Plan your romantic Valentine’s Day escape to the Laurel Highlands and enjoy all the usual spoils of the holiday … chocolates from O’Sheas Ligonier Sweet Shoppe, gorgeous flowers and gifts from Neubauer’s Flowers and Markethouse in Uniontown, a delightful dinner at Out of the Fire Café in Donegal, followed by a romantic slopeside rendezvous in an awesome Seven Springs Mountain Villa Condo.
A getaway to the scenic Laurel Highlands can be as romantic as your favorite Hallmark movie. But what if you are thirsting for something a bit more frothy and fun … something that includes frosty craft beverages for two, perhaps?
If your idea of a dream getaway with your special someone involves a tantalizing tour of craft breweries, tempting wine tastings, or a wild foray into the birthplace of American whiskey, let us introduce you to the Laurel Highlands Pour Tour. At first glance, a beverage passport program may not seem scream “Valentine’s Day romance.” but look a little deeper into the heart of this craft trail and you’ll find romance on the menu and love served on-tap!
Just ask Michele and Earl Stillwagon, whose first date began a journey along the Pour Tour that they say changed their lives. As they checked off passport locations and discovered new favorite libations, their fondness for each other continued to grow, and in March 2023, they were married.
“I started doing the tour on my own, going here and there,” Michele Stillwagon recalled, noting that it was a great option for a June 17, 2022, outing that would change her life. “I thought ‘What am I going to do on a first date? We’re 57 and 55 years old. What do you do that’s different?’ I thought, ‘Let’s start doing (Pour Tour 2.0) together.’ He likes wine, I like wine, so we started doing this tour together.”
With 62 locations including breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, and a meadery, it’s easy to see that Pour Tour exploring can be a date night worth repeating. To participate, all you need to do is pick up a Pour Tour Passport at any participating location or download the GO Laurel Highlands/Pour Tour app from your phone’s app store. Either will serve as a guide to all the craft beverage locations. If you choose to work toward prize redemptions, you can collect stickers or “stamp” your passport digitally via the app when you make a qualifying purchase, then collect prizes at the 15-, 30- and 45-sticker/stamp benchmarks. If you’re visiting from outside of the area, the Passport helps to create great itineraries for multiple weekend getaways!
Getting back to Valentine’s Day and the pursuit of romance, the Pour Tour makers have rolled out the red carpet to provide fun and exciting Valentine’s Day events and activities for couples to enjoy. Here are eight dreamy date night recommendations:
- Taste of the Laurel Highlands Dinner at Greenhouse Winery – 5 p.m., Feb. 9
Don’t miss this five-course exquisite food and wine pairing featuring Elegant Catering, Quinn Brewery, Unity Brewing, Rusty Musket Distillery and Pleasant Lane Farms. In addition to live music, the participating makers will share their insights and stories throughout the evening. Book your spot today.
- Valentine’s Dinner and Dancing at Deer Creek Winery & Watson Estate B&B – 6:30-8:30 p.m., Feb. 9-14
Go back in time to a romantic dinner and dancing in an 1800s estate dining room for a surf-'n-turf buffet dinner and dancing to live music. Enjoy dinner, dessert and a bottle of Deer Creek wine. Of course, we highly recommend completing the experience with an overnight stay in the B&B. Choose your date and make your reservation.
- Valentine’s Day Special Allusion Brewing Company – 12-2 p.m. or 2-4 p.m., Feb. 11
Two is better than one! Couple’s special includes two drinks, Valentine’s Day charcuterie board, and dessert for two. Reserve your space.
- Valentine’s Sweetheart Dinner at Chapel Hill Wines – 5 p.m. or 7 p.m., Feb. 14
Centered around succulent chicken cordon bleu, this promises to be an unforgettable wine-and-dine experience. Click to make your reservation.
- Couples Game Night at Tall Pines Distillery – 6 p.m., Feb. 14
Memories last longer than flowers, and laughter is important for all relationships! Join this fun evening of games, dinner, drinks, and dessert. Purchase your tickets today.
- Valentine’s Fondue Dinner at Greendance Winery – 6 p.m., Feb. 14
Guests will enjoy a two-course fondue dinner with Emmentaler-Gruyère cheese course with meatballs, vegetables, and artisan bread, followed by a sweet slice of dessert prepared by Sand Hill Berries. Call ahead, seating is limited: 724-547-6500
What makes these events even more special? They are all situated in the beautiful Laurel Highlands, where simply driving down a tree-lined mountain road on a winter day can be a magical and enchanting experience. Outdoor adventures are waiting around every corner. Prior to your evening event, you and your favorite person can spend the day skiing or boarding at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Hidden Valley Resort, or Laurel Mountain. Or take a scenic cruise through the woods on a cross country ski excursion.
Would you rather stay in? Settle in by the fire or spend the day at the spa. Oak Lodge is a wonderful getaway where you can spend the night, enjoy a lovely meal at The Café, and reconnect, relax and rejuvenate with a couples massage at Whispering Woods Spa.
The Laurel Highlands is known for its unique and comfortable cabins, chalets and cottages. Find your personal romantic vibe and sink into your comfort zone. When it comes to love, your heart will find its home in the Laurel Highlands.