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July / August Trip

Norman, Oklahoma
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40 posts
8 reviews
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July / August Trip

Our 15yr old daughter qualified to participate in the State Games being held in Hershey/Harrisburg the last week of July until Aug 4. We would like to make this a family vacation and plan on staying July 31st to August 5th. With the exception of her event on the 3rd and possibly opening ceremonies on the 2nd, we are free to do as we choose. I am looking for things to do and a place to stay. We love bed and breakfasts but willing to do hotel if need be. We would prefer a place with a pool, but not a necessity. Budget: prefer less than $100/night.

Our interests include anything outdoors (hunting, fishing etc), wineries, farms, and just really cool sights that we don't have here in Oklahoma.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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Hershey
Hershey
Pennsylvania
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
United States
Central PA
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3,842 posts
59 reviews
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1. Re: July / August Trip

Hershey lodging will be pricey in the summer with HersheyPark crowds. If you stay in the outskirts of Harrisburg, you'll have better prices.

I would include Gettysburg on your trip if you are into history, several wineries near Gettysburg as well. Lancaster County is huge for tourism and the Amish. State parks in the area have much to offer as well. York offeres factory tours, including Harley Davidson. Check out the Official PA Visitors site, they have a trip planner that may help. http://www.visitpa.com/

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Hershey
Hershey
Pennsylvania
Gettysburg
Gettysburg
Pennsylvania
Lancaster County
Lancaster County
Pennsylvania
York
York
Pennsylvania
PA
Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
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2. Re: July / August Trip

Less than $100 a night is a tight budget for this area. Here are a few hotels I found:

The Quality Inn, 200 North Mountain Road, Harrisburg is showing rooms in that time frame for under $100. I have had relatives stay at the QI - not fancy, adequate & it does get mixed reviews on TA; good location near stores, restaurants, services

Hampton Inn, 4230 Union Deposit Road, Harrisburg - coming in just over $100/night - pretty decent reviews on TA; fairly good location near stores, restaurants, services

Candlewood Suites, 504 North Mountain Road, Harrisburg - coming in a bit over $100/night - good TA reviews; good location near stores, restaurants, services

Ramanda Inn, 300 North Mountain Road, Harrisburg - coming in just under $100/night - good reviews on TA; good location near stores, restaurants, services

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Quality Inn
Quality Inn
110 Reviews
Harrisburg, PA
Candlewood Suites Harrisburg
Candlewood Suites...
330 Reviews
Harrisburg, PA
PA
Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
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3,143 posts
173 reviews
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3. Re: July / August Trip

Hersheypark is of course, the big attraction; however, there are other things to do & see. You might also enjoy the Hershey Gardens (http://www.hersheygardens.org/) which has a Butterfly House that kids usually like. The Hershey Trolley Works tour (http://hersheytrolleyworks.com/) which departs from Chocolate World is a great way to see Hershey and learn about the history. The Hershey Story is a museum about Milton Hershey, etc. (http://www.hersheystory.org/).

If you are looking for a break from the HersheyPark scene, there are two family mini golf centers in the area worth checking out – Adventure Sports (http://www.adventurehershey.com/) and Challenge Family Fun Center (http://www.challengefamilyfun.com/). Challenge Family Fun Center is at the entrance to Indian Echo Caverns. (http://www.indianechocaverns.com/).

Also nearby is the Middletown &-Hummelstown Railroad (http://www.mhrailroad.com/), a nice relaxing old-fashioned railroad trip and The Antique Auto Museum (http://www.aacamuseum.org/).

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Hershey
Hershey
Pennsylvania
Middletown
Middletown
Pennsylvania
gettysburg, pa
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for Gettysburg
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1,015 posts
55 reviews
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4. Re: July / August Trip

You might enjoy the state parks in the area. Here is a map showing their locations:

…state.pa.us/stateparks/…index.htm

One great walk is the Pole Steeple Trail at Pine Grove Furnace. Pine Grove Furnace is also home to the Appalachian Trail Museum and the halfway point of the Appalachian Trail.

