Last Updated on May 5, 2022
Want to explore one of Laurel Highland’s small towns? Discover fun things to do in Latrobe, PA from a local!
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. Explore 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 most 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 and 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.
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 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! Steeler’s training camp is one of the biggest events Latrobe sees every year.
Did you know? The first professional game of football was played in Latrobe? Interestingly, Latrobe was on the list of 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!
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 and Westmoreland History
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.
11. Westmoreland Mall and Live Casino
If you’re looking to do some shopping in Latrobe, make your way to the Westmoreland Mall! You can also take your chances at the newly opened Live Casino!
12. Shopping in Downtown Latrobe
Downtown Latrobe is a great place to experience small-town charm! In addition to the birthplace of the Banana Split, you visit the Fred Rogers Statue. Downtown is also where you can find the best local shopping in Latrobe. Consider supporting small businesses like the Rose Style Shoppe, Eclectique, Masterpieces, and more!
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.
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 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
Latrobe 30 Theater and Cafe
This small movie theater with only two screens shows the newest movies in a charming small-business setting. Here, you can order food from a full menu to accompany your movie! And they’ll bring it right to you in the theater!
Where to Eat: Restaurants in Latrobe
Jioio’s: An amazing pizza place if you like sweet sauce
Hotel Loyal: Another great pizza place with a thick crust and square cuts
Rizzo’s Malabar Inn: Our favorite Italian Restuarant located in nearby Crabtree
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 and sports bar with all the lives games on tv.
Four Seasons Brewing: Local brewery that hosts rotating food trucks
Unity Brewing: local brewery with good eats and live music
Sharky’s: another sports bar with great bar food and lots of screens
Valley Dairy: local diner serving up diner food and ice cream
Racer’s Tavern: bar with rotating specials and weekend brunch buffet
Gino’s Giannilli’s Homestyle Pizza Palace: another great pizza joint!
Planning Your Trip to Latrobe PA
Latrobe is located in the heart of the Laurel Highlands, a notable region of Southwestern Pennsylvania. It is only a one-hour drive away from Pittsburgh!
Airports near Latrobe: Latrobe is home to a small airport, The Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, that offers Spirit Airline services. If you’re looking to fly from other airlines or internationally, the Pittsburgh Internation Airport is the closest major airport to Latrobe. Pittsburgh Airport is located just under one and a half hours west of Latrobe.