The city of Williamsport is known for its sports, art and food scenes, and sits comfortably in the center of the state, less than three hours from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the state’s capital of Harrisburg.
It’s the birthplace of little league baseball and is the longtime host of the Little League World Series each summer, but Williamsport also off ers plenty of great places for people to host meetings or events, and has a full slate of activities for attendees to do in their spare time.
The SureStay Collection by Best Western Genetti Hotel - Williamsport can accommodate up to 300 guests for a function or meeting in more than 11,500 square feet of meeting space. “We have a beautiful historic venue that is rich in history, but when it is filled with our guests making their own memories, that’s when we really shine,” says Julie Packer, wedding and social sales manager. “No one forgets an experience at the Genetti; convention planners are impressed with our organization and welcoming atmosphere. Our guests are our family and we welcome them home.”
Originally built in 1954, the Peter Herdic Inn is an elegant bed and breakfast with six rooms. “It’s a restored Victorian mansion with antique furnishings,” says Gloria Miele, coowner. “We offer meeting space indoors and a relaxing cocktail space outside on our wisteria-covered patio.” The entire property can be rented for retreats, parties or family reunions.
In the heart of downtown Williamsport sits both a Holiday Inn and a Holiday Inn Express located under the same roof. “Our seasonal outdoor bar and patio creates an inviting atmosphere with weekly entertainment from local, talented musicians,” says Stacy Thompson, sales manager for both hotels. “With seven banquet rooms on-site, it is a great event venue for all occasions.” With almost 200 guest rooms and on-site catering services, the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express can accommodate large groups and conventions.
Decorated with intricate woodworking, The Valley Inn has been in the Wright family for more than three decades. Known for its chicken wings, microbrews and family faves, a melting pot of Williamsport residents come in to socialize and enjoy a meal. “We built an add-on 13 years ago for private parties that can hold more than 200 people,” says owner Ellen Wright. “We hold weddings, baby showers, meetings and really any event.” With 5,000 square feet on the bar side and another 5,000 square feet in the banquet facility, the restaurant is the perfect place to hold any event.
Inside the Peter Herdic Inn is a historic restaurant called the Peter Herdic House Restaurant, which specializes in serving sustainable, locally grown produce and meats. “It contains three private rooms lit by chandeliers, and can accommodate private dining for groups as small as six, or as large as 35,” says Elizabeth Miele, chef and co-owner. The ground floor can seat 80 for a private party. “Farming locally is a passion of mine. It’s such an impactful impact you can have on your community by buying from local vendors.”
Sports fans will want to check out the World of Little League Museum and Official Store, which features more than 300 baseball and softball artifacts organized for research and educational purposes. Some highlights include items from the personal collection of Little League founder, Carl E. Stotz; the only complete, game-worn Babe Ruth uniform on display in the world; and the Global Connections Touch Table. “The exhibits feature a rich mixture of authentic Little League heritage, artifacts and images, cutting-edge interactives and immersive media,” says Kevin Fountain, director of media relations. “All of this brings home the overall mission of Little League baseball and softball, which is to provide these sports to as many worldwide communities as possible.” The Museum is available for rental by groups of up to 100 people on most weekday evenings.
At the center of Millionaire’s Row Historic District sits the Peter Herdic Transportation Museum, which explores the traditions of the Susquehanna Valley from the time of the Susquehannock Indian Tribe to today’s modern transportation systems. “Its focus is on local transportation history, and guests can learn about the river, the rails and the road,” says Elizabeth Verbos guest services manager. “It includes everything from a 1949 Pennsylvania Pullman Parlor car to a 1962 fully-restored GMC bus to a birch bark canoe.” Private events can be held on the museum’s grounds for up to 120, and historic trolley tours are available for groups and those attending meetings or events in the area.
Water lovers can cruise along the Susquehanna River by way of a Hiawatha Riverboat Tour. “It does public cruises and special events and private charters,” says Verbos, who also oversees the riverboat tours. While dinner is not provided the private charters can accommodate 100 for seated meals secured by guests. Two 32-inch TVs are available for PowerPoint presentations or to simply show a movie or video presentation.