Sunday, September 27, 2009
Julian, Pa., is just outside State College, about 204 miles from the Beltway. Recent construction on Interstate 99 means that most Web sites' directions are outdated. Take I-270 to Frederick, then I-70 west to Breezewood, then Route 30 west to Bedford, then I-99 north about 60 miles to Exit 61 to Route 311/Port Matilda (not Philippsburg). Turn left at East Plank Road (Route 220) and drive about 10 miles to the Ridge Soaring Gliderport.
WHERE TO STAY
The Nittany Lion Inn, 200 W. Park Ave., State College, 800-233-7505, http://www.pshs.psu.edu/NittanyLionInn. Built in 1931, this charming hotel at Pennsylvania State University has 223 rooms, two restaurants, a fitness center and putting green, free Internet access and shared amenities with its sister hotel, the modern Penn Stater. Rooms start at $91.
WHERE TO EAT
Clem's Wood-Fired BBQ, At Exit 45 off I-99, Tipton, 814-684-3290, http://www.clemsfire.com. Clem Pantalone's restaurant just relocated this summer from Port Matilda and has wooden tables, a bar and a grill outside. Open Tuesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sandwiches from $5.75; ribs, chicken, sides and combos also are available.
WHAT TO DO
Ridge Soaring Gliderport, 3523 S. Eagle Valley Rd., Julian, 814-355-2483, http://www.eglider.org. Glider rides can last from 15 to 45 minutes and are priced by altitude: A flight at 2,000 feet is $80, 3,000 is $110, 4,000 is $150 and 5,000 is $200. The maximum passenger weight is 242 pounds, the minimum age is 9, and pilots can take one passenger at a time. Flight length and availability are weather-dependent, so call to confirm on the morning of your scheduled flight.