Sometimes you don’t have to go far to get away. Short on time and in these economically difficult times, a trip not too far from home can still take you a world away from everyday cares and stresses.
My husband and I escaped for a quick one-night getaway to Bedford Springs Resort, located in Bedford, PA. Only a 90-minute drive from Pittsburgh, two hours from Washington, DC and Baltimore, three hours from Philadelphia and four hours from New York City; it is a very doable weekend vacation for many.
Bedford Springs Resort was originally built in 1796 and has a fascinating history. It was originally built as a spa, opened by Dr. John Anderson. Billed as “one of American’s first spas,” the resort was centered on the natural springs of the area and the purported curing powers of the water.
After many years of hosting interesting guests including 11 U.S. presidents (the resort served as the Summer White House for President Buchanan), the resort closed in 1986, only two short years after being designated as a National Historic Landmark.
On July 2007, after being closed for more than 20 years, the resort was reopened following a $120 million restoration and expansion. The Georgian-style exteriors and interior of the resort were restored to their original beauty. A 30,000 sq. ft. spa was added, utilizing the famous mineral-rich local waters; and other updates including a new 20,000 sq. ft. meeting and event center; were completed as well.
In addition to the beautiful building, the property itself is lovely. The resort includes 2,200 acres with over 20 miles of hiking trails, fly fishing streams, fishing at Red Oak Lake, outdoor and indoor pools, and the 18-hole golf course.
The setting, the building and the atmosphere all lend to a truly peaceful environment to relax and really “get away”. Since we are big hikers, we took advantage of the spring weather and hiked on several of the trails on the property. We also took the opportunity to snag a couple of geocaches (see www.geocaching.com if you are unfamiliar with this sport).
We didn’t have enough time to work in a spa treatment because we opted for a visit with Konrad Meier, executive chef at Bedford. Chef Meier offers unusual cooking classes for guests. A gifted chef, Chef Meier also has a charming personality and would be a delightful teacher. Plus, he starts off his classes with a glass of wine, so how can you lose? He also will cook fish caught by resort guests 12-and-under.
To top off a busy day, they have a campfire outside of the hotel and offer makings for S’Mores. In my book, there is nothing more relaxing than sitting by a roaring campfire in a peaceful location.
For more information about Bedford Springs Resort visit www.BEDFORDSPRINGSRESORT.COM or 1-814-623-8100.
By Kathleen Ganster