For years, York County, Pennsylvania, was just a quick pit stop for us as we drove past, often pausing only for gas during our countless road trips. The idea of it being a destination in its own right had never crossed our minds.
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On our most recent couples getaway, we decided to break the cycle and truly explore what the unassuming area of York County, Pennsylvania, had to offer. The outcome was nothing short of extraordinary.
We ventured to Vortex Brewing Company, a brewery that uses only the finest ingredients to create their craft brews. Their restaurant is a cozy taproom setting and serves delicious food made fresh in their scratch kitchen. This provided us a space to re-energize after being on the road for an hour and a half. We ordered pizza and tried a variety of their IPAs. We loved it so much that we decided to purchase a 4-pack enjoy later.
Next, we headed to Balla Cloiche Vineyards for a comedy and cabaret show. As we drove closer to the vineyard in its peaceful, country setting, I wondered if anything was truly happening, but as made our way to the bottom of the hill, there was indeed nightlife.
At the vineyard, the food truck, Ezzy Eats, served authentic Mexican cuisine. The tasting room was cozy and featured an array of mostly dry wines and some cocktails. The comedy and cabernet show featured comedians from our hometown of Washington, D.C., and instantly transported us far from the realm of parenthood. For those few hours, we were once again just a couple, lost in the moment. This proved to be the perfect setting for a night filled with laughter.
We ended the night at the Jackson House Bed and Breakfast, where we were greeted by freshly baked chocolate chip s'mores cookies. We were instantly welcomed into a world of charm and tranquility. Our room, the "Stonewall Jackson Room," located on the second floor, was cozy and offered more than we could have hoped for. From the parlor to the backyard patio, and even a hot tub out back, it was clear that this bed and breakfast was designed for guests' comfort and relaxation. One of the standout features that immediately caught our eye was the exposed brick and fireplace in the breakfast area. The innkeepers, Amanda and Damon, were friendly hosts and extremely attentive. The next morning breakfast was prepared with care and we were pumped to explore York County.
I love markets. Flea markets, farmers markets, furniture markets. You say market and I'm there. York County had so much to offer and we had the pleasure of visiting the Markets at Shrewsbury, The Central Market House, and Brown's Orchards.
The Markets at Shrewsbury introduced us to a culinary wonderland. We were like kids in a candy shop. We purchased a healthy green smoothie, buttery pretzels (the long line was worth the wait), apple butter, and fresh taco seasoning because we absolutely adore Taco Tuesday in our household.
The Central Market House was a culinary carnival and we sampled a bit of everything. We couldn't resist the soaps and shea butters as souvenirs.
Lastly, Brown's Orchards seemed to have every bread known to man. Rainbow bagels, garlic bread, cheese bread, pizza bread. Now you know why I love farmer's markets. For me, it's the comfort of indulging in the familiar, but also being exposed to something new.
There were a couple of things that surprised me about York County. One was the number of breweries located in a ten-mile radius, and the other was the nightlife. Coming from a bigger city I was expecting much of the town to be shut down by 8 pm.
For the last two nights of our trip, we stayed at the Yorktowne Hotel. I appreciated the central location, making it incredibly convenient for shopping, dining, and exploring. The Yorktowne Hotel exemplified timeless elegance, with a grand lobby that exuded a sense of history and sophistication. The cocktail bar was massive, however, it was the Graham Rooftop that truly stole our hearts. This beautiful space offered breathtaking views of the city. This was the perfect blend of convenience and luxury.
Before going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, we ate at The Revival Social Club, which was a culinary masterpiece. We sipped on artistic cocktails and savored Louisiana Chicken Wings, Lobster Fingers, the Revival Burger, and a Brussels sprouts Caesar Salad with Salmon. I was excited to learn that Dru Hill, one of my favorite childhood R&B groups, will be at the Appell Center on Dec. 16th — the perfect reason for a return couples getaway.
By far my favorite part of the trip was The Royal Square District. It is such a visual treat, adorned with vibrant murals that practically begged us to take photos, some of which we couldn't resist reenacting, leaving us with lasting memories of this captivating place.
As we reluctantly left York County, we couldn't help but plan our return. We are definitely a fan of planning our next vacation while on our current vacation and can't wait to experience the Northern Central Railway.
York County in Pennsylvania, is not just another pit stop on the road; it's a destination brimming with history, charm, and flavors waiting to surprise you at every turn. We discovered that hidden gems are often right under our noses, and York, with its unexpected delights, was the perfect testament to this.
As you are planning your getaway, be sure to check out the Explore York website and a few of our favorite stops along the way!
Dinner and Drinks
- Roost Uncommon Kitchen on Market Street
- Rockfish Public House on North George Street
- Prince Street Cafe on Market Street
- Victor's Italian (with live Jazz on Fridays!)
- The Fig & Barrel
- South County Brewing (a gorgeous venue!)
The Shopping Scene
- Terra Farms - a lovely Pick-Your-Own flower farm, perfect for a summer date night!
- Glamping in Paradise (a literal paradise in Paradise, Pa!)
- York Fair for Music lovers
- Chief Uncas Boat Tours
- Stroll around town during First Fridays
If you're yearning for a romantic escape that offers history, culture, and the delectable, don't hesitate to book your next couple's getaway to York County in PA!