Gettin’ Beyond Gettysburg Pennsylvania Turnpike!
By Pat Reynolds
The Wow Ride-In™ to Gettysburg will be exciting enough, but adventures await traveling East from Gettysburg to the end of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. If your vacation plans allow time to explore either before or after the Ride-In™, you might want to see for yourself the exciting sites of Pennsylvania beyond Gettysburg.
Chocolate and thrills can be found at Hersey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which is approximately ten miles east of Harrisburg. Take the 322 Exit, ride North to Route 422, and then ride East through peaceful farmlands to Hershey Park. Chocolate Kiss lampposts mark that you have entered the town where chocolate dominates. Signs mark the entrance to the amusement park. If the ride is hot, refreshing water rides await at The Shore where you can also cool off and relax at the huge swimming pool. The park offers roller coasters and other exciting rides that can fill the entire day, so it would be a good idea to plan ahead and reserve a room at the Hershey Hotel. If the amusement park in not tempting, there is the Chocolate Tour of the Factory at Hershey’s Chocolate World or a visit to Hershey School where children’s lives have been changed due to the generosity of the Hershey Foundation.
The next exit on the turnpike is Route 72 South that begins the trip to Lititz, voted the “Coolest Small Town in America” in 2013, and a good way to tour the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country. After passing the Renaissance Faire grounds (The faire does not start until August) and the Harley Davidson Dealership, Route 72 intersects route 772 in Manheim. Take Route 772 East to Lititz. The town has shops and restaurants for a refreshing lunch stop.
When 772 intersects 501 in Lititz, a left turn to head North on 501 will take you to the entrance to the Community Park next to Wilbur’s Chocolate Factory. There is plenty of room to park the bike and a walk around the park is reminiscent of the past complete with a nostalgic gazebo, and a spring where children feed ducks while their parents or grandparents relax on benches in the cool shade.
The park contains the largest limestone spring in the nation that led to the creation of the town by its Moravian founders in 1749. From 1800 to 1900, it was a famous summer resort. The park is a great place to buy a hot dog and soda at Rosie’s hot dog stand and just relax. However, there are plenty of shops and The Moravian Museum to explore. And if you choose to stay overnight, there are bed and breakfasts, as well as an inn on Broad Street.
See page 9 for the rest of the story…