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Top Things to do in Latrobe Pennsylvania

The Laurel Highlands is full of small towns worth exploring! Like Ligonier, Latrobe is a small town that offers visitors unique attractions and things to do. If you’re doing a road trip to Pennsylvania, consider adding Latrobe to it! Both of these small towns are located in a region of Pennsylvania known as the Laurel Highlands.

We were born and raised in Latrobe so our guide is straight from two locals! Surprisingly, Latrobe is home to a lot of things that give it a bigger dot on the Pennsylvania map. Latrobe is the hometown of many famous people including the professional golfer Arnold Palmer and “everyone’s neighbor” Mr. Rogers. And Latrobe was the birthplace of a lot of things Americans love and enjoy, so keep reading to learn more about the history of Latrobe and the top things to do in Latrobe.

Top Things to do in Latrobe Pennsylvania: A Local’s Guide to Latrobe

1. Saint Vincent College

Saint Vincent College is a small liberal arts college in Latrobe. And it’s where we attended college for our undergraduate degrees! There are a lot of fun things to do on Saint Vincent’s Campus that are free and open to the public. Especially during the summer when the Pittsburgh Steelers conduct their training camp on campus!

Saint Vincent College is the home to the first Benedictine Monastery in the United States. It was founded in 1846 by Boniface Wimmer and today monks still study and reside at Saint Vincent Archabbey. Saint Vincent’s mission is to educate students with the Benedictine values and tradition established by Bonfice Wimmer in mind.

Saint Vincent Basilica

Saint Vincent Basilica is one of the beautiful churches in Latrobe. At the church steps, the statue of Boniface Wimmer reaching out welcomes visitors (and students joke it looks like he’s reaching out to Dairy Queen in the distance). The campus is beautiful and the buildings retain their historic charm and architecture. Visiting the church and campus makes for a lovely afternoon!

Saint Vincent Gristmill

Nearby the campus is the Saint Vincent Gristmill and wetlands treatment system. The Saint Vincent Gristmill was built by the Benedictine monks has been in operation since 1854! Today the Gristmill still sells homemade grain products and jams. During a visit to the gristmill, you can see some of the working machinery.

Saint Vincent Wetlands and Lake

Coal mining was a big industry in Latrobe and unfortunately, the remnants of the mines have affected local ecosystems. Over time as abandoned mines fill with water, the water becomes contaminated with heavy metals and toxins. When the mine fills, the water is released from below the ground and into local waterways. One way of cleaning the contaminated water from the main is to use natural wetland systems. The passive wetland system uses large ponds and plants to clean the water exiting the mine. As the water passes through each pond, the water becomes cleaner and cleaner. The water exiting this system is clean and can be returned to local streams like Saint Vincent Run!

Next to the wetlands is Saint Vincent Lake where you can fish and enjoy the local wildlife!

2. Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve

Named after Arnold Palmer’s wife, Winnie, the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve is a beautiful place to walk and explore near Saint Vincent College. Winnie was very fond of nature.

There are 2 miles of walking trails, a few gardens, a pond, and a nature center for visitors. The nature center, or Environmental Learning Barn, is a barn that dates back to 1879. At the nature center, you can read at the library and explore educational materials about local ecology. The entire nature center is very kid-friendly, handicapped accessible, and has restrooms and Wifi. There is also a gift shop featuring works from local artisans.

Behind the barn is a beautiful patio with a natural amphitheater and sculpture that reflects Winnie Palmer’s love of nature and reading.

At the reserve, children and adults alike can enjoy the Nature Explore Classrooms. These natural play spaces allow children to connect with nature while playing.

Along the Blockhouse, Thicket and Deer Trails, and Woodsy Way, there is the 12-station Nature Discovery Trail. Each station has an informative sign that teaches you something new about the world around you!
 
The Winne Palmer Nature Reserve has a garden of native plants, the monastic gardens, and colonial gardens. See a map of Winne Palmer here! The native plant garden features plants such as Joe-Pye Weed, Great Blue Lobelia, and Virginia Cup Flower. The monastic gardens were started by the Benedictine Monks at Saint Vincent and are still managed by them today! The colonial gardens are located at the Archibald Lochry Blockhouse and feature plans that would have been used and been thriving during the colonial area in western Pennsylvania.
 
The Archibald Lochry Blockhouse was built around 1780 and was rediscovered in 1999. The colonists during the 18th century needed protection on Pennsylvania’s frontier so the blockhouse served as an armory and safe haven between Hanna’s Town and Fort Ligonier.

Beehives are coming soon to Winne Palmer!

3. Latrobe Art Center

The Latrobe Art Center is a lovely stop if you’re feeling creative or just want a bite to eat while viewing local art. At the Art Center, you can take classes, view the exhibitions, and have lunch at the Ricolita’s Cafe.

4. DiSalvo’s Station

DiSalvo’s Station Restaurant is not only one of the best places to eat in Latrobe, but it’s also a place with an interesting history. The restaurant is a registered Historic Landmark! Inside the restaurant and bar, you can see how the building was once a hub for passengers. The exposed brick walls and high ceilings show the history of Latrobe and the railroad.  DiSalvo’s Station is a popular place for weddings, events, and celebrating the holidays.

