Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau plans regional ‘wellness tour’
For the first time, Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau will offer an organized wellness tour this spring, highlighting regional stops during a day-long public outing.
On May 19, the bureau will host “Journey of Self: A Wellness Tour of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands.” Those aboard the tour bus will visit Nemacolin Woodlands Resort’s Holistic Healing Center, Laurelville Retreat Center, Ohiopyle State Park and SanaView Farms for a restorative day of relaxation.
Limited to 48 people, the tour is sold out with a wait list available.
The leisurely opportunity to explore the region’s health and recreation options will include two locally sourced meal stops and a few surprises along the way, as well as expert guide service.
The tour marks the bureau’s expansion beyond previously working exclusively with group tour operators and group event planners.
“For many years, the (bureau) has hosted an annual ‘Backyard Tour’ to better acquaint our front tourism staff with all of the incredible offerings in the Laurel Highlands,” says Ann Nemanic, bureau executive director.
“The ‘Backyard Tour’ helps them to answer the perpetual visitor question ‘What is there to do around here?’ We would often hear from those participants, ‘I wish my friends could come on a tour like this.’ From there, the idea of a public tour was born,” Nemanic adds.
Planning for the day
Bureau tourism development director Stacey Magda is putting together the day’s itinerary.
“The Laurel Highlands is home to endless nurturing experiences including the great outdoors, healthy dining locations, spas, holistic centers and renowned wellness practitioners,” Magda says.
Sometimes business operators and residents think because they live nearby, they know all there is to know about the region, she says.
“Wellness is one of the pillars in Laurel Highlands tours,” Magda says. “Wellness and self-care are on trend. This is fulfilling a need.
“Being connected with the Laurel Highlands tourism community, we have an excellent grasp on what offerings are available,” she adds.
A garden lunch will be served at Farmington’s Bittersweet Cafe.
The journey continues to Ohiopyle State Park for a nature hike, waterfall tour and bicycling.
The park plays a big role in encouraging outdoor wellness activities, Magda says, and visitors will have an opportunity to “get out and play.”
At Laurelville Retreat, visitors will enjoy a wellness workshop with Cathy Graham, and walk a meditation labyrinth overlooking the valleys of Chestnut Ridge.
The day concludes with a farm-to-table dinner, bonfire and drum circle at Sanaview Farms in Champion.
“Janet McKee (property owner ) is a renowned leader in holistic and wellness practices,” Magda says.
Per person cost for “Journey of Self: A Wellness Tour of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands,” is $160, and includes all activities, on-board refreshments, healthy snacks and two locally sourced meals.
Participants can receive a $5 discount for agreeing to bring a reusable water bottle.
The day’s activities are meant for those age 18 and up.
For details and to join the wait list, visit: laurelhighlands.org
Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .