Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, has a lot of water. It’s most famous attractions are Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, a weekend get-away/mansion perched on top of a creek, and the rapids of the Youghiogheny (pronounced – “yock-i-gay-nee”) River (below).
We skipped the rapids. The class V rapid trip that our friends signed up for cost $140 each, not suiting our cheapskate travel budget or my fear of tumbling out of the raft and bashing my head on a rock. However, trips on the milder sections of the river run about $50 a person.
Instead, we hit up the other watery attraction: Fallingwater. The famous home was supposed to be a weekend retreat for the Kaufmann family of the Kaufmann department stores (now Macy’s). But Frank Lloyd Wright created a mansion of stone floors, cantilevered balconies and picture windows. Wright designed the home in 1935, but it still looks modern. The structure itself, hasn’t fared so well; the Pennsylvania Conservancy had to make major repairs to the foundation of the home. I’m a sucker for architecture and loved Fallingwater. It was worth dealing with the crowds and having to order our tickets online (and pay the $2 surcharge). When we arrived for our noon tour, the day was entirely sold out.
Also in the area, is the tiny town of Ohiopyle (pop. 77). The one-street village is entirely whitewater rafting outfitters and restaurants. There is one bar, with not a single woman in it.
Fox’s Pizza Den: When we arrived in Ohiopyle, we were starving. And pizza seemed just right. This local chain sits at the corner of town and serves up a delicious Philly Cheese steak pizza. It also has on the menu a local creation, the wedgie. Wedgies are a sandwich served on a pizza crust instead of a bun.
House Cafe: I want to say only nice things about this restaurant, but I can’t. Sure, the setting, an old home with front porch and patio seating, was cute. The staff were friendly. But the food was over priced (almost $9 for a skimpy chicken salad sandwich) and the service horribly, horribly slow. Our lunch lasted a more than leisurely 2.5 hours.
Christian W. Klay Winery: Although buying beer in Ohiopyle requires an afternoon and a half tank of gas, purchasing a bottle of wine is not nearly so complicated. There’s winery ten minutes outside of town, located in a restored barn. The decoration is cheesy, but the back porch is nestled in pretty rolling hills. Had it not been pouring when we visited, it would have been an excellent spot to sit and drink a bottle.