5. Birthplace of the Banana Split

David Strickler was a 23-year-old pharmacist’s apprentice at Tassel Pharmacy (later becoming Strickler’s Pharmacy in 1904 when he invented the banana split! There was some debate that the banana split was invented in Ohio, but in 2013, Latrobe was nationally recognized with a historical site marker for the banana split. Today, the Strickler’s building is no longer present (which is unfortunate). Latrobe now hosts the Great American Banana Split Festival every August!

6. Steelers Training Camp

If you’re from the Pittsburgh area, you might be a Steelers fan. And if so, the Pittsburgh Steelers host this summer training camp in Latrobe at Saint Vincent College! During training camp, you can watch the team practice and who knows, you might get an autograph or two.

Did you know? The first professional game of football was played in Latrobe? Interestingly, Latrobe was on the list for potential locations for the Pro Football Hall of Fame that is now in Canton Ohio.

7. Fred Rogers Center and Exhibition

As we mentioned earlier, Latrobe is the birthplace and hometown of Mr. Rogers! To honor Fred Rogers and all that he has done for children’s media and the community, Saint Vincent College has a research center on children’s media and an exhibition of Mr. Rogers at the Fred Roger’s Center at Saint Vincent College! Read more about Saint Vincent on our blog post here!

8. Lincoln Highway Experience

The Lincoln Highway was the nation’s first coast-to-coast highway that stretched from New York City to San Francisco in 1913. This route changed the ways Americans travel forever, as it provided a new means for travel and vacationing by automobile. The Lincoln Highway Experience offers visitors a peek into the highway’s history and significance through photographs, documentaries, and exhibitions.

9. Westmoreland Museum of Art

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is a great rainy day activity near Latrobe! The museum located in Greensburgh highlights paintings, sculptures, and photography from the colonial era to modern times from local and nationally recognized artists. You can try your hand at drawing, painting, and other skills in their art studio programs for children and adults.

10. Historic Hanna’s Town

Discover the Pennslyvania frontier at Historic Hanna’s Town, a reconstructed colonial village near Latrobe. Hanna’s Town was once the location of the first courts west of the Alleghenies. It was the county seat before that privilege was given to Greensburg. Located on county parkland and operated by the Westmoreland County Historical Society, the village includes the reconstructed Hanna’s Tavern and Courthouse, three relocated log houses, and a reconstructed Revolutionary War fort. The property will soon be home to the Westmoreland History Education Center and the 20th-century farmhouse will also open to the public.

Historic Hanna's town Westmoreland County

Family-Friendly Activities in Latrobe

Statler’s Fun Center

Statler’s Fun Center is a great spot to visit with your kids in the Latrobe-Greensburg area. Here you can mini-golf, play arcade games, practice at the batting cages, and go-cart ride!

Latrobe Skating Center

We have some fond memories of attending birthday parties and school-hosted events at the Latrobe Skating Center. This roller rink is a hot spot for young kids and families throughout the year.

Lincoln Lanes

Located on Route 30, Lincoln Lanes is another great place to spend time with friends and family. This locally owned bowling alley is a great spot for birthday parties and family fun. Lincoln Lanes also offers bowling leagues.

Legion Keener Park

Legion Keener Park is a beautiful green space in the heart of Latrobe.

Legion Keener Park has a 3-mile fitness trail for walking, jogging, rollerblading, and biking. You can also enjoy its softball fields, baseball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, sand and grass volleyball courts, and a handball court.

Every year the Legion Keener hosts the annual 4th of July Festival with fireworks and a carnival. During the fall, the Latrobe Memorial Stadium, is home to the Greater Latrobe Wildcats, while in the summer it hosts to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a preseason game during training camp.

Playland II, the main playground, is a massive jungle gym for kids. When we were little, we remember coming here after school and spending hours exploring the slides and passageways. Unfortunately, the original Playland burned down, but thanks to the community, Playland II was constructed in its place.

During the summers, the Rogers-McFeely Memorial Pool is a great place to cool off and enjoy the warm days

Where to Eat in Latrobe

Jioio’s: An amazing pizza place if you like sweet sauce

Hotel Loyal: Another great pizza place with a thick crust

Rizzo’s Malabar Inn: Our favorite Italian Restuarant

DiNunzio’s: Italian restaurant and bar located at the Latrobe airport

French Express: Authentic French cafe located along Route 30.

Tin Lizzy: Great restaurant with multiple bars

Dino’s Sports Bar: Best wings in town!

Four Seasons Brewing: Local brewery that hosts rotating food trucks

Planning Your Trip to Latrobe

Latrobe is located in the heart of the Laurel Highlands, a notable region of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Latrobe is home to a small airport offering Spirit Airline services.

If you’re looking to fly from other airlines, the Pittsburgh Airport is the closest international airport to Latrobe. Pittsburgh Airport is located just under one and a half hours west of Latrobe.

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Pam & Kathrine

Hello! We are sisters for southwestern Pennsylvania who love to travel locally and internationally. Join us in exploring the world around us while balancing the 9-5 life!

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