Punxsutawney is a borough in southern Jefferson County in the Pennsylvania Wilds, famous nationwide for Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog of Groundhog Day fame, who is traditionally said to determine for the nation whether summer will come sooner or later. Upon popping out of bed on the second of February, if he sees his shadow and returns to the security of his hole in fright, then — so the story goes — the U.S. can be assured that it will be in for a cold, long, rainy spring! See North American wildlife for more on the species.
Punxsutawney is really in the middle of nowhere—about two hours west of State College, a little less than two hours northeast of Pittsburgh, and an hour and a half northwest of Altoona. It's right off I-80—take exit 101 to PA-255 S, then turn left on Brady St/US-119, which will take you right to the center of town.
From Pittsburgh you'll have a scenic drive up PA-28 to Kittanning, where you'll need to connect to PA-85 east, then eventually turn left on PA-210, which will finally take you to a left on US-119.
From Altoona/I-99, just follow PA-36 straight to the center of town.
Time to brush up on your Pittsburghese! Rest assured, the Groundhog Day Ceremonies will be conducted in English, though likely in an accented, regional dialect. Punxsutawney, known as 'Punxy' to the locals, is in Western Pennsylvania, where the majority of residents speak American English with a Pittsburgh regional accent.
Visitors expecting to see sights from the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day will be disappointed; that movie was actually shot in Woodstock, Illinois.
There are over 30 fiberglass statues of groundhogs throughout the town.
- Weather Discovery Center, 201 North Findley Street, ☏ +1 814 938-1000. A museum dedicated to educating visitors about weather, what causes certain natural phenomena, and the history of weather prediction.
- Gobbler's Knob and Groundhog Zoo, 1548 Woodland Ave. Gobbler's Knob is where the annual Groundhog Day festival occurs; where everyone gathers around to see whether or not Phil will see his shadow. During the rest of the year, you can see Punxsutawney Phil at the Groundhog Zoo.
- Punxsutawney Historical & Genealogical Society. A museum with displays, artifacts, and information about the area and its history from the days when Native Americans lived here to the day when Punxsutawney Phil established his own residence.
- The town also has a lot of quaint old buildings, many of them from the 19th century.
- Groundhog Day: 2 Feb annually. 3AM-2PM. Virtually the only day of the year when Punxsutawney sees any visitors, Groundhog Day sees the local population rise from about 6,000 to 40,000.
- 1 Frank's Star Lunch, 265 N Findley St, ☏ +1 814-618-5816, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Fr 11AM-5PM, Sa 11AM-3PM. A family-owned restaurant serving hotdogs with their own special sauce.
- 2 Laska's Pizza, 405 N Main St, ☏ +1 814-938-4647. Open 11AM (closed Tu). A pizza place that also serves strombolis, wings on Wednesday, and a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. There is a covered outdoor seating area and a groundhog statue. $18.
- 1 Cobblestone Hotel & Suites, 188 Alliance Dr, ☏ +1 814-938-5144, Punxsutawney@StayCobblestone.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A hotel with a meeting room, swimming pool, and complimentary breakfast. $110.
- 2 Barclay Bed & Breakfast, 201 E Union St, ☏ +1 814-618-5466. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. A Victorian-style B&B with 6 different rooms to stay in and a gazebo outside. $120.
|Routes through Punxsutawney|
|END ← DuBois ←||N S||→ Indiana → New Stanton|
|Salamanca ← DuBois ←||N S||→ Indiana → Morgantown|