Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Brookville, PA

  • Published 2023/03/08

Brookville is the county seat of Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, just 80 miles from Pittsburgh.

Founded in 1830, the town was a major player in the lumber industry throughout the 19th century.

The area also achieved economic progress by constructing factories, breweries, and a railroad stop.

The Twyford Motor Car Company, which made the first-ever four-wheel-drive automobile, also briefly operated in Brookville.

Tourism became a vital industry in Brookville Historic District in the following decades.

Thanks to its efforts in preserving local history, the borough has earned several recognitions that continue to attract tourists.

You will discover much of Brookville’s unique character with its vibrant community, events, and local attractions.

Here are the best things to do in Brookville, PA:

Visit the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse

Exterior of the Jefferson County Courthouse

Nicholas A. Tonelli, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can easily find the historic Jefferson County Courthouse on Main and Pickering Streets.

Check out the 1869 Italianate structure with its outstanding design and the classic clock tower, a central attraction in Brookville.

The L-shaped courthouse becomes more beautiful when it lights up during special events and holidays.

In 1832, they built a brick courthouse.

Then, in 1868, they replaced its facade with the facade of the present courthouse.

In 1927, they added the rear portion.

You can spot a small park at the angle of the back wing and view the classic interiors inside the courthouse.

Explore Local History at Jefferson County History Center

Founded in 1967, the Jefferson County History Center is a non-profit organization that preserves and showcases Jefferson County’s rich history.

The institution presents exhibits, publications, educational programs, and tours for visitors.

Step into a recreation of a Victorian Parlor at the Adda Edelblute Pearsall Parlor exhibit.

Find authentic artifacts, original artworks, and musical instruments dating from the 1860s to the early 1900s.

See the unique works of Martin Stephan, whose subjects range from nature to human portraits and historical events.

View the miniature Bowdish Model Railroad and village display of Jefferson County, the one-seated roadster Twyford car model, and the Brookville Wagon exhibit.

Visit the KidSpace Gallery with classic toys and peculiar pieces on display.

You can also see the colorful, hardy hybrids at the David L. Leach Rhododendron Garden along the museum grounds.

See Automobile Collections at Greenberg Cadillac Museum

Car enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to Greenberg Cadillac Museum, which features the largest collection of Cadillacs.

The museum presents the earliest first single-cylinder models up to the modern Cadillacs.

It also aims to tell the unique story of the country’s luxury car brand, the developments behind the technology, designs, and the company’s remarkable achievements.

Some of the models you can view include the 1905 Model E, 1906 Model K, the 1937 Series 60, the Eldorado Models, 1991 Seville, and Allante Models.

Join the Laurel Festival

Since 1957, Brookville has hosted the Laurel Festival, giving guests a taste of Western Pennsylvania.

Find a variety of goods and crafts at the Sidewalk Sales, enjoy delicacies at the food courts, or catch live performances all week.

See fantastic art pieces at Art in the Park and excellent displays at the Gary L. Pearce Car and Bike Show.

Otherwise, watch fun contests like the Weightlifting Competition, Fireman’s games, and Scholarship Pageant.

Have fun with your family with free movie nights or watch the Grand Parade together.

The Laurel Festival is one of the local events many locals look forward to every year.

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at the Dan Smith’s Candies

Dan Smith’s Candies is a sweet tooth’s haven in central Brookville.

The founder, Dan Smith, started selling ice cream in 1946 and expanded his business to candy making.

Current owners Joe and Amy Scarnati maintain the traditions and recipes well-loved by chocoholics for decades.

Today, they have branches in Clarion, Ridgway, and DuBois.

You can bite into some yummy coconut and peanut clusters; taste the classic flavors still made today.

Get their boxed chocolates in Signature Selection or Sugar-Free Variety.

Satisfy your cravings with their sandwich cookies, milk, and dark chocolate bars.

They also have specialty items like Dipped Dog Biscuits, Vodka Sauce, and Scarnati Brothers Original Pasta Sauce.

Enjoy Movie Night at the Moonlite Drive-in Theater

The Moonlite All-American Drive-in Theater gives you a nostalgic drive-in movie experience.

In 1996, Jim Lipuma refurbished the theater and reopened it afterward.

Since then, people have flocked to the theater.

