Laurel Highlands fall foliage ranks 3rd in USA Today voting

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The Laurel Highlands is among Readers’ Choice Winners for the Best Destination for Fall Foliage category in the 2020 USA Today 10Best Travel Award Contest.

The Laurel Highlands placed third overall in voting amid a field of 20 nominees that also included Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.

Top 10:

1. Upper Peninsula of Michigan

2. Gatlinburg, Tenn.

3. Laurel Highlands

4. White Mountains, N.H.

5. Door County, Wis.

6. Stowe, Vt.

7. Ozark Mountain Region, Ark.

8. Pocono Mountains

9. Finger Lakes, N.Y.

10. Asheville, N.C.

“We embrace all four seasons here in the Laurel Highlands, but there is something very special about experiencing the colors of fall along our scenic byways and historic routes. Toss in clear streams, covered bridges and a corn maze or two, and you’ve just mapped out one of many scenic drives in the region,” said Ann Nemanic, executive director of the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau.

Winners were selected by readers’ choice via a month-long online contest. The winning destinations were announced today on the 10Best website.

Season of change

“It’s time to roll down the windows, pull back the convertible top and soak in the fresh air and absolutely splendid scenery of the Laurel Highlands,” said Nemanic.

“Autumn is a season of change and it is time for all of us to move forward into a new chapter and embrace travel and tourism once again,” she added. “A fall foliage excursion is just what everyone needs to recharge and re-energize his or her spirit.”

Laurel Highlands’ outdoor attractions, like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Ohiopyle State Park and the Flight 93 National Memorial, give travelers room to explore safely while they maintain social distance, she noted.

“I have a lot of favorite places to view fall foliage, but I recommend taking a ride along Route 30 to Bedford to see the ridges, the mountains and the trees,” said Briana Tomack, president of Greater Latrobe-Laurel Valley Chamber of Commerce. “There are plenty of places to stop for lunch and to have some fun.”

The Best Destination for Fall Foliage award is one of several USA Today 10Best honors recently won by the Laurel Highlands. In 2018, the region earned one of the top Best New Destinations in 2018 for the Flight 93 National Memorial’s Tower of Voices and Best Pennsylvania Attractions for Ohiopyle State Park.

Shirley McMarlin is a SKYCHURP-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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Editor’s Picks | Local | Regional | Westmoreland


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