Monday, May 20, 2024

Laurel Highlands nominated for Best Summer Travel Destination Award

Must read


LIGONIER ― Summer is a special time in the Laurel Highlands, and a national publication is taking notice.

USA Today announced Monday that a panel of experts and 10Best editors selected the Laurel Highlands as a Readers’ Choice Award nominee in the Best Summer Travel Destination category. Voting will be conducted online at through 11:59 p.m. May 13.

The Laurel Highlands is home to outdoor recreation on the Youghiogheny and Stonycreek rivers as well as eight state parks (Keystone, Kooser, Laurel Hill, Laurel Mountain, Laurel Ridge, Laurel Summit, Linn Run and Ohiopyle) and two state forests (Forbes and Gallitzin).

Architecture aficionados flock to the Laurel Highlands to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater – a UNESCO World Heritage site – as well as Mantyla and the Duncan House, both of which are located at Polymath Park, and Kentuck Knob. History lovers are drawn to Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Fort Ligonier and the Flight 93 National Memorial.

Maple Festival ready to flow: 77th Pa. Maple Festival big part of community of Meyersdale

Family vacations are especially popular in the region, which is home to Idlewild and SoakZone, Laurel Caverns, Jennerstown Speedway and Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

Ann Nemanic, executive director of GO Laurel Highlands – the official destination marketing organization of Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties – said the region’s diverse range of activities and experiences make it the perfect summer getaway.

“Summer is a season filled with anticipation,” she said. “Three months filled with dates circled for family gatherings, celebrations, parades, and vacations simply are not enough.

“The Laurel Highlands has always been a summer destination because the region checks many boxes for visitors,” Nemanic said. “An entire week could be filled with outdoor experiences alone – hiking numerous trails, biking the Great Allegheny Passage, floating a kayak on calm water, or screaming excitedly over Class IV rapids on the Yough. A blend of history and cultural assets is appealing to many, with museums and artist studios scattered throughout the landscape. For little tots, Idlewild and SoakZone create memories for their first amusement park experience. Pepper in farmers markets for fresh-grown ingredients to take home, and you have yourself one tremendous escape this summer.”

Other nominees include Bar Harbor, Maine; Black Hills and Badlands, South Dakota; Capitol Reef Country, Utah; Catalina Island, California; Cody, Wyoming; Door County, Wisconsin; Finger Lakes, New York; Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama; Juneau, Alaska; Mackinac Island, Michigan; Ocean City, Maryland; Ocean City, New Jersey; San Juan Islands, Washington; Sandusky, Ohio; Sevier County, Tennessee; South Rim – Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; Space Coast, Florida; Swain County, North Carolina; Virginia Beach, Virginia.

“Exposure and recognition from a publication like USA Today validates what those of us who live here already know about the Laurel Highlands – what a beautiful part of the country we live in,” said Brian Fochtman, chairman, Somerset County commissioners

The popularity of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands has been showcased multiple times by USA Today 10Best, which provides users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world. Its staff is made up of a collection of local travel experts who specialize in the region or city they write about.

Ohiopyle honored: USA Today readers name Ohiopyle the Best Small Town in the Northeast

On April 10, Ohiopyle Borough was named the Best Small Town in the Northeast. In the past year, Keystone State Park was named the Best Destination for Fall Foliage in the U.S., and the Foggy Goggle at Seven Springs Mountain Resort was chosen the Best Apres-Ski Bar in North America. Ohiopyle outfitter Wilderness Voyageurs was voted one of the 10 Best Whitewater Rafting Tours, and Greensburg’s El Diablo Brewing Co. was one of the nation’s top new breweries. The Great Allegheny Passage was recently in a contest for the top recreational trails in the U.S., and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Mill Run is currently a nominee for Favorite RV Campground.

Latest article