15 Best Things to Do in Farmington, PA

Farmington, PA
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Farmington is an unincorporated community in Wharton Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

Located along US Route 40, this tight-knit neighborhood of around a thousand people sits 60 miles southeast of Pittsburg.

Farmington is the closest community to the Fort Necessity National Battlefield, site of a major 1754 battle during the French and Indian War.

The early settlers of Wharton Township were of English and German descent.

Meanwhile, Native Americans used parts of its land,  such as the Nemacolin’s Path, as hunting grounds for Native Americans, giving the area a unique history.

If you’re looking to escape the big city to revel in small-town vibes, here are the best things to do in Farmington:

Learn about the French and Indian War at Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Daytime view of Fort Necessity National Battlefield
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The Fort Necessity National Battlefield is a 900-acre National Battlefield on National Pike.

The park is the site of an early battle of the French and Indian war on July 3, 1754, where the British, under George Washington, surrendered to the Louis Coulon de Villiers-led French and Native American forces.

Wooden cabin in Fort Necessity National Battlefield
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The reconstructed battlefield is the centerpiece of the park, where reenactors recreate the battle occasionally.

The Mt. Washington Tavern is also within the park’s premises, where you can watch a 20-minute film that talks about the history of Fort Necessity and the National Road.

Mount washington tavern at Fort Necessity National Battlefield
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

Other sites worth visiting are the Jumonville Glen, which heard the first shot that sparked the American and Indian war, and General Braddock’s Grave.

Learn about history while enjoying the greenery of Fort Necessity National Battlefield.

Grave of general Braddock at Fort Necessity National Battlefield
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

See Exotic Animals at Nemacolin’s Wildlife Adventure

Nemacolin’s Wildlife Adventure on Lafayette Drive spans 2,200 acres of a nature sanctuary where wild animals roam around freely.

You can wander the resort by car, bike, or by walking the trails.

Wildlife habitats feature Iranian red sheep, lions, buffalos, and more.

Also in the resort are smaller exotic and domesticated animals like the kinkajou, silver foxes, and reptiles.

They also offer animal encounters, trail rides, and safari tours for more adventurous guests.

A guided nursery tour will give you a more up-close and personal encounter with young animals.

For a unique exploration of the estate, you can join a horseback tour for all riders of all ages.

Meanwhile, a backwoods trail ride that begins at the Equestrian Center will lead you through two-mile wooded trails.

If you’re an animal lover and would like to see rare ones, visit Nemacolin’s Wildlife Adventure.

Get Pampered at Woodlands Spa and Salon

Housed within the luxurious Nemacolin resort is the Woodlands Spa and Salon which has 40 treatment rooms, a full-service salon, a holistic healing center, and a fitness center.

Spa treatments include the Golf Wellness Package, where a physiologist, massage therapist, and a golf professional will help you improve your game.

You can also get the Gemstone Facial, an 80-minute customized treatment that uses Gua Sha to target any skin concern.

Then, you can enjoy the signature Woodlands Hot Stone Indulgence Pedicure that includes a warm honey jelly bath, honey and lavender scrub, and a hot stone massage.

Treatments also come with access to the indoor and outdoor pool, a lounge, a steam room, and a sauna.

In the Holistic Center, you can avail acupuncture treatments, yoga sessions, and cryotherapy, while the Fitness Center is fully equipped with modern equipment.

Book your slot at the Woodlands Spa and Salon if you’re looking for a luxe relaxation experience.

Join Workshops at the Touchstone Center for Crafts

The Touchstone Center for Crafts is a nonprofit organization located near Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Ohiopyle State Park, and Nemacolin Resort.

The center offers two- to three-day workshops for both beginners and advanced artists on ceramics, glassmaking, drawing, jewelry-making, and metalsmithing.

Exhibitions are available onsite, but they also have events open to art lovers of all ages, such as the annual open house holding campus and studio tours.

You can also watch demonstrations in blacksmithing, ceramics, and more, and listen to live music while shopping for handcrafted items from local artists.

Couples can also get a date night package during the regular workshop season from June through September, where participants join a two-hour mini workshop.

