Sprawling across 16 acres of mountain terrain atop Wisp Resort and the 550-acre Fork Run Recreation Area forest, Adventure Sports Center International immerses thrill seekers in a range of river sports, climbing, hiking, and other outdoor programs. On the river, experienced rafting guides—some of whom are U.S. Olympians—pilot adventurers down a one-third-mile artificial whitewater river, through four classes of changeable but authentic rapids bordered by boulders excavated onsite. Those who have reached the bottom return to the starting pool on a raft conveyor belt that defies gravity better than when Newton threw apples back into the trees. In the forest preserve, visitors frolic along rugged mile-long trails on bike or on foot, or scale natural limestone boulders and ledges. Climbing guides teach basic bouldering and rappelling while keeping the ledges clear of heckling mountain goats, or send adventurers off geocaching to hunt for a container hidden somewhere on the rocks or forest floor.
As visitors explore freely, youths hone academic and social skills through outdoor adventure and learning programs where guides teach them to raft, kayak, climb, mountain bike, and hike using only their imaginations and any required gear. The center’s artificial aquatic park and preserve have also hosted a range of festivals and competitions, including seven national whitewater championships and a bouldering championship.
The father-son duo of Lawrence and Michael Paper founded the first Bradley's Book in 1993. The landscape of publishing has changed significantly since then, but the Paper family hasn't had trouble keeping up. Between its 10 Pennsylvania and Ohio locations, Bradley's sells books at generous discounts. That's because 90% of the chain's inventory hails from overstock and remainders. The store's titles span numerous genres and interests, from collections by Nobel Prize-winner Alice Munro to Hillary Rodham Clinton's Hard Choices, a memoir about how she decides which newspaper to read with breakfast each morning.
Clients waiting for their appointments at Barbiere can sink into overstuffed leather chairs and catch a few minutes of sports games on TV or sip on cold beverages while they flip through newspapers. This upscale barbershop offers the expected clipper haircuts and straight-razor shaves in addition to more elaborate cuts, color, facials, and brow waxing. The barbers and stylists are welcoming and friendly, and the shop's wood-and-black decor creates a masculine and woodchuck-friendly atmosphere.
On the rolling hillsides of Wheeling, West Virginia, the white pillars of the Mansion Museum stand majestically over the manicured lawns and landscaped gardens of the Oglebay Institute. Originally built in 1846 as an eight-bedroom farmhouse, the mansion entered the Oglebay family in 1900, and was willed to the city 30 years later to serve as a facility for education and recreation. Today it features a rotation of exhibits and programs, which share fine art, glassware, and environmental education with more than 100,000 people annually.
Tucked next to the Mansion, the glass museum has collected some 3,000 pieces of Wheeling glass, cut lead crystal, and Victorian art glass. The Sweeney Punch Bowl, a 5-foot, 225-pound piece of cut lead crystal, is the jewel of the collection, epitomizing the aesthetic splendor and unwieldy nature of most Victorian-era flasks. The Schrader Environmental Education Center imparts visitors with an appreciation for the natural world with interactive trail tours, campfires, and astronomy events; and the Stifle Fine Arts Center's ever-changing visual-arts exhibits display work from local and national artists.
With a focus on footwear for children aged 6 months–8 years, Sten's Stride Rite outfits tykes with kicks from brands including Stride Rite, Nike, New Balance, and Timberland. The shop's seasoned associates perform specialized fittings to ensure that footwear doesn't suddenly fall off or attract rental applications from an old woman who lives in a shoe. When the store's not selling shoes, it supports such organizations as Make-A-Wish, Project Bundle-Up, and The Children's Home of Pittsburgh.
A still figure stands silently behind a few thin trees. When he sees someone emerging from a long, metal tube several yards away, he takes aim with his marker, squeezes the trigger, and watches a blot of brightly colored paint materialize on his friend's shoulder. Such friend-turned-foe scenarios play out daily at Urban Assault, a paintball facility whose outdoor battlefields in Cecil and indoor arenas in McDonald attract players from all around the area. In the outdoor arenas, the surrounding wooded landscape adds variety of terrain and barricade possibilities, letting staffers add touches such as metal crawl tubes and other strategic bits of architecture that paintballers have come to depend on for cover. The competitors engage in open play on five such outdoor fields—each with unique features—as well as in the company's two indoor spaces that total some 30,000 square feet. Indoors, paintball contests go from sparsely adorned to almost disco-like as players stalk their enemies while traipsing across catwalks and navigating a demanding maze of fog machines, black lights, and adrenaline-boosting music inside one of the fields. The brains behind Urban Assault also offer special rates to large groups, military veterans, and members of the CIA's finger-painting brigade.