Enjoy the last of the fair weather with an autumn getaway.
It’s the time of year when just about everyone is itching to hit the road. Whether you are taking a late summer trip to the beach or heading to the mountains to see the start of the fall foliage display, most seem to enjoy the ride as much as the destination.
Maybe you want to head to the Eastern Shore to feel the warm sand between your toes and hear the calming breaking of waves; maybe you want to disappear into a luxury resort to spoil yourself for a while; maybe you want to take the kids for a fun trip that is educational as well; maybe you need to find a place where the guys can golf while the girls hit the spa.
No matter what you choose to do, chances are you won’t have to travel too far to find it. Our region is home to top-rated golf courses, luxurious spas, and some of the country’s most breathtaking natural scenery, all within a day’s drive.
Whether you are dreaming of a romantic getaway for two or a fun-filled family excursion, there is no time like the present to start planning your autumn getaway. Here is some information to help you get started and get going:
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” are coming to western Pennsylvania. Bring the entire family and celebrate maritime tradition and seafaring lore during the TALL SHIPS Erie Festival, set for Sept. 9 through 12 (Dobbins Landing, Erie, Pa. 16507). Families can tour these striking vessels and hear countless adventure stories from their crew and trainees. Seven beautiful ships will be available for boarding and guided tours including Pennsylvania’s Goodwill Ambassador, the Niagara and the ship that starred in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Munity on the Bounty,” the HMS Bounty. The event includes sailing excursions on vessels, live music, children’s activities, nautical movies, and sea glass crafts. For full details of the event, including ticket sales, please visit the Web site.
Escape this season to the Gateway Lodge (Route 36, Cooksburg, Pa. 16217; 800/843-6862), tucked in the heart of Cook Forest. Whether it be indulging in the amenities such as the Woods Spa featuring Aveda products, or the fine dining offering locally sourced food, or adventuring into the great outdoors, the Gateway Lodge and surrounding area offer something for either the indulgent or the adventurous. Built in 1934, accommodations at the Gateway Lodge range from charming historic rooms to fireside Jacuzzi suites to rustic cabins—something sure to suit everyone. Call to reserve your autumn getaway at 800/843-6862 or visit the Gateway Lodge online at gatewaylodge.com.
Nestled in Northeast Ohio’s Wine Country, on the shores of Lake Erie, The Lodge at Geneva (4888 N. Broadway, Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio 44041; 866/550-0836) is the perfect destination to get away. Boasting 109 spacious guest rooms, many with lake views; a full-service restaurant featuring classic American cuisine; game room; coffee shop; and a beautiful vantage of the Lake Erie sunsets, The Lodge has something for every member of your family. Visit one of the 17 covered bridges or jump on the wine shuttle to nearby wineries, then return to The Lodge for a refreshing bike ride, a relaxing massage or a dip in the indoor and outdoor pools. With many custom packages to fit your budget, your stay at The Lodge will be an Ohio vacation you will never forget. Book your package today by calling or visiting the Web site.
This fall, embark on a journey into history and beauty in Gettysburg (571 W. Middle Street, Gettysburg, Pa. 17325; 800/337-5015). Spark your passion for a new favorite getaway in September at the Outdoor Antique Show or Wine & Music Festival, in October at the National Apple Harvest Festival, or during the living history encampments each weekend. Unforgettable getaways can start with an overnight in a historic bed & breakfast or cozy cabin. Set the stage with dinner in an 1860s restaurant followed by an evening carriage ride or hauntingly entertaining ghost walk. Spend time exploring the shops, wineries and engaging museums. Experience for yourself the passion of Gettysburg.
In the Laurel Highlands (800/333-5661), spectacular natural scenery is one of the main attractions in any season, especially autumn. The second week of September brings a flurry of fun with heritage festivals, along with an abundance of farmers markets and the start of the blazing fall foliage. The Ligonier Highland Games, a celebration of Scottish heritage, is held from Sept. 10-12. Mountain Craft Days at Somerset Historical Center is a premier folk festival set for Sept. 10-12. In Stahlstown, the Flax Scutching Festival held Sept. 11-12 features descendents of Ligonier Valley pioneers recreating the art of making linen from the flax plant. Along the ride, just about an hour east of Pittsburgh, pick up some delicious treats from the many farmers markets and farm stands and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. For more information and a complete list of events in the Laurel Highlands, visit the Web site.
