Things to Do
Places to Stay
A magnificent mountainous region, the Laurel Highlands spans 3,000 square miles of Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland Counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Located just east of Pittsburgh, our beautiful four-season destination offers some of the Mid-Atlantic's most spectacular natural scenery, outstanding outdoor recreation venues, historic sites & attractions, family activities, and world-class resorts.
Newly-Expanded Westmoreland Museum of American Art Now Open
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is a regional museum with a national presence. The museum has been transformed into a LEED certified, architecturally dynamic museum that captures the region’s agrarian and industrial history and spectacular natural beauty. More than 3,400 objects of fine and decorative American art provide a rich and engaging cultural experience for visitors. The newly landscaped grounds provide a beautiful backdrop for temporary and outdoor sculpture.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Unveils Multi-Million Dollar Renovation in 2015
Just when we think that the world-class luxury and family destination resort cannot get any better - they surprise us with a $30 million dollar renovation of the Chateau and Lodge Annex rooms, add the new Fatbird Super Flyer dueling zip line, and open the new Holistic Healing Center at Horizon Point. Another only-in-tidbit is that the resort houses PA's largest private wine cellar with a capacity to hold 25,000 bottles with a currently inventory of 21,000 bottles that include 1600 labels.
New Animal Planet Treehouse Masters Treehouse
Designed and built by world renowned treehouse architect Pete Nelson and his team, a new Treehouse Bungalow is nestled high in the trees on the grounds of the Historic Summit Inn Resort. A forty-five foot bridge leads to the front door of a cozy interior with a wrap-around deck that offers a panoramic view of the Chestnut Ridge and beyond. Seasonal tours offered daily.
The Wright Experience
Architecture and nature enthusiasts will find paradise touring two mountain retreats designed by legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright plus the ability to spend the night in another. Visiting any of these three original Wright homes is the Wright way to experience the Laurel Highlands. Stand on the cantilevered terraces of Fallingwater®, Wright's most iconic masterpiece, overlooking the rushing waterfall while basking in the magical natural setting. Visit Kentuck Knob, a stunning mountain home built from cypress, stone, and copper with a sweeping view of the Youghiogheny River Gorge. End the Wright day with an overnight stay at the secluded Duncan House tucked deep in the woods.
Flight 93 National Memorial Visitors Center Now Open
On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the United States came under attack when four commercial airliners were hijacked and used to strike targets on the ground. Nearly 3,000 people tragically lost their lives. Because of the heroic actions of the 40 passengers and crew aboard one of the planes, Flight 93, an attack on the nation’s capital was thwarted. The passengers and crew showed unity, courage, and defiance in the face of adversity. The new Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center uses photographs, artifacts, tactile models, audio, and video pieces to convey the Flight 93 story in the context of the other terrorist attacks on that tragic day.
French & Indian War History
The Laurel Highlands' impressive French & Indian War sites depict the war that was a clash of British, French and American Indian cultures which ended with the removal of French Power from North America and set the stage for the American Revolution. Both Fort Necessity and Fort Ligonier offer extraordinary forts and museums with a major emphasis on George Washington whose military career began here in 1754.
Historic Ligonier's Small Town Charm
Ligonier is a charming New Englandesque town where dozens of specialty shops grace tree-lined streets and rolling horse country provide the perfect country getaway. Favorite spots include Idlewild & SoakZone - voted the No.1 Best Kid's Park in the World as well as historic Fort Ligonier. This picturesque town hosts many special events during the year from an ice festival in the winter, outdoor antique shows in summer to a Scottish fall festival in early autumn.
Historic Routes through the Laurel Highlands
Stretching from New York City to San Francisco, America's first transcontinental highway was designed for motorists. The Lincoln Highway in the Laurel Highlands is particularly rich with history, scenic beauty and small towns that have flourished because of the historic route, with a 5,000 sq. ft. museum is now open in Latrobe as the centerpiece for the Laurel Highlands' Lincoln Highway story. This museum enhances the Lincoln Highway Roadside Museum and other landmarks.
Travel the 90-mile National Road through southwest Pennsylvania. See historic sites and learn about historic events, such as the Fort Necessity National Battlefield or Braddock's Grave. During the spring, there is a National Road Festival that celebrates the first federally funded highway and features encampments, arts and crafts, food, historic tours and a period wagon train.
The 68-mile Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway is the perfect way to take in the view that the Laurel Highlands has to offer. Park near the waterfalls at Ohiopyle State Park along the way or stop by Ligonier for some small town charm. Travel across the picturesque farmland, deep into forests, and through small towns, such as historic Ligonier. The byway passes Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, Fallingwater®, which offers even more breathtaking views.
