Saturday, July 31, 2010

Outdoor Activities

As we learned last week, Lancaster County PA is not just Amish tourism. We have an abundance of great hiking trails located near our Bed & Breakfast. Lancaster is home to over 8 different county parks, as well as preserves, game lands, and even a wolf sanctuary. What better way to see the breathtaking beauty of Lancaster, Pa then hiking or biking throughout the county. 

My next adventure in hiking isThe Conewago Trail, which starts in Elizabethtown,and is more common for biking or local joggers and dog walkers. The 5 mile trail is easy and relatively flat. There is an ever so slight upgrade once you get to the end of the 5 miles which then connects to the Lebanon-Valley Rail Trail (LVRT). At the 7th mile of the LVRT, there is an option to take a detour to Mount Gretna, a cute little town. Which by the way is having their 26th annual Tour of Homes, on Saturday Aug. 7th. Indulged in a self guided tour of 19th century homes and gardens of contrasting styles, some over a century old.  

Governor Dick Park is also there at the top of a very steep hill, and there are trails to an observation tower that overlooks Lancaster County. The tower does not have a traditional spiral staircase, but instead has a series of ladders along platforms. It was quite thrilling, even for an enthusiast like me; I’m not a fan of heights! The trip was easier on the return home to Elizabethtown due to the slight downgrade, but it was worth all the hard work because of the beautiful trails and view atop the observation tower. Of course, there is always the option to drive to Governor Dick Park and then enjoy the hike up to the observation tower. Whichever adventure you choose, you’ll be sure to have an enjoyable day! 

Stay tuned next week when we explore Blue Marsh and Chickies Rock County Park.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hawk Mountain

Hiking is one of my favorite past times, and summer is one of the best times to go in Lancaster, PA. While it can be hot and buggy, it’s always exhilarating to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Luckily for you, Adamstown Inns and Cottages is located around many trails, parks, and recreation areas. If you’re like me and get a thrill from breathtaking views on the top of a mountain after a strenuous climb, than you’ll have plenty options for a day hike during your visit to the Lancaster County area. 

While perusing the Adamstown Inns website, you will come across a nature page that describes trails in order to help you find the one that excites you the most. While I haven’t been to all of the recommended locations, I have been to a few.
Hawk Mountain is definitely one of the more well known sanctuary's that visitors enjoy. It’s almost an hours drive, but a trip well worth making; especially since you’ll pass Cabela’s, which is an adventure within itself! I’ve been to Hawk Mountain a couple times and had a different experience during each trip. The first time I was there, I had actually hiked there via the Appalachian Trail connecting to the Skyline Trail, which takes you up the back side of the mountain to the lookout. That trail is not one that I would recommend for beginners! It was rather difficult with many rocks and cliffs that we had to scale, with backpacks on too! Needless to say, I survived that trip, only acquiring a few cuts and bruises! Now don’t panic and think that this nature spot isn’t for you... If you’re like 99% of the population you would drive to the visitors center and take an easy to moderate trail to the lookout. One section of the trail is a natural staircase, and my favorite part was seeing trees with huge root systems on the side of the mountain! Once at the top, there is a large lookout area where you are free to stay as long as you like! It’s a great day trip, especially when you pack some sandwiches and eat lunch while watching the hawks soar overhead.

Stay tuned next week for two more outdoor adventures. And remember, the air conditioning, jacuzzi tubs, and comfy beds at Adamstown Inns & Cottages will be such a relaxing treat after a long day playing outside!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lancaster County Fine Wines and Festive Beers

Have an appreciation for local beers and fine wines? Both Lancaster and Berks County have summer events scheduled around your choice of alcoholic beverage. All of these events are located near Adamstown Inns & Cottages; a perfect retreat for a relaxing evening.

