Watch tractors square-dancing at the National Apple Festival in Gettysburg

Watch tractors square-dancing at the National Apple Festival in Gettysburg

It’s the middle of the summer, but we’re already looking ahead to our fall getaways. I’m penciling in a return trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,  on our calendar. Let’s face it, the worst part about traveling (other than the laundry!)  is there’s never enough time to do everything you want to do. Sure, I know it’s a nice complaint to have, but going to a different location every time we travel means we never really have the time to “know” the place as well as we’d like.

But since our long weekend trip to Gettysburg this spring, my family has decided we want to get to know that city better. And since reading about all the autumn events on the DestinationGettysburg.com web site, I’m determined to find time in our busy post-summer calendar to get back there and enjoy a true Pennsylvania fall.

So while we hope to visit the hallowed battlefield again – and what trip to Gettysburg would be complete without a caramallow from Mr. Ed’s? – we are also going to check out some decidedly autumn-y activities. Fortunately, there’s something special going on most weekends this fall:

  • Visitors can drink a toast to the waning summer of ’14 at the Gettysburg Wine and Music Festival on September 6-7.  Numerous
    Pennsylvania wineries will be serving up their potables, including hard cider – just the thing to sip while listening to music played

    festivals, events, fall, Pennsylvania

    The Gettysburg Wine & Music Festival. All photos courtesy DestinationGettysburg

    live by Half Serious, The Reagan Years, Michael Christopher and others.  Then comb the artwork, handmade jewelry, wine accessories and other goods offered by local vendors and artists on the grounds at the Gateway Gettysburg Complex. One and two day tickets are available.

  • The 50th Anniversary National Apple Harvest Festival is such a big celebration, it will cover two weekends. On October 4-5 and 11-12, the Stone Mountain Fairgrounds will be bursting with apple fritters, apple cider, caramel apples, apple pies and other delicious presentations of this favorite fruit. Other fall food goodies, like sweet potato fries and barbecue, will also be available. Activities abound, including a petting zoo, craft demonstrations, an antique car show and a visit from the Apple Queen.
  • The third week of October marks the peak time for fall foliage in the area. The trees that line the fruit orchards and battlegrounds will burst with oranges, reds and yellows as the autumn weather brings temperatures down. October is the best time for a driving tour of the area, including the self-guided Scenic Valley Tour, a 36-mile ride through the rolling orchards and historic sites of Gettysburg.
  • Of course, the end of October brings Halloween. What better time to visit the town called one of the most haunted in the world? Because of its connection to all things paranormal, Gettysburg offers a variety of haunted tours and ghost walks through the streets of town.
  • My husband is all in on this one – you can get a true taste of the past by taking the Historic Gettysburg Food Tour. The three and a half mile tour covers just one mile of walking, but guides will share stories of the past dating back hundreds of years. As you absorb the town history, you will sample the tasty offerings of eight local eateries, historic taverns and family-owned bistros, including Irish, French and Mexican cuisine, delicious comfort food, local wines and a dessert of cupcakes and ice cream. The tour costs $59 for adults and $39 for children, and is run each Saturday and Sunday in the fall.

With its beautiful colors and cooler weather, autumn is the perfect time to visit Gettysburg. In fact, the hardest part of planning this re-visit is determining which weekend event to attend. It seems the more we get to know Gettysburg, the more often we want to visit!