8 Cool Things You May Not Know About Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

d Resort's gorgeous exterior. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

Are you thinking about a visit to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort? Or maybe you’ve been, but really didn’t have a chance to check out everything? Either way, it has so much to offer its guests. From an art studio named after a surrealist to wild animals, here are eight cool things you may not know about Nemacolin Woodlands Resort!

Nemacolin Wood Resort's Fatbird. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke
Nemacolin Wood Resort’s Fatbird. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke
  1. Lions and Tigers – and Goats? Oh, my!
  2. All the Zen
  3. Surrealist Studio
  4. Up, up, and Away!
  5. Baja, Baby!
  6. By, George!
  7. Ding Ding Ding!
  8. Fat Bird Slept Here

My first visit to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort was just last month, and I could kick myself for waiting so long. I mean, it’s only about 90 minutes south of Pittsburgh, PA in the Laurel Highlands. If you’re not sure where that is, think of nature and Fred Rogers combined to create an outdoorsy haven.

Yes, the resort is luxurious and the staff impeccable, but what really made me walk around with my mouth gaped open were the attention to details and cool tidbits throughout. Here’s what really caught my eye, including eight things you may not know about the resort.

On-property lions at Nemacolin. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke
On-property lions at Nemacolin. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

1. Lions and Tigers – and Goats?

Nemacolin doesn’t just have a zoo on property, it has a Wildlife Academy. Established in 2006, it has animals from all over the world represented. Happily boasting over 40 species, its commitment to animal conservation is refreshing. Oh, and it has a two-toed sloth. Be still my heart.

Aww! What a cutie! Checking out the goats at Nemacolin's Wildlife Academy. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke
Aww! What a cutie! Checking out the goats at Nemacolin’s Wildlife Academy. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

The resort shuttle will drive you back to the wildlife area, where you can look around and take photos. And, if you’re up for a hands-on experience, it even offers animal encounters. THAT I need to re-visit to do.

Nemacolin's on-property zen spot: Woodlands Spa. Photo Credit: Karyn Lock
Nemacolin’s on-property zen spot: Woodlands Spa. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

2. All the Zen

Just in case you need a little zen in your life, Nemacolin has The Woodlands, an award-winning spa. Featuring massages, facials, and a full salon, you can rest your cares away while enjoying a little “me” time.

Even the lobby at Woodlands Spa is calming. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke
Even the lobby at Woodlands Spa is calming. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

I had the pleasure of a 60-minute Swedish massage when I visited the property and loved every second. My masseuse was so skilled and asked me about any areas that needed tended to before we began. I left feeling refreshed and peaceful. Ahh…

One of at least 1,000 on-property art pieces at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke
One of at least 1,000 on-property art pieces at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

3. Surrealist Studio

Paying tribute to my husband’s favorite artist on-property was such a sight to see on my visit. The Salvador Dalí Art Studio offers classes on everything from stained glass to photography and gelatin printing.

While we’re talking art, Nemacolin has over 1,000 individual pieces from the multi-million dollar Hardy Family Art Collection.  Tours are offered every Wednesday & Sunday at 3:30 pm, and on  Friday at 5:00 pm.

Visiting Nemacolin Woodlands Resort for the first time? Or maybe you're ready to head back? Here are eight cool things you may not know about Nemacolin Woodlands Resort! #Nemacolin #LaurelHighlands #VisitPA #LuxuryTravel #GeorgeWashington

4. Up, Up, and Away!

At the end of the property’s airstrip sits the Pride & Joy Airplane Hangar. Yes, it’s small, but it does contain one of Steve McQueen’s personal planes. If you’re an airplane enthusiast, you’ll dig the full-restored 1931 Pitcarin PA-8.

5. Baja, Baby!

If you’d like a little adventure when you visit, Nemacolin offers a Jeep Offroad Driving Academy. Starting out on a practice course to get warmed up, it’s all about driving practically and intently. The course lets guests drive through mod and water, so expect to get down and dirty if you choose to partake.

Nemacolin has plenty of George Washington tributes including this statue outside of Chateau Lafayette. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke
Nemacolin has plenty of George Washington tributes including this statue outside of Chateau Lafayette. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

6. By, George!

Did you know that Nemacolin Woodlands Resort was named after Chief Nemacolin, heredity chief of the Delaware Nation? Did you also know that Nemacolin has a happy connection to our one dollar founding father? True story!

Chief Nemacolin helped Thomas Cresap widen a Native American path across the Allegheny Mountains to the Ohio River Valley. George Washington was led by Christopher Gist along the path in 1753 and 1754. In tribute, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort pays honor to both with on-property statues.

If that wasn’t enough, Washington is also honored with the naming of its Washington Townhomes, Washington Quarters and Maples Townhomes.

7. Ding Ding Ding!

If you’ve ever been to a casino, you know how pretty the sound of winning slot machines sound. If you’re up for a little gambling, Nemacolin’s on-property gaming area, Lady Luck Casino, may be on the small side, but it does have 600 slots and 29 table games. There are also on onsite restaurant and lounge in case you get hungry.

Know the story behind Nemacolin's Fatbird? It's super cute! Photo Credit: Karyn Locke
Know the story behind Nemacolin’s Fatbird? It’s super cute! Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

8. Fatbird Slept Here

Did you know Nemacolin’s logo has a “Fatbird” in it? The cute, chubby grouse (Pennsylvania’s official state bird) captures the spirit with its fun, whimsical look and style.

Maggie Hardy Magerko, the resort’s President and Owner, personally created Fatbird.  Inspired by artist Fernando Botero’s “Little Bird,”she wanted a whimsical, welcoming icon. She commissioned wildlife artist Barney Boller to create the logo and the rest is history.

Disclosure: I was graciously hosted by the fine folks at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau to give to the scoop on what makes it so great for visitors. All opinions and photos are my own!

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