The Compass Inn Museum Preserves the 1800s in the Laurel Highlands

You may know a lot of what life was like during the early days of Pittsburgh's history thanks to the forts found nearby and famous battles that took place leading up to the Revolutionary War.

But the period after the war quiets down a fair bit (apart from the brief Whiskey Rebellion) until a few decades later due to the War of 1812. This triggered a rapid increase in iron production, which subsequently became the steel industry, and ultimately modern Pittsburgh as we know it.

One spot in the Laurel Highlands, the Compass Inn Museum, captures the history from this rather calm period, around the turn of the 19th century, and showcases what life was like for those living in (and more appropriately, passing through) southwest Pennsylvania around this time!

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A Break in Nature at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve in Latrobe

We're not used to thinking about nature reserves as being “new,” but the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve on the campus of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe is just that.

The 50-acre nature reserve came about after many in the area expressed displeasure in the development of nearby Route 30. To ensure that the land near Saint Vincent College was not over-developed, and protect the beauty of nature that the land held, the reserve was ultimately incorporated in the year 2000.

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Descending into the Earth at the Laurel Caverns in the Laurel Highlands

We are big fans of caves, and in southwest Pennsylvania, our options to go underground are a bit limited.

Closer to the city it is much easier to find an old coal mine to go deep into (like at the Tour-Ed Mine and Museum) than it is to find a cave. But for those who want to make the drive in order to explore a gorgeous cave system (and the largest cave in Pennsylvania), the 90 minute trip to the Laurel Caverns in the southern Laurel Highlands is for you!

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What to Expect When Attending Steelers Training Camp in Latrobe

When Pittsburgh Steelers season approaches, we can't help but get excited. Pittsburgh is a football town, and the energy in the air is always wonderful around game days.

But for those who want more football, you have an opportunity at the end of July and early August. All you have to do is make your way to Steelers Training Camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe for the free practice, and in this one we have what you can expect when visiting!

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Learning the History of Pontiac’s Rebellion at Bushy Run Battlefield

In the early days of southwest Pennsylvania history, a number of battles ensued for control over the confluence of the three rivers in what is now downtown Pittsburgh.

You likely know about George Washington's mishap at Fort Necessity in the Laurel Highlands that is considered the start of the Seven Years War. You may also know about the Forbes Campaign that passed through Fort Ligonier in order to capture Fort Duquesne a short time later. But the Battle of Bushy Run during Pontiac's Rebellion may be one you have not heard much of, and if so, a trip to Jeannette, PA, should be on your radar.

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Out of the Fire Cafe Review – A Must Stop in Donegal

If you've spent much time in the Laurel Highlands, odds are good you've driven by Out of the Fire Cafe and did not give it a second glance.

This restaurant is located right off the turnpike at the Donegal exit, and is one of those places we've passed many times while traveling from home to Ohiopyle and other nearby attractions.

It took me many, many years, but I finally stopped for this one and now regret not visiting sooner.

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Polymath Park is a Testament to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Legacy

When it comes to Frank Lloyd Wright in the Laurel Highlands, you likely know of Fallingwater. You've probably also heard of Kentuck Knob just a few miles away. But did you know that there is a third site containing the acclaimed architect's work?

This location is Polymath Park- home to two Frank Lloyd Wright houses and two more built by his student, Peter Berndtson.

But the Wright houses here are rather unique- the two houses were completely relocated to the park in the last few decades!

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Kentuck Knob Offers a Stunning House Tour in the Laurel Highlands

When it comes to Frank Lloyd Wright masterpieces in southwest Pennsylvania, odds are good you know of the iconic Fallingwater house. But did you know that Wright also commissioned a house just a few miles down the roads for friends of the Kaufmann family?

This house is Kentuck Knob- a large, Usonian house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built for the Hagan family (of local ice cream fame).

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The Forbes Campaign in Western Pennsylvania at Fort Ligonier

When driving through the borough of Ligonier in the Laurel Highlands, you can't miss Fort Ligonier. This imposing, recreated fort is located right in the heart of the town and is a highlight all visitors must check out.

We've got to hand it to this one, it does an exceptional job of bringing the history of southwest Pennsylvania during the 1700s to life!

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Touring Fort Necessity in Southwest PA – The Battle Site That Started it All

Fort Necessity was the site of a battle in 1754 that, quite literally, shaped the state of the colonies and the world for many centuries to come.

Even better for us is that it is located in the Laurel Highlands, about an hour southeast of Pittsburgh, and is an easy day trip to visit and explore the grounds, recreated fort, and the museum!

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