Taking a trip to see fall colors is becoming one of my favorite things to do, and lucky for me, Philly has some places nearby to see the pretty colors! (If you’re not able to leave Philly this fall, I highly recommend seeing Boathouse Row at peak fall colors). Matt and I have done trips to Long Eddy, NY and Lancaster, and I loved Lancaster in the fall so much that we went back for a long weekend! (AND I’m going back for a long weekend this year, too). If you’re like me and love fall colors and activities, these are 7 fun things to do in Lancaster, PA in the fall 🙂
Bonus- most of these activities are dog friendly! We brought our Siberian Husky Annika, and she had a great time exploring the Amish countryside with us.
7 things to do in Lancaster, PA in the fall
If you’re looking for a place to stay overnight, we stayed in the cutest Airbnb! It’s a converted carriage house and was so quaint and cozy. It is a little outside Lancaster itself, but it was the perfect spot for us because we wanted to be someplace quiet in Amish country and near other towns in the area.
Go on a covered bridge driving tour
I love covered bridges, and I was so excited to see covered bridges with the leaves changing color! Discover Lancaster has an entire guide on covered bridges in Lancaster, and drove around for a couple of hours and saw about six of them (but there are lots more to see!).
The covered bridge tour was also a great way to see the countryside and the leaves changing everywhere! Plus, you get to see some pretty farms and Amish horse-and-buggies driving around (our dog Annika was obsessed with them), so this has definitely become one of my favorite things to do in Lancaster, PA in the fall.
Go on a walk and see fall colors
Once you’re done driving around to see the fall leaves, you should see them close up on a walk. There are a lot of different walking trails around Lancaster, so you have some good options. We walked around Lancaster County Central Park, and bonus, you can see the Kurtz’s Mill Covered Bridge there! It was a great place to take a fall stroll, and Annika loved chasing the squirrels around.
Do some shopping at Kitchen Kettle Village
Kitchen Kettle is an outdoor shopping center in Intercourse, PA with locally made food and Pennsylvania Dutch shops. And they have fun decorations for the fall!
The first time we went, we just browsed. But the last time we went, we were prepared and brought a cooler so we could stock up on Amish cheese and fudge 🙂 So learn learn from our lesson and come prepared with a cooler if you want to take home some local food! And if you visit Kitchen Kettle in the fall, it’s a great time to get a headstart on some Christmas shopping! (There’s even a shop with lots of Christmas decorations)
Since Kitchen Kettle is outside, you can take your dog to walk around! Annika had a fan club there and made lots of friends. You probably won’t be able to go into most of the shops with a dog, but there are some shops that are outside and you can grab delicious ice cream from the ice cream stand 🙂
Experience Amish culture
There are lots of ways you can experience and learn about the local Amish culture! You can tour The Amish House, check out some Amish shops at Shady Maple Smorgasbord and Lancaster Central Market, go for a buggy ride, have dinner with an Amish family, and so many more things.
If you just drive around Lancaster, you’ll likely see many horse-and-buggies and pass lots of Amish farm stands! And if it isn’t too cold for ice cream in the fall (is it ever too cold for ice cream though?), you can visit Lapp Valley Farm and grab some ice cream.
Eat some local food (and grab a drink)
Lancaster has lots of great local food, especially in the fall! You can’t go wrong with pastries made with local apples and pumpkins, and it isn’t specific to fall, but you should try a shoofly pie while you’re in Lancaster. And grab a cup of coffee to warm you up on a chilly fall morning!
We went to Bird-in-Hand Bakery, Corner Coffee Shop, Shady Maple Smorgasbord, and Passenger Roastery for pastries and coffee, and Springhouse Brewing Company for burgers and beer! If you have a dog, Bird-in-Hand Bakery and Springhouse Brewing Company both have lots of outdoor seating.
Go apple picking
I hadn’t been apple picking since I was a kid, but it became one of my favorite things to do in Lancaster in the fall! There are lots of different apple orchards around Lancaster, and we went to Cherry Hill Orchards, which I recommend. We went on a weekday and were the only people picking apples, and there were tons of different varieties to choose from.
We were probably there for about 30 minutes and managed to pick over 20 pounds of apples! Needless to say, we did a lot of baking with apples when we got home 🙂
Pick out a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch
Along with picking apples, you should also pick a pumpkin! We got our pumpkin from the store at Cherry Hill Orchards, but you can also pick your own from a pumpkin patch at many farms in Lancaster.
If you’re in Lancaster in November, you could also check out Pumpkin Demolition Day. We visited in October last year, but I’ll be in Lancaster in November this year so I may need to go check it out!
There are so many more things you can do, but those are my 7 favorite things to do in Lancaster, PA in the fall, especially if you have a dog! If you visit Lancaster in autumn, let me know which of these activities is your favorite 🙂
8. Visit the James Buchanan House!! 🙂
It’s a great place to visit!
This looks like the perfect fall destination!! LOVE the airbnb you stayed in. Thanks for the great ideasp!
I hope you’re able to go soon! 🙂
I loved visiting Lancaster! However, I visited in February. It looks like I need to visit again in the fall. The leaves are stunning!
I definitely recommend visiting in the fall, it’s so pretty then!
Lancaster looks like a gorgeous area to explore in the fall. I always love seeing those cool covered bridges…but hiking or cycling around the area must be super fun too.
I’ve never been to a pumpkin patch, so I’d want to do that too!
I hope you can go soon, it’s such an amazing area!
There is just nothing like fall on the East Coast! The leaves look absolutely gorgeous!
It’s so pretty during fall here!!