Stephanie Anderson Witmer


  • Carlisle, PA, USA

Stephanie Anderson Witmer is a correspondent who covers the Laurel Highlands area for Forbes Travel Guide. The Pennsylvania native has been a freelance writer and editor since 1996. Her work has appeared in Better Homes and Gardens, Spirit, Susquehanna Style, and other magazines and websites. She also is the author of two cookbooks, Killer Pies and Killer Chili. In addition, she teaches at Shippensburg University in central Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and son.

  • On November 12, 2012
    Stephanie Anderson Witmer answered the question: Stephanie Anderson Witmer

    What are the best things to see and do in the Laurel Highlands?

    The Laurel Highlands is known for its gorgeous natural beauty, so it’s no surprise that most of the area’s must-sees and must-dos revolve around the outdoors. But the region has a lot of other attractions including one-of-a-kind architectural masterpieces and fabulous spas providing much-needed rest and relaxation for weary travelers. Here are the five best things to see and do in Laurel Highlands:
    1. Fallingwater. Beloved American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater in the 1930s for his friend Edgar Kaufmann. Surrounded by forest, rock and running water, the property in Mill Run, Pa. has been called one of America’s greatest architectural triumphs for Wright’s ability to create a home that harmoniously unites the natural world with the man-made.  Each year, more than 100,000 guests visit Fallingwater, which contains original furnishings and artwork. Advance reservations and tickets are required, and the site is closed Wednesdays and during the months of January and February.
    2. Kentuck Knob. Not far from Fallingwater is Frank Lloyd Wright’s other famous southwestern Pennsylvania architectural masterpiece: Kentuck Knob (aka Hagan House) in Chalk Hill. 1953. While Kentuck Knob, which was commissioned in 1953, is not as famous, it’s a must-see for lovers of art and architecture. It’s a fine example of Wright’s Usonian design; and many sculptures adorn the garden and surrounding woods. Advance reservations and tickets are required, and the site is closed Wednesdays and during the months of January and February.
    3. Ohiopyle State Park. Ohiopyle State Park, one of eight in the Laurel Highlands, is famous for offering some of the best white-water boating on the East Coast. Test the waters of the mighty Yough (as the Youghiogheny River is known in these parts — and it's pronounced "yawk") by raft, canoe or kayak. Follow Meadow Run Trail to discover two natural waterslides. Ohiopyle also has nearly 80 miles of hiking trails, more than 50 miles of bike trails, and nearly 12 miles of horseback trails. In the winter, bundle up for cross-country skiing, sledding or snowmobiling. Visitors can camp in Ohiopyle by staying at a campground or renting a yurt or cottage. If you get hungry — or thirsty — refuel or unwind at one of the many cafes and bars nearby.
    4. The spas at Nemacolin Woodlands and Seven Springs. The award-winning Woodlands Spa at Nemacolin Woodlands in Farmington, Pa., boasts rejuvenating services for individuals, couples and moms-to-be, including manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, scrubs, wraps and more. Nemacolin also has a Kidz Spa, where little ones can get mini- nail treatments, stylish new ’dos and more. Named for a rare flower, the Trillium Spa at Seven Springs Mountain Resort offers guests a chance to unwind with a menu of relaxing spa services, including luxurious caviar-collagen facials and milk-and-honey body wraps. 
    5. The Great Allegheny Passage. There may be no better way to really see a place than from behind the handlebars of a bicycle, and the Laurel Highlands provides one of the nation’s best bike trails. Connecting Cumberland, Md., to Homestead, Pa., just outside of Pittsburgh, the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is 141 miles of a nearly flat trail. The GAP winds its way across fields and along streams, with stopover spots for food and lodging in quaint small towns such as Ohiopyle, Confluence, Rockwood, and Frostburg, Md., just below the Mason-Dixon Line.