If you’re looking for a unique experience this month, enjoy a beautiful, foliage-filled adventure in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The crisp, cool air also makes for perfect patio weather, where you can enjoy live acoustic music while tasting a chef-recommended, seasonal entree at one of many restaurants. Find the perfect outfits for a day on the trail or a night on the town, and explore seasonal activities for the whole family, right here.
By Alyssa Baker and Steve Gifford / Edited by Rachel Jones
Photographs from Alyssa Baker and SkySight Photography
WHERE TO GO
Accessible by car, bike, or foot, the Laurel Highlands region is exceptional in the fall, when blankets of breathtaking yellows, golds, oranges, and reds cover the tree-filled hills and mountainsides. Just before the temperature begins to drop is the perfect time to see what locals love most about their town. A world-class, 150-mile gem, bikers and hikers can access the Greater Allegheny Passage at notable communities in the region. The mid-point between Greensburg and Pittsburgh, West Newton, sits on PA Route 136. Spend about four hours enjoying the scenic river valley from the seat of a bike and you’ll see everything from the historic West Newton Cemetery to the classic train station. Any bumps along the way can be resolved at the West Newton Bicycle Shop, and pit stops at the Trailside Restaurant and Six Pack Shop or Scoops N’at are highly recommended. The views continue on the ride home, too, as you drive passed rolling farm fields surrounded by colorful trees.
WHERE TO EAT
THE WHITE RABBIT CAFÉ
Fuel up for your travels with The White Rabbit Café and Pâtisserie’s house granola, which blends flaxseeds, rolled oats, pepitas, hazelnuts, apricots, cherries, olive oil, honey, and spices. “It’s full of healthy, energy-packed goodness,” says owner Amber Kunselman. “We even offer a vegan version for those who are interested, both of which are gluten free!” She also recommends pairing the crunchy treat with a house-made Chai Latte. Black tea, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, black pepper, and cloves combine for a hearty taste of fall flavors. Kunselman says, “Have it hot to perk up for an energy boost, or try it iced to help cool down after doing outdoor activities.”
→ The White Rabbit Café and Pâtisserie, 113 N. Main St. Greensburg. 724.216.5229.
It’s well worth the trip to spend the remainder of your crisp fall day under a sky of stars while acoustic music fills the picturesque vine- and flower-filled stone patio at J. Corks. (You can always head inside the for a meal by the fireplace for a cozier atmosphere!) No matter where you dine, you’ll be enjoying an inventive dish by Executive Chef Michael Stewart. With the freedom to put his twist on fine dining with a casual attitude, Stewart brings Mediterranean, Asian, and Southwestern flavors to his fresh, seasonal creations.
For the fall, we’ve warmed up to a comforting plate of Chicken & Biscuits. The sweet potato biscuits are served with hickory-smoked chicken; smothered in amaretto, bacon, and red-eye gravy; and topped with cranberry jam for the ultimate blend of unique fall flavors. Chef Stewart also recommends the pan seared duck breast, paired with sweet potato gratin, braised brussels sprouts, acorn squash gastrique, and sage oil for another combination you won’t find anywhere else.
→ J. Corks, 25 E. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg. 724.691.0434.
WHAT TO SEE
For the past two years, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art has been under construction to create a bigger, better creative space within. The revamped museum opens its doors to the public the weekend of October 24.
→ Read more about it here.
WHAT TO WEAR
Now that you have plans for the upcoming season, could it be time to update your fall wardrobe? Whether you’re going to the farmers market, your daughter’s soccer match, or just having lunch with friends, you’ll want pieces that can work in any environment. Finding active wear that can transition to everyday wear requires three things: functionality, performance, and style. You can find all three at American Adventure Sports.
The Castelli Long Sleeve Jersey keeps up with girls on the go in any weather. The double fronted design provides extra protection on cooler days and can be unzipped to reveal a thin, secondary layer that diffuses the cool air. The “Donna,” shown here, flatters with its athletic, yet feminine, lines. Guys can make a statement in an IllumiNite reflective jacket designed to keep runners and cyclists safe and in sight. The wind- and water-resistant jacket features millions of sataLITE mirror-like beads embedded in the fabric, creating a surface that reflects light back to its source.
Top it all off with men’s and women’s active eyewear by Tifosi. These shades will protect your eyes from UV rays and all of nature’s curveballs while sporting a sleek, stylish look. The Seek frames and lenses come in a range of colors to match any personality.
→ American Adventure Sports, 123 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Greensburg. 724.205.6450.
WHAT TO DO
Travel time goes unnoticed while driving the short and scenic distance from Pittsburgh to Greensburg. Grab a friend – or five! – and spend a weekend in a totally unique city with unlimited opportunities. Take in the beautiful juxtaposition of modern architecture in a historical setting, find unique pieces at the best antique show, and take advantage of live entertainment at the local theater. Or, try them all!
September 13 — Hanna’s Town Antique Show
This long-standing community tradition brings over 200 vendors to one of Western Pennsylvania’s oldest shows of its kind.
September 16 — The Bronx Wanderers at the Palace Theatre
The Palace Theatre presents a recreation of the good ‘ol days with The Bronx Wanderers playing tunes to get your toes tapping and hands clapping. For tickets, call 724.836.8000.
September 18 — Ace Frehley at the Palace Theatre
You won’t want to miss the lead guitarist and vocalist from KISS as he performs songs that will make you want to rock and roll all night. For tickets, call 724.836.8000.
September 19 — Greensburg Half Marathon
Put those hours on the trail to good use! The 13.1-mile course will utilize Lynch Field and the historic Five Star Trail as community celebrations, music, and cheering spectators lift you to complete this run.
September 19 — Beatlemania Now! At the Palace Theatre
The highly popular Beatles tribute band returns, evoking memories of one of the most turbulent decades of modern times: the 60s. For tickets, call 724.836.8000.
September 23-24 — Gemstone Roundtable Event
This first-ever event at Beeghly and Company Jewelers invites you to enjoy signature cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a main course of beautiful jewels! Special guest artist Sherris Cottier Shank will bring the best of her carved gems, stunning cabochons, and gemstones — along with plenty of insight on the artful craft — to the table for guests, who can even take home one of her gemstones or have Beeghly and Company Jewelers create a customized piece of jewelry with it. “We are excited to share our passions for colored gemstones and creativity,” says Brian Beeghly. “The Gemstone Roundtable is such a unique experience with the opportunity to hold more than 100 exquisite gemstones in the palm of your hand. It’s sure to be an evening our guests won’t easily forget.” For reservations to the event, call 724.832.1500.
September 26 — All Saints Brewing Company Oktoberfest
Located along Route 119, All Saints Brewing kicks off Oktoberfest with seasonal brewed beers like Festbier, a German Style Lager, and delicious Deutsch fare.
October 9-11 — Fort Ligonier Days
There’s something for everyone during Fort Ligonier Days! The three-day celebration hosts everything from the annual parade and Fort Ligonier Days 5K, to craft booths and free wine tastings. No wonder it’s one of the American Bus Association’s Top 100 Events in America!