Pennsylvania has long been a destination for fall travel. One of the best ways to take in the colors of the season is by strolling through the charming streets of the state’s small towns that dot mountainsides and are brimming with history. Below are five spots you are sure to enjoy during autumn:
- Did you know everyone’s favorite neighbor Mister Rogers hails from PA? That’s right - he’s from Latrobe! This year marks the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and with the recent release of the Fred Rogers documentary, now is the perfect time to visit his (and his high school classmate Arnold Palmer’s) hometown on the PA Tourism Office’s Fred Rogers Trail. Take in the colors of fall and pay homage to the legendary show producer by snapping a selfie at the Fred Rogers statue at the James H. Rogers Park. After taking a few photos and reading Mr. Rogers’ historical marker at the park, set off on the 1.5-mile Lincoln Avenue Rails to Trails Greenway to take a brisk walk through the fallen leaves.
- Located along scenic Route 6, Wellsboro’s lamp-lined main street will give you charm overload. Window shop on a stroll down the line of small stores and family-owned businesses and then travel to the quintessential fall hot spot – the Pine Creek Gorge. Almost 50 miles long and 1,000 feet deep, the gorge features a brilliant display of deep reds, yellows, and purples in early October.
- The Victorian town of Jim Thorpe is the perfect spot for a fall jaunt amongst the scenic mountains of the Poconos. Visitors can shop the Old Mauch Chunk Historic District, absorbing the magnificent architecture, or tour the many notable sites. A fall train ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway is another great way to take in the foliage. In September and November, the railway offers one-way bike trains, where passengers load up their bikes and hop on a train to White Haven to bike 25 miles back to Jim Thorpe along the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail. In October, passengers can take a ride over the 168-foot tall, 1000-foot long High Bridge for stunning views of the fall colors. Stop by Jim Thorpe during the first three weekends of October and enjoy food, live entertainment, and arts and crafts at the Fall Foliage Festival.
- Gettysburg National Military Park is a must-see for any fall excursion, providing the perfect scenic backdrop for visitors experiencing this historic battlefield. Explore the monuments, memorials, and true history on horseback with a guided tour. The fall is also a great time to visit Adams County, the fourth largest producer of apples in the country, for some fresh produce and to experience the National Apple Harvest Festival during the first two weekends of October.
- Get enthralled in culture in Doylestown this fall. The adorable main street is packed with great places to stay, dine, and shop. Visitors can also delve into the past by visiting the Fonthill Castle, Mercer Museum, and Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. The American archeologist Henry Mercer created handmade tiles at the Moravian Potter and Tile Works, and today, visitors can tour the National Historic Landmark and see tiles being produced in a manner similar to Mercer’s. Learn more about Mercer by touring Fonthill Castle, his home and showplace for his Moravian tiles, as well as the museum, which displays a collection of some 40,000 objects gathered by the man himself. Doylestown is also home to the James A. Michener Art Museum, which was named after the Pulitzer-Prize winning writer and philanthropist James Michener. The museum was created in a redeveloped prison and is celebrating 30 years in 2018 with a special exhibit in the fall.
For even more charming small towns in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania tourism website.