Just over a week ago I went to Fallingwater with Michelle after one of my college’s friends stunning weddings in Donegal, PA. This was the first in a series of four weddings in three weekends. It was also the first time I have been away from Keely without Derek. I missed both of them greatly, but it was also nice to just be me.

If you read nothing else, know that Fallingwater is one of the most amazing places within driving distance of Cleveland and well worth the trip and expense. I love going to new places. I’ll be writing about some of these experiences from time-to-time. Most of them will be Cleveland-related so if you’re looking for something to do in the 216 make sure to check back.

If you didn’t know, Fallingwater is a Frank Lloyd Wright house originally owned by the Kaufmann’s…those of the department store fame…nestled in the gorgeous hills of Bear Run. The Kaufmanns would go out to Bear Run to escape the smoky city of Pittsburgh. Their son was a huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, even studied briefly under him and eventually persuading his parents to let Wright design the home that is now considered by Time as the most beautiful of Wright’s work.

Getting to Fallingwater was a bit of a drive from Donegal, but it was an interesting one and became more beautiful as we got closer. There’s something about the mixture of hills and forest that is unlike anything else.

To get into Fallingwater it’s $25, but definitely worth the relative steep cost of admission. I assume a lot of the money goes to the immense cost of maintaining the property, which is about $3 million a year. That’s just to maintain the property. While we were there we saw them painting much of the steel work. Wright architecture is infamous for leaking which makes Fallingwater and the art collection much harder to maintain.

This is no small museum operation where you just walk in to the house and peruse. Everything about it is so well thought out and done. Off the parking lot is a giant pavilion octagonal pavilion-style building with a gift shop, small museum, and fabulous café.

Groups of fourteen are taken down through the house and taken through the house by taking the left pathways (in a Wright house you go left). Writing about Fallingwater doesn’t do it justice. But I was truly astounded by the relationship between the house and its surroundings. The windows are enormous, the ceilings short, and the furniture exquisite. Unfortunately you can’t take pictures inside, but here are some of my photos from the trip.

This is definitely not a place for young children. I believe they said they do not allow children under six. There’s a lot of walking and steps, but also priceless artwork. Plus, there are some balconies I wouldn’t want Keely anywhere near, there’s no way they would pass building codes now.

Have you been to Fallingwater? What did you think? What are some of your favorite places within driving distance of Cleveland? I’d love to read what some of your favorite cultural places are.