Drive along the nation’s first highway, visit one of George Washington’s early battlefields and explore a town founded on America’s birthday.
Founded on July 4, 1776, Uniontown sits midway along the National Road, the first major improved federal highway in the United States that brought people to the West. Take a scenic drive down what is now called US Route 40, a leafy and picturesque jaunt that will take you through centuries of American history. Start your tour by dropping in at the Historic National Road Corridor for information and a chat with the friendly volunteers before setting out on your adventure.
Searights Tollhouse, erected in 1835 on the National Road and located in the middle of town, will give you a taste of early U.S. transportation history. Continue on until you reach Fort Necessity National Battlefield. George Washington constructed a fort here when he was still working for the British, during the French and Indian War. Bring your walking shoes and climb the short, steep hill to Mount Washington Tavern, a historic eating and drinking place near the site of one of Washington’s battles.
Back in town, head to the Uniontown Downtown Historic District for some sightseeing and a fun night out with the welcoming locals. Pick up a walking tour brochure from the local tourism bureau so you can identify the town’s original buildings, churches and houses. En route to dinner, take a stroll to Baker Alley and look for a marker commemorating Uniontown’s role in the Underground Railroad as escaped slaves were smuggled to freedom. During the summer, Storey Square hosts a summer concert series featuring up-and-coming local artists ranging from all-Beatles cover bands to local folk and jazz performers.
Drive to Uniontown in about 80 minutes from the international airport in Pittsburgh. Buses run once a day between the two cities, but the best way to appreciate this hub of American history is with a motor and a sense of wonder.