In 2001, Washington County faced a dilemma. A new baseball park was under construction just off I-70, but the field had no team to call it home. Rather than let unemployed mascots set up circus tents in the outfield, a group of local business owners purchased the Ohio-based Canton Crocodiles and moved the franchise to Pennsylvania. Months later, the Washington Wild Things inaugurated the new stadium with a dazzling bit of irony, losing their first-ever game against the very team that replaced the Crocodiles in Canton.
Nevertheless, the Wild Things finished the 2002 season in grand fashion, setting a league record for wins and claiming first place in the Frontier League's powerful East Division, and the team went on to make six straight playoff appearances from 2002–2007. Throughout its history, the Wild Things have featured a number of future and former big-leaguers, and its roster regularly includes Pittsburgh natives, who grew up practicing their swings with steel girders.
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum thrusts visitors into the midst of Pennsylvania's Trolley Era, conjuring bygone methods of travel with exhibits, rides, and a full roster of antique trolleys, including a horse-drawn streetcar from the 1870s. Hourly tours shepherd guests and members on their exploration of the museum's collection, starting with a video introduction before a scenic, four-mile ride fills the air with the sounds of century-oldf trolleys. Inside the visitor-education center, pictorial exhibits breathe life into storied eras, and stops inside the restoration shop illuminate how volunteer craftsmen restore vintage trolleys. Trolley fans can also add to their own memorabilia collections with souvenirs from the store, or borrow the museum spaces for birthday parties and rentals.
Amid gurgling fountains and pouring waterfalls, Red Carpet Golf and Recreation Center’s course challenge putting visitors with individual obstacles. The course winds beneath wooden bridges and up stone tiers, the breadth of the greens completely visible from their highest vistas. The golf center also fields a spacious driving range surrounded by verdant trees, allowing golfers to practice driving for distance on the distance markers or for accuracy by gently landing the ball in a bird’s nest. Red Carpet Miniature Golf also entertains patrons post-putt with a deck available for party rental and a banquet hall that accommodates up to 70 people.
Yoga H'om's instructors continually encourage students to push the limits of their abilities by patiently introducing new skill sets to beginners and challenging seasoned yogis to perfect advanced maneuvers in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Teachers encourage their pupils to develop at their own pace and learn from one another during all-levels classes, which include Vinyasa-style Yoga Flow sessions, where attendees link one pose to the next with transitional movements that require intense focus and balance. During gentle yin yoga classes, beginning, injured, or physically disabled students can ease into mild stretches with the use of props, and experienced pupils can use the meditative session as an opportunity to wind down following vigorous flow classes. Regardless of the style, instructors in each session emphasize mindful breathing techniques and conclude with a period of deep relaxation that lasts just long enough for attendees to shake that song that has been stuck in their head.
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.
Ranked 56th on Golf Magazine's 2010 Top 100 Courses You Can Play, Longaberger Golf Club's immaculate, Arthur Hills–designed course stretches across 7,243 yards of rolling hills and parkland-style terrain. Begin a day of orb-blasting bravado with a stint at the club's 25-acre natural grass driving range, where target greens stretch into the distance, beckoning seductively to practice balls and recently single 9-irons. The lengthy course challenges golfers early on at the par 5 fourth hole—the course's most difficult hole—where orbs must travel 563 yards from the back tees to reach the green while also contending with a treacherous 150-foot drop in elevation. A generous selection of five tee options helps players of all club-flailing fortitude tame the formidable grassy monolith and its unruly gang of cart-hating, motorcycle-riding ex-caddies.