Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Nemacolin Woodlands, Farmington Pennsylvania

Now that the election season has come to an end, getting away for a long weekend has never been more crucial. Nestled in the beautiful, unspoiled Laurel Highlands Mountains of western Pennsylvania, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa offers luxurious accommodations in a scenic setting, not too far from D.C.

Formerly a fishing and hunting preserve, this magnificent refuge situated on 2,800 acres offers a large conference center, a chateau-style hotel, equestrian center, lake with fishing and other aquatic activities, exclusive boutiques, a critically acclaimed spa, skiing and a host of other outdoor activities for every season. Falling Rock, Nemacolin's most recent addition, provides lavish accommodations in an intimate Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired 42- room boutique hotel overlooking the 18th hole of Mystic Rock, one of the resort's spectacular golf courses and home of the PGA tour's 84 Lumber Classic. A wide array of activities are available for families and people of all ages. So, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Kids can ski or snowboard, while their parents try their hand at the clay shooting range or a Hummer driving range.

Getting There:
The resort is approximately a three hour drive from the D.C. metro area. As the remote mountainous roads can be tricky to navigate at night with fog or ice, you may want to give yourself extra time or make the trip during daylight hours. For those arriving by air, Nemacolin is about 61 miles south of Pittsburgh, which has the closest commercial airport. There is also an airstrip on the property for private planes.

Where to Stay:
In addition to the 355 rooms and suites in Falling Rock, the main lodge and Chateau LaFayette, Nemacolin also offers townhouses and private luxury homes. The intimacy of the 42-room Falling Rock is perfect for those looking for more personalized service— a butler is at your disposal 24 hours a day and the terrace has a pool and private cabanas, each with a plasma television and a menu of spa services. For a different experience, Chateau LaFayette is the epitome of European elegance and charm, housing 125 of the guest rooms and an elaborate Presidential Suite, where golfing great Tiger Woods was the first guest.

Where to Eat:
The collection of restaurants for both casual and fine dining is impressive. When Falling Rock opened in August of this year, Aqueous opened as well. Truly a unique culinary journey, the first course, “Progressions,” features three portions highlighting one ingredient presented in different ways. “Aqua + Terra”, the main dish, pairs ingredients from water and land, and dessert returns to a sweet version of “Progressions.” The painstaking care and high-quality ingredients that go into each course at this new restaurant results in excellent gourmet cuisine, and it will surely receive many culinary accolades in the future.

Nemacolin is the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts. Golfers can choose from the more challenging Mystic Rock course or play the more mountainous Scottish-style Links Course. With a Hummer Driving Off-Road Academy (the first of its kind), a Shooting Academy and a host of family-friendly activities, including mini-golf, paint ball and an Adventure Center, with a climbing tower and ropes course, there is no shortage of outdoor fun. After your busy day, be sure to get a massage or another equally relaxing treatment at the spa, recently recognized by Travel & Leisure magazine as one of the “Top 10 Spas in North America.”

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