Our favorite activities at Omni Bedford Springs Resort

The Omni Bedford Springs Resort is beautiful – there is no denying that. But what makes it even more impressive is the abundance of activities for visitors of all ages. The scenic south-central Pennsylvania countryside may tempt visitors to leave the resort to explore the area; however, there really is no need to step foot off the property.

We spent four days at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort and it was not enough time to take advantage of all it has to offer. Part of the problem (benefit?) is that the grounds and the hotel itself are so inviting and relaxing. You may have all the ambition in the world to go hiking or golfing, but once you lay eyes on the poolside loungers, or the rocking chairs lining the grand veranda, you might start rethinking your plans. And the spa! One can spend an entire vacation in the Springs Eternal Spa, being pampered (at additional costs) and enjoying the many services offered. I prefer to mix a bit of relaxation with more active endeavors so I had to perform quite the balancing act while at Omni Bedford Springs.

We arrived on a Sunday afternoon. Our room was not quite ready so we had to find a way to kill some time. We were able to leave our luggage at Reception and, since the weather was sunny and gorgeous, we decided to check out the outdoor pool. We couldn’t actually go swimming, since we couldn’t get into our luggage, but we did enjoy some snacks and a few libations from The Turtle Shell, the poolside dining facility. The “outdoor aquatic complex” consists of a heated pool, a hot tub, cabanas (advance reservations required), an expansive patio with several tables and umbrellas, and more than enough chaise lounges.

Directly across from the outdoor pool is Anderson’s Explorers, an indoor play / activity center for the young folks. It is open daily during the summer and offers activities for 4-12 year olds. Anderson’s Explorers also has organized, guided excursions and activities ranging from “make your own kite” to fishing lessons. See the concierge for information about times and prices. While I’m on the subject of kids and explorers, Omni provides complimentary Sensational Kids Packs to children upon check-in. Lucia received a backpack that contained a resort map (designed with children in mind), crayons, a frisbee, a hacky sack, and a magnifying glass. Lucia was very excited to have her very own “cackack”! (That’s her word for backpack.)

It took three full days before I finally had a chance to check out the indoor pool. I’d seen pictures before our arrival and thought it looked heavenly; I was going to take a dip before we left, darn it! The luxurious indoor pool was built in 1905, and to this day is still fed by the surrounding mineral springs. The pool and adjoining two-story solarium are open 24 hours a day and, even more exciting, the temperature is kept at a constant 85 degrees.

One of the reasons we chose to stay at Omni Bedford Springs is that the resort boasts miles of hiking trails, right on the property. There are four trails to choose from, ranging from extremely easy to advanced. We chose an intermediate, 2-mile trail, and I used one of the walking sticks provided by the resort (there are two in every room). Above all else, though, I was so excited to take Lucia on her very first hike. She brought along the magnifying glass from her Sensational Kids Pack and stopped every 100 feet to check out the native flora. She looked like a real explorer!

And now, for my favorite activity of all: sitting around the giant fire pit and making s’mores. All guests are invited to enjoy the bonfire every night (the fire is lit at dusk, or at the first guest’s request – whichever happens first). Some folks are happy just sitting by the fire, but not this girl. What’s a campfire without s’mores?! Luckily, s’mores kits can be bought inside the Frontier Tavern for $5, and there are enough supplies in the kit to provide every member of the family with at least one delicious, gooey treat. I felt like a kid all over again.

The Omni Bedford Springs Resort offers several more activities, such as golf and fly-fishing, but these are just the few that we got to enjoy. My only complaint is that we didn’t stay long enough to take advantage of everything.

Next up: the many extraordinary dining options at Omni Bedford Springs Resort.

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