LIGONIER – Long known as a “Hallmark town” for its friendly residents, its elegant charm and shoppable streets, Ligonier might have the new moniker of honeymoon town thanks to the results of a recent survey.
The travel website Honeymoon Always lists Ligonier as one of the top budget-friendly honeymoon destinations in America according to information released this week.
Amy Beitel, executive director of the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce, said several factors make the borough of about 1,500 an attractive honeymoon destination.
“Ligonier has much to offer newlyweds,” Beitel said, “from charming, romantic dinners at our restaurants to outdoor activities like golfing and hiking. As we like to say, ‘There is a reason every season to visit Ligonier.’”
Patti Campbell, who owned and operated the Campbell House Bed & Breakfast for more than a quarter century before retiring in 2021, helped develop the town’s reputation as a hot spot for couples. Campbell offered elopement and vow renewal packages and helped plan more than 50 weddings at locations such as the Ligonier Diamond, inside her Victorian-style inn and at Linn Run State Park.
Many of the couples came from the Pittsburgh area or Ohio, but others traveled to Ligonier from Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina and even Hawaii. Some had never been to – or even seen pictures of – the Laurel Highlands, but Campbell said Ligonier quickly claimed a special place in their hearts, with couples returning year after year to celebrate their anniversaries.
“A lot of people didn’t know about the town, but when they came, they loved Ligonier,” Campbell said. “It was nice because they could come to Ligonier and could walk around. They could find places to eat. They could sit on the porch. It was more than just going somewhere out of town.”
Adam Gardner, owner of Thistledown at Seger House on Main Street in Ligonier, sees many couples on romantic getaways at his bed-and-breakfast.
“We get a lot of wedding groups that visit Thistledown, as Ligonier is a beautiful location to have a wedding,” Gardner said. “Also, we will have many of our guests return for an anniversary. The honeymooners that we do get are usually looking for a relaxing, quiet getaway where they can also partake in some of the hiking, biking, and other activities the Laurel Highlands has to offer.”
In addition to Thistledown, Ligonier lodging options include Be My Guest on Washington Street, The Colonial House on Main, Cottages at Millbank and Ramada Ligonier. Honeymooning couples have plenty of dining choices, such as Carol & Dave’s Roadhouse, Eastwood Inn, and Kitchen on Main. Ligonier features a vibrant shopping scene ranging from long-established stores such as Betsy’s of Ligonier and the Post and Rail Men’s Shop to more recent additions such as Artisan Made Marketplace and Wandering Spirits.
Ligonier checks in at No. 92 on the compilation of 150 destinations. It is one of only three Pennsylvania locations – Lititz (No. 67) and Erie (74) are the others – to make the list, which was topped by Cedar Key, Florida.
Honeymoon Always said Ligonier presents “a blend of quaint charm and historic allure without straining the wallet. This scenic town radiates a peaceful, small-town vibe, setting the stage for an unforgettable retreat. Newlyweds can delve into its rich history, amble down its shaded avenues, and immerse themselves in local museums without a hefty expenditure. From welcoming bed-and-breakfasts to homey inns, Ligonier provides pocket-friendly lodging options that don’t compromise comfort. Additionally, the town's boutique shops and vintage stores offer a treasure trove of reasonably priced mementos to mark their cherished journey.”
The average cost of a honeymoon in the U.S. is nearly $4,500, but Dan Bagby, who created Honeymoon Always with his wife Michelle, said there are many affordable options out there for newlyweds.
“Choosing the perfect honeymoon destination doesn’t have to mean choosing between an unforgettable experience and your financial future,” Bagby said. “As these top 150 budget-friendly destinations show, you can have your wedding cake and eat it, too. There’s an entire world of affordable, romantic, and unique getaways out there that cater to all types of couples. Whether you’re beach lovers, history buffs, adventure junkies, or nature enthusiasts, there’s a place for you. Honeymooning on a budget isn't about compromising; it’s about starting this beautiful new chapter of your life with smart decisions that pave the way for a stable, happy future.”
About Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands
A magnificent mountainous region, the Laurel Highlands is an outdoor lover’s paradise that spans 3,000 square miles in southwestern Pennsylvania. Located just an hour east of Pittsburgh, the beautiful four-season destination offers spectacular natural scenery, outstanding skiing, hiking, biking and golfing opportunities, historic sites and attractions, family activities and world-class resorts. Notable destinations within the region include four architectural masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright – Fallingwater®, Kentuck Knob, Mäntylä and Duncan House – as well as Nemacolin, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Flight 93 National Memorial, Idlewild and SoakZone, whitewater rafting in Ohiopyle State Park and much more.
Located within 200 miles of the major metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Washington D.C., Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands can be easily accessed from exits 67, 75, 91 and 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Visitors to the Laurel Highlands can find information online at GoLaurelHighlands.com, facebook.com/laurelhighlandsPA and twitter.com/laurelhighlands or by calling 724.238.5661. Established in 1958, GO Laurel Highlands, formerly known as Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, is the official destination marketing organization for Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.