The leaves are beginning to shed their green for gold, apple cider is lurking around the corner of every grocery store, and tees and tanks are being swapped for cable-knits and cashmere. After a welcome Indian summer, my favorite time of year is here! Few places rival the East Coast’s vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows as summer turns to autumn, and after a trip to Gettysburg, it’s easy to why nowhere else can compare.
This month, my pup and I hit the road for a day of apple-picking, a scenic route, and history to boot. It was a little over an hour’s drive, and as we made our way down winding roads, rolling hills, and vast farmlands, I had a feeling we weren’t in Charm City anymore.
We started at Gettysburg National Military Park, scene of the infamous Civil War battle. I’m no history buff, but there was something about walking among the battlefields that made me want to keep exploring and relearning about the events of that day that made it so memorable. It was easy to get wrapped up in the statues and tributes, mountains gleaming in the background. The quiet peacefulness was engulfing.
Next, we drove along part of the Scenic Valley Tour, a 36-mile self-guided drive through historical sites, abundant orchards, and rich woods. I couldn’t imagine a better place to celebrate autumn’s onset, as I walked alongside fields whose grasses and grains surpassed my meager 5’4”. It was a leisurely drive, with designated pull-overs, and the distant hills and mountains were made for October skies. (A free tour brochure is available for download here.)
We ended our afternoon at Boyer Nurseries and Orchards, where rumor has it, the apple cider is out of this world. My pup got her fill of the fallen fruit, as we wound through rows of low-hanging Fujis, Galas, and Winesaps. As I filled my bag, my mind immediately went to the desserts they’d go in (caramel apple bars, strudel, apple crisp…yum). Even though the season was near its end, there were plenty ripe for the picking, a baker’s paradise. It seemed like the start of a new tradition, and Gettysburg certainly proved itself worthy of a return trip.
If you haven’t been, this idyllic town deserves a spot on your autumn lineup. The leaves were only beginning to turn, and already left quite an impression. Don’t wait until it gets too cold and the branches are bare. Put on those sweaters and spend the day getting lost in Gettysburg!
Gettysburg National Military Park: https://www.nps.gov/gett/index.htm
Scenic Valley Tour: http://www.destinationgettysburg.com/members/scenic-valley-tour.asp
Boyer Nurseries & Orchards: http://www.boyernurseries.com/market.htm