Glamp it Up - Luxury Camping
Glamping - one of the hottest lodging trends is right here in the Laurel Highlands on Campbell Farm. Love Mother Nature but do not want to give up life's creature comforts? Then luxury camping is for you! Curl up in a comfy bed under the stars - protected by a tent while taking in an amazing view of the Laurel Highlands from an historic Appalachian farmstead. Soak in a claw foot tub al fresco, curtains provided, but not needed, no one will see you except for a squirrel or two.
The Great Allegheny Passage - One of CNN Travel's 50 States, 50 Spots for 2014
See why CNN Travel selected the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail as the attraction to represent Pennsylvania for its 50 States, 50 Spots 2014 List. Experience the "Ride of Your Life" on the GAP, a 150-mile spectacular rail trail that meets the C&O Canal Towpath in Cumberland, Maryland - creating a continuous bike path between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. If you can ride a bike, you'll love this trail. Cyclists of all ages and fitness levels head to this trail that winds its way through some of America's most breathtaking scenery and panoramic views.
Laurel Highlands' trail heads are located in charming trail towns that offer lodging from hostels to upscale bed and breakfasts, fun eateries and bike rental and repair shops. The 150-mile rail trail connects to the 184.5-mile C&O Canal Towpath in Cumberland, Maryland, creating a 334.5 non-motorized route between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. The trail gently winds through the Laurel Highlands using historic tunnels, viaducts, and bridges while offering sweeping views of natural scenery and rugged terrain.
Pennsylvania's Highest Mountain Elevation
See some of the Mid-Atlantic's most incredible views and rugged natural landscape from PA's highest mountain ridges (Mount Davis in Forbes State Forest 3, 213-ft.) Hike the nationally-acclaimed Laurel Highlands Hiking trail a 70-mile hiking and backpacking trail with overnight Adirondack-style shelters. Climb to the top of the lookout tower at Mt. Davis and see three states. The region's high elevation means snow and lots of it! The Laurel Highlands can receive more than 150 inches during a winter season which is great for Alpine and Nordic activities.
Pennsylvania's Deepest River Gorge
The frothy waters of the Youghiogheny River which proved challenging enough to stop George Washington at the Ohiopyle Falls is today a water enthusiast's destination. From Class I-IV white water rafting, kayaking and fishing, the Yough is the focal point for the 20,500-acre Ohiopyle State Park. Not to miss are Ohiopyle's Meadow Run Natural Waterslides named one of Travel + Leisure's Top Ten Swimming Holes in the Country for Ditching the Pool Crowds!
Nemacolin Woodlands ResortSprawled across 2,000 wooded acres, the secluded Nemacolin Woodlands Resort has earned the distinct Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond ranking as a luxury and family resort destination. From the resort's acclaimed golf courses and spa to every outdoor activity imaginable, a $50 million art collection and Pennsylvania's largest private wine cellar are just a few samples of its abundant amenities. Most notable are Nemacolin's signature luxurious accommodations and superb cuisine.
Pennsylvania's Largest Ski and Four Season Resort -Seven Springs Mountain Resort
Only in the Laurel Highlands will you find PA's largest ski and year-round resort. Seven Springs has 33 slopes and trails on 285 skiable acres, seven, nationally-acclaimed terrain parks, and the region's largest snow tubing park. Having established itself as one of the most popular winter sports destinations on the East Coast, you'll love the activities and special events that Seven Springs offers during the winter, spring, summer and fall seasons. Zip through the Laurel Highlands on Seven Springs' new Screaming Hawk Zipline or glide through the tops of majestic trees via the Laurel Ridgeline Canopy Experience. Relax at the Trillium Spa, a sanctuary like none other and end the day with a delicious dinner at Helen's - A Wine Spectator Award Restaurant that is located in the resort's original charming chalet. The resort's other amenities include an 18-hole golf course, sporting clays, segway tours, Alpine Slide, fly fishing, horseback trails, and much more.
Pittsburgh Steelers Summer Training CampFootball season officially kicks off for Steelers Nation with the start of the Steelers annual summer training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe at the end of July through mid-August. See why this is the favorite NFL camp experience for one of America's premier pro football writers, Peter King of Sports Illustrated.
Banana Split Festival
Join in the fun at the Annual Banana Split Festival in August which celebrates the gooey scrumptious summer treat that was created in Latrobe in 1904.
Mother Earth News Fair - Seven Springs Mountain Resort
The pages of the longest-running, environmental lifestyle publication comes to life each September during the annual Mother Earth News Fair. A family-oriented sustainable lifestyle event features dozens of practical, hands-on demonstrations and workshops from the leading authorities on: Renewable Energy, Small-scale Agriculture, Gardening, Green Building, Green Transportation and Natural Health.
Big Mac Museum
Tour the unique museum, where the inventor of the Big Mac is honored with this exhibit, just off the Irwin, PA Turnpike exit 57. The Big Mac was invented right here in Western PA in the Laurel Highlands.