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Trips that Make Cents: York, PA

American history, food, and family fun a short drive away
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Posted at 7:30 AM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 08:24:43-04

YORK, Pa. — Gas prices remain high but anyone looking for a quick road trip which won't break the bank might want to consider a visit to York, Pennsylvania. York is close enough that many Marylanders can drive to and from on a half-tank of gas or less.

Its nicknames are ‘America’s First Capital’ and the ‘White Rose City,’ and some know it for the Peppermint Patty but most just call it York, PA.

Not to be confused with its British namesake, this York is located less than 20 miles north of the Maryland border.

Whether a person is into American history, good food and drinks or arts and entertainment, Explore York director of destination marketing Melissa Beaverson explained how both York City and York County offer something for everyone.

“You can go watch products we make here. You can make products here. There’s a reason why our destinations tag line is ‘Have it Made Here.’ That’s obviously very literal but also there’s lots of things that you can make here like memories and fun,” Beaverson said.

Visiting York is like taking a trip back in time.

Founded in 1741, York served as a temporary capital of the 13 colonies during the Revolutionary War.

It was at a reconstructed Colonial Courthouse where the Second Continental Congress adopted the original U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation.

“What a lot of people don’t know about York County really is its role in American history. People think often about Gettysburg or Philadelphia or Boston, but York has just as much of a storied past,” Beaverson said.

York is a living museum of American history. History buffs can check out a variety of colonial sites but foodies might want to head over to the Central Market for a cornucopia of local and international dishes to tempt their taste buds.

“Central Market is wonderful not just from a food scene, as obviously you look around at all of the various cuisines that you can try, but it really supports local, local artists here that are selling their artisan goods. There’s local art, there’s actual local art being sold here. It’s a great place to buy gifts if you want to support the local scene,” Beaverson said.

Outside the Central Market, visitors will find a variety of places to grab a bite or a drink like White Rose Bar and Grill, Holy Hound Taproom, and dozens of other eateries, all within walking distance around downtown.

“But there’s also all of the county. I mean, there’s authentic Mexican there’s meats and cheeses that are made here that rival those of Italian meats and cheeses, there’s obviously tons of farm fresh produce that use, you know, locally sourced beef and chicken because of all the farms here,” Beaverson said.

Adults can feel like a kid again and play retro pinball games at Timeline Arcade but for those with kids in tow, York offers a lot for families as well.

“There’s 4500 miles of public park land, there’s the Heritage Rail Trail so there’s hiking and biking, and you know, exploring along the Rail Trail. We have three historic railroads that also take you on rides along the Rail Trail,” Beaverson said.

Top Ten list of additional York events, activities, and attractions.

  1. York State Fair (July 22-31)
  2. Susquehanna Folk Festival (August 12-14)
  3. Explore the York County History Center
  4. Historic railroads (Ma & Pa Railroad, Northern Central Railway, Stewartstown Railroad)
  5. Keystone Kidspace hands-on children’s science center
  6. See a York Revolution baseball game
  7. Good Libations Trail (be sure to bring a designated driver!)
  8. Visit one of the areas many farmers markets (Brown’s Orchards, Markets at Shrewsbury, Flinchbaugh’s Orchard)
  9. Susquehanna National Heritage Area (along Susquehanna River)
  10. Enjoy York County Parks and visit the Nixon Park Nature Center