Category: United States

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

A- Overview:
The intriguing Sea Islands, separated from the mainland by expanses of estuaries and salt marshes, make up more than half of South Carolina’s coastline. Among these islands lies tasteful, low-key Hilton Head, offering glorious white sand beaches and superb golf courses. Biking, tennis, fishing, and sailing are popular as well

Hilton Head Island is located at the extreme southern tip of South Carolina, about 30 miles north of Savannah and 100 miles south of Charleston. At seven miles in width and fourteen miles in length, it is the second largest Atlantic coast barrier island. A toll expressway expedites traffic from the mainland to the island’s resort areas.

This semitropical barrier island resembles an artistic masterpiece with its oak and pine woodlands and meandering lagoons. It is part of the Low Country, the picturesque region of flat plains and tidal salt marshes that stretches across the eastern expanse of South Carolina and Georgia. Hilton Head Island is almost bisected by Broad Creek, which is navigable for most of its length and is home to several upscale marinas.

Hilton Head is shaped roughly like a tennis shoe, with the ”toe” known as the south end, the ”ball” of the foot as Forest Beach, and the ”top” as the north end. There is no ”downtown” on Hilton Head. Shopping and other activities are spread throughout, although more heavily concentrated on the south end of the island. Located in the heart of Hilton Head Island, the Self Family Arts Center is a remarkable showcase for the visual and performing arts.

Hilton Head Island is separated from the mainland by the Calibogue sound and the Intracoastal Waterway. Between Hilton Head and the mainland are two other islands. Daufuskie Island is accessible only by water. Part of this island remains in its natural state as a large wildlife preserve; and part has been developed to a limited extent for tourism.

Pinckney Island is accessible from the bridge linking Hilton Head to the mainland, and is a National Wildlife Refuge popular among bird watchers. At the Penn Center on St. Helena Island, freed slaves first found schooling. Neighboring Edisto Island remains low-key, scenic, and a relaxing place to visit.

Hilton Head Island has 8 marinas, more than twenty- five golf courses, 300 tennis courts and miles of bicycle and walking paths. The island also features two stables and ample areas for horseback riding, including forest preserve and waterfront. Fishing, parasailing, skiing, horseback riding, miniature golf and, of course, dolphin watching and beach walking are also popular with vacationers and residents alike. There are over two hundred restaurants, eight art galleries, three movie theaters and many shops, boutiques, and outlets.

Hilton Head welcomes families with children. There are no “arcades” or amusement parks, but there is a wealth of outdoor activity, in an ideal climate, for family members to enjoy together. Whether you explore the woods and beaches on horse back, take a dolphin-watching cruise, fish, sail, cycle or relax in the peaceful surroundings, there are always just enough things to do every day on this lovely island. Visit South Carolina’s Treasured Coast for the vacation of a lifetime.

B- City Information:
Population: 26,700 and over 2.5 million visitors annually

Time Zone Hilton Head is in the eastern time zone. When it is noon in New York City; it is also noon at Hilton Head.

Weather:

Hilton Head enjoys a semi-tropical climate, with an average temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) making it a perfect location for year-round enjoyment. Average daily temperatures climb to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) in the hottest months, and fall to a not unpleasant 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) in the cool season. The area enjoys over 200 sunny days each year, with April the sunniest month.

Hurricane season is June through November, with the highest probability starting mid August and ending late September. Hilton Head was last hit by a hurricane in the year 1896.

Average Temperatures:

Month
High
Low

January
59F
44F

February
60F
44F

March
65F
50F

April
73F
58F

May
81F
66F

June
86F
73F

July
88F
75F

August
88F
75F

September
83F
70F

October
75F
61F

November
66F
50F

December
59F
44F

Local Seasons

Spring is one of the most attractive seasons in South Carolina. Throughout the region, cherry blossoms are followed by azaleas, dogwood, and camellias from April into May, and by apple blossoms in May. Summer can occasionally be hot and humid, but temperatures are cooled by gentle breezes in this coastal area. Folk, craft, art, and music festivals take place in summer, as do sports events. Fall brings spectacular foliage. In winter, temperatures average in the 60s. Summer temperatures range from the high 70s to the mid-80s.

What to Pack

Weather in Hilton Head is semi-tropical. In winter temperatures rarely drop below freezing. In the summer it can get quite warm, with July and August highs reaching 100 degrees. On hot summer days, tropical afternoon thundershowers are common, though not long lasting. Be sure to pack sun block for protection while on the beach.

Hilton Head Island is very informal. Shorts and shirts are the usual attire in summer.

In winter a sweater or sweatshirts will usually do. If you plan to walk the beach in winter, bring a windbreaker. Jeans are appropriate for everything except golf.

Business Hours

Banks are usually open weekdays 9 to 3 and some Saturday mornings; the post office from 8 to 5 weekdays and often on Saturday mornings. Shops in urban and suburban areas, particularly in indoor and strip malls, typically open at 9 or 10 daily and stay open until anywhere from 6 to 10 PM on weekdays and Saturdays, and until 5 or 6 on Sundays.

