A Quick Hike Around Kooser State Park – A Smaller Gem

Kooser State Park is a smaller park by Laurel Highlands standards, coming in at approximately 250 acres in size.

While this one lacks in size compared to other state parks nearby, it makes up for it with a gorgeous lake, a trout run, and beautiful nature all around.

A visit here can be quick, but the park presents many opportunities for those who want to stay a while as well!

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Buffalo Bill’s House is a Must for The Silence of the Lambs Fans

We love checking out movie set locations in Pittsburgh, and one of the most famous films shot here is none other than the 1991 thriller The Silence of the Lambs.

You may know that some of the movie's most iconic scenes were shot at a set built inside Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland (where they typically recreate the set for a screening most Halloweens). But did you know that the house used as Buffalo Bill's residence is located about an hour south of the city just outside of Perryopolis?

Up until 2021, this house was maintained as a private residence, but when it went up for sale a horror movie fan (and worker in the film industry at large) bought it up to transform it into a private rental and museum for tours. 

Naturally, as a fan of the movie myself, I had to visit this one as quickly as possible once it opened for the public and had my chance during a media tour via our friends at Laurel Highlands tourism.

You'll want to check this one out as fast as possible! 

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Treetops Review – Fine Dining With a Frank Lloyd Wright Vibe

The Laurel Highlands in southwest PA is a hub of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, and Polymath Park in Acme, PA, takes things one step further with their on-site, Wright-inspired restaurant- Treetops. 

As we are always down for fine dining in unusual locations and the Wright architecture experience in the region at large, you know we had to check this one out to see what it is all about.

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5 Great Activities to Enjoy Christmas in Westmoreland County

Southwest Pennsylvania truly comes alive during the holiday season, and no matter where you look there are a number of great Christmas and seasonal activities to enjoy.

This is especially true in Westmoreland County, one of three counties in the Laurel Highlands, as they are home to some wonderful events ranging from the popular Christmas village Overly's Country Christmas, concerts at the Westmoreland Symphony, and more.

So in this one, we thought it'd be fun to share all the great ways to enjoy Christmas in Westmoreland County!

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Linn Run State Park is a Quick Stop in the Laurel Highlands

Normally when we think of state parks in the Laurel Highlands, we think about them in terms of their massive size. Laurel Hill State Park clocks in at almost 4,000 acres. Forbes State Forest is almost 60,000 acres. Ohiopyle State Park is about 20,000 acres. We could go on.

But some state parks in the area are much, much smaller while still offering a wealth of things to see in a quick visit.

Linn Run is one such state park, and while this one is only 612 acres in size, it makes for a great spot to check out a waterfall after a rain, for a quick hike, renting a cabin for a weekend, or to go fishing if licensed!

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Powdermill Nature Reserve is a Hidden Gem in the Laurel Highlands

One of the fun things about running this site is that we're always discovering new places that were right in front of us but we never noticed. One recent spot we learned about was Powdermill Nature Reserve in Rector, PA (in the heart of the Laurel Highlands), and, naturally, went immediately.

This nature reserve is managed by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and is designed to monitor the wildlife populations found in western Pennsylvania. But beyond their important work, the facility has a few fairly modest exhibits highlighting the animals of the region, a marsh machine to purify wastewater from the facility, periodic lectures and events, and some shorter hiking trails to check out as well!

So while you may not have a terribly long visit at this one, if you are passing by, it is most certainly worth the stop. So let's jump into what you can see a bit more!

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Take a Stroll Through a Sunflower Maze at Maple Bottom Farm

At this point, it should be no surprise that we love checking out sunflowers near Pittsburgh when they're blooming. They're Angie's favorite flower and one of mine as well. 

So when we heard that there was a sunflower maze at Maple Bottom Farm in the Laurel Highlands, I had to go check it out shortly after it opened for the season.

While you may want to temper your expectations for the maze element of this one, this field checks a lot of boxes for us in that it is quite large, gorgeous, and allows for ample opportunities for photos inside the field itself!

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Lincoln Highway Experience – America’s First Cross-Country Road

The Lincoln Highway is America's first transcontinental highway and runs from New York City all the way to San Francisco. 

It was dedicated in 1913 and over the last 100+ years has had a pretty incredible history. To say that this road helped connect the country and opened accessibility to hundreds upon hundreds of small towns and boroughs is not an exaggeration- this one really changed the way Americans work, play, and travel.

While we weren't around to be able to enjoy the Lincoln Highway in its prime, we can get the next best thing in learning all about it at the Lincoln Highway Experience just outside of Latrobe. Next time you're in the area, you'll do well to stop and check this great little museum out!

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Everything You Need to Know About the Laurel Highlands

When it comes to day trips from Pittsburgh, we are fortunate to have a number of great options to consider. If you head east out of the city you come to one of our favorite parts of the state, the Laurel Highlands. 

From New Kensington to the north and Ohiopyle to the South, the region known as the Laurel Highlands covers three counties in southwest Pennsylvania and truly has a lot to see.

In this guide, we break down just about everything you need to know when exploring this gorgeous part of Pennsylvania!

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Experiencing Socially Distant Skiing at Seven Springs

We were hosted by Seven Springs when visiting for this story; however, all opinions are our own.

Much like everything else in 2020 (and onward into early 2021), the current environment has resulted in a number of changes for experiences throughout the region. The ski season at Seven Springs in the Laurel Highlands is no different.

While skiing is inherently an activity that can be enjoyed at a distance, the ski resorts in the Laurel Highlands have made many changes for the 2020-2021 season to ensure guests are safe when off the slopes. Naturally, we wanted to see what it was like towards the start of the season and share some things you can expect if visiting Seven Springs this year!

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