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.
The friendly tool experts at Direct Tools Factory Outlet help customers negotiate the store's huge inventory of new, reconditioned, and factory-blemished hardware from brands such as Ryobi, Homelite, and Milwaukee. Items are priced at reduced rates of up to 75%, allowing budget-conscious customers to stockpile hardware for home-improvement projects or backyard tool hills. Impress a time-traveling early hominid with a Dirt Devil Scorpion 7-amp hand vacuum ($29.99) or a factory-blemished Ryobi One+ lithium-Ion compact drill ($127.99). Spice up dinner parties with a portable table saw ($139), powered during a total blackout by a 5,000-watt Homelite generator ($499). Each product carries a warranty of at least one year, even the reconditioned items, which are only awarded warranty ribbons after undergoing a grueling routine of pushups and burpees.
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.
The traditional farmers' market at Trax Farms, owned and operated by the Trax family since 1865, teems with an eclectic array of produce grown onsite, freshly baked goods, deli fare, and gifts amid 325 acres of fields and orchards. The owners eschew imported produce for farm-grown, seasonal vegetables and fruits, and furnish their shelves with local and international specialty foodstuffs, Sarris and Wagner’s chocolates, and the farm’s own brand of flavored coffee. The aroma of freshly baked seasonal pies, homemade breads, and made-from-scratch cookies tantalizes noses as the deli rolls out soups, salads, and sandwiches assembled from premium meats and cheeses. In addition to a selection of quilts, clothing, and jewelry, the shop boasts wines, including award-winning Arrowhead Wine Cellar varietals. Furthering its homey, community-centered approach, the farm hosts flea markets, festivals, and special events, such as its autumnal hayride, which entices young visitors and scarecrows with thinning scalps.
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.