincoln. It's the only stone that has ever been taken from Lincoln's tomb in Springfield, IL. It was donated in honor of The Logan Guards - Mifflin County's volunteer soldiers who were the first to answer Lincoln's call for troops at the start of the Civil War. A mural and plaque can be found on the side of the Subway restaurant building.
Asher's Chocolates- The Lewistown plant creates many of the hand finished chocolates that Ashers sells all over the world. Factory tours are given when the plant is open. Call the retail store to confirm times. 717-248-8613. Located at 19 Susquehanna Ave.
McCoy House Museum. Run by the all volunteer Mifflin County Historical Society, museum hours are limited and seasonal. Call 717-242-1022 for details or find them on Facebook.
Big Valley - With Route 655 running the length of it, Big Valley is a picturesque drive through Central PA farmland. It is also home to many sects in the Amish religion. Beliefs and customs vary but this basic tenet is true— The Amish here live quiet, peaceful lives and are not on display for tourists. But that doesn't mean you can't make contact. Your best and easiest way is to buy something from them be it fresh produce, home made baked goods, or a hand sewn quilt. Look for them staffing roadside stands and booths at farmers and flea markets. And take cash because, No, they won't take your credit card. : )
Visitors to Lewistown are most likely friends and family of residents. Everyone has their favorite things to do but in many cases, you have to know where they are to know that they're there. There's a bowling alley, a roller skating rink, a movie theater (6 screens), community swimming pool, miniature golf, and a public country club. A drive-in theater is located ten miles east at the Arch Rock Exit off Rt. 322.
Don't miss the indoor archery range at Valley Sports N Outdoors. Call for hours 717-667-7287.
Please note that this is a small town and many attractions close early and/or aren't open on Sunday at all.
An Amish geegaw or two is fine to take home for gifts but here's a list of Lewistown/Mifflin County products that make even better souvenirs: Common Ground Magazine, Rich Coast Coffee, Hartley's Potato Chips, Dutch Pantry Dip Mixes, Asher's Chocolates, Whoopie Pies (they travel better than hoagies), Mifflin County Huskies t-shirt, Shade Mountain Naturals soap, N. Thierwechter photograph, "Then & Now" photo book by the MC Historical Society, a bottle of locally made wine.
There are a lot of Mom&Pop restaurants in and around Lewistown. Find a list at www.juniatarivervalley.org (Chamber of Commerce site) We also have many fast food franchises.
HOAGIES & WHOOPIE PIES are two "delicacies" in the area. You can find many varieties of hoagies in hoagie shops, corner stores and restaurants. Ingredients vary but it's the meat and the roll that make the most difference. Don't forget to pick up a bag of Hartley's Potato Chips to go with it! As for Whoopie Pies - these are like small cake sandwiches with the icing in the middle. Flavors vary widely from pumpkin to spice to vanilla to red velvet but the classic is and always will be chocolate cake with white icing. Whoopie pies are commonly produced by professional home bakers whose recipes vary just like all family recipes do. It is recommended that you keep your eyes open for different makers, collect several and host your own taste test. You'll need some ice cold milk to wash it all down.
The Chamber of Commerce has four member wineries - all can be found with a quick internet search. Brookmere Winery & Vineyard Inn, Juniata Valley Winery & Wilson House B&B, Seven Mountains Wine Cellar and Shade Mountain Winery. All host live music at one time or another and provide wonderful hospitality. Olivero's Vineyard opened recently in nearby Juniata County.
The bar scene can be what you want it to be here. There are quiet bars for conversation (Waterfront, The Clubhouse), sports bars for rowdy fun (Smittie's, JP Edwards) , and bars with live music to dance the night away (717 Club, Big Daddy's).
Franchise hotels include The Quality Inn and Super 8 in Burnham,and The Best Western in Milroy. There are many Bed & Breakfasts in Lewistown and surround countryside. Chestnut Manor B&B is located within 2 blocks of Downtown Lewistown. In Big Valley, look for The Hill Store Guest Cottage in Belleville and the Weiler Mansion B&B on Front Mtn Road.
Even though it's a small town, there are 'opportunists' everywhere. Use your brain. Lock your car and your hotel door but don't be afraid to say hello to a stranger.