Bring your family to watch classic movies at Moonlite and enjoy burgers, hotdogs, sodas, and candies at the snack bar while watching.

Explore Nature at Scripture Rocks Heritage Park

Explore nature at the Scripture Rocks Heritage Park, a free hiking area operated by the Jefferson County Historical Society.

The 4.5-acre hillside forest area has paths leading to the historic 67 sandstone engravings made by Douglas M. Stahlman.

The carvings convey Stahlman’s religious calling and experiences.

An open-air chapel named Altar Rock was later built in the area; visitors can also see the cabin where he penned his journals.

Other attractions at the park include a Native American campsite, quarrying sites, and diggings that existed around the 19th century.

You can read the Interpretative Panels throughout the parking area to learn about significant historical events in the Jefferson area.

Enjoy Classic Bowling at Second Strike Lanes

Aim for a strike at Second Strike Lanes, a local bowling alley center operating since 1962.

Over the years, this alley has become one of Brookville’s iconic fixtures.

It had its share of challenges, but locals kept it alive to continue the spirit of this attraction.

This family-oriented location promises to give visitors a great time with classic bowling games.

Second Strike Lanes also offers packages for events like birthdays or corporate parties.

Aside from bowling, guests can also enjoy a full-stocked snack bar serving handmade pizzas to tasty cheeseburgers.

See Exciting Events at the Jefferson County Fairground

Experience a unique agricultural fair at Jefferson County Fair.

The first-ever fair in the county happened at the Mountain Park Association in 1870.

Since then, it has become a yearly tradition.

The Jefferson County Fairgrounds is now at the Industrial Park with several facilities to accommodate participants and guests.

The agricultural fair happens every July, and you can catch enjoyable shows, contests, and community activities throughout the week.

See the showcase of Garden Tractor Pulls, the Halter and Driving Horse Show, Swine Show, and Mud Bog.

You can watch contests, concerts, and local pageants and enjoy the carnival.

Taste Old-fashioned Moonshine at Blackbird Distillery

Don’t miss the experience of old-fashioned tasting moonshine made traditionally at Blackbird Distillery.

They are the first legal moonshine distillery in Pennsylvania state.

Try moonshine, learn about its history, and listen to the distillery staff’s stories of the whiskey rebellion.

David and Jennifer Black own the distillery.

The business boasts of creating moonshine with their single-run process.

Their corn whiskey starts with the corn mashed by hand, fermented, and then piped into the stills.

Taste and enjoy their 19 moonshine flavors.

Aside from its famous moonshine, try Blackbird’s beef and pork jerky, ring bologna, homemade canned goods, barbecue sauces, and 15 varieties of smoked cheese.

Find Antique and Home Decor at the Open House Shop

Whether it’s a one-of-a-kind antique or new home décors, you can find it in the Open House Shop.

The building with a 4,000-square-foot showroom may not look much on the outside.

Once you step inside, you can choose from an endless variety of goods like barn wood, decorative items, and rustic beams.

You’ll find many authentic country home furnishings, custom-made items, gifts, and unique finds at this store.

If you’re an antique collector or curious, visit the Open House Shop.

You might be surprised by what you find.

Spend the Day at Walter Dick Memorial Park

Are you looking for some downtime?

The Walter Dick Memorial Park is one of the places in the local borough.

This local park’s scenic view is an excellent place for a relaxing walk or an afternoon in the fresh air.

You can stay and eat at the picnic area or take pictures at the swinging bridge.

Enjoy fly-fishing for trout or go for a quick swim.

Your kids can also have active playtime in the outdoor play area.

Enjoy a Nature Trip at Brookville Riverwalk

Head to the Brookville Riverwalk, a beautiful trail path that follows along Redbank Creek and an old railway leading to Summerville.

You can enjoy a hike or ride your bike along the wide trail while viewing the picturesque hardwood areas and flowing waters.

Spot some birds and wildlife in the area or take some snapshots to capture the scenery.

The Riverwalk is one of the areas you can go for quiet meditation.

Walking the trail may give you a surprising discovery of other things in the Brookville borough.

Learn about Baseball Bats at BWP Bats

Baseball bats used in the Major League are manufactured at BWP Bats.

The borough area is well-known as the hardwood capital of the world.

