Autumn is a wonderful time for travel in Pennsylvania—the weather is breezy and lovely, the changing leaves are gorgeous and the tourist destinations are less crowded than in summertime (though don’t get us wrong; summer is a great time to visit, too!). If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, look no further than Adams County, the agricultural jewel of the state, and the home to charming,historic Gettysburg. Plus, you can come visit the Jack’s Hard Cider World HQ! Need we say more?
Here are our suggestions for how to make the most of a two-day trip to our wonderful hometown.
Our area is home to many adorable bed and breakfasts, inns and hotels. If you’re traveling with your spouse or partner, The Swope Manor Bed and Breakfast is a romantic, cozy spot right in the middle of downtown Gettysburg. The handsome brick building was built in 1836, and recently was renovated to keep up with the needs and expectations of guests. The executive rooms, premium rooms and deluxe rooms are all appointed with antique furniture, and many have fireplaces and comfy lounge areas.
If you’re rolling through town with a bigger group, check out the Thaddeus Stevens’ Gettysburg Log Home, a three-bedroom home that can sleep six, which is available for rent through Airbnb. This incredible log cabin is steeped in history (it was built in 1790), and boasts original wood floors, walls and beams. Though it is a bit off the beaten path, it’s still just a five-minute walk from downtown.
Take a Hike
Just a few miles outside of Gettysburg off I-81, you’ll find Pine Grove Furnace State Park. This 696-acre natural gem is at the northern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and encompasses a portion of the Appalachian Trail, including the midway point. In fact, the park is the site of the Appalachian Trail Museum, where hiking and outdoors enthusiasts can learn more about the story of the trail. The park is open every day of the year from dawn to dusk, and boasts cool stuff to do, including hiking trails suitable for both beginners and experts, a rail trail for biking, two mountain lakes great for swimming and trout fishing, touring historical buildings on the land and exploring the Michaux State Forest. There are also fun events throughout the year—one particularly suited for the season is the Fall Furnace Festival (happening in 2017 on Oct. 21 and 22). During this festive weekend, guests can enjoy historical demonstrations, park programming, entertainment, hayrides, and food and craft. Best of all is the telling of the “Legend of the Hairy Hand,” which concludes with hundreds of lit jack-o-lanterns set out to float on one of the park’s mountain lakes.
No trip to Gettysburg is complete without a visit to Hauser Estate, where the Jack’s Hard Cider production facility is located. The 360-degree, glass-enclosed tasting room yields incredible views of rolling farmlands and orchards, and there is a fantastic selection of Hauser Estate wines, local craft beer and, of course, plenty of Jack’s Hard Cider (including one-offs and small-batch seasonals that aren’t available anywhere else) on offer. On the weekends, there are plenty of fun public events to enjoy, even for children. One note: Pets are always welcome, but must be kept on the outside patio.
For a truly stellar meal, book a reservation at The Parrot in downtown Gettysburg, known for old-school cocktails and creative flavors coming out of the kitchen. The restaurant, inside a historic building from the 1850s, is lovely, whether you sit at at the intimate bar or at a table in the cozy dining room. For drinks, order a $5 martini during happy hour, or try something else from the cocktail menu, like the Pisco Sour or the El Pato, with gin, Campari, sweet and dry vermouth, and Cointreau. The food menu offers classic bistro food such as a great burger and fresh chopped salads, as well as unique, Peruvian-influenced dishes from The Parrot’s new chef, Leo Tazza.
Grab a Scoop or Two
Don’t leave town on Sunday without a sundae from the Sunset Ice Cream Parlor, also downtown. This cheerful spot, nestled in a bright yellow house on Steinwehr Avenue, has a delightfully old-timey feel. The shop has more than 30 flavors of ice cream, a soda fountain and other cool treats. Choose a spot on the outdoor porch and watch the world go by!
Have you ever been to Gettysburg? What are some of your favorite spots? If you haven’t been, we hope this has given you plenty of reasons to book a trip soon!
Jack’s Hard Cider — Produced from Pennsylvania Apples. Pressed On-Site. Never from Concentrate.
Photos, top to bottom: Polly Patrono Carlson; Courtesy of Thaddeus Stevens’ Gettysburg Log Home; Bigstock; Pexels