History and hot springs sprinkled throughout 500 miles of mountains.
By Danielle Bouchat-Friedman
THE VIBE: If you’re looking for a getaway that’s the perfect blend of history and adventure, the Alleghenies is the place for you. Part of the vast Appalachian Mountains and stretching through four Mid-Atlantic states, the region is dotted with covered bridges, tree-sheltered streams, and small Victorian towns. It’s home to Penn State University; the infamous Horseshoe Curve railroad memorial; the Monongahela, George Washington and Jefferson national forests; the Johnstown Flood National Memorial; Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia; and more.
The range sits on the eastern edge of the Allegheny Plateau, an upland area that also includes the Catskill and Pocono mountains. The quaint highland villages are captivating, and the forests, nature trails, wildlife, and mountain views are breathtaking. Unplug and spend a few days camping, boating, fishing and swimming. There are a number of resorts and B&Bs near the mountains that offer spa services, upscale dining, golfing and other amenities. Pop into any of several places, including Huntingdon, Pa., which was named the fifth coolest small town in 2009 by Budget Travel magazine.
In Lewisburg, W.Va., you can find one of only four Carnegie Halls still in continuous use; Music has been played through the halls of this stately Georgian Revival structure for nearly a century. Lewisburg also ranks among the best American towns for historic sites, thanks to the number of well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century buildings, including log cabins that date to 1755. And, in Western Virginia, the Jefferson Pools were deemed “of the first merit” by Thomas Jefferson himself. Naturally heated and chock-full of minerals, they are a popular wellness refuge among tourists.
(Pictured above: Namacolin Woodlands Resort is fresh off a $30 million renovation.)