Guest writer – Emily Wilberg

Seeing Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous house “built around a waterfall” has been on my bucket list FOREVER and now that my kids are older it was the perfect time to schedule it! It’s about a 3 hour drive from where we are in Maryland, so we planned an overnight so as not to rush. I’m so glad that we did! We could have easily filled an extra few days with so much to do in that area.

We drove up on a Saturday and went straight to OHIOPYLE STATE PARK. The weather was crisp and rainy so we only did one quick hike to the cave behind CUCUMBER FALLS and another quick stop to check out the NATURAL WATER SLIDES. Coming back in warmer weather is definitely on the list as there is hiking and whitewater rafting to be done, so this was a scouting trip.

We ate dinner at the nearby BITTERSWEET CAFÉ which had wonderful sandwiches and even more wonderful pie. My ten year old daughter was enchanted with the chickens in the back outdoor seating area. This is also something that perhaps would have been better in warmer weather.

We spent a very comfortable night at the LODGE AT CHALK HILL. The rooms were reasonably priced, I thought, and included breakfast. Each room had a large ground level deck and faced a huge FISHING POND, so again, this is something that would be better in warmer weather. Did I mention it was crisp and rainy? I am going to suggest we have our next family reunion here as it is the perfect set up for each family to have their own room and the kids can run from porch to porch and down to the fishing pond to fish with grandpa.

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We had Sunday morning tickets to tour the house at FALLINGWATER. Buy tickets online ahead of time for sure. The hour long tour was perfect although they do have longer tours that allow you to photograph the house. Did you know that this property was built as a weekend ‘cabin’ for the use of 3 people? Besides the house, which is a work of art in itself, there is original artwork from Diego Rivera, Picasso, and Tiffany. At the visitor’s center there is a gift shop and a little café for a quick bite to eat.

We made a quick stop at KENTUCK KNOB, another nearby property designed by F.L.Wright but we got no further than the gift shop (and the pumpkin pie ice cream!) Next time we will buy a ticket to tour the house and sculpture gardens there. Also, next time we will make time to visit the nearby FORT NECESSITY NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD and STONE HOUSE RESTAURANT.

For those with a more adult group (not trailing their children) there is a casino and spa at NEMACOLIN SKI RESORT, and WINE TOURS to be had. Lots to do! Who knew?

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