GETTING THERE: Johnstown, Pa., is 179 miles from Washington. Take I-270 north to I-70 west and enter the Pennsylvania Turnpike westbound at Breezewood and follow it to Exit 146. Take Route 220/I-99 north to the first exit, and follow Route 56 west to U.S. 219 North. Take the Johnstown Expressway to Johnstown.

STAYING THERE: Accommodations in Johnstown are largely limited to chain motels. The downtown Holiday Inn (250 Market St., 800-433-5663, www.johnstown-dwtn.holiday-inn.com) is two blocks from the Flood Museum and the Inclined Plane (a railway built in 1891 to provide access to new flood-proof neighborhoods above the river). Weekend rooms run $80 per night. A more distinctive alternative is the Dillweed B&B (Route 403 north, 814-446-6465, www.dillweedinc.com) in nearby Dilltown, about 15 minutes away. It offers four rooms in a country motif and sits at the trailhead of the Ghost Town Trail. Weekend doubles are $65 to $70 a night, including breakfast.

EATING THERE: At the Back Door Cafe (402 Chestnut St.) in Cambria City, entrees include roasted duck breasts with citrus-apple salsa. I enjoyed the potato gratin with gruyere cheese and wild chicken mushrooms. A three-course dinner with wine runs about $100 for two. Murphy's Tavern (1189 Franklin St.), in downtown Johnstown, offers simpler tavern fare.

BEING THERE: The Johnstown Flood National Memorial (814-495-4643, www.nps.gov/jofl) is 12 miles north of the city; park grounds are open daily until sunset. Admission is $3. The Johnstown Flood Museum (304 Washington St., 814-539-1889, www.jaha.org) is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $6. The Inclined Plane (814-536-1816, www.inclinedplane.com) lifts passengers in counterbalanced cars 500 feet up Yoder Hill along a 71 percent grade. A round-trip ticket costs $4.

INFO: Johnstown & Cambria County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800-237-8590, www.visitjohnstownpa.com.