Doesn’t it seem that some years, it takes more than a quick tv show to get into the holiday spirit? You can spend an overnight at Oglebay Resort, immersing yourself in the world-renowned Festival of Lights, holiday entertainment, and the joy of the season. There’s something to appeal to all ages, from 8 to 88; the grounds are beautiful, with hills, far-reaching vistas and historic buildings. It’s a 5 hour drive or less from points in the Baltimore metro area to Wheeling, West Virginia. If you’re craving some late nightlife, you’re only a few minutes from Wheeling Island Casino and Racetrack.
Where to stay
Oglebay has a wide range of accommodations on its 1,800 acres, from private executive homes to the convenience and “big family” feel of staying in the Wilson Lodge. If you are going with your family or group of friends, the rustic but comfortable cottages are a neat option. With huge, wood-burning fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, full kitchens and privacy, you can enjoy all of the amenities of the resort and have your own party, too. The deer are unafraid of humans and congregate near the cottages.
Where to eat
Oglebay has a full selection of dining options from casual to elegant. If you’re just looking to stay snug in your cabin, you could fix your own snacks or order a pizza. The Glass Works Grill in the Lodge serves classic pub fare and comfort food, but with a thoughtful, food-lover’s touch. View lights and the winter scene through Jeffersonian windows at the Ihlenfeld Dining Room. It’s the location of breakfast buffets, family-friendly dinner buffets and fine-dining a la carte menus. The restaurant is a steak and chop house, with beautifully presented accompaniments and fine wine collection. The chilled shrimp appetizer and Caesar funnel salad have especially great eye and mouth appeal.
What to do
The award-winning Festival of Lights is a 6 mile car ride though 300 acres of intricate holiday light arrangements, including many that move. Different sections of the resort have a different holiday feel, including home-like, good old-fashioned, childhood favorites and elegant Christmas gardens. The festival runs nightly through January 8, 2012. Oglebay has several upscale shops, including an extensive collection of West Virginia made art glass, gourmet foods, and during the season, Christmas items – including items to make your own Oglebay-like light displays.
The Good Zoo on the premises has 30 acres of wild animals. Model train enthusiasts will enjoy the collection highlighting trains that were so important to the area’s commerce. The Mansion Museum is much more than a collection of Victorian housewares: there’s a “Main Street” depicting historic Wheeling, as well as other important historic items of the area. For the Christmas season, each exhibit has been decorated to celebrate the season.
Oglebay has many things to do for active folks: horseback riding, golf courses and ranges designed by Arnold Palmer and Robert Trent Jones, miles of walking trails, an indoor pool and more
For a more low-key activity, Oglebay has a relaxing spa utilizing upscale products in its treatments.