LIGONIER, Pa., (May 29, 2019) – The rolling farmlands, lush river gorges, and towering mountaintops of Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands provide a stunning natural landscape for a bevy of charming towns and quaint villages, including the charming town of Ligonier.
Steeped in history dating back to the French and Indian War, Ligonier is often times compared to the fictional Stars Hollow of the popular show, “Gilmore Girls.” A stroll around town and it’s easy to see why – Ligonier is a picturesque walkable town that seems to have been pulled from a Norman Rockwell painting.
The central business district of the borough is home to more than 50 boutiques, specialty shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Main and Market streets outline the town’s beautiful crown jewel, Ligonier’s Diamond Park. Here sits a lovingly restored bandstand (don’t mistake it for a gazebo!) surrounded by beautiful oak and maple trees, perfectly planted perennials, and seating areas for visitors and residents to enjoy.
Just a short walk south is the town’s namesake, Fort Ligonier, where a young George Washington began his military career. The restored fort and museum provide a chance for visitors to get up close and personal with Washington’s saddle pistols and personal memoirs among other intriguing exhibits.
After exploring downtown, visitors can enjoy the scenic valley surrounding Ligonier, including Idlewild & SoakZone, the country’s third oldest operating amusement park, as well as the restored 1799 stagecoach stop Compass Inn Museum, the stunning galleries of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, hiking and picnicking at Linn Run State Park, and fantastic mountain biking and skiing at Laurel Mountain. Locals and visitors rise and shine early on Saturday mornings to explore the Ligonier Country Market for fresh produce, flowers, farm-raised beef, poultry, eggs, specialty breads, pastries, local honey, and maple syrup. Not to mention handmade crafts including jewelry, purses, pottery, candles, and soaps.
A town this picture-perfect is the ideal setting for special events and celebrations. The Diamond’s bandstand is a popular setting for engagements and wedding and vow renewal ceremonies, as well as prom and senior portraits. On summer Sunday evenings, the Diamond closes to vehicle traffic to welcome families, friends, and visitors to enjoy live band concerts from the foot of the colonial-style Town Hall building. Other annual town-wide special events and festivals include:
- Antiques on the Diamond | Held twice every summer, this is a must-do for vintage and antique fanatics.| June 1 and August 24, 2019
- The Stroll | Stroll back into the Fabulous 50s with live oldies music, dancing, and classic cars on display throughout the Diamond. | August 9, 2019
- Fort Ligonier Days | This three-day fall festival commemorating the Battle of Fort Ligonier has it all – a large community parade, historic battle reenactments, more than 200 food and craft vendors, a wine tasting area, a 5k race, sidewalk sales, and live entertainment. | October 11-13, 2019
- Light Up Ligonier | The Friday after Thanksgiving, residents, and visitors from afar gather around Ligonier’s Diamond and cheer as Santa Claus comes to town. A full parade, including the local marching band, escorts Santa’s horse-drawn sleigh to town where he will flip the switch and light up Ligonier. Afterward, children can meet Santa and share their Christmas wish list. | November 29, 2019
About Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands
A magnificent mountainous region, the Laurel Highlands spans 3,000 square miles in southwestern Pennsylvania. Located an hour’s drive east of Pittsburgh, the beautiful four-season destination offers spectacular natural scenery, outstanding outdoor recreation, historic sites and attractions, family activities, and world-class resorts. Notable destinations within the region include four architectural masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright – Fallingwater®, Kentuck Knob, Mäntylä and Duncan House – Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Flight 93 National Memorial, Idlewild and Soak Zone, whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle State Park, and more.
Located within 200 miles of the major metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Washington D.C., the Laurel Highlands can be easily accessed from exits 67, 75, 91, and 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Visitors to the Laurel Highlands can find information online at www.LaurelHighlands.org, calling 724.238.5661, www.facebook.com/laurelhighlandsPA and www.twitter.com/laurelhighlands. Established in 1958, the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.