Things to Do
Places to Stay
The Laurel Highlands is the ideal destination for an autumn getaway. You’ll find spectacular fall foliage in this part of the state, which happens to boast the commonwealth’s highest mountain elevation and thousands of acres of unspoiled state forests, parks, and game lands. In the fall, the region turns into a breathtaking spectacle of red, orange, yellow, russet, and bronze colors. Enjoy a drive under a canopy of colors on the region’s scenic byways and historic routes. Be sure to drive through one of our picturesque covered bridges, which offer the perfect setting to enjoy the changing leaves. In addition to the wonderful foliage, autumn also brings fantastic fall festivals and harvest goods.
With our mountain vistas, historic highways, fertile farmlands and state parks the Laurel Highlands of Southwestern Pennsylvania is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but in the fall, the region turns into a breathtaking spectacular paint box of red, orange, yellow, russet and bronze colors.
Plan Your Drive: A pick-and-choose arrangement of things to do along our historic and scenic routes as well as other attractions where you can enjoy the changing leaves. Also, be sure to check out the "Discover Fall Scenic Driving Tour," which provides driving routes through the Laurel Highlands that highlight state parks and forests, scenic byways, picturesque overlooks and quaint communities. View a pdf of Discover Fall-Northern Loop and Discover Fall-Southern Loop.
Historic Ligonier is a great place to stroll through the changing colors. Here you can enjoy over 60 specialty shops and restaurants. Not to miss is Fort Ligonier, a full-scale, on-site restoration/reconstruction of the 1758 - 1766 original, situated on a commanding hilltop with a sweeping view of the Laurel Highlands.
Flight 93: During this time of the year especially, we remember the lives lost on September 11, 2001. Flight 93 National Memorial is particularly beautiful this time of the year and is a serene place to visit, remember, and embrace natural beauty.
Glades Pike Winery boasts a beautiful view of Laurel Highland’s rolling hills and colorful fall foliage from their deck or in their gazebo where you can sip unique flavors while you enjoy the scenery.
The Scenic Byway meanders through Ohiopyle State Park where you can stop for a fantastic fall excursion. Stop at the Firefly Grill for a heaping pile of their famous French fries or wraps. We highly recommend Cucumber Falls for the passersby, a gorgeous waterfall among the trees, which is a wonderful gem during any season, but especially with the array of colors of autumn. Better yet: you don’t have to hike to see it.
Check out Seven Springs Mountain Resort where you can zoom down 1,980 feet of downhill fun on the Alpine Slide on a two-wheeled sled equipped with a handle brake. Grab a tube a glide down 600 foot chutes for tubing without the snow. Seven Springs has a variety of other outdoor activities where you can enjoy the fall scenery including Autumnfest every weekend in October.
Dine al fresco at Out of the Fire Café and take in the gorgeous scenery from their outside deck with incredible mountain views.
The Overlook at the Summit Inn: From one of the grand porches at the Summit Inn, see the sweeping views of the Chestnut Ridges.
You will love the view from the highest mountaintop vineyard east of the Rockies, Christian W. Klay Winery. After hiking up to the vineyards, stop in the 1800's bank barn converted into a winery for a tasting of their award-winning wine.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is a fantastic location to check out the fall foliage and stop for some fun along your fall drive. Whether you want to zip through the leaves on their dueling ziplines, experience the sporting clays and amenities at the Shooting Academy, fish for fun at the Orvis ® Fly Fishing Center, or enjoy a round of golf in the crisp fall weather, you’ll find all sorts of outdoor activities and more at Nemacolin.
Tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater ® and Kentuck Knob
The natural setting of the Laurel Highlands was the inspiration for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater®, which is cantilevered over a waterfall. As this is one of the busiest months to tour the home, reservations are recommended. Don’t miss Kentuck Knob, another Wright masterpiece, which overlooks the Youghiogheny River Gorge.
Great Allegheny Passage
Over 150 miles of this spectacularly scenic non-motorized trail cuts through the Laurel Highlands. From the trail, you will not only see dramatic foliage but rock formations, wildlife, stone arches and bridges and raging rivers. Hikers and bikers may access the trail at any of the region's trail towns including West Newton, Connellsville, Ohiopyle, Confluence, Rockwood, and Meyersdale.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort’s Farbird SuperFlyer is over 3,000 ft. of dueling zip lines that reach speeds of up to 60 mph. Soar through the fall foliage above the slopes at Mystic Mountain.
Seven Springs Mountain Resort is home to Laurel Ridgeline Canopy Tours, an interactive and exciting way to get up close and personal with the fall foliage. Constructed to fit into the natural landscape harmoniously, the canopy tour provides with an adrenaline packed adventure and educational experience 150 feet in the air and speeds up to 50 miles per hour
Ohiopyle’s Zip Line Adventure Park course is a great source of fun for all ages. Defy gravity and soar through the trees during this fall season.
Nothing takes your breath away like the magnificent view from Pennsylvania’s highest point. Standing 3,213 feet about sea level, Mt. Davis gives you an incredible view of the foliage. Forbes State Forest Road takes you nearly to the top, so you don’t have to scale the summit to enjoy the view. Hike through many other areas in Forbes State Forest, which encompasses more than 60,000 acres of land, and experience many unique, natural features and over 300 miles of multi-use trails.
Ohiopyle is a great place to take a hike, bike or raft and see nature’s beauty up close. With many different trails and attractions, you can plan an entire day of fall fun or even just a few stops to hit on your way through.
Idlewild is open on weekends in October for Hallowboo. Trick-or-treat with the kids through Story Book Forest. Jumpin Jungle, Hootin’ Holler, Olde Idlewild and Raccoon Lagoon are also open for the whole family to enjoy.
The Fall Festivals season in the Laurel Highlands, which kicks off on the first weekend in September, celebrates the region’s heritage as well as the harvest season. There’s no doubt that you will find delicious food, quality crafts, live entertainment, old-fashioned tractor pulls, craft demonstrations and more right here in the Laurel Highlands.
Rest & Relaxation
Charming bed and breakfasts, cottages and cabins are located along the byway with several great resorts and inns just a short distance off the route. If you're looking for your own cozy cabin, look to Ohiopyle Vacation Rentals for a great list of charming and comfortable options. Take a look at all of the terrific lodging options in the Laurel Highlands.
Explore the Best Fall Drives in the Laurel Highlands in the map below!
View Best Fall Drives in the Laurel Highlands in a larger map