Looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway that’s not too far from the city? Experience the arts, culture, history, and sights of Latrobe, a charming town that lies just east of Pittsburgh!
The Great Americana Banana Split Celebration
If you’ve ever wondered where the banana split was invented, then wonder no more—115 years ago, a very wise citizen of Latrobe dreamed up one of the greatest ice cream creations known to the world. The Great Americana Banana Split Celebration will honor this sweet contribution to humanity on August 23-25th, 2019, in downtown Latrobe. The event will include a parade featuring the Banana Band, a 5K run, a blood drive, a pie eating contest, and entertainment, food, and drinks from several vendors, including beer from local craft breweries and banana splits from Valley Dairy Restaurants. The full schedule of events and contests for prize giveaways leading up to the festival are available online.
Latrobe Art Center
Located in the heart of downtown, Latrobe Art Center is the town’s premier art hub. The center provides residents and visitors of all artistic skill levels with opportunities to nurture their talents or develop an interest in the arts. Both children and adults are welcome to take a wide variety of classes, including acrylic and watercolor painting, jewelry-making, and more! Not only are there plenty of learning opportunities, but there are also rotating displays to view and events to attend, including workshops, shows, community gatherings, galas, and silent auctions. Stop by the Latrobe Art Center while you’re visiting, or check out their website to sign up for an upcoming class or event.
Eclectique, a retail store in downtown Latrobe, truly offers an eclectic mix of goods, classes, and events. Chocolates, jewelry, furniture, quilts, and home décor are among some of Eclectique’s handcrafted merchandise, created by over 20 different artists from the area. Vintage and antique items, as well as new handbags, clothing, and accessories, are other popular purchases. It’s also Latrobe’s only retail store where you can sip on a glass of wine while you shop—Eclectique serves as the Westmoreland Country satellite location for the winery Raspberry Acres. Additionally, there are classes at Eclectique ranging from cake decorating to wreath making to canvas painting. Each month, the shop collaborates with other retailers on themed sales and events, and they frequently bring in local entertainers and food trucks. There’s something for everyone at Eclectique!
Chicora’s is a charming boutique that’s conveniently located in Latrobe’s downtown district. They specialize in home and fashion accessories such as jewelry, clothing, handbags, holiday décor, and gift items. Some of their most popular brands include Brighton, John Medeiros, Qudo, My Saint My Hero, Mud Pie Gifts, Finchberry Soaps, and Pura Vida. Next time you’re in Latrobe, mosey on over to Chicora’s store on Depot Street for a relaxing shopping experience, and follow them on Facebook to keep up with new items, sales, events and promotions!
Floral Fountain is a family-owned and operated business that is committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts. They strive to provide service that is friendly and prompt, having proudly served the Latrobe and Westmoreland County areas since 1971. Their professional staff members are dedicated making your experience a pleasant one, and they will go the extra mile to make sure your gift or arrangement is perfect. Call ahead or stop by their shop on Ligonier Street in Latrobe!
Stay Inn Latrobe
Why stay in a hotel, when you can stay in Latrobe? Stay Inn Latrobe offers spacious, comfortable houses to call home while you’re experiencing Latrobe. They have two different rental properties available that are fully equipped with all the comforts of home; relax for the weekend and enjoy the shops, restaurants, and activities of Latrobe and the Laurel Highlands. View photos and videos of their Mission Road or Tacoma houses on their website and contact them to book your stay today.
Latrobe Community Revitalization Program
The Latrobe Community Revitalization Program is the community development organization that has led the effort over the past decade to rebuild Latrobe, which has resulted in Latrobe gaining national attention as a tourist destination by being ranked the top 20 best Small Towns in America to visit by Smithsonian Magazine and one of the Top 50 “Most Charming” small towns by the Travel Channel! Downtown Latrobe has one of a kind historically preserved and award winning architecture, great parks, great businesses owners, friendly residents and so much more. See for yourself what makes the downtown where Arnie Palmer and Mister Rogers once walked so special and how their messages are thread throughout the fabric of Latrobe still today!
Lincoln Highway Experience
Begin your journey at the Lincoln Highway Experience museum, located along Route 30 in between Latrobe and the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. The Lincoln Highway was the nation’s first coast-to-coast highway, originally stretching from New York City to San Francisco in 1913. It’s the route that changed America forever by marking the birth of popular American tourism and vacationing by automobile. The museum is home to authentic artifacts and photos that give visitors the chance to learn more about the highway. Admission includes the use of a Tourmate Audio Wand, a 60-page Lincoln Highway Driving Guide, a stamped postcard, and a piece of pie and cup of coffee from a restored 1938 diner. Admission is only $5 for youth, $14 for adults, and $10 per person for a group rate, so take advantage of this fun and affordable learning opportunity while you’re in the area!
McCarl Coverlet Gallery at St. Vincent College
Imagine a space filled with intricate woven textiles that were handloomed in the 1800s in America. By entering the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery, you’re walking into a world of exquisite craftsmanship. The McCarl Coverlet Gallery at Saint Vincent College showcases textile production with the largest collection of 19th century American “figured and fancy” handwoven coverlets in the world. Their collection of over 727 coverlets represents a historic transition from handloom weaving to factory production. This nonprofit cultural organization, located on the lower floor of Fred Rogers Center in Latrobe, “collects, preserves, interprets and disseminates the history of weaving and folk traditions in the Northeastern region of the United States.” Docents are available to guide you through the collection, so be sure to contact the gallery to book an appointment or plan to go during their visiting hours.
Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at St. Vincent College
The Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College is a 50-acre nature reserve adjacent to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. This beautiful property is open to the public, with a mission “to foster environmental stewardship through education, recreation, and conservation.” The Reserve includes stunning native landscapes, trails, meadows, and gardens. There’s also an environmental learning barn, as well as certified Nature Explore play spaces, ponds, wetlands, and more. William Wordsworth once said, “let nature be your teacher,” and The Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve serves these words well. For a special way to see the Reserve, you can also attend their 4th Annual Nature Night Out on Saturday, September 14th, 2019 from 6-9PM, or their Get Outside with Santa event Saturday, December 7th, from 10AM-10PM; event registration with more information is available online.
Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
The Arnold Palmer Regional Airport connects the entire nation to Latrobe. Located on 750 acres in Unity Township, it is operated by the Westmoreland County Airport Authority and it has an updated terminal and air-traffic control tower, plus a newly extended runway. Some of the airport’s best features are its free parking (that’s right…free parking at an airport!), short screening line, and quick baggage claim areas; enjoy a convenient travel experience without the hassle of parkway traffic. This isn’t just an airport though—it’s also home to some of the area’s most elegant restaurants and conference and banquet facilities. Additionally, there’s a full-service travel agency, car rental options, and lodging facilities nearby.
Latrobe Country Club
You don’t have to be a member to enjoy everything that Latrobe Country Club has to offer! For weddings, parties, and corporate retreats, the club’s proximity to Pittsburgh makes it an ideal getaway. Stay in the comfortable accommodations or just visit for the day to enjoy exceptional dining, swimming, and tennis. Whether you’re there for a catered dinner, a relaxing weekend away, or a golf outing, the staff will work with you to entertain you and your guests. Arnold Palmer grew up learning to golf at Latrobe Country Club, and special pricing on golf and social memberships is also available now in honor of his birthday and the club’s 100th Anniversary. Relish in good times, good people, and good food at Latrobe Country Club…you belong there!This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.