We wanted a little fall getaway to do all the fun fall activities with our 10 month old – see some fall colors, explore farm markets, apple picking, pumpkins, good food, some hiking, but feel relaxed. Lancaster was the perfect getaway for us on the east coast to experience the quintessential fall in a historic part of the US. There is SO MUCH to do here, we actually couldn’t fit it all in in a weekend!
It’s a 2-3 hour drive from NYC and D.C. and 1.5 hour drive from Philadelphia. If you are flying, you’ll want to fly into Philadelphia and rent a car (you’ll want to road trip!). We drove from Virginia Beach and it was about 5 hours for us up the coast!
Anytime of year would be gorgeous, the towns and countryside are lovely. BUT it is the PERFECT fall destination. The Holidays would also be perfect in December as the towns do SO MUCH for the holidays and have tons of events and markets!
You definitely need a car!
How long to Stay:
You can totally do just a day trip! We opted to go for a weekend. There is SO MUCH to do you would really want to stay at least one night to do more of the activities you want to do!
The main town of Lancaster is the biggest with many hotels and resorts. We opted to stay in a smaller town that is on the Susquehanna river for a more laid back stay with easy access to scenic views and hiking.
This is where we stayed for the night! It is a historic Inn (the Innkeeper literally came to meet us upon arrival!!). It was so cozy, welcoming, and a traditional B&B. Breakfast was included and there is an amazing restaurant attached where we ate dinner!
You’ll definitely want to pack snacks for your road tripping! There are lots of cute cafes in the different towns, great restaurants, & breweries.
We had a WONDERFUL dinner here! The pub fries were soo satisfying, the duck exceeded all expectations, and the creme-brûlée for the dessert really topped off our meal. The vibes are very elevated but still casual! The ceiling is also really cool.
There are amazing views and so many bridges along the river that are GORGEOUS.
When you think of Northeast fall, the covered bridges amongst the fall foliage are QUINTESSENTIAL! There are 28 in the county to visit! Here is a map of all the different ones to visit.
We stayed in the historic town of Columbia and it has so many great antique shoppes and original buildings. It is also home to the watch and clock museum and Turkey Hill Ice Cream Experience! Many of the towns throughout the county have museums and sites to explore, so I definitely recommend picking your favorites!
The Dutch Amish culture is prevalent in the county and a huge influence! You can tour the Amish Village to get a real look into the culture, tour the bakeshop, blacksmith, and get an inside peek into the Amish Experience. You can also enjoy a class buggy ride from one of the Amish families, their form of transportation still to this day! The Amish are so proud of the culture they’ve maintained and its truly a beautiful and admirable slow paced living.
This is a MUST DO! It was the absolute highlight of our trip. It’s definitely worth it to upgrade to first class and enjoy the lounge with drinks, snacks and wine. We opted for some local crisp white wine and macarons. The train ride is 45 minutes and so relaxing and scenic. The station is just SO unique and authentic and for the Christmas holidays, they even operate the rides as Santa’s Polar Express!
We seriously LOVED our visit to Lancaster, everyone was incredibly nice. We had the help of planning our trip with Discover Lancaster and it was our first time ever visiting. It exceeded all our expectations and was the PERFECT fall getaway for us with the quintessential fall colors and foliage. Coming from the more central/southern part of the east coast, Lancaster, PA is way more accessible for us as fall getaway road trip than New England and is so much more unique with the Dutch Amish culture influence. I definitely want to go back to experience all the holiday and Christmas markets, events, and polar express.
This post was created in partnership with Discover Lancaster
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