To refer to Raystown Lake in central Pennsylvania as one of our country's best-kept secrets would be an understatement. It's an old cliché that gets used more often than it really should when attempting to describe a beautiful area that few people seem to know about. But honestly, there might not be a better way to describe this true "get back to nature" kind of a place, than to call it a hidden gem.
You won't find rows of chain restaurants, large hotel skyscrapers or a Walmart on every corner when entering the Raystown Lake region of The Alleghenies, and that's just one of the major advantages to the area. It's a true outdoor paradise that includes the 29,000-acre Raystown Lake with over 118 miles of shoreline.
However, when looking for the place to experience the best this area has to offer, there is only one must-stop and that's the Lake Raystown Resort & Conference Center, known as the ideal place for a weekend of fun or mid-week retreat.
The Lake Raystown Resort is located between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh in Entriken, Pa., and is set up like a small town where your recreational needs and wants are fully met. The family-owned and operated resort has been running strong since 1984 by offering houseboat rentals, boat rentals, a full marina, sightseeing and dinner cruises on its Proud Mary Showboat, pavilion rentals and catered picnics, a full water park and mini golf and of course plenty of places to stay. Plus recently a large conference center was added as an ideal venue for business meetings for those looking to do a little work away from the office, group retreats or for ultimate family vacations.
Located on 400 acres of beautiful waterfront property, the lake view accommodations for the Lake Raystown Resort range from luxury to rustic that include cabins and villas, plus over 200 campsites that are equipped with electric, water, cable and even Internet. It's the largest man-made lake in Pennsylvania and the Lake Raystown Resort has cornered the market by creating nature's most inviting playground.
The cottages are inviting, but the best way to experience waterfront property is to rent one of the resort's 60-foot houseboats from its fleet.
The plush houseboats sleep up to ten people in four state rooms, two full baths, and a full-service luxurious galley with full-sized appliances, air conditioning, separate dining area and a spacious family salon. There are stairs to an upper deck where you'll have the best view of the lake and up top there is even a water slide.
The houseboat rental boats are just part of the full-service marina that is one of Pennsylvania's largest. It also has all of the conveniences boating and fishing enthusiasts dream of, including lighted and secure docks with shower and restroom facilities, marina store, laundry, two boat ramps, transient trailer parking, fuel dock with pump-out station and a marina café that is open daily. Besides houseboats, boat rentals include fishing models and pontoons, as well as canoes.
Dining With A View
There are a few different options for dining, including the Marina Café, which is a great restaurant located in the heart of the resort, plus the Bistro Express, and there are even a few convenience stores as well.
The Marina Café offers old-time favorites and creative American fare in a casual setting that overlooks the picturesque marina. Breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily. And to top it all off, the Lake Raystown Resort offers the Proud Mary Showboat cruise, which is a popular way to concluding your evenings as you gaze out at the stars.
Unless you've been to this beautiful and clean resort you can't truly appreciate all that this place has to offer. The Lake Raystown Resort is a paradise, tucked away in the hills of central Pennsylvania that is unlike any place you've ever experienced before, which explains why those familiar with the resort keep returning year after year.
For more information on the Lake Raystown Resort call 814-658-3500 or go to www.raystownresort.com for a complete website that includes online tours, maps and rate information.
For more information on houseboats as well as the other types of crafts offered, call the marina office at 814-658-3500, ext. 176.