The small town of Mars, Pennsylvania was settled in 1873 and incorporated in 1882, bringing with it centuries of history. The population as of the last census was less than 2,000 people, making this town a tiny blip on the map. Despite that, it's still a destination that warrants a visit and for those who have been there, there's one thing that stands out: the town's official Flying Saucer.
The reason behind the town's unique mascot in the form of an unidentified flying object could just be the stuff of rumors, or it may have a legitimate purpose. Regardless of what the reason is, this small town has been the spot of several media endeavors, as well as a few quirky roadside stops. Those who find themselves in Butler County might want to add this to their list if only for the unique photo op it provides.
The Flying Saucer Of Mars
Not to be confused with any actual flying saucers that may have been seen on Mars (just kidding); there's one right in the center of this unique Pennsylvania town. The UFO in question was founded back in 1875, according to a plaque that tells visitors about its history, and it has taken up residence downtown for longer than most people can remember. While it is moved around every now and then (for logical reasons or to spook newcomers, is unclear), visitors can usually find it simply by walking around the town's main streets. According to Roadside America, during the 1990s, there were alleged UFO sightings that made the landmark even more of a popular destination. Supposedly, the sightings also included burn marks in nearby fields and strange witness accounts of objects in the sky.
The town has since taken on somewhat of an outer space-type of persona, with many local businesses using the inside joke for their slogans and advertisements. In the windows of some shops, visitors may even be privy to both English and 'Martian' language used in displays. The name of the town's sports team is the Planets, thus further cementing the idea of its extraterrestrial streak.
Other Attractions In The Town Of Mars
The closest major city near Mars is Pittsburgh, which is about a 30-minute drive. It sits nearly on the border of Ohio, which means it's easily reached from those on the eastern side of the state, as well. Although it might be small, that hasn't stopped its residents from roping visitors into their alien-inspired jokes and decor, making it somewhat of an oddity for anyone who might be passing through, unaware of the theatrics that awaits them.
Of course, food is a daily part of life in Mars, and Stick City Brewery is one of several brewery options. With a rotation of food trucks and beers (yes, some even pay tribute to the odd cryptid or two), this is a must-visit while in town. Visitors can expect food trucks every weekend and live music every Thursday, or, they can grab a brew before checking out any number of Mars' great downtown restaurants.
- Hours: Thursday - Friday 4 PM - 10 PM, Saturday 12 PM - 10 PM, Sunday 2 PM - 7 PM, closed Monday - Wednesday.
Those looking for a break from the UFOs can take a drive down to Zimmerman Family Farms. There, visitors can indulge in fresh produce at the various farmer's markets held on-site or stop at the Mars Farmhouse Cafe for a bite to eat.
Everything is fresh and made to order, with ingredients grown right on the farm. The market store has plenty of unique offerings, as well, giving a much-needed countryside reprieve for those visiting from the big city.
- Hours: Monday - Friday 9 AM - 5 PM, Saturday 9 AM - 12 PM, closed Sundays
For a little more time spent out in nature, visitors might find themselves just west of Mars in Seven Fields. The Seven Fields Nature Preserve is a wonderful place to spend some time hiking easy trails, with plenty of wildlife to observe. Surrounded by lush greenery during the spring and summer, and gorgeous foliage in autumn, this small, but beautiful, park gives way to the scenery that has made people fall in love with Pennsylvania time and time again.
Hikers will surely see rabbits hopping across the field as well as fawns in late spring, and the brook that runs through is home to tiny minnows. At the end of the short trail, hikers will find a humble playground that's perfect for kids, but not before crossing a modest wooden bridge from which to observe the valley. The trail is also maintained very well, so it's an easy walk for all ages.
- Hours: Open daily