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.
When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop?then called Pete's Subway?proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway restaurants number over 34,000 around the world?almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Salads free crisp veggies from bread's overprotective embrace, and crunchy baked chips or apple slices accompany entrees to tables. Subway's website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutrition information and fastest mile time online.
What is there to do at Grand Vue Park? The answer to that question changes constantly. In warmer weather, its more than 650 acres present wooded trails for walking and biking, plus three ways to golf—mini golf, disc golf, and a full three-par course. Depending on the month, all of these activities come with a side of bird watching; different species flock to four feeding stations throughout the park.
Oftentimes birds aren't the only ones creating music, since outdoor festivals occasionally take over the grounds and most drummers love the taste of birdseed. Yet, perhaps the grandest spectacle takes place at the treetops, where eight dual zipline routes zoom through canopies that take on a rainbow of colors during fall. Once the transition to winter completes, it's the perfect time to skate around the ice rink.
Some things are more than the sum of their parts?especially the exhibits at the Unofficial LEGO Museum, which was featured on A&E's "Shipping Wars". The parts in question are simple: tiny plastic bricks, considered kids' toys by most people. But when the museum's millions of bricks are put together, the result is the world's largest LEGO brick image. The space also houses massive sculptures of everything from an owl to a table of poker players, all looking at cards made of LEGOs. There's even a Spiderman statue, which museum-goers can pose with in pictures, or wait patiently next to, hoping he shoots LEGO webs out of his wrists.
Former Broadway performers, hip-hop dancers, and a director of dance programs for the Army—these women make up the staff at Bowman Dance Company & School. Their diverse backgrounds and talents inform a curriculum that consists of a variety of classes ranging from ballet and creative movement, to hip-hop and jazz, to Pilates and Zumba.
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.