‘‘Our vacation became a culinary adventure with a bit of the arts fest, Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob and the Science Museum thrown in for good measure.’’

- Carrie and Fred, Rockville, MD

Sun and Cricket swimming pool

The Sun and Cricket offers total relaxation, peace, quiet and a lot of nature. Yet, activities abound.

A large, naturally-shaped pool provides a restful oasis in summer. Massages in the privacy of your suite are available by appointment. The suites contain numerous games and cards, as well as video/stereo systems. You also are welcome to browse through our library for a book or audiobook.

But don't forget to venture outdoors for wildlife spotting, birdwatching and showstopping sunsets. Feel free to pet our horses, barn cat and golden retrievers. Enjoy miles of marked trails for hiking, mountain biking or cross-country skiing. You are also welcome to bring your own horse to ride: box stalls and private pasture are available for a nominal fee.

In addition to our own trails, other nearby trails include the Butler-to-Freeport rail trail and the trails at three county parks, all within a 20-minute drive. Hartwood Acres features bridle, cross-country skiing and walking trails as well as guided tours of the Tudor mansion. It also hosts free outdoor concerts in the summer and several equestrian events. Guests can play "Frisbee" golf at the 18-hold championship disc golf course at Deer Lakes Park. And one of the largest county parks, North Park, features an 18-hole golf course, ball fields, basketball course, horseshoe pits, 75-acre lake with fishing, outdoor swimming pool, ice skating rink, remote control airplane field, exercise trail and tennis courts. Our favorite park, Beechwood Farms, is home to the Audubon Society and features miles of trails for stunning birdwatching.

Many guests love to go browsing for antiques, and both Allegheny County and Butler County have dozens of shops to entice collectors. Gourmands are surprised to discover a wealth of innovative restaurants within a short drive, including The Pines Tavern, Hartwood Restaurant, the Mighty Oak Barrel, the Greek Stop, Hotel Saxonburg, Cala Lily, Atria's and the Tuscan Inn. Let us know if you would like us to make a reservation for you.

Golfers love our location. Bordering the southeastern corner of our land is Pittsburgh National Golf Club, where some greens are tucked into wooded alcoves and others dance along the edge of ravines. Literally dozens of other courses, ranging from intimate courses such as Pheasant Ridge to world-famous Oakmont Country Club, are within a 20-minute drive.

About 45 minutes west, on the banks of the Ohio River, is Old Economy Village, the last settlement of a 19th century Christian communal group called the Harmony Society. An hour north is the Grove City Outlet Mall and the Amish settlements of New Wilmington and Volant. An hour southeast are two downhill ski resorts—Seven Springs, with the largest snowmaking facilities in the East, and Hidden Valley, great for beginners and intermediate skiers.

Just south of those resorts, Frank Lloyd Wright's "Fallingwater," considered the most architecturally significant home in the United States, lures visitors to view a masterpiece of design - the home over a waterfall. Nearby Wright's lesser known `"Kentuck Knob" also now offers tours to visitors.

But don't forget Pittsburgh, one of the most interesting cities in North America, with its brick-paved streets, narrow shotgun houses perched precariously on steep hills, and three mighty rivers where visitors can take paddle boat cruises on the Gateway Clipper Fleet. Pittsburgh offers a dynamic nightlife at clubs where you don't have to stand in line to get in and at restaurants that run the gamut of contemporary and ethnic cuisine.

The city also offers culture—from the famous symphony and ballet to Broadway shows, theater, and opera. Pittsburgh is home to the Carnegie Museums, which include the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, the Science Center and the Andy Warhol Museum. Other independent museums, such as The Mattress Factory, the Frick Art and Historical Center and the Senator John Heinz History Center, add variety to an already abundant mix. And, if you’re bent on losing some money, the new Rivers Casino on the North Shore, with 120,000 square feet of gaming space, will oblige. The casino features 2,900 slot machines, more than 100 tables and a dedicated 30 table poker room.

Required visits should be the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, where animals roam in natural habitats; the National Aviary, where birds fly unfettered; and Phipps Conservatory, a century-old glass house filled with a changing display of plants and flowers.

Sports lovers won't want to miss a game by one of the city's three professional teams: the Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers and Penguins. In Pittsburgh, you often can get tickets on game day.

The Sun and Cricket is within a 45 minute drive of at least 15 of the area's many colleges and universities and technical schools including the three largest—University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Duquesne University.

 

Pines Tavern Chef Jason Culp
Deer Run golfer
Seven Springs snowboarding
Fallingwater
Pittsburgh skyline
PNC Park