The Pennsylvania landscape is vast and varied. While Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are better known for their city-slicker offerings, one million people a year make the drive out to the Laurel Highlands for a break from the concrete, a taste of luxury, a ride through the Alleghenies or a host of other activities that the Laurel Highlands has to offer.
A visit to the area can easily be spread out over several days for an active weekend getaway. However, if you only have 24 hours to play, you can pack your itinerary with the best that the area has to offer.
The slopes of Seven Springs, sans snow — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
Here’s an itinerary that mixes adventure, touring and relaxation in a one-day getaway.
Enjoy an early morning scenic drive up long windy roads to Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Start an active day in the mountains skiing down one of the highest slopes in Pennsylvania or flying through the trees with Laurel Ridgeline Canopy Tours.
With either activity, you’ll enjoy your fair share of air time.
Continue your journey of relaxation and outdoor appreciation by heading on a scenic drive for lunch and a tour of the first of two well-known homes constructed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
The cafe at Fallingwater is intimate and offers a healthy yet light lunch that will energize you before your hour-long tour.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
On the short gravel-paved walk from the cafe to the Fallingwater home, you’ll quickly understand the meaning behind the property’s name. This architectural masterpiece is built right into the rocks and waterfall that surround it.
The tour is best suited for older kids and adults. There’s a strict no-touch and no-photography policy inside the landmark home.
From Fallingwater, drive 10 minutes to Kentuck Knob to tour the second of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes. Since the home is privately owned, you’ll hop onto a shuttle that will take you up to the house for your guided tour.
Kentuck Knob is a more relaxed setting, but it's still better suited for older kids. This one-story home overlooks beautiful hills and blends right in with the landscape as well.
The hills behind Kentuck Knob — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
An area that your kids will enjoy is the property’s eclectic sculpture garden. Treat them to an ice cream cone at the on-site gift shop before heading onto the grounds. There you’ll find an open field filled with sculptures of an eaten apple, a hoe and a genuine London phone booth.
Head to a wooded path, and you’ll discover more concealed sculptures as well as an alternate way to walk up to the Kentuck Knob home.
To end your active day, head back to Seven Springs Mountain Resort, and enjoy a relaxing deep-tissue massage at Trillium Spa. The outdoor stone chalet sets the tone for what you can expect at this peaceful luxury spa. The natural earthy interior will help balance your energy and support your mental getaway.
Don’t be surprised if you feel at one with nature by the end of your treatment! The spa’s mini boutique is filled with dozens of unique pampering products that you can take home to continue your experience.
You can't leave the resort on an empty stomach. Be sure to make a reservation at Helen’s at Seven Springs to enjoy a cozy farm-to-table meal in this cute rustic chalet. This restaurant was once the home of the Bavarian family who later turned the property into a resort in 1932.
Low lighting, a working fireplace and an open view of the slopes make the perfect setting for the comforting dinner that you’ll enjoy before departing from your Laurel Highlands adventure.