Everyone needs an escape plan. That perfect escape can be found just one hour north of Pittsburgh in Mercer County, Pa. (800/637-2370). Experience four-star golfing in the area ranked by “Golf Digest” as one of the country’s Top Golf Destinations. The county is also home to one-of-kind shops such as Wendell August Forge and Slovak Folk Crafts. Find great value at Prime Outlets, Grove City, or the World’s Largest Shops (Reyers Shoes, Daffin’s Candies and The Winner) in Sharon. Enjoy a romantic getaway at luxurious inns and unique lodges. Visit the Web site or call for your free Escape Plan Coupon Book.
Fall is the perfect time to discover, or rediscover, the 1,700-acre Oglebay Resort & Conference Center (465 Lodge Dr, Rt. 88 N, Wheeling, WV 26003; 800/624-6988) in nearby Wheeling, West Virginia. The 271-room Wilson Lodge at Oglebay has been transformed with the addition of 59 new premium rooms and the new West Spa. The lodge has two dining rooms plus banquet and meeting facilities for up to 400. Oglebay also has 54 cottages, including three new 8-bedroom cottages. The resort features 72 holes of golf including the 4 1/2- star rated course designed by Arnold Palmer. There are seven specialty shops, indoor and outdoor pools, gardens, two museums, fishing, pedal boats, miniature golf, Segway tours, miles of walking trails, and a zoo. The resort is home to several seasonal festivals, including the internationally acclaimed Winter Festival of Lights and the area’s premier fall festival, Oglebayfest. Fall color packages and golf packages are now booking and provide a great fall getaway, just one hour from Pittsburgh.
Step out of the ordinary and into a luxurious destination where streams run, mountains soar, fairways unfold and exploration beckons at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort (2138 Business Route 220, Bedford Springs, Pa. 15522; 814/623-8100). Nestled quietly for over two centuries in the foothills of the Alleghenies and fed by ancient mineral springs, Omni Bedford Springs Resort entices the senses with savory cuisine, a pampered spa experience, lavish amenities and endless activity—all in an atmosphere of relaxed, luxurious elegance. An enchanting history and captivating memories that span the course of over 200 years allow you to experience history reborn. With miles of winding hiking and biking trails, sumptuous cuisine and golf that harkens back to the game’s traditional roots in America, Omni Bedford Springs Resort is a getaway beyond compare.
You’re that mom who always pulls it off. Pack a nutritious lunch when you haven’t made it to the grocery store in a week? No problem. Deliver two kids to different parts of town within a half hour of each other? Done. So when you’re ready to get away with the hubby, you know that the Cleveland Plus region (800/321-1004) is your answer. Sit front and center for your favorite Broadway blockbuster or take in breathtaking ancient art. Sample the ethnic delicacies at a bustling public market or take a sunset cruise on the lake. Dine in the restaurant of a celebrity chef. Shop for retro collectibles at a vintage toy store or indulge in decadent sweets from the largest candy warehouse in the nation. Visit the home of gridiron greats or the recordings of pop culture icons at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The romance begins at positivelycleveland.com.
Treat yourself to a spectacular weekend and enjoy the best of the Laurel Highlands beautiful fall foliage at Seven Springs Mountain Resort’s Autumnfest (777 Waterwheel Dr., Seven Springs, Pa. 15622; 800/452-2223). In traditional Seven Springs style, there will be activities available for the entire family including extraordinary musical entertainment, novelty acts and an arts and crafts bazaar. Autumnfest is also a celebration for children complete with arts, crafts, games and activities to keep them busy throughout the weekend. Complete your weekend with a relaxing horse-drawn wagon ride to the top of the mountain to see the turning of the leaves in all their golden glory. After all the fun and games, your stomach is sure to be growling and Seven Springs’ award-winning culinary staff will take care of your cravings. Enjoy a traditional Bavarian-style buffet of delicious appetizers, entrees, salads, desserts and more.
Centrally located on the East Coast and boasting over 35 miles of beachfront property, Virginia Beach (800/VA-BEACH) entices visitors to “live the life.” Enjoy outdoor adventure, exciting events, coastal cuisine and Virginia Beach’s 3-mile long boardwalk, perfect for strolling, biking or just watching the passersby. Paddle a kayak alongside frolicking dolphins, charter a fishing boat, explore a national wildlife refuge, and hang ten on a surfboard. Discover Virginia Beach’s fascinating marine life. The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center features over 700,000 gallons of aquariums and more than 300 hands-on exhibits. Virginia Aquarium has unleashed Restless Planet, an interactive journey through four modern-day habitats that chronicle Virginia’s ecological history. For dining and nightlife, Town Center spans 17 city blocks of shopping, dining and entertainment.