ESCAPE KEYS: Ligonier, Pa.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

GETTING THERE: Ligonier is about 200 miles from the Beltway via Interstate 70 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-76 (Exit 91/Donegal).

STAYING THERE: Ramada Inn Historic Ligonier (216 W. Loyalhanna St., 724-238-9545, is within walking distance of the Diamond, with Internet access, outdoor pool and doubles from $85. Ligonier Country Inn (U.S. Route 30, Laughlintown, 724-238-3651,, three miles west of Ligonier, offers a pool, a restaurant and a bit more charm, with 20 rooms in the main building and six rooms in the adjacent Shaffer House; weekday doubles from $85, weekends from $120. Weekend rate includes brunch.

EATING THERE: Green Gables (7712 Somerset Pike, Jennerstown, 814-629-9201) offers an innovative American menu and special wine and food flights; dinner for two with wine, about $100. Around the Ligonier Diamond, try the Ligonier Tavern (137 W. Main St., 724-238-7788) for casual fare and Abigail's Coffeehouse (104 W. Main St., 724-238-9373) for cappuccino rockets, pastries and snacks, with outdoor seating.

MUSEUMS/THEATER : Fort Ligonier (200 S. Market St., 724-238-9701,, the restored British fort of 1758 and museum, is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m. from May 1 through Nov. 30. Admission $8. At the Mountain Playhouse (7690 Somerset Pike, Jennerstown, 814-629-9201,, the season continues through Oct. 12; tickets $15-$36.

FUN FOR FAMILIES: Powdermill Nature Reserve (1847 Route 381, Rector, 724-593-6105, offers public programs through October. Exhibits at its nature center are open Wednesday through Sunday. Idlewild Park (Route 30 East, Ligonier, 724-238-3666, is a tree-shaded and, of course, old-fashioned amusement park, complete with wooden roller coasters. Open daily through Labor Day. Admission $26.95.

INFO: Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, 800-333-5661,

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