We’re sharing our love of the Laurel Highlands in honor of National Tourism Week. As travel professionals and locals, we get to hunt down those hidden gems, explore the area, and have so many exciting experiences. The awesome LHVB staff shared some of their favorite spots in the region, and believe me it wasn’t easy to pick: some couldn’t narrow it down to just one. 

Ligonier Country Market“I love Ligonier Country Market. I love getting up early on a saturday morning, getting cup of coffee, getting the kids together, and heading to the market. You just never know what you’re going to find. I have nothing in mind when i go, but I always come home with something. They have a vast array of fresh produces, goods, and crafts. I’m honestly in it for the good food. It gives me access to all of these things in one place, when I’d normally have to make a lot more stops. I feel like I’m always finding unique things that just aren’t in stores.” - Kristin Ecker, VP of Marketing and Communications

Ohiopyle State Park“In the warmer months, paddling our classic whitewater is my favorite activity. After all, it is what drew my husband and I to the area as visitors many years ago. The Lower Yough in Ohiopyle is my favorite run in the area. Nothing compares to putting on the river looking upstream to see the proud Ohiopyle Falls and drifting through the nearly continuous rapids of the loop. I love pushing through Dimple Rock, Double Hydraulic, and Rivers End. Some of my most treasured memories with friends and family have been created between the banks of the Yough. It’s the history, natural beauty, camaraderie, and personal achievement that always keep me coming back for more. BUT, in the winter months, I love to cross country ski. My favorite trail network is the North Woods of Forbes State Forest. These challenging trails offer so much incredible scenery and a variety of terrain. Each time I ski into the Hemlock groves or bomb a hill it feels like I’m coming home.” - Stacey Magda, Group Sales Manager

Hidden Valley Resort“I love going to Hidden Valley Resort with my family. The atmosphere there is fantastic. I love how excited my five year old, Emily, gets when we load up the car to go skiing. I love packing a lunch, skiing for the day, and hanging out with the family. It’s so fun to see her rip down a hill, but the absolute best thing about the day is when she sleeps like a rock the entire way home.” -Anna Weltz, Director of PR

Abigail's Coffeehouse

“In a world full of unicorn frappucinos, Abigail's Coffeehouse is where you go if you’re serious about good coffee. Their coffee flavors change every week and their specialty drinks change every season. My recommendation is to start with their delicious house blend, Dancing Goat, perfect hot or iced, then try out their great lattes and other drinks. While you're there, grab a cinnamon bun bite and a pepperoni roll, made fresh every day." - Jared Bundy, Director of Interactive Marketing

Linn Run State Park“There are way too many good places to pick just one. I love spending time with my nieces and their children at Idlewild & SoakZone. Soon, we’ll be taking some great-grand-nieces and nephews with us, too. I also love seeing all the animals at Living Treasures. One of my favorite places to eat is the Road Toad. Mammoth Park and Linn Run State Park are two of my favorite places to go for a walk or hike, too. There’s really just so much to do and so many wonderful places to visit.” - Georgia Robinsky, Finance Manager

Historic Hanna's Town"There are countless outstanding places to visit, things to do, and spectacular views to consider in the Laurel Highlands, but my favorite happy place is the reconstructed revolutionary war era historic site, Historic Hanna's Town in Greensburg. Why? Because I've always been a history buff, because it's my favorite time period of all. Whether I am giving tours of the site or reenacting at an event, I feel very connected to the site. Did you know it's a Westmoreland County Park? I love walking my dog around the site or just relaxing on the grass and reflecting on life. It's my favorite gem in the Laurel Highlands!" - Louise Bates, Partnership Sales Manager

Bittersweet Cafe“My favorite hidden gem is Bittersweet Cafe, located on Route 381 North in Farmington. The first thing you see when you pull into the parking lot is the beautifully landscaped garden with loads of plants and grasses everywhere. I love eating lunch in the garden or on the porch, where mosses and small plants on and in everything you can imagine. Small wooden chairs hang on the side of the building with planters full of flowers and greens planted in the seat. The natural eclectic decor extends inside, too. My favorite items on the menu are the Cobb salad, grilled cheese sandwich and the iced tea, all made with fresh ingredients!" - Rachel Roehrig, Administrative Coordinator

Twin Lakes Park

"Walking is my stress reliever. It’s also my time to think. 1 mile, 5 miles- it just depends on what my work day or week has been like. One of my favorite places to walk and decompress is the brick walking path that encircles the two lakes at Twin Lakes Park. This county park is close to home, but I can feel miles away if I so choose. The lush greenery and the calm water of the lakes combine for a sense of calm. There’s a bend at the top lake where the temperature drops at least 10-15 degrees. It can be one of the hottest days of summer and you make that turn and feel the ‘ahhhh’ of coolness. Often a single train is chugging along the tracks above and a trickle of a small stream can be heard below. I always feel re-energized and ready to make another loop or two after my favorite bend on the path. At the end as I walk to my car, my mind is clearer, my tasks are in order, and I feel a sense of accomplishment for getting out and putting one foot in front of the other, mile after mile." - Ann Nemanic, Executive Director

Latrobe Art Center"The Latrobe Art Center, in the heart of downtown Latrobe, is an inviting community place that will brighten your day with its positive and creative vibe, whether you live close by, or are visiting from out of town. Living close by, it’s a great place for me to stop and get breakfast or lunch from Ricolita’s Café, while checking out what’s on display at the Art Center. From inside the Art Center, you can also step right into the All About Me Boutique, browse, and do a little local small business shopping!" - Katie Showalter, Data Entry Clerk