Best known as the site of a strategic fort dating back to the French and Indian War, this small town is also home to pleasant antique shops, restaurants and inns.
Ligonier is a historic town set in a scenic valley. Visit the town’s famous fort, quaint shops, cheerful markets and family-friendly attractions.
Go for a stroll in the Diamond, a lovely central park filled with flowers, trees and small wildlife. Relax on a bench or find out if any concerts are taking place on the park’s historic bandstand. The Diamond is an excellent starting point for sightseeing, with the town’s main streets extending in four directions from the park.
Visit Fort Ligonier, a thoughtful re-creation of the original British fortification built during the French and Indian War. Gain insight into the lives of 18th-century soldiers as you explore the fort’s barracks, commissary, saw mill and other reconstructed buildings. In the fort museum, read handwritten memoirs of the young George Washington and see Seven Years’ War artifacts collected from around the world.
Don’t miss the Ligonier Country Market, occurring Saturday mornings from mid-May until October. More than 130 vendors set up stalls selling fresh-picked produce and handicrafts in one of Western Pennsylvania’s largest and oldest markets. Pick up heirloom tomatoes for a picnic and shop for handmade jewelry and candles.
Save time to see the Compass Inn Museum, a restored 18th-century stagecoach stop complex. Learn about life and transportation in the 1800s on a guided tour with a costumed docent. Look inside the seven rooms of the restored inn, which is decorated with period furniture.
Bring the kids to Idlewild and SoakZone, one of Pennsylvania’s oldest amusement parks. Dating back to 1878, the park’s attractions are divided into several themed areas. Ride the antique merry-go-round in traditional “Olde Idlewild” or float down the lazy river in the “SoakZone.”
One of the best times of year to visit Ligonier is during October’s Fort Ligonier Days festival. Centered on Fort Ligonier, the event features 18th-century music, parades and battle re-enactments.
Ligonier is 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Pittsburgh and best reached by car.