Last Christmas, I gave my parents the present of planning a trip for them to Mackinac Island in northern Michigan. They have always wanted to go, so I thought this would be the perfect gift. Because of timing and a few other factors, this vacation has not been possible quite yet. I didn’t want another holiday season to come and go without my promised gift for my mom and dad, so I searched for weekend getaways within 2-4 hours driving distance from Cleveland. When Fallingwater popped up in the Google results and I learned about the architecture, history and natural beauty this area is known for, I knew this would be great choice. Check out the below weekend trip to Fallingwater that I planned for my mom and dad.
Weekend Trip to Fallingwater
Friday: 🚗Road-Trip & Fancy Dinner
- 3:00 PM Depart CLE for Fallingwater (My mom loves herself some maps, so of course she had to stop at AAA for directions earlier in the week. I provided their favorite snacks and an offer to take my GPS.)
- 6:30 PM Arrive at Historic Summit Inn Hotel (While I wanted to treat my parents to an enjoyable trip, I’m not the wealthiest lady! The Summit Inn received good reviews on TripAdvisor and upon doing my research, I found out it was in a great location for all of the sites I had planned for them to experience. My mom and dad reported that the rooms were a bit dated, but that the porch and pool views made up for it.)
- 8:30 PM Reservations at Lautrec located inside the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort (This was definitely the splurge of the weekend and I was probably most excited to give this portion of the trip to my mom and dad. They deserve 5-star dining! I made sure to have them pack one fancy outfit (no shorts, sandals or jeans allowed). The below quote is taken from Nemacolin’s website.)
Lautrec is one of the finest dining experiences in the country. Our Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond restaurant is 1 of only 29 in the world to boast such honors. Located in Nemacolin’s Chateau Lafayette, Lautrec’s Culinary Team masterfully redefines European-American cooking.
My parents said it was pricey but delicious! Hopefully if they visit again, I’ll be able to splurge on having them stay at the Nemacolin.
Saturday: Hiking, House Tour & 🍷
- 8:30 AM Breakfast at Mae’s Dining Room (located in the Historic Summit Inn)
- 10:30 AM Tour of Frank Llyod Wright’s Fallingwater House (I pre-purchased the tickets which was recommended to me by both the Inn and by the Fallingwater website. I opted to get them the 60-minute guided tour and they loved it! While my mom loves learning about history, my dad really appreciates architecture. This tour was a nice mixture of both.)
- 11:45 AM Hike Bear Run Nature Reserve (Fallingwater is actually located inside this reserve. My parents enjoyed a nice walk in this area.)
- 1:00 PM Lunch at Ohiopyle Bakery & Sandwich Shop (My mom and dad reported that this small shop was tiny but had delicious food! My mom mentioned that it would’ve been hard to get to if you had any physical restraints.)
- 2:30 PM Return to hotel to relax and/or nap or continue to explore the area (All vacations need some down time!)
- 5:30 PM Wine tasting at Christian W. Clay Winery (In my opinion, every vacation should include some sort of wine tasting. This winery looked beautiful on their website and no reservation was needed. My mom reported that my dad tried every wine available!)
- 7:00 PM Dinner at Bittersweet Café or Stone House Restaurant…or another place that looks good to you! (My parents opted on doing their own thing and visited a German fest that was happening in the area at the time of their visit.)
Sunday: 📚History & Nature 🍃
- 11:00 AM Tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kentuck Knob House (Again, I pre-purchased the tickets as this was recommended by a few sources. They also enjoyed this tour, but agreed that the Fallingwater tour was better.)
- 11:30 AM Hike in Ohiopyle Park (The Laurel Highlands of PA are known for their fall foliage and natural beauty. I stole the below top 10 activities from their website.)
TOP 10 ACTIVITIES TO DO AT OHIOPYLE
- View Ohiopyle Falls and stroll through the borough of Ohiopyle.
- Explore rare plants and fossils on Ferncliff Peninsula.
- See the deepest gorge in Pennsylvania from Baughman Rocks.
- Brave the river with a trip on the Middle or Lower ‘Yough.’
- Have a picnic with a view at Tharp Knob.
- Spend the night under the stars at Kentuck Campground.
- Start your backpacking trip on Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.
- Bike the Great Allegheny Passage to a nearby trail town.
- Ride the sledding hill when the snow falls.
- View the falling waters at Cucumber Run.
- 1:00 PM Lunch at Falls Market
- 3:00 PM Tour Fort Necessity Battlefield (Their website offers lots of good tips on how to plan your 1 hour or so visit to this historic location. My parents actually ended up skipping this stop.)
- 5:00 PM Make any stops on the Historic National Road on your way home
Overall, my mom and dad greatly enjoyed their weekend trip to Fallingwater and I couldn’t be happier to share my love of travel with my family. During the planning phase of this trip, I had to consciously remind myself to plan in a way where THEY would enjoy the itinerary, not how I would enjoy this area. If you are already thinking of Christmas gifts, I would highly suggest planning a weekend getaway for someone who deserves it most in your life. My mom and dad definitely deserved this trip (and many others).
Experiences > Things.