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Roadtrip: DC to Fallingwater

For as long as I can remember, I’ve yearned to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece Fallingwater. I remember first hearing about it on a children’s show as a kid (Sesame Street, perhaps?) and the concept of a house built over a stream, perfectly integrated with the surrounding environment has intrigued me ever since. It was “organic architecture”… decades before it became trendy.

Living in Maryland, you would think that the Pennsylvania icon, located a mere 3.5 hours away, would be an easy place for me to visit. But year after year went by and I hadn’t yet made the trip.

After including it on my 55 Places Bucket List (#54: Ponder the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright at Fallingwater) it’s been on my mind a bit more than normal, and this April I finally took the time and made it happen. What resulted was a Mother-Daughter roadtrip full of fun, fantastic roadside attractions and, finally, Fallingwater.

Here is our DC to Fallingwater roadtrip though pictures…

The obligatory 55 Places completion photo! Yes, I’m pondering the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright. Don’t I look ponderous?

 

The tour was comprehensive, allowing us to walk throughout all areas of the house. Sadly, there are no photos allowed inside, but they’ve maintained much of the original furnishings and decor from as far back as the 1930s.

The sound of the water roaring underneath the house was dominant. It was tranquil, but so utterly overpowering that I don’t know if I would be able to spend more than a day or so actually living there!

 

Our B&B- the charming Hartzell House in nearby Addison, PA. Highly recommend for cozy rooms and gourmet breakfasts with really reasonable rates!

 

Our stunning room, the Traveler’s Room. Fitting, right?

 

David and Kitty’s famous ginger and pear stuffed french toast for breakfast… to die for!
Rain or shine, we were off to explore all of the quirky roadside attractions we spotted on our ride up.

 

First up was the Spruce Forest Artisan Village in nearby Grantsville, Maryland. Made up of 10 artisans such as a blacksmith, potter and sculpter working in restored log cabins, it was like stepping back in time and definitely worth a visit.

Mom and I are nothing if not predictable, and when we saw a sign advertising “CANDYLAND USA” (also in Grantsville, MD) we just had to check it out… and get some candy for the car ride home! Part mix and match candy (over 800 different kinds sold by the pound) part farmers market, it’s definitely the best candy deal in town.

 

As the sun begins to come out (and our sugar high wears off) we give in to the urge to stop and walk around at the Rocky Gap Lodge in Flintstone, Maryland.

 

And, all of a sudden, Spring is in full swing.

 

Makes for the perfect photo op!

 

The Rocky Gap Lodge is also home to a hidden treasure, an Aviary run by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Here you’ll find injured birds of prey like owls, hawks and bald eagles that are unable to be released into the wild and are housed here in this free attraction.

 

Berkeley Springs, West Virginia was a nearby detour that turned out to be the surprising favorite stop of the trip. Filled with aromatic healing stores, ice cream parlors, hot spring spas and antique shops, it’s an incredibly charming town that begs for a repeat visit.

 

Rows of old bottles in one of Berkeley Springs’ antique shops make for a pretty picture.

 

On this effervescent spring day, the hot pools of Berkeley Springs encourged wading and crayfish fishing from the locals.

 

Sideling Hill in Hancock, Maryland has long been a favorite of mine. The mountain was severed in half for the construction of Route 68, and what’s left is a stunning example of why geology rocks. (Pun intended.)

 

Great trip for both Mom and daughter!
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5 Responses to Roadtrip: DC to Fallingwater

  1. Packed Suitcase June 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Yes! I highly recommend it. I bet it would be amazing in the fall. One hint- be sure to get tickets in advance. The tours do tend to book up.

  2. Christina June 15, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I have always wanted to road trip up to Fallingwater! It's one of those things, for the six years I've lived in DC, that I keep saying “Gotta do that sometime.” I think you've just given me the motivation to plan a little weekend getaway! Looks like it was a great time!

  3. Nancy Budde August 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Thanks for the great blog. We visited Hartzell House for Thanksgiving last year (amazing) and also on my bucket list, Falling Water. They let us take pics inside as much as we wanted! Hmmm.

    • Christina Ricchiuti August 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      Hi Nancy! It seems like we’ve had mirrored trips, and I love hearing that Hartzell House is still top notch, since my visit was a few years ago.

      I just checked Fallingwater’s FAQ’s and they mention “Exterior photography is welcome but photography isn’t permitted during the regular tour.” I’m wondering if you just had a very friendly tour guide, or perhaps you were on one of their special tours? Either way, it sounds like you were very lucky visitors!

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