They can enjoy appetizers and local wine afterward.

Create art with your loved ones at the Touchstone Center for Crafts.

Explore the Laurel Caverns

Chandeliers in Laurel Caverns
Kathy D. Reasor / Shutterstock.com

The Laurel Caverns on Skyline Drive is the largest cave in Pennsylvania that spans over four miles and sits along the Chestnut Ridge.

In 1794, Richard Freeman found the caves and bought them.

Previously, only the Native Americans knew about the wild caves.

The caverns split into two parts: the Upper Cavern, which consists of its entrance and network of interconnecting passages, and the Lower Cavern, which has subterranean watercourses.

Colorful lights in Laurel Caverns
Kathy D. Reasor / Shutterstock.com

The cave’s management requires visitors to complete the basic caving program, which trains beginners as young as 12 years old in safe caving practices, involving the upper and middle zones of the cavern.

Because of the trail’s difficulty, the Lower Caving Program is only open to those who’ve completed the basic program.

The Upper Cave is perfect for aa leisurely tour with its sand-filled floors and relatively uncomplicated terrain, while the Lower Cave offers more challenge.

The Laurel Caverns also has workshops for gold panning and a souvenir shop where you can buy shirts, gameboards, and other merchandise.

Rock formations in Laurel Caverns
Kathy D. Reasor / Shutterstock.com

Stay at the Historic Summit Inn

Located on Skyline Drive, the Historic Summit Inn is the last remaining grand porch hotel in the country, boasting century-old architecture and incredible views.

The hotel first opened in 1907 along Chestnut Ridge, and immediately saw success because of its excellent location and facilities.

In 1924, the hotel installed the world’s first all-steel Olympic outdoor pool.

Likewise, its original register dates to 1917.

The Historic Summit Inn has hosted several prominent people throughout its storied past, including Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and Thomas Edison.

The trio brought the American Science Wizards to test their inventions in the mountain.

Today, the hotel offers rooms and vacation packages that include tours and dining experiences in three different spots.

Try Mae’s Dining Room which is its original restaurant, The Veranda which has beautiful sunsets and scenic mountain views, and the Wunder Bar, a bar entirely made from pennies.

For a one-of-a-kind hotel experience, book your stay at the Historic Summit Inn.

Grab Dinner at the Stone House Restaurant and Country Inn

The Stone House Restaurant and Country Inn is one of the original wayside inns along the National Road, having opened in 1822 to waggoners and travelers.

Today, it offers classic modern cooking and is known for the roadside barbecue it hosts on weekend afternoons.

Try the 14 oz. grilled ribeye steak, Stone House seven-layer lasagna, and Italian cannoli.

The restaurant also has a variety of cocktails, wines, and craft beers to pair with your meals.

Stone House also offers lodging for travelers touring the Ohiopyle area, with packages that include tours of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Kentucky Knowb, Lower Yough River, and Lady Luck Casino.

Consider staying and dining at the Stone House Restaurant and Country Inn if you're around Farmington.

Enjoy Farm-to-Table Meals at Bittersweet Café

Bittersweet Café is a family-owned café on Farmington-Ohiopyle Road serving food made from locally sourced ingredients.

The café’s story started in 1995 when “Grams”, together with her son, put up an antique shop along Mountain Road, Route 381 called Bittersweet Antiques.

In 2015, her daughter Terri decided to open a café adjacent to her shop.

They partner with local farms that supply them with fresh produce and handcrafted products.

Some bestsellers at Bittersweet Cafe are the breakfast sandwich with red pepper jelly and the Belgian waffle with locally made maple syrup and fresh blueberries.

Play Golf at the Scenic Mystic Rock

The grounds of Mystic Rock
daveynin from United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mystic Rock Fairway Villas Road is a par-72 private golf course atop the Pennsylvania Allegheny Mountains.

It’s one of the best courses in the country, ranked by Golf Digest at #75 in its “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” list and by Golfweek at #55 in its “America’s 100 Best Resort Golf Courses” list.

