Central Pennsylvania — the area between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where not much lies to attract travelers other than Penn State University, Lancaster Amish country and secluded getaways. If your journeys do bring you to this area of the state, though, you can find plenty to indulge your luxury side if you just know where to look.
Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa boasts a history stretching back to 1806. A Historic Hotel of America, it’s a 2,200-acre resort with access to long-revered mineral springs. A luxury spa provides health and beauty treatments and a recent $120 million restoration promises only the utmost in rural retreat. The location can’t be beat, either, as it’s just two hours from D.C. and three from Philadelphia.
Looking for a different kind of spa? While it can’t offer mineral springs, The Spa at The Hotel Hershey does offer plenty of chocolate. The chocolate escape experience (starting at $385) includes a whipped cocoa bath, chocolate bean polish or chocolate sugar scrub, chocolate fondue wrap and cocoa massage. While you enjoy the sweet escape, the kids can head over to Hershey Park for a day of rollercoasters and other rides.
Wine-lovers may be surprised at the bevy of vineyards and wineries located throughout central Pennsylvania. The Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail features 16 different wineries and special events throughout the year. The Heartland Christmas celebration is a highlight, with guests receiving a gift of an elegant wreath to adorn with ornaments from each of the wineries on the trail.
Plan a wine weekend in the region, and stop for the night in State College, where the historic Nittany Lion Inn boasts a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. The inn also frequently hosts wine-centric events, including tastings and educational, luxury dinners with guest appearances from famed wineries from around the world.
If you’re not up for chasing wine around the region, plan your trip to the area around the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, the state’s premier art event, highly ranked and regarded around the country. Artists flock from far and wide to display their paintings, sculptures, photography and more, while musicians, thespians and other performers vie for a spot in the week-long entertainment line-up. There are plenty of kids’ activities during the festival as well, from kid-friendly performers to hands-on science experiments hosted by Penn State students to a makeshift water park.