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Road Trip Guide: Old Bedford Village

Old Bedford Village is an “open-air” museum depicting life in the 18th century.
Old Bedford Village is an “open-air” museum depicting life in the 18th century. Photo provided

A trip to Bedford County will take you back in time through covered bridges to the days of George Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion.

Old Bedford Village, www.oldbedfordvillage.com, is a popular stop for school groups and families, an “open-air” museum depicting life in the 18th century.

The site is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, except Wednesdays, and features actors in period outfits portraying residents and merchants of the time.

Visitors can experience demonstrations including quilting, candle making, blacksmithing, weaving and spinning, and basket making.

Tina Pittman, office manager with the Bedford County Visitors Bureau, said re-creations of military moments are popular at Old Bedford Village. This summer’s slate includes: Meet the Confederate Generals (June 7-8); Civil War re-enactment (June 14-15); Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (June 21-22); Napoleonic Grande Tactique (June 28-29); French and Indian War (Aug. 16-17); and Meet the Union Generals (Aug. 23-24).

The nearby Fort Bedford Museum tells the story of the British troops stationed there during the French and Indian War (1750s).

Visitors can tour the Espy House, which served as Washington’s headquarters during the Whiskey Rebellion in the 1790s.

Old Bedford Village also offers murder/mystery evenings, Pumpkin Fest in October and a Candlelit Christmas in December.

Dennis Tice, executive director of the tourism bureau, offers walking tours of the town’s sites on Friday afternoons.

Visitors who enjoy history also can tour Bedford County’s famous covered bridges.

“We have 14 covered bridges in the county,” Pittman said. “They provide a nice loop that people do.”

Bedford Springs Resort

Beyond the history, visitors may experience luxury and recreation at Omni Bedford Springs Resort, www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/BedfordSprings/GuestRoomsAndSuites.aspx.

Located near Interstate 99 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the resort offers 216 guest rooms and suites, 94 king guest rooms and 48 queen guest rooms.

“The resort is another draw to our town,” Pittman said. “It’s busy pretty much all of the time.

“There’s an awesome spa and great restaurants there.”

The site, on 2,200 acres, dates back to 1796. A $120 million restoration and expansion was completed in 2007, when the hotel was reopened after being closed for 20 years.

The resort features a 30,000-square-foot spa, a meeting and events center; and five restaurants.

The 18-hole golf course is among the oldest links in the United States, and now boasts newly renovated bunkers, tees and greens.

“A lot of people do come to town for a few days to get away, and to see the re-enactments at Old Bedford Village and to stay at Bedford Springs Resort,” Pittman said.

While you’re there …

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July 20-26:

Bedford County Fair; livestock shows, tractor pulls, car shows, food, entertainment,

www.bedford-fair.com

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Aug. 8-10:

Wills Mountain Festival, 30 bands featuring blues, blue grass, rock and other styles,

www.wmfest.com

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Oct. 4-5 and 11-12:

Fall Foliage Festival; 2014 marks the 50th year for the event, which attracts 70,000 annually; crafts, entertainment,

www.bedfordfallfestival.com

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Anytime:

The Coffee Pot, just west of Bedford on Route 30 (Lincoln Highway); a lunch stand built in the shape of a coffee pot,

www.roadsideamerica.com/story/6177

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Friday specials:

Briar Valley Vineyard & Winery: “Unwind at the Winery” first Friday of each month,

www.briarvalleywinery.com

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