The drive to create that inspires a maker’s spirit is at the heart of York County. You’ll find it in galleries that showcase inspiring exhibitions from local, regional, national and international artists that move, challenge, foster conversation and push boundaries. You’ll witness it in studios where artists invite guests to experience the creative process firsthand and in maker spaces where everything from gorgeous handmade violins to intricate timepieces are handcrafted with pride and care. You’ll see it when you visit area restaurants and wineries where culinary creativity is seamlessly stitched together with arts of all kinds for immersive, one-of-a-kind experiences that delight all the senses. If you have a desire to connect with the heart of the places you visit, read on to discover the inspiration hubs and off-the-beaten path experiences that will help you have it made in York County, PA.
From the work of experienced masters to new innovators and everything in between, it’s all at your fingertips when you visit.
Let’s Get Visual
Come curious, leave inspired. From vibrant downtown galleries to tucked away studios where you can chat with artists at work to street art and large-scale installations that take cues from the neighborhoods and cultures around them, York County’s vibrant art scene will give you a glimpse at the soul of the region.
With two dedicated gallery spaces that showcase rotating exhibitions, there’s always something new to explore when you visit. Creative York’s Kerlin Gallery shines the spotlight on local, national and international artists while the Art Lab introduces and cultivates new work through immersive, experiential and thought-provoking installations designed to push boundaries and draw you into the experience. You can also get in on artistic fun during a wide range of classes and special events!
Browse the latest gallery exhibit to view work from amazing local and regional artists and spend time with the artists in residence to check out what they’re working on and learn more about their craft and inspiration. PLUS, be sure to check out the amazing lineup of live entertainment. See “Shakespeare on the Rocks,” catch live music with “Parliament on the Patio,” or plan your visit around one of the many amazing “Jazz Night” outdoor performances.
Creativity and inspiration take center stage at i-ron-ic an eclectic coffeehouse that serves up amazing coffee, delicious dishes and treats alongside art, music and entertainment designed to create conversation and inspire imagination. See how a blend of art, coffee and community can make your trip shine. And, be sure to visit Godahavom Gourds on the second floor where you can check out beautiful gourd art and try your hand at crafting your own piece.
One of the region’s best-kept secrets, York Art Association is home to two gallery spaces that present a wide array of local, regional and national exhibitions throughout the year. With a heart that beats in time with the community, York Art Association is also home to a dynamic mix of art workshops, lectures and drop-in classes you can check out anytime you visit.
Located in Downtown York’s historic Market District, Marketview Arts is a must-visit hub for culture and creativity that features studios for local artists including area college students as well as three additional gallery spaces exhibiting local, regional and nationally renowned artists.
York City’s architecture alone is enough to inspire wonder. Historic buildings dating back to the founding of our nation stand next to old manufacturing hubs and converted spaces that have been given new life. The 13 grand murals nestled among galleries and eclectic shops in the thriving Royal Square Arts District offer an immersive self-guided exploration into art, each showcasing the inspiration and skill of a different featured artist. And, bonus, there are tons of tucked away spots to grab a bite and a brew while you explore.
This Miami-inspired indoor-outdoor bar serves up creative cocktails and shareable plates alongside a full lineup of entertainment. Covered in art and murals, the outside is as fun to explore as the AMAZING food and drinks Tina’s serves up. Stop in for happy hour, grab lunch or dinner, or just hang out and grab a bite and a margarita and see who takes the stage. We promise you won’t be disappointed by adding this must-experience stop to your travel plans.
This one-of-a-kind immersive art experience created on the remnants of a furniture factory is unlike anything you’ve seen before. This previously abandoned and now fiercely protected spot is home to a range of events from concerts and car shows to artist exhibitions and festivals. While the events are all amazing, a visit to check out the incredible street art that covers the landscape is worth the trip anytime.
Independent Galleries & Artist Studios
In addition to the great public galleries and open studio spaces, you’ll also find an array of private artist studios, independent galleries and shops dotted across the York County landscape. From tucked-away town spaces to studios situated in the pastoral countryside, a bit of digging into your favorite kind of art experiences can payoff big. OMG Studios, HIVE artspace, Naked Chick Art, King’s Courtyard Artists’ Collective, Venture and the list goes on and on. Let inspiration be your guide as you plan to explore the many working studios in the region.
Taqueria El Camino
Ok, let’s talk tacos….REALLY, REALLY good tacos. This modern “Cal-Mex” Taqueria is inspired by blending authentic Mexico City street food with Miami’s vibrant art culture. Fantastic food served surrounded by constantly changing art and live music and performances – we knew tacos made pretty much every day better, but this is really next-level good here.
Have it Made Here: Maker Experiences
There’s something special about watching a maker at work. Seeing the craft and care that goes into finished products we often take for granted can be truly inspiring. In York County, PA, we count ourselves lucky to be a center for manufacturing and home to everything from snack foods to motorcycles and a hub for artisans and makers who handcraft treasures with care.
If natural products, self-care and smelling amazing are your cup of tea, make time to step into Sunrise Soap where you can catch the making of everything from shampoos and scrubs to lip balms and bath fizzies. Be sure to check out the Creation Station where you can whip up your own handmade body care creation.
Perrydell Farm and Dairy
This family-owned dairy farm is THE place to go for the absolute best chocolate milk and ice cream. Say hi to the well-loved herd, stop in during bottle feeding to see the calves get their fill, and explore the farm shop where you’ll find Perrydell’s fresh-bottled milk (try the chocolate, we promise you won’t regret it) and delicious homemade ice cream.
World-class Master Luthier Mark Bluett has been making stringed instruments of all kinds since 1984. Musicians from around the world seek him out for custom creations from violins and guitars to mandocellos and bousoukis. Don’t miss the chance to step into his workshop, enjoy his stories and watch him practice his masterful craft. If you’re lucky you just might hear him play a song or two.
Wine, Beer & Spirits Made Here
Wineries and vineyards with sweeping country views, brewpubs with craft beer and ever-changing tap selections, and distilleries that put a local flare on spirits are always on the way as you check out York County’s arts and culture hot spots.
You’ll wonder at the magic of timekeeping when you step into the workshop and classroom of Dan Nied, a master watch and clock maker who handcrafts intricate time pieces of all types and sizes. York Time Institute has trained some of the world’s best horologists and it is a great place to experience the historic watch- and clock-making tradition.
Caputo Brothers Creamery
The artisan cheese makers at Caputo Brothers Creamery make cheeses in the traditional Italian style. Made from milk sourced from local farms, crafted by hand, and naturally cultured – their cheese is served in some of the top restaurants around the country. You can check out the many amazing varieties or signup for a cheesemaking class to learn to make it from scratch.
Long story short (OK, not really) – you really can have it made here. Whether you’re seeking inspiration from art, have a passion for handcrafted treasures or like to get the best local foodie finds when you travel – you can find it in York County, PA. 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 mapping out your perfect travel path, the awesome team at Explore York are the ones to call. We can’t wait to see you around town!