Roughly two hours east of Pittsburgh and two hours northwest of Washington, D.C., you’ll find what may be the largest concentration of historic and picturesque covered bridges – most of which are still in operation today.

Just one of 14 covered bridges in Bedford County, PAIf you follow the directions of the driving tour (found on the Bedford County website), you’ll start in Old Bedford Village just east of downtown Bedford. You’ll see 9 of the county’s 14 covered bridges in under 2 hours. So, if you’re like us, my husband had to take lots of photos, it took almost three hours.

After you’ve seen six covered bridges, there’s an optional side trip to Gravity Hill, where all rules of logic are suspended. Put your car in neutral and be amazed as it rolls uphill.  (I know. I know. Don’t doubt me until you’ve tried it.) Lots of fun.

When you finish the tour in Schellsburg, head east on Route 30 and go back into historic downtown Bedford. This is one beautiful small town, with gorgeous homes and public buildings. You’ll find wonderful, quaint shops to take your tourist dollars and the people couldn’t be nicer.

When you’re ready to relax and discuss your day, head for HeBrews Coffee Company . at 103 South Richard Street. Located right on a busy corner, the large glass windows invite you to take in the activity outdoors and to see things you probably missed on your way in. They offer a great line of brews and they also sell cute logoed tee-shirts with the HeBrews logo.

I saw one of the baristas with a long sleeve tee that would be perfect with my travel wardrobe. When I went to buy one, I discovered that it was last year’s model and they didn’t have any more that size or color. When I offered (pleaded) to buy it “right off her back” she was surprised but agreed to trade it for a new one so I could take hers. Into the back room she went, made the change and I left with just the color, long-sleeve tee I had been trying to find for months. I don’t suggest you try the same thing, but do pay them a visit – the staff is quite nice and very friendly.

If you’ve still got some daylight hours left, you are right next to the Lincoln Highway – Route 30. The Lincoln Highway was the first coast-to-coast highway built in the U.S., from New York to San Francisco. Most states have fascinating Americana along Route 30 and Bedford County is no exception. You’ll want to see the building sized murals, the giant quarter and the giant coffee pot – Kodak moments, one and all.

Maureen Bardwell and her photojournalist husband Doug love to travel the world in search of those unique, off-the-beaten-track restaurants, bakeries, wineries, and local craft shops.  If you’ve got a favorite you’d like to see mentioned here, drop us a line. Follow Doug Bardwell on Facebook   Twitter,  LinkedIn and Google+