Taking a Break from History
Fresh fruits, local brews, and more...
Dec 11, 2019 at 7:00 AM in Things to Do by
Visiting Gettysburg is by no means a one-day affair. The town has done a fine job of developing its tourism by not only showcasing American history in so many different ways but also by featuring the other fine attributes of the region. The countryside surrounding Gettysburg proper lends itself to all kinds of outings. It’s sweet, bucolic and full of down-home goodness to experience and in many cases, eat and drink.
“A” is for Arendtsville and it’s also for apple, of which you will find many in this borough northwest of Gettysburg (as well as in the whole region). They even have an apple festival in the fall. Just driving through this rural part of Pennsylvania is a delight although reserve time to stop at the many farm stands and markets where you can buy not only apples but all kinds of other produce, prepared foods, baked goods and gift items. At the McDannell’s Fruit Farm & Market you might find some of the best apple cider donuts in the region.
Biglerville is also apple central. They even have a National Apple Museum. Go here to learn about the importance of apples and apple trees throughout early America. Johnny Appleseed is not a myth. The Historic Round Barn & Farm Market is one of the most beautiful places of all in the area. Built in 1914, this structure is one of only a few round barns that still exists today. Set within the orchard, it provides a lovely setting for shopping or just breathing in the beautiful nature within this picturesque countryside.
If you’re into organic, go to Oyler’s. And for Dutch Valley and McCutcheon products along with a cornucopia of produce, stop in at Sandoe’s Fruit Market.
At Hollabaugh Bros., Inc. and Boyer Nurseries & Orchards, also in Biglerville, you can even pick your own fruit, which is such a fun outing for all. They cater to kids and outdoor fun at both establishments with a variety of events and animations, including an evergreen maze at Boyer’s. The over 21 crowd can also revel in lots of delicious nips at their wine and hard cider tasting room.
More wine tasting and shopping may be enjoyed at Halbrendt Vineyard & Winery and Adams County Winery & Wine Shop. Clearly the land surrounding Gettysburg is both sacred and fertile. Know that you can typically find a bushel-full of fun gift ideas at the wineries and farm stands.
Beer drinkers will find their pleasure at Thirsty Farmer Brew Works, also in Biglerville. Go here and enjoy a light bite with a rich ale or a hard cider. There’s nothing like relaxing in the middle of beautiful countryside with a cold and frosty. Over at Battlefield Brew Works & Distillery, you can find everything it takes to really unwind from the heaviness of history.
Do you like elephants? What about candy? In many cultures, the elephant is the symbol of happiness and well being. And doesn’t candy create happiness and well being? If you like both or one or the other, Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum & Candy Emporium is for you (and of course the kiddos). Here you’ll find one of the largest collections of elephant memorabilia in the world–it’s really quite extraordinary. The same goes for the candy, hundreds of different types of sweets sure to elevate your day. They also have roasted peanuts that they have been roasting in an antique peanut roaster since 1975. You’ll find almonds, cashews and other tasty nuts here, too. You’ll surely love the old fashioned time you can have at Mr. Ed’s.
Retail therapy is known to ease stress. At The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg you can do that in spades and also find some killer (pardon the pun) bargains at big-name brands such as Coach, Michael Kors and Under Armour.
But there’s nothing like ticking down the tracks in an old historic train to lull you into a more relaxed state. You can ease into that mode on a Civil War-themed heritage train at Steam into History, located in Freedom, Pennsylvania, about thirty miles from Gettysburg. As the whistle blows on this steam train and it chugs down the tracks, you’ll feel like you’re headed out on a new adventure. You won’t be escaping history on this train but you will be able to experience it in a fun, relaxed manner. All aboard!