I never realized how much my hometown had to offer until I left for fifteen years and came back with a renewed quest to find the best that Meadville, PA, had to offer. With our vision firmly in place, Marvin and I set out to locate and visit as many interesting places in and around Meadville that we could.
*Revised 09/07/2023 after another trip to Meadville, this time with the toddler.
See our list of top things to do in Meadville, PA!
1. Baldwin-Reynolds House
Years ago, as an elementary student, my class explored the Baldwin-Reynolds House during their annual "Trees of Christmas" display. But examining the home as an adult was a far different experience. As you may know, Marvin and I have an affinity for all things vintage and antique, and as we ambled through the house listening to stories about the previous owners and various details about the house and the items on display, we were in awe at the amazing architecture and the skill and love that went into even the most common, ordinary items.
Location: 639 Terrace Street, Meadville
2. Pymatuning Spillway
3. Barbara J Paddle Boat
Last year, when my dad mentioned his desire to ride the Barbara J, I was baffled, as I had never even heard of the Barbara J. So we looked into it, and sure enough, the Barbara J is real thing! Designed by Meadville native Jack Spicer, and built in 1955, she's a paddle wheel boat that operates on Conneaut Lake. I was even more pleased when I learned that I know the captain, Captain Clair! Marvin and I, along with my parents, spent an hour and a half cruising along the edges of the lake, waving to kids on the shore, hailing fishermen and kayakers, and enjoying the sunshine and breezes.
Public tours are Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00, from May through September. The cost is minimal and goes toward the operating costs and the preservation of this beautiful, historic gem. Cash only. Private parties can also be booked by calling their reservation line (814-382-RIDE).
Location: 11934 Conneaut Lake Road, Conneaut Lake
4. Market House
The Meadville Market House was built in 1870 and is home to the local farmer's market. They also offer special events regularly, like cooking classes and their monthly Second Saturday celebration, featuring balloon artists, live music, crafts for kids, painting workshops, and much more!
Location: 910 Market Street, Meadville
5. Canadohta Lake
This lake town takes a more laid-back approach to life than its neighbors in Conneaut Lake. Visit the casual Frog Pond Restaurant for a sandwich and rent their pedal boats to cruise around the lake while exercising your legs! Kids can play in the on-site splash pad and on the playground.
Location: 35765 Circuit Drive, Union City
6. Allegheny College
Founded in 1815, Allegheny College boasts many beautiful old brick buildings. The buildings and grounds are immaculately kept and make for a pleasant walk. Music lovers can also take advantage of numerous student and faculty concerts and recitals.
Location: 520 North Main Street, Meadville
7. Hank's Frozen Custard
8. Academy Theatre
Since 1885, the Academy Theatre has been entertaining families with a wide range of plays and musicals. They also host a number of special musical concerts and a summer youth program!
Location: 275 Chestnut Street, Meadville
9. Pymatuning Deer Park
Located in Jamestown, the Pymatuning Deer Park is home to several types of deer, a wide variety of farm animals, including Highland Coos, and even a number of zoo animals, like camels and zebras. Take a ride on the train, let your littles ride the ponies and play on the playground, get up close with farm animals at the petting zoo, and feed many of the animals.
Location: 804 East Jamestown Road, Jamestown, PA
10. Deer Run Trail
Located in Guys Mills within the Erie Wildlife Refuge, Deer Run Trail is a short hiking loop that meanders through woods and fields, with observation decks over some of the wetlands.
Location: Boland Road, Guys Mills
Meadville has so much to offer! In addition to the ones I've listed here, Meadville is also home to a brewery, a cidery and winery with an event venue, bowling, miniature golf, a movie theater, and dozens of restaurants. So the next time you're in Northwest Pennsylvania, make sure you take a couple days to explore Meadville, PA, and the surrounding areas!
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