Autumn in Lancaster County

July 25, 2014

Although summer is in full swing right now,
this is also a wonderful time to think ahead and

start planning a visit to
Lancaster County this fall. Autumn in Lancaster has so much to offer.

Here’s my top ten list (in no particular order because
they’re all fantastic) of my fall favorites in Lancaster County:

1. The Weather
Fall has a special place in my heart because the temperatures are mild (not too
hot, not too cold), and we generally don’t get as much rain as in other seasons.
Lancaster fall weather accommodates all sorts of outdoor activities like
biking, hiking, exploring museum grounds, and sightseeing.
2. Harvest Time
When you visit Lancaster in the fall, you have an opportunity to watch Amish
farmers harvesting their crops. It’s quite a sight to see the process done the
old school way!
3. Apples
Fall is when Lancaster County apples are at their peak. You can
visit local orchards to pick your own apples or find fresh locally grown apples
(and apple butter and apple dumplings) at farmers markets and roadside stands.
4. Festivals & Fairs
Fun and incredible food await you at the many festivals and fairs throughout
Lancaster County in autumn. In downtown Ephrata, we’ve got the Ephrata Fair on Sept. 23 – 27. Did you know it’s the largest street fair in Pennsylvania? And
don’t miss the Bridge Bust (Oct. 4) in Columbia, located on the Rt. 462 Veterans
Memorial Bridge between Columbia and Wrightsville.  Check out the PA Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau website for more fairs
and festivals.
5. Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
I know, I just mentioned fairs, but this one is so big it’s deserving of its
own independent mention. Spend your day amongst knights in shining armor,
queens, kings, wenches, mud beggars, minstrels, fire eaters, jousters, and more
as you step back in time on the grounds of Mt. Hope Estate and Winery. There’s food  (much of it reminiscent of the Renaissance
period), vendors with renaissance-inspired wares,
and lots of entertainment options throughout
the shire. AND you can enjoy Mt. Hope’s own wines and Swashbuckler brews at the
pubs and porthouses on the grounds.
6. Foliage
Breathtaking. That’s the best word I can find to describe the fall foliage in
Lancaster County. When the leaves begin to change here, don’t forget your
camera as you walk, bike, or hike the scenic trails in our area. Plan to get
out and stretch your legs! I recommend checking out the new Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, which stretches approximately 14 miles to connect 4
historic river towns and villages along the Susquehanna River.
7. Tours, Wine Tasting, and Events at Vineyards
The weather in fall is sublime for touring, tasting, and taking in
entertainment at the many vineyards of our area. Among my faves are TheVineyard at Grandview, Waltz Vineyards, and Nissley Vineyards.
8. GREAT Beer Fests
Lancaster County is becoming well known for the array of amazing craft brews hailing
from our local breweries. Both the Lancaster Craft Beer Fest (Sept. 6) and
the Lititz Craft Beer Fest (September 28) will give you an opportunity to
get a taste of what all the buzz is about!
9. Theater
Our local theaters always have something special in store as their fall seasons
come center stage. Sharadin Bigler Theater at Ephrata Performing Arts Center is
only about a 3-minute drive from the Historic Smithton Inn. Then there’s the
Fulton Theatre in downtown Lancaster. Sight & Sound Theatres, Rainbow Dinner Theatre, and Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre. Dramas, musicals, comedies…whatever
your preference, you’ll enjoy the caliber of performances by the talent here.  ‎
10. Special Events at Museums
There’s no better time than fall to explore what’s happening at our local museums.
Don’t miss the Artisan's Faire at the Ephrata Cloister (Sept. 20), Harvest Daysat Landis Valley Museum (Oct. 11), Steampunk Unlimited at the StrasburgRailroad (Sept. 24 – 26), and Snitz Fest at Hans Herr House (Oct. 4).


I could go on and on, but I think I’ve made my point. As you
can see, there’s so much to do and see in Lancaster in the fall. Don’t wait to
start planning your autumn visit agenda!


By Rebecca GallagherImage courtesy of num_skyman /