(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

By Sally Turkovich

Feel like you need to get out of the city? Head out to the Laurel Highlands! Located just about an hour from Pittsburgh, this area is the perfect place to visit for a day trip; but it’s also packed with enough attractions and activities to keep you busy for a long weekend. No matter what the length of your stay, you will find this area of Pennsylvania to be full of gorgeous, natural beauty.

Fall is the best time to visit. You can take advantage of the cooler weather and see the gorgeous changing leaves in the mature woods of the Laurel Highlands. Even as fall turns into winter, this is the place to be to take a break from your daily hustle and bustle.

Here are your top three must see and do activities in the Laurel Highlands as the cooler seasons approach.

(Photo Credit: Sally Turkovich)

Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob

A trip to the Laurel Highlands is not complete without stopping by to see the breathtaking architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous creations and doing a guided tour. 2011 marks the 75th birthday of Fallingwater and with repairs and restorations going on continually, this once private home is still a marvel 75 years later. Schedule enough time to also tour one of Wright’s less famous but equally spectacular homes: Kentuck Knob (just a few miles away from Fallingwater) and spend some time in the gorgeous sculpture garden. With both homes set deep in wooded areas, these are the places to visit if you’re yearning to see the changing leaves this fall. Click here to check out the list of some of the best spots to view fall foliage

1491 Mill Run Road
Mill Run, PA 15464
Hours: Tours Open Daily except Wednesday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
March 14th through November 27th 2011
Reviews, Directions & More Info
Website: www.fallingwater.org

Kentuck Knob
723 Kentuck Road
Dunbar, PA 15431
Hours: See Website for Specific Times
Reviews, Directions & More Info
Website: www.kentuckknob.com

(Photo Credit: Sally Turkovich)

Hiking and biking in Ohiopyle

One of Pennsylvania’s State Parks, Ohiopyle is a great place to do some exploring and nature watching along the Youghiogheny River. Load up your bike or rent one right in the heart of Ohiopyle and get ready to experience some of the flattest, best maintained bike trails in the country. The Youghiogheny River Trail is 27 miles long and is part of the Great Allegheny Passage that runs from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. with nothing but bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

If a hike is more your speed, there are also 79 miles of hiking trails that are fit for beginning hikers and more experienced, thrill-seeking hikers.

Ohiopyle State Park
171 Dinnerbell Road
Ohiopyle, PA 15470
Reviews, Directions & More Info

(Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Winery Tours

All of the outdoor activities throughout the Laurel Highlands can overshadow some of the more relaxing options that are also available to visitors. Be sure to slow down, decompress and visit the wineries in the Laurel Highlands. Do some wine tastings, have dinner and consider investing in some of the wide variety of home winemaking supplies that are available at each winery so you can revisit your experience at home.

Christian W. Klay Winery
412 Fayette Springs Road
Chalk Hills, PA 15421
Reviews, Directions & More Info
Website: www.cwklaywinery.com

Glades Pike Winery
2208 Glakes Pike
Somerset, PA 15501
Website: www.gladespikewinery.com

Greendance, The Winery at Sand Hill
306 Deer Field Road
Mount Pleasant, PA
Reviews, Directions & More Info
Website: www.greendancewinery.com

Be sure to also visit the Laurel Highland’s visitor’s website for even more ideas and a complete listing of special events throughout the area.

Sally Turkovich lives in Pittsburgh with her fiancé, Jason and German Shepherd, Zeus. By day she works as an eyewear stylist for an independent eye doctor. By night, she writes a twice-weekly column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at twodaymag.com