There are entire cities with fewer attractions than those contained within the 1,700-acre grounds of Oglebay Resort & Conference Center. Originally built at the beginning of the 20th century as the summer estate of Cleveland industrialist Earl W. Oglebay, the resort has since been consistently evolving and improving.
In 1937—as a part of federal relief project—a massive outdoor swimming pool was built along with the Crispin Center, a stately building forged from locally mined sandstone; both remain cornerstones of the resort. The post-war era working boom fueled the creation of tennis courts (today, they have both indoor and outdoor options), picnic sites, and nature trails and roads.
With its scenery, space, and splendid infrastructure, Oglebay Resort was an attractive location for the development of a golf course. Two of the world's most famous course architects happened to agree. In the 1970s, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designed a championship layout into the landscape; it has gone on to host the LPGA Classic 11 times. Three decades later, Arnold Palmer placed his artistic spin on the soil, creating another 18-hole, championship golf course.
Whether lodging in one of the resort's rustic cottages, a sprawling estate house, or simply booking a room in the Wilson Lodge, guests won't have to go far to find entertainment on the resort grounds. A walk across the lawns—which feature an English garden—leads them to the Good Zoo, home to 50 species of exotic animals including salamanders and tamarin monkeys. Guests hoping to interact with animals can also head to the Oglebay stables, where horses await to play games of chess in which the knight is the only piece.
Motorcycles have long played a crucial role in the American mythos. The vroom of a twin-cylinder engine conjures images of Evel Knievel soaring through the sky on a daredevil jump or James Dean perched astride his 1955 Triumph Trophy, clad in a black leather jacket and brimming with smoldering angst. Even those who haven't felt their hands on the throttle can appreciate the motorcycle as an all-American icon of freedom, rebellion, and individuality.
The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum celebrates this iconography with exhibits that pay tribute to every aspect of motorcycling history. The museum's permanent collection is chock-full of memorabilia and ephemera from the early days of motorcycling, such as a Roper Steamer from 1894 and a turbo-powered penny-farthing from the same era. Visitors can also tour the Hall of Fame itself, a main-floor exhibition that celebrates the heroes of the racetrack and blacktop.
The Warther Museum, which was named Best Museum of 2010 by CityVoters, houses the Warther family's collection of intricately carved steam locomotives, more than 73,000 buttons, and more. The heart of the museum is Ernest Warther's wood, ebony, and ivory carvings of working steam engines, which include the Empire State Express, an eight-foot-long ivory train that was used to transport the Brooklyn Dodgers to state fairs. Mr. Warther, who earned the title World's Master Carver in the ’20s, also carved and displayed presidential canes and a working reproduction of a steel mill where he once worked.
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.
A full-service bed and breakfast, Pine Lakes Lodge combines the creature comforts of luxury living with the rustic beauty of 500 acres of forested hills. The 11,000-square-foot log-cabin lodge boasts five comfortably adorned suites ($150–$250/night) with private Jacuzzi tubs, making it an ideal setting for romantic weekend getaways and three quaintly rustic cabins await to welcome adventurous families or modern Whig-party conventions ($145–$250/night). While lodge rooms swathe newly burgeoning outdoorsmen in modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, wireless Internet, plush robes, and concierge service, semirugged individualists will appreciate the cabins' pastoral perks including a fire pit and wood, cookware and dishes, kettles that whistle "The Ballad of Davy Crockett", and a propane grill (cabins also come equipped with standard TVs and DVD players).
Today’s side deal offers cottage fever as an antidote for cabin fever. Escape to the pastoral paradise of The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, flanked by the natural bounty of Hocking Hills State Park. For $190, this Groupon gets you a night’s stay in one of the Inn’s cozy cottages ($179–$249 value), where unwinding is the only action item. Turn up the romance dial with that special somebody or something as you enjoy a $25 gift certificate towards any spa service, goodies including chocolates and other tasty treats ($45 value), and a complimentary full country breakfast, a combined value of $319. The warm, freshly baked cookies that greet you upon arrival are a delicious signifier of the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls' dedication to hospitality and personalized customer care.