16 Best Things to Do in Somerset, PA

Somerset, PA
anastasiya parfenyuk / shutterstock.com

Somerset is a safe small town with easy access to nearby Pittsburgh.

The area offers incredible scenery and attractions, such as picturesque forests, hills, and rivers.

Established in 1795 as an independent town, Somerset Borough became an official city in 1804.

It is the seat of the county with the same name.

The name "Somerset" took its name from a county in England.

Somerset Township to the north, Quemahoning, Lincoln, and Jefferson Townships to the west, and Stoneycreek and Brothersvalley Townships to the East, Somerset Borough is situated in the middle of Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Flowing into the Ohio River is Coxes Creek, which drains the region.

The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 took place in and around Somerset.

Somerset was home to many leaders of the insurrection, such as Harmon Husband.

Berlin, a nearby town, served as the headquarters of the federal militia ordered to put down the uprising in the region.

Whiskey Rebellion was the first significant test of federal authority under the newly created U.S. Constitution and President George Washington's presidency.

A Martian crater bears the name of the town.

No matter what you're looking for, Somerset has it all.

If you're dying to know what you can do in this charming small town, read on to find out.

Stroll Along Uptown Somerset

View of Uptown Somerset
Canadian2006, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Uptown Somerset historic district features the borough's most architecturally significant buildings reflecting the development of the community from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century.

This national historic district has 190 contributing buildings, one contributing site, and one significant monument, including the Somerset Trust Company and the Former First National Bank Building.

View of Uptown Somerset
Photochick234, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The borough built most of its historic buildings after the devastating fire of 1876.

Recently paved sidewalks enhanced the beauty of the Uptown Somerset landmark district.

The Uptown features a variety of architectural styles, including Classical Revival, Italianate, Colonial Revival, Bungalow, Craftsman, and Queen Anne.

View of Uptown Somerset
Photochick234, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tour the Somerset Historical Center

This 150-acre countryside history museum, known as the Somerset Historical Center, stands in the northern part of Somerset, Pennsylvania.

It aims to document the region's past life, from its earliest farmers up to the present.

Historical and genealogical societies in Somerset County rely on the Somerset Historical Center as a base of operations.

Besides the Genealogical Research Library, its Visitors Center also has a variety of permanent and seasonal displays.

It offers an extensive array of lectures and workshops to preserve the history and customs of Southwest Pennsylvania.

Explore local history from the 1700s to the current day by paying a visit to the museum.

See how early farmers cultivated the field, produced their dairy products, woven exquisite fabrics, and tapped the trees for maple syrup!

All ages will enjoy this journey back in time, filled with local treasures and relics.

See Unique Artworks Made of Paper at the Guild of American Papercutters (GAP) National Museum

One year after the inaugural conference at the Hershey Museum of American Life in Pennsylvania in 1988, the Guild of American Papercutters (GAP) came into existence.

We are a non-profit organization committed to preserving and promoting the art of paper cutting and paper crafting in all of its historical and modern manifestations.

"North American" was the original target audience of the Guild.

At its tenth anniversary, the group had over 500 members spread throughout 48 states in the United States and 16 different countries worldwide.

Since its inception in 1995, Laurel Arts and the Guild of American Papercutters collaborated to construct the National Museum of Papercutting at the Philip Dressler Center for the Arts in Somerset, Pennsylvania.

It is the first museum in the United States dedicated to papercutting.

Apart from rotating exhibitions, there is a collection of papercuts in the museum.

Look Back on a Heroic History at Quecreek Mine Rescue Site

View of Quecreek Mine Rescue Site
Tyrol5, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

An official Historic Site since 2004, here is where nine miners were pulled out of the ground in 2002 after they got trapped.

It inspired the narrative titled "Miracle at Dormel Farms."

View of Quecreek Mine Rescue Site
Tyrol5, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A 7-foot bronze miner statue honors the nine miners and rescuers who worked together to save them.

Here, you will see the actual rescue capsule, shattered drill pipe, and other artifacts memento associated with this successful rescue.

This place has had a profound effect on thousands of visitors.

View of Quecreek Mine Rescue Site
Tyrol5, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have a Blast With Your Pet at Jager and Friends Dog Park

The Jäger and Friends Dog Park in Somerset, Pennsylvania, is the city's first off-leash dog park.

The non-profit Jager and Friends Dog Park, located in Somerset, Pennsylvania, is tucked away behind a shopping and business center.

Its mission is to provide a lovely space where people and dogs may interact.

You may access Jager & Friends Dog Park via the PA turnpike or Rt. 31.

This park is open to dogs of all types and sizes, and its goal is to create an off-leash, owner-supervised socializing area for canine partners.

Check Out Different Art Programs at Laurel Arts

The Georgian Place Suites has been home to Laurel Arts' Education and Dance Center since August 2009.

It offers dance programs, STUDIO KIDS kindergarten, performing arts and visual arts workshops, and a retail shop offering dance and art materials.

Laurel Arts collaborated with the Guild of American Papercutters in establishing the National Museum for Papercutting in November 2009.

Buy Local Produce at Merchant Village

In a 20,000-square-foot building at 1534 N Center Avenue, the Merchant Village is home to nearly 160 vendors.

There is no better way to appreciate the culture of a place than through shopping at local businesses.

You can help the community's elderly members or young moms striving to support their families by buying from local merchants.

All of the items are created or farmed within a 100-mile radius of the market.

There are also plenty of antiques and collectibles in the market.

Additionally, there are a variety of teas, spices, lotions, soaps, sweets, and chocolates.

