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Altoona is a city in central Pennsylvania. Altoona was founded as a railroad town by the Pennsylvania Railroad as the site of their Altoona Works shops, and its history as a railroad town still shows in the town today despite the decline of the railroad and its eventual absorption into Penn Central, Conrail, and now Norfolk Southern.

Altoona Downtown from 5th Ward

Get in

By train

Amtrak's Pennsylvanian line stops in downtown Altoona with daily service in each direction from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

By car

Altoona is located along Interstate 99, which can be reached from I-70 from the Washington-Baltimore area or Pittsburgh area, from I-76 (the Pennsylvania Turnpike) from the Philadelphia area, or from I-80 from the New York City area. Altoona can also be reached directly from Pittsburgh via I-376/US 22.

By plane

Altoona's airport is Altoona-Blair County Airport (AOO). United Airlines operates direct flights to both Washington Dulles and Johnstown, PA. This is a very small airport and is a convenient 12 miles from the downtown area.

Get around


  • Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, 13th Avenue at 13th Street. A Roman Catholic cathedral
  • Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark (west of Altoona on Kittanning Point Road). Built by the Pennsylvania Railroad to allow trains to climb the steep Allegheny Mountains, this historic and well-known construction is a mecca for railfans. Located along the current Norfolk Southern east-west mainline, over 50 trains per day pass around the triple-track curve. Admission includes access to a small museum and a funicular ride up the hill to a grassy area on the inside of the curve, which has over 180 degrees' view of railroading action. $6. The curve can also be viewed from on-board Amtrak's Pennsylvanian train between Altoona and Pittsburgh.
  • Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum. in downtown Altoona is a museum showing Altoona's history as a railroad town.
  • Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site (in nearby Gallitzen), 110 Federal Park Road, Gallitzin, PA 16641 (The park is located just off U.S. 22 approximately 12 miles west of Altoona and 10 miles east of Ebensburg. Take the Gallitzin Exit and follow the signs.), +1 814 886-6150. 9AM to 5PM daily. The Allegheny Portage Railroad was a great achievement in early travel. Charles Dickens, Jenny Linn, and Ulysses S. Grant traveled over the Allegheny Mountains. They braved a system that injured passengers on a weekly basis. A system of inclined planes and a nine hundred foot tunnel carved through solid rock by Welsh coalminers made this feat possible. For twenty years, it was the fastest way to transgress the rough and wild terrain of Pennsylvania. The site features a recreated incline and winch used to pull portaged barges over the hill. $4.
  • The Megahan House, 1537 2nd Avenue (On the corner of 2nd Avenue and 16th Street). Free.



  • Boyer Candies outlet store. The manufacturer of Mallo Cup and Smoothies peanut butter cups is in Altoona and has an outlet store on site at their factory. Factory tours may possibly available.
  • Logan Valley Mall, Route 220 & Goods Ln, +1 814 944-6128.


  • Wong's Wok in the food court of the Logan Valley Mall, Route 220 & Goods Ln, +1 814 944-6128


  • The Knickherbocker Tavern, 3957 W 6th Ave. Cool place with decent pub grub and a very wide selection of craft brews from all over the country (and the world). Kind of strange "suburban" location but probably the best bar in town, especially if you like beer. Reasonable prices.



Go next

Routes through Altoona
PittsburghJohnstown  W Amtrak Pennsylvanian icon.png E  LewistownHarrisburg
BellefonteState College  N I-99.svgUS 220.svg S  BedfordUS 220.svg to Cumberland

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