By Stacey Fox – The official start of fall is finally here and once the temps realize it, we’ll be kicking through leaves and digging out our favorite sweaters. Until then, I’ve created my “must do” checklist for Gettysburg this fall.
Browse the Gettysburg Outdoor Antique Show
Gettysburg’s Outdoor Antique Show happens twice a year, and fall is the perfect time to check it out. I enjoy browsing through old treasures and the antique show gives me a chance to enjoy the crisp fall air while searching for that perfect find. After you browse the antiques that line the streets all along historic Lincoln Square, be sure to pop into some of downtown Gettysburg’s charming shops and restaurants and cafes.
Zipline at Fields of Adventure
photo from @coolschoolmama on Instagram
Each fall at Fields of Adventure in nearby Aspers, Pa., the corn maze is cut, the pumpkins are picked and the Smith’s open the gates for another season. This year, I’m finally going to overcome my fear and do the zipline… but maybe I’ll just stick to the hill slide.
Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride Through Town
There’s something about cool weather and carriage rides that just go together. After the hustle and bustle of summer, I’m ready to take a slow ride through our quaint downtown and enjoy the scenery. Step aboard one of Victorian Carriage Company‘s horse-drawn carriages and relax as you tour historic Gettysburg. Even better – stop into Tastie-Teas for a cup of hot tea or Ragged Edge Coffeehouse for a hot chocolate to enjoy on your ride.
Attend Apple Festivals
Adams County is proud of our #1 fruit, the apple, so proud we celebrate it twice. First up is Pippinfest, a two-day festival in Fairfield filled with arts, crafts, food, music, a quilt show and car show. Named for the Pippin apple, the Pippinfest is a fun weekend for all. Adams County’s largest apple-centric event is the National Apple Harvest Festival, held the first two weekends in October at the South Mountain Fairgrounds. Think everything apple plus antique steam engines, hundreds of craft vendors, entertainment and more. Enjoy orchard tours and hayrides, a petting zoo and pony rides, wine tastings and scarecrow building all while sipping on a warm cider… I can taste it now!
Enjoy Pick-Your-Own Fall Produce
After growing up in Adams County, you would think some things would no longer excite me, but I still love picking my own apples right off the tree, and my pumpkins straight from the field. Visit one of Adams County’s countryside orchards to get an authentic pick-your-own experience. Try Boyer Nurseries and Orchards and Hollabaugh Bros. Fruit Farm and Market for pick-your-own apples and Fields of Adventure for pick-your-own-pumpkins.
Visit a Countryside Market
I’m a market girl by choice and fall in Adams County spoils me with fresh produce, free range eggs, farm fresh meats, amazing baked goods and, of course, apple cider donuts! Between visiting our open-air farmers’ markets – Gettysburg Farmers’ Market and Adams County Farmers’ Market – and those located right on the farm – Boyer Nurseries and Orchards, Hollabaugh Bros. Fruit Farm and Market, McDannell Fruit Farm and Market and the Historic Round Barn and Farm Market – harvest season market shopping is a must!
Dig Into a Candy Apple
While several of our nearly 100 varieties of apples already taste like candy, I’m referring to the yummy red delicious dipped in a candy coating… or maybe I’d rather have a caramel apple. Visit Kilwins in downtown Gettysburg for some of the most indulgent caramel apples you can find.
Take in Fall Foliage
Leaf peeping is one of my favorite things. The colors of fall – yellows, reds, oranges – brush the trees throughout the county like an artist’s canvas. Sweetgum trees with their vibrant reds are one of my absolute favorites. This year looks like it will be an early change, so don’t wait too long to visit, once the leaves are brown, they’re sure to hit the ground. Gettysburg National Military Park is a great place to view fall foliage in Gettysburg – try a self-guided auto tour and drive the battlefield roads at your own pace, or drive out through authentic Adams County – the rolling hills and stunning landscape make for great fall views.
Get Spooked at a Haunted House
October isn’t all about ghost tours. You can get just as spooked, if not more, by staying overnight in a haunted inn anytime of the year. Try your luck at the Farnsworth House Inn or the Tillie Pierce House located in town. Be extra brave and head to the Baladerry Inn or the Lightner Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast, located out of town where the shadows play tricks on you.
Fall is my favorite time of year and Adams County is my favorite place to spend it. I know you will agree once you had a chance to experience it yourself.