Except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Easter, it is open year-round.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Kooser State Park

View of Kooser State Park
Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the Laurel Highlands, at the height of 2,600 feet above sea level, the breathtaking Kooser State Park is a year-round draw for tourists.

The town of Somerset took its name from John Kooser, who established his home near the park's western end.

On its 250 acres of land in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, you'll find a lake, rich trees, and other natural beauty.

When you visit, you may enjoy a wide range of activities thanks to their combined efforts.

Hiking, fishing, and hunting are the most popular summer pastimes here in the mountains.

Skiing and snowshoeing are popular winter activities at the park.

A battleground for the American Indians explains the war arrows and spears recovered in this site.

The Whiskey Rebellion's guerrillas also went through.

To this day, campers may opt for an RV site, a cottage, or just a tent site when visiting the park.

Explore Kimberly Run Natural Area

If you're looking for an easy to moderately trafficked route with many wildflowers in Somerset, Pennsylvania, Kimberly Run Trail has you covered.

Trails like this one cater to hiking and other outdoor pursuits like walking and jogging.

Its well-maintained hiking routes allow visitors to witness a wide variety of wildlife.

On trees, you will see huge placards that include both their common and Latin names.

To check a small label, you can't go down on your hands and knees.

It's a fantastic way for children to learn about trees.

Hop on the Painting Sessions at Uptown Painting Party

If you want to level up your art experience in Somerset, why not visit Uptown Painting Party's studio and paint on any canvas or pottery of your choosing at the open studio hours?

There's always a resident artist on hand to help you out!

In the Uptown Painting Party, participants follow along with a professional artist, relax, and end up with a "masterpiece" to take home!

The crew at the Dos Amigos is happy to offer all of the beverages and food you need for your event!

It's always a good idea to come 15 to 20 minutes early to introduce yourself to the other "pARTiers" and enjoy some wine.

Buy a Bottle of Wine at Glades Pike Winery

As a family-owned business, Glades Pike Winery's idea of family has evolved through the years.

This award-winning winery has been producing award-winning wines since 1995.

They provide a wide variety of wines, including dry, semi-dry, and sweet varieties.

If wine isn't your thing, they also have an excellent assortment of beers.

Snacks, including shrimp cocktail, cheese platters, and wine slushies, are also available.

Visit Laurel Highlands Model Railroad Club

Somerset, Pennsylvania's 216 West Main Street location makes it convenient to visit our model train exhibits! It also accommodates bus tours.

When you're next in the Laurel Highlands, be sure to drop by and say hello!

Company Train Program: Businesses can get the chance to purchase a train car with their company's name emblazoned thereon each year.

There is an above ceiling track where the railway carriages are displayed and operate at 216 West Main Street, Somerset, PA.

The annual program benefits the Somerset Kids and Kountians in Need, Inc.

Walk Across Walter's Mill Covered Bridge

View of Walter's Mill Covered Bridge
JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The agricultural economy of Somerset relied heavily on the quality of the roads and bridges.

In the early nineteenth century, the borough constructed the covered bridge to shield the bridge's flooring and the supporting beams from the weather.

The Walter's Mill Covered Bridge initially crossed Coxes Creek four miles south of Somerset in 1859.

The bridge's initial multiple kingpost trusses had laminated wood arches added in 1909 as part of major renovations to accommodate larger cars.

Town officials instructed the transfer of the bridge to the city's Historical Center in the 1960s due to demolition threats.

The bridge, extensively renovated in 1986 and is still available to pedestrians, serves as a lovely memory of the good old days.

Try Clay Shooting at Buffer Creek Sporting Clays

Located in Somerset, Pennsylvania, Brendle Farms is home to Buffer Creek, which offers clay shooting.

It is a fast-growing sport that involves firing a shotgun at flying clay targets.

It's safe, thrilling, demanding, and enjoyable.

Fields and woodlots make up the majority of the property where the course is situated.

The 725-acre Brendle Farms, which features the region's most extensive Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, is owned by Mike and Harriet Brendle (CREP).

One of the best sports clays course designers in the United States, Master Shooter Gary Bloom, built this course for the event.

The course has 25 stations with different difficulty levels and challenges.

See Lovely Quilts at the Sewing Box Quilt Shop

Located in Somerset, the Sewing Box Quilt Shop serves as a source of creative inspiration for locals.

Andover, Benartex, Moda, Northcott, Andover, and Wilmington are just a few of the famous brands it sells.

Hand quilting, machine quilting, embroidery, appliqué, and basic sewing are just some of the things you'll discover here.

Sewing enthusiasts of all skill levels are welcome to join us for lessons in appliqué, piecing, and free-motion machine quilting, which is both educational and entertaining.

Quilting items and ideas abound here, whether you're shopping for yourself or as a present.

The best part is all notions, books, and patterns are 20% off every day!

Admire the Architecture of Somerset County Courthouse and See the Soldier Monument

Located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, this historic building serves as the county courthouse.

Built between 1904 and 1906, this two-story Classical Revival structure with 146 feet by 112 feet of floor space and a height of 135.

On a sandstone base, Indiana limestone provides the structure's structure and support.

There is a terracotta tile roof and a copper dome on the central tower.

Four Corinthian columns support a semicircular portico.

In 1980, it became part of the list of the National Register of Historic Places as a significant architectural and cultural resource.

The Somerset County Soldiers' Monument, made in 1888, is located on the courthouse grounds at Centre Avenue and Union Street.

Final Thoughts

Somerset may be a small town, but it has so much to offer.

If you want to experience outdoor enjoyment, see picturesque landscapes, lovely historical buildings, charming specialty shops, and exciting activities, make this your next getaway destination.

💌
Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
✍️
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.