The spring-loaded screen door slams behind me, evoking memories of Grandma's front porch. But this is definitely not Grandma's.
Oz's Homestay, cradled on 122 glorious acres in McKean County, and just over the New York border in the Pennsylvania Wilds region, is the country's only "fly-inn" bed and breakfast/skydiving center.
The husband and I come for a romantic overnight. We also get a midlife doldrums intervention. Leaping from an airplane becomes a perfect metaphor for discovering what you never thought you were capable of doing. Guests share their experiences over the dining room table.
For some people, lodging is just a place to rest your weary head before moving on to something else. For others, the accommodation is the destination itself - a journey that leads you to a distinctive kind of overnight stay.
Oz's Homestay is one of many unique lodging offerings to bestow something out of the ordinary to its guests.
All aboard at the Caboose Motel in Titusville, where you can stay the night in one of 21 caboose cars and then take a ride on the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad, stroll downtown Titusville, or cross-country ski Oil Creek State Park's 9.6 miles of trails.
Frank Lloyd Wright
When you reserve a night at the Frank Lloyd Wright at Polymath Park, you actually gain access to the entire Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the Laurel Highlands. Walk the property and the surrounding woodlands and experience a stellar example of Wright's Usonian designs.
Perhaps in a grace from god, the Priory Hotel in Pittsburgh, built as a Benedictine monastery in 1888, survived proposed demolition and was remodeled into a hotel and banquet facility. The layouts of some of its 42 rooms still reflect the monk lifestyle: long, narrow, petite but comfortable.
Speedwell Forge Bed and Breakfast
For a more wild time, spend the night in Lititz at the Speedwell Forge Bed and Breakfast, a Colonial-era mansion built in 1760, which shares the property with the Wolf Sanctuary of PA, where these canine creatures earn admiration for their loyalty, respect for their instincts and protection from humans.
Nature Inn at Bald Eagle
Modern amenities marry with handcrafted creations by Pennsylvania Wilds artisans at the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle. The first-of-its-kind, comfortable, high-tech, guilt-free overnight stay in state park lodging in central PA offers the perfect perch to observe our feathered friends.