Over the past five years, my travels have taken me to the far corners of the globe, engaging with new cultures and shocking my taste buds- in both the best and most shocking ways. My friends and readers often post comments expressing their desire to travel, awestruck by the exotic and keen to venture into the unknown. While I can certainly empathize with wanderlust, I have to disagree with what I consider to be a common misconception. Travel and adventure are not exclusive to trips abroad to far away lands. Anyone can have an amazing adventure and, often, the best locations can be a lot closer to home than one might think.
It’s difficult for me to remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by history. Throughout childhood and adolescence, I’d always been keen to hit historical sites, both hot spots and those often-forgot wonders; this is a quality that has only continued to flourish into adulthood. I remember my first trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was excited to visit a town that had such great historical significance to my country; on the other, I had gotten very cozy in the back seat of my parents’ rental car and was just getting into a particularly captivating chapter of my Harry Potter book. The day was spent enjoying the sunshine and beautiful countryside scenery, all the while forcing my young mind to appreciate the destruction that had occurred there.
This is my memory of Gettysburg, from a child’s viewpoint in the late ‘90s. While I remember this family trip with great fondness, I’m far more excited to embark on my next visit to the historical haven. This time around, I have a newfound appreciation for Gettysburg: one as a craft beer and wine sanctuary.
Gettysburg has officially secured its place along the foodie trail of America- and for good reason. The emerging culinary scene partnered with the variety of breweries, wineries, and distilleries makes it an ideal hideaway for culinary tourists. Gettysburg has long-prided itself on being one of the top producers of apples in the country, which only serves to strengthen their local hard cider game. Being surrounded by seemingly endless fertile farmland also enables local culinary artisans to utilize fresh produce and provide the epitome of farm to table cuisine, all in a quaint, small-town setting. Tourists who, like myself, take refuge in a lack of lines and poorly executed, rushed service needn’t worry about the rat race on a holiday here and can instead focus on getting that much needed weekend ‘R and R’. The scenic landscape featuring rolling hills and dense forests puts the icing on the Pennsylvania Dutch cake and serves a two-fold purpose: providing a pleasant aesthetic experience for cafe and winery goers and supplying numerous trails to walk in between bouts of indulgence. You’re on vacation after all, right?
After venturing off the field of battle, my fellow beer lovers can repose at the Appalachian Brew Pub. The company constantly showcases a plethora of flavorful beers, ranging from light lagers to my favorite hoppy ales. In addition to their Flagship brews, they also offer a seasonal menu, inviting you to come back throughout the year. Pub grub with a Gettysburg twist reigns supreme in these parts, and after perusing the menu, I’ve already developed a list of must-tries. I’ll have to get back to you with specific feedback, but I don’t see how you can go wrong with menu items like traditional pierogies and balsamic bleu cheese chips.
Although I’m an avid craft brew drinker, sometimes the pallet craves something sweet and fine. But how to choose? Luckily, Reid’s Orchard and Winery doesn’t force you to. Situated right on the orchard, cider lovers and wine connoisseurs are inundated with choices meriting rave reviews. Wine tastings and vineyard tours only add to the hospitality and will have you feeling right at home in no time. The venue also seems to regularly host events, such as live music, donut pairing, and farmers market, which would seem to make it difficult to ever leave. A detailed list of performances and happenings can be found on their website.
Gettysburg might be small, but the region has plenty to offer. While the size makes it a great option for a weekend getaway, a few days doesn’t seem to do the culinary scene justice. And while I’m happy that I received the tip on this new must-visit location, I’m also a bit bitter that I can’t pull-up in the town now. I’m thirsty, and I know I’d be welcomed.
This post is sponsored by Destination Gettysburg.