Explore York County Off the Beaten Path
If your idea of fun is taking the path less traveled, uncovering hidden gems and stepping back in time to find out how we got to where we are today, you’ll find SO MUCH to explore on your York County adventure. From sites that take you back to the tumultuous birth of our nation to those that celebrate some of our country’s most uncommon achievements, there’s a whole bunch of curious finds to discover and a whole lot of fun ways to get there. Read on to see how you can truly have it made in York County, PA when you take an adventure down the road less traveled.
Back In Time Exploration
History truly was made in York County, PA. Dubbed the nation’s “First Capital” and host to the first nationally celebrated Thanksgiving, these are just a few of the historic claims to fame you can discover when you step back in time during your York County adventure.
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you visit this meticulously preserved four-building complex in the heart of York. Discover York’s critical role in Revolutionary War history and get a glimpse at what everyday life was like during the 18th century. From the home of upper class American General Horatio Gates to the Colonial Courthouse that preserves the period when the Second Continental Congress worked in York and adopted the Articles of Confederation, you can explore a range of exhibits, see reenactors in period demonstrations and participate in hands-on activities.
York County Heritage Rail Trail County Park
Walk, run, bike or saddle up your horse to traverse the gorgeous nearly 30-mile Heritage Rail Trail. Stretching across York County and running through some of the most charming towns and quaint downtowns, the Heritage Rail Trail is home to a number of historic sites that welcome explorers along their journey.
The William C. Goodridge Freedom Center & Underground Railroad Museum
Experience the history of the Underground Railroad like never before as you discover the life of William C. Goodridge, who was born a slave and became one of the wealthiest African American entrepreneurs of his time. Learn how he risked it all to become an Underground Railroad station master. Explore engaging exhibits, stand on hallowed ground to see an actual Underground Railroad hiding place and check out the immersive living history experiences.
Agricultural & Industrial Museum
Explore 300 years of transportation, agriculture and manufacturing history at this one-of-a-kind museum built in a former factory complex. Step into a 1916 trolley car, sit in the seat of a 1940 train switcher, or try your hand at using rotary phones operated as part of a 1930s switchboard. Hands-on experiences abound throughout the museum that includes exhibits on everything from pottery making to casket manufacturing.
Indian Steps Museum
Set along the gorgeous Susquehanna River and home to more than 10,000 Native American artifacts, Indian Steps in a truly unique experience. Browse the exhibits, wonder at the profound architecture or wander the grounds on the beautiful waterfall loop. Indian Steps offers an array of interactive programs for all ages throughout the year.
While entertainment can be found around just about every turn in York County, PA there are spots that can excite a true explorer’s heart.
Orange Mite Studios
“It is to be all made of fantasy, all made of passions, and all made of wishes…” – William Shakespeare, As You Like It. The magic of Shakespeare comes alive at Orange Mite Studio where a passion for performance and love of sharing timeless stories collide in an unforgettable theater experience. Coming up this October you can catch their amazing presentation of Hamlet!
Must-See Stops You Won’t Find Anywhere Else
From a giant shoe where you’ll soon be able to rest your head, to a chance to ride the rails of history, you’ve got to check out these one-of-a-kind experiences during your York County, PA adventure.
The Haines Shoe House
This one-of-a-kind roadside oddity is unlike any other and you really have to see what it’s all “a-boot.” This five-story shoe-shaped house was originally built in 1948 as a form of advertisement. Today, you can make plans to stay the night in this truly one-of-a-kind spot and really “loafer” around. We just know you’ll get a “kick” out of making the trip to check it out (OK, we’ll stop with the puns, cross our heart and “sole” – now we’re really done).
Flinchbaugh’s Orchard & Farm Market
This sprawling family-owned farm is home to amazing, fresh local produce AND tons of fun activities for all ages. Check out what’s in season and head out into the orchards to pick your own; have a blast as you try and find your way out of the 5-acre corn maze; browse the farm market for the freshest produce, homemade treats, baked goods, and so much more; or, stop by during one of the many farm events to enjoy fun activities for all ages.
Northern Central Railway
All aboard! Ride along the same route that carried President Lincoln from Washington, DC to Gettysburg, PA where he delivered one of the most pivotal speeches in American history! Time travel really is possible here as you climb aboard an authentic replica 1860s steam locomotive to meet presidents and generals and experience the intrigue of the Wild West. Your ride along the very rails that helps build our nation is sure to delight the young and young at heart.
Codorus State Park
If time on the water is on your travel wish list, the expansive Lake Marburg at Codorus State Park is a must-paddle experience. In addition to boating, the park offers hiking trails, picnic spots and great fishing. You can also take to the shores on horseback through guided trail rides offered by local stables.
The history of Dill’s Tavern began in 1742, over 30 years before the founding of our nation. The historic stone building that still stands today was built in 1794 and is being carefully restored to reflect its rich history. Today, the tavern and its grounds showcase the story not just of the town where it resides, but of the story of life on the Pennsylvania frontier and American life in the 18th and 19th centuries. From market days and concerts to re-enactments, special guest speakers and a wide range of special events, there are so many fun ways to experience the rich history of Dill’s Tavern.
When you’re an explorer at heart, we know every travel experience, however near or far, is a chance to discover something new. Whether you’re stepping back in time at a historic site for a front row seat to history, exploring tucked away finds in a museum or checking out what makes a town or city tick, you want to discover the who, what, where, when and why when you chart your travel path. The good news? There is SO MUCH to explore in York County, PA, you really can have it made here. If you haven’t already downloaded the YoCo Arts & Culture Pass, hop over and check it out! It’s free and you’ll find some exclusive deals and discounts you can take advantage of during your curiosity-inspired adventure.
If you’d like some help charting your course, the awesome team at Explore York are the ones to call. We can’t wait to see you on your discovery journey!