That Time I… visited the Eastern Midwest


Philip Arduini

The Liberty Bell in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

By Philip Arduini, Opinion Columnist

Traveling is an activity that many enjoy but do not have the funds to do very often. For those that do not have the budget to visit any exotic places, I recommend taking a road trip through the Eastern Midwest.

When the price of gas was extremely low in 2021, a friend of mine invited me to his brother’s wedding which was happening just outside of Allentown, PA. Not having traveled much in my life, I was excited to make this trip with my friend – despite the lengthy drive. We did not do any planning beyond picking out some cities to visit along the route, but everything went relatively well and I am glad I went.

The first place we stopped at was Cleveland, Ohio. While the city may get a bad rap, it has a strong sense of culture. The city’s famous West Side Market was full of various ethnic foods and fresh produce. Additionally, being right against Lake Erie, we got a great view of the water and the cityscape near the home of the Browns’ FirstEnergy Stadium.

The next city we went to was Pittsburgh, one of the most walkable cities I’ve been to. Pittsburgh was easy to navigate and a joy to visit. The heart of downtown features Market Square, a busy public space surrounded by tall buildings and local businesses. A short walk from the square is Point State Park, a historical site that provides a memorable view of the three rivers and the surrounding city. If you’re into history, a must-visit spot is the Heinz History Center, which holds a variety of exhibits involving the history of the city such as sports, the Lewis and Clark expedition and Heinz ketchup.

An unplanned part of the trip included a stop in Reading, Pennsylvania, home to the Reading Pagoda. The structure sits on Mount Penn and towers over the city. Highlighted with red neon lights at night, the pagoda is a part of a mesmerizing view that overlooks the city.

The last city we went to was Philadelphia. While seeing the iconic Philadelphia Art Museum, as shown in the Rocky movie, was memorable, the historic district was the most impressive for me. Being a fan of history, seeing the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the grave of Benjamin Franklin was truly special to me.

Traveling city-to-city is a great way to experience various places of significance and culture. Whether anyone is on a budget or simply wanting to see historic and blue collar cities, I recommend visiting the Eastern Midwest.