…state.pa.us/stateparks/…index.htm

You could look into renting a modern cabin or a camping cottage for the week, which would put you within the $100/night; however, the state parks with these facilities are probably not close enough to your venue to be worthwhile.

Lots of great fishing spots at the state parks and Fish and Boat Commission access points. You can get a 1, 3, or 7 day tourist license.

Good luck with your planning! Let us know if you have any more questions.

Norman, Oklahoma
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40 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: July / August Trip

Thanks for the tips! I didn't realize $100/night was cheap, I may have to increase my budget. Is there a specific Amish area or farm that you recommend to visit?

My husband loves the idea of touring the Harley Davidson factory!

PA
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for Hershey, Harrisburg
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6. Re: July / August Trip

I can't recommend a specific Amish tourist site; I'm not "into" that scene (the Amish shouldn't be a tourist attraction, but that's just my opinion). I have visited the Countryside Road-Stand in Ronks. It is an Amish owned business. There are a variety of crafts and foods. The soft pretzels and home made root beer were very good.

padutchcountry.com/members/countryside_road-…

I do recommend the Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster. It's a living history museum/farm of the Pennsylvania German community that settled in this area.

http://www.landisvalleymuseum.org/index.php

Bangor, Pennsylvania
Destination Expert
for Lancaster
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7. Re: July / August Trip

The rather good tourist website www.padutchcountry.com would be a good place to start. There are many differant possibilities and this can help you narrow them down to your specific interests.

As fly eagle hints, you really can't just visit an Amish farm although there are AMISH businesses located on farms. Her reccomendation of Countryside Roadstand is a good one. Their soft pretzels are the best I ever had.

A similar business located about a mile away on East Eby Road is Riehls Quilts. It has a large selection of quilts and crafts on a building on the Riehls farm, but no refrreshments.

A place with excellant ice cream is Lapp Valley Farms on Mentzer Road with many reviews on trip advisor. They ,make the ice cream on the farm from their own cows milk. It is run by old order Mennonites, not Amish.

All these places will be closed on Sunday and typically close at dusk.

There are three tourist recreated'Amish houses" to tour. They are the Amish Farm, Amish Village and Amish Homestead. The tourist website above gives links to all. I have not been for decades so I can't reccomend one over the other.

If all you want is to drive thebeautiful farmlands I would reccomend route 772 from Route 23(Leola) to Gap (route 30) This goes through the historic hear of the Amish settlements, with many farms that have been Amish for over 200 years. On any day but Sunday, there will bre numerous farmstands and Amish businesses (furniture, crafts, gazebos) to stop at. You should see many Amsih farming with horses driving buggys etc. Just remember no photographs of people.

Edited: 18 April 2013, 11:53
Bangor, Pennsylvania
Destination Expert
for Lancaster
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8. Re: July / August Trip

As to wineries Nissley Winery is iin Bainbridge not too far from Harrisburg www.nissleywine.com

They have weekly Lawn Concerts in the Summer. The one during your stay is a Big Band group.

York, PA
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9. Re: July / August Trip

I think that Ramada used to be a Best Western. They used to have an excellent restaurant called the Country Oven, which has since closed =:( I would suggest a room in the newer 3-story section, which was added around 2000.

York, PA
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10. Re: July / August Trip

The Comfort Inn (former Holiday Inn Express) on Allentown Boulevard in Harrisburg has rooms available for $109/night weekday and $129/night weekend on Expedia. It was built in 1967 as a Quality Courts and reopened in 1998 as a Clarion. The hotel was renovated in 2011 and has a courtyard with outdoor pool. A complimentary breakfast buffet is offered each morning. It is about a 10-15 minute drive to/from Hershey. Overall it is a good value and is much cheaper than the Hershey hotels.

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Comfort Inn Harrisburg
Comfort Inn Harrisburg
235 Reviews
Harrisburg, PA
Holiday Inn Express Harrisburg
Holiday Inn Express...
233 Reviews
Harrisburg, PA
Hershey
Hershey
Pennsylvania