Hence, the company’s ample supply of wood for quality materials.

BWP Bats is proud of its modern manufacturing system producing around 1,500 bats a week.

Watch how these sports equipment is transformed from raw materials to finished products.

The company hosts a short tour where you can learn exciting facts about baseball bats.

Enjoy Hours of Tee Time at Pinecrest Country Club

If you’re looking to swing those golf clubs, the Pinecrest Country Club is open.

The 18-hole golf course is on Brookville’s rolling hills and has a USPGA and WPGA level rating.

Voted one of the Best Golf Courses in the area, Pinecrest Country Club provides an excellent course with a full-swing driving range and practice area.

Though the course is open to the public, non-members can only play up to five rounds a season.

You can drop by the Pro Shop for the latest golf equipment, accessories, and apparel.

After some rounds of golf, take your fill of delicious appetizers and salads.

Otherwise, grab a big-size fish sandwich, also known to be the best in town.

Pair a good-sized meal with some draught or bottled beer, your choice of liquor, or wine.

Have a Feast at Courthouse Grille and Pub

After visiting Jefferson County Courthouse, you may want to try out Courthouse Grille and Pub, located conveniently along Main Street.

This restaurant is family-owned and has been passed on from several generations, giving it a historic feel as well.

While there’s some history to it, Courthouse Grille and Pub won’t last this long without stellar food and drinks.

It has great servings that’ll surely stuff you during your stay in Brookville, and there’s a wide variety of alcohol and other drinks as well for everyone.

With a lovely ambiance as well, you can’t go wrong visiting this renowned pub in Brookville.

Cool Down at Buff’s Ice Cream

Buff’s Ice Cream is a famous dessert cafe in Brookville, well-known for their flavorful ice cream and milkshakes.

A lot of locals go here, but even neighboring townsfolk visit Buff’s Ice Cream because of how good their desserts are.

They have unique flavors along with an airy texture.

Coupled with great prices and servings, and you have a showstopper in Brookville.

Buff’s Ice Cream also doubles as a place where you can get a light lunch, as they offer soups and sandwiches.

Located along Mabon Street, give this one a go to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Take a Breather at Memorial Park

Not to be confused with Walter Dick Memorial Park, Memorial Park is another open space in Brookville where you can sit back and appreciate the simplicity of the borough.

Unlike Walter Dick Memorial Park, this city park is much closer to the urban heart of Brookville, making it much more convenient.

It’s a quaint spot that has huge open fields, brimming with grass and plenty of flowers during spring time.

It’s also situated along the banks of Redbank Creek which makes it a scenic spot to spend time with your loved ones.

There are playgrounds and plenty of areas to play sports like baseball and soccer, so give this one a visit along Sylvania Street.

Spend an Afternoon at Brookville Town Square

If you want to check out more open spaces, Brookville Town Square is another great place in Brookville with added history and architecture.

Unlike the more isolated Memorial Park, Brookville Town Square is found right at the heart of the borough, near the Jefferson County History Center.

Only containing a small grassy field, the true charm of Town Square lies in the beautiful architecture that surrounds it.

You’ll get great views of the Jefferson County Administration Office here, along with plenty of surrounding buildings with a historic feel to it.

Lots of locals go here as well, making this a social place to meet new people or simply immerse yourself in Brookville culture.

Have a Buffet at A&M Family Restaurant

Few can match the popularity of A&M Family Restaurant in Brookville, found along Allegheny Boulevard.

Best known for their buffet, this is a must-visit place if you’re famished or you simply want to go on a culinary adventure during your trip to Pennsylvania.

Besides their wide array of dishes, A&M Family Restaurant is also well-known for their pies and desserts, making this a great all-rounder.

Even this restaurant has a bit of history as well, and the interior decor truly gives it a vintage vibe.

Easily one of the best restaurants in Brookville and well-loved by locals, don’t miss out on A&M Family Restaurant.

Final Thoughts

Brookville is a laidback destination with many interesting local attractions.

It may seem small, but the borough hosts several spots for you and your family.

Many of its unique characteristics and rich history are reflected in these locations and community celebrations.

If you’re looking for a simply fascinating travel destination, a trip to Brookville might be a good choice.

Start planning your Brookville trip today!

© All rights reserved.