Pete Dye designed the 36-hole course, which offers spectacular views of the Laurel Highlands, providing players with perfect conditions for a round of golf.

Seventeenth tee at Mystic Rock
daveynin from United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The resort also has lodging options with 322 rooms, a spa with 40 treatment rooms, 5 swimming pools, 15 restaurants, a casino, and plenty of space for other outdoor activities like tennis, shooting, and archery.

Mystic Rock is truly a haven for golf enthusiasts, but non-fans will also find themselves loving this all-in-one vacation spot.

A goat at Mystic Rock
daveynin from United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go Whitewater Rafting at Ohiopyle State Park

Beautiful cucumber falls at Ohiopyle State Park
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The Ohiopyle State Park is a 20,000-acre state park that runs through the Dunbar, Henry Clay, and Stewart townships of Fayette County.

Located in Ohiopvania, the park is a seven-minute drive from Farmington.

It lies within the Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests, making it a biodiversity haven.

At the heart of the park is the 14-mile Youghiogheny River known for whitewater rafting.

Observation deck overlooking the rapids at Ohiopyle State Park
Ron Shawley, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re not into watersports, you can also hike the Youghiogheny River Trail which runs parallel to the rapids.

Around 18,000 acres of the park are hunting grounds for wild turkey, ruffed grouse, white-tailed deer, and other game species, subject to regulations of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The park’s Kentuck Campground allows overnight stays and cottage rentals.

Explore one of Pennsylvania’s must-see state parks and have the best whitewater rafting experience at the Ohiopyle State Park.

History board at Ohiopyle State Park
Ron Shawley, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Try the Christian W Klay Winery’s Award-Winning Wines

Christian W Klay Winery is just a block off National Pike Route 40 on Fayette Springs Road, Chalkhill, Pennsylvania, six minutes from Farmington.

The husband and wife tandem of Sharon and John Klay own the farm.

They have researched and selected more than a hundred varieties of grapes that are suitable for Pennsylvania’s climate.

Set in an 1880s barn, the winery has a large pavilion, indoor lounge, and tasting room where you can sample their award-winning wine selection.

The farm also offers educational tours and wine tasting, and hosts public and private events throughout the year, including the annual Fayette Friends of Animals fundraising event.

Stop by Christian W Klay Winery for a glass or two of specialty wine.

Admire the Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kentuck Knob

Exterior of Kentuck Knob
Jim Packett / Shutterstock.com

Kentuck Knob is a small, one-story Usonian house designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Located in Dunbar, Pennsylvania, this house is around 15 minutes outside Farmington.

The house shows Wright’s signature affordable, middle-income family home design, using native materials, with flat roofs and a garden terrace.

The house is a designated National Historic Landmark, revered for its excellent architecture employing tidewater red cypress, glass, native sandstone, and copper roofing.

Roof details of Kentuck Knob
Jim Packett / Shutterstock.com

In 1956, Wright designed the house initially for the Hagan family.

However, in 1986, Lord Peter Palumbo of England bought the house, turning it into a vacation home for a decade, and opening it to tours in 1996.

Book your guided house tour and admire the architecture of the Kentuck Knob.

Patio of Kentuck Knob
Jeff Kubina from Columbia, Maryland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Great Crossings Bridge

Located on the National Road between Somerset County and Fayette County, the Great Crossings Bridge is a masonry bridge that crosses the Youghiogheny River.

This bridge is in Confluence, Pennsylvania, 20 minutes from Farmington.

Constructed between 1813 and 1815, the 375-foot bridge is believed to be the only existing triple arch sandstone bridge on the Pennsylvania section of the National Pike.

Water from the Youghiogheny Reservoir submerged the  bridge and the nearby community after the construction of the Flood Control Dam.

Today, you can also see and cross the bridge when water levels are low.

Take a postcard-worthy photo of the Great Crossings Bridge on a summer visit.

Final Thoughts

Farmington is an excellent escape for people wanting to experience suburban life.

The community is in an area full of history and biodiversity that will pique anyone’s interest.

If you’re looking for a nature trip or an educational tour, try these best things to do in Farmington.

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