Easy Escapes: Play a Great Course

By: Janet Lewis Matricciani

The Omni Bedford Springs Resort is less than three hours from Washington, but it's one of the lesser-known luxury resorts in the region.

Two big reasons to go to Bedford Springs are golf and food. It has one of the country's first golf courses, now restored and rated one of the best in America by Zagat.

There's also the typical array of resort activities, including biking, tennis, a kids' clubhouse, and--naturally for a resort originally set up beside a mineral spring--a full-service spa. An indoor swimming pool, built in 1905, is beautiful and warm. An outdoor swing, hung high from a crooked tree branch on the front lawn, was quite romantic--when we could get our kids off. Tours of the original buildings, built in 1806, are interesting, if a bit long. Hiking offers one-to-four-mile wooded trails past the original springs--more like trickles these days.

Food abounds--from breakfast in the Crystal Room to a daily dose of s'mores around the outdoor fire pit to traditional afternoon tea in the Pink Room.

The best part of our trip was dining in the resort's 1796 Room restaurant. The food was delicious, the service impeccable. The fennel-crusted sea bass was one of the most succulent I've tasted, and I'm a picky eater. My red-blooded husband was equally happy with his veal chop.

For an unusual pleasure, do the driving tour of covered bridges from the 1880s. A dozen or more are strewn throughout Bedford County, often on roads to nowhere, having been moved from their original locations. There's even Gravity Hill--where your car appears to roll uphill, say the guidebooks. We were skeptical, but I can report that it's true.

After a weekend of good food, what could be more perfect than rolling home uphill?

Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Bedford, Pa.; 814-623-8100. Rooms from $149 a night; golf packages from $499 a night.

This article appears in the April 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.