The National Watch and Clock Museum is having their annual beer-tasting event, “Hops ‘n Clocks” on Friday July 9th. I’ve toured the museum within the past year and was made fun of by my brothers because it sounded like a “nerdy” thing to do. The trip was actually very enjoyable and I was amazed at the collection that was displayed. I’m sure my brothers would be more interested in this event as there will be some of the best brews in town as well as food sampling from Isaac’s Deli, Shank’s Tavern, and Trio’s Bar and Grill; just to name a few. Live music by “Fire in the Glen” will surely entertain and ensure that “Hops ‘n Clocks” is far from a “nerdy” event!   

For a different experience, GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, in Reading, has an exhibition entitled “Design, Drink & Be Merry-The Craft Beer Art Movement”. Showcased until July 21, this art honors the visual identity of beer. While no beer is actually served in this exhibit, you will be able to appreciate the creativity and hard work that it takes to create a label, case, or website that helps to promote the beer. A few dozen breweries, who have consistently gone above and beyond the norm in creating a design for their beers, are showcased.

Stoudt’s Brewing Company in Adamstown, Pa is hosting the Third Annual Battle of the Brewery Bands on July 24. From 6-10 pm, local brew bands will be competing for the “golden keg” while raising money for their favorite charity. Hand-crafted beers and food will be available at Stoudt’s Black Angus Bier Garden. Tickets are limited, so be sure to plan ahead!

On select Mondays, the Winedown Cafe & Wine Bar, in Reading, has wine classes. These classes offer tastes of wines from different parts of the world. The next class will be Monday August 2nd at 6:30 pm. If you’re not able to make this class, the cafe is open Tuesday through Saturdays and does serve food to go with your beverages.

The Clover Hill Winery hosts Vineyard and Winery Tours on July 10th and August 23rd. Reservations are required, but it is worth it for the fun tour that is also packed with information! The tour includes a vineyard walk, production tour, wine tasting, and even a souvenir wine glass. For only $10, the tour lasts about 1 1/2 hours.

With plenty of events scheduled, you’re bound to have an enjoyable time this summer when visiting us here at the Adamstown Inns & Cottages. Start making your plans to sample some local beers and wines and book your stay with us. We look forward to meeting you, and remember to drink responsibly!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Maple Grove Raceway

Racing events always remind me of when I was young and my dad took me to a race track a few times. I don’t remember much besides wearing ear plugs and buying a huge bucket of KFC to take with us so that we didn’t have to pay for the expensive food, but I do know that I had a lot of fun! Maple Grove, however; holds different memories as I was there within the past few years to watch some high school friends race their cars on a “High School Contest” weekend. Being my first experience at a drag strip, I was blown away by the smoke from the cars and the speed at which they raced. All I could think about was how important it was to leave the starting point as soon as that light turned green! I have a fairly slow reaction time, so I’m not sure drag racing would be the best sport for me to take up...

Anyways, these memories of mine have been conjured up from the news of upcoming events at the Maple Grove Raceway. On July 2-3, Geezers Reunion at the Grove will be taking place. This event focuses around the nostalgia of drag racing and what dragsters looked and sounded like many years ago. An interesting part of the weekend is Cacklefest, which highlights the sounds of the old cars while being paraded down the track. There will also be a Cavalcade of Funny Cars, sportsman racing classes, a car show, and of course elimination races. The weekend ends with a rousing fireworks display. When I first heard the name of this event, I just couldn’t figure out what it was about, but it really sounds like it’s going to be a blast from the past!

The other big event on July 16-18 is the Super Chevy Show. While it brings out many die-hard Chevy lovers, everyone is welcome to attend this show! The bracket racing will be the highlight of the weekend, as this is one of the biggest races for those who have invested their careers in the Super Chevy series. A swap meet and car show will also be a part of this extravagant weekend.

From my experiences I remember being drained after a long day in the sun at the races. Wouldn’t a nice air conditioned room, comfortable bed, and relaxing bath in a jacuzzi tub be a nice way to relax after a day at the racetrack? Conveniently, Adamstown Inns & Cottages is located just 15 minutes away from Maple Grove Raceway and will facilitate a refreshing weekend so you won’t miss any of the races. Hopefully you’ll be able to create some memorable moments while finding new insights into the sport of drag racing... Oh, and don’t forget the sun block!