Holidays

New Year’s Day Jan. 1.

Washington’s Birthday: 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day last Mon. in May;

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Election Day: 2nd Tues. in Nov. in even years

Veterans Day: November 11

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov. and day after

Christmas Dec. 25 and 26

New Year’s Eve Dec. 31.

Electricity

The U.S. electrical standard is 110 volts/60 cycles AC. Visitors from other countries, traveling with dual-voltage appliances will not need a converter, but they will need a plug adapter. The standard U.S. electrical outlet takes a plug of two flat pins set parallel to one another.

Emergencies

Ambulance, Fire , Police (Phone: 911).

Taxes

The sales tax in South Carolina is 5%.

Local tax, lodgings and meal taxes are added in addition to this.

Tipping

At restaurants, a 15% tip is standard for waiters; up to 20% may be expected at more expensive establishments.

Telephones

The country code for the United States is 1. The area code for Hilton Head is 803.

All U.S. telephone numbers consist of 10 digits – the three-digit area code, followed by a seven-digit local number. If you’re calling a number from another area-code region, dial “1” then all 10 digits. For calls within the same local calling area, just dial the seven-digit number.

Getting There

By Plane

Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH) (120 Beach City Rd., 843/689-5400) is served by one airline, US Airways Express.

Either fly straight to the Island or fly to the new Savannah Airport. It is exactly 1 hour driving time from Savannah Airport to the center of the Island. You can get a rental car, taxi, or limo at the Airport.

If you have a private aircraft, there are parking and tie-down facilities at the airport.

Savannah International Airport

Most travelers to Hilton Head use the Savannah International Airport (SAV) (400 Airways Ave., I-95, exit 104, 912/964-0514), in metro Savannah, 15 minutes from downtown Savannah and about a 45-minute drive to Hilton Head.

Rental cars are available.

By Train

Amtrak train service is available into Savannah.

By Car

Visitors traveling to Hilton Head Island by car should exit I-95 at Exit 8 and take Hwy 278 direct to the Island. Resorts on Hilton Head Island’s south-end are best reached via the Cross Island Parkway; which has a moderate toll for 2-axle vehicles. It is about 30 minutes from the I-95 turnoff to the bridge onto the Island.

If you are driving from the South, you’ll be on I-95 heading North. Get off I-95 at Exit 8 and take Route 278 straight to the Island.

U. S. Route 278 is the only highway coming to Hilton Head Island. 278 extends all the way to I-95 ( Exit #8 ). After you cross the large bridge ( which spans the Intercoastal Waterway ), you are on the Island. After driving 2 miles onto the Island, you’ll see signs for the New Cross Island Parkway, ( stay in the left lanes ) or Business 278 ( stay in the right lanes ). Until 1998, Business 278 was the only road traversing the Island, and ended at Sea Pines Circle.

The speed limit is 45 mph, and there are many stoplights along the way. It used to take between 25 & 30 minutes to get to the Sea Pines Circle on Business 278. With the new Cross Island Parkway ( speed limit 55 mph and no lights ), it takes only 5-6 minutes to get to Sea Pines Circle. The new Parkway is about 6 miles long, and there is a modest toll.

Bicycles are for rent with helmet and chain lock. These are beach bikes with no gears – fine for a place as flat as Hilton Head

By Boat

If you have a boat, you can access Hilton Head Island either from the Ocean or the Inter-Coastal Waterway. There are numerous Marinas for boaters.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Coastal Discovery Museum

100 William Hilton Parkway (US 278).

(843) 689-6767

The Coastal Discovery Museum (at the foot of the Bridge, next to Crazy Crab)

Open year round, call for special tours & schedules.

Hands-on exploring of the history, wildlife and heritage of Hilton Head Island.

The Lowcountry’s cultural and environmental heritage is interpreted through interactive exhibits, tours, walks, cruises, programs and a unique Museum gift shop.

Self Family Arts Center

15 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

843 686 3945

Includes an art gallery and theater for the Hilton Head Playhouse

Shelter Cove Harbour and Palmetto Dunes

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

The following is a description of one of the “plantations” on Hilton Head Island :

Palmetto Dunes Plantation is set on a three mile stretch of white sandy beaches. This makes it ideal for a variety of watersports, including wind-surfing, sailing and beach cruising. It features three championship golf courses. The Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center has 25 courts. Convenient bicycle paths wind through beautiful Palmetto Dunes and Shelter Cove Marina. At Shelter Cove you will enjoy many boutiques, excellent dining and spectacular views.

The Beach

Five beach accesses include Alder Lane, Coligny Beach Park, Driessen Beach Park, Folly Field Beach Park and Islanders Beach Park.

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

Sea Pines Plantation,

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Gullah ‘n’ Geechie Mahn Tours

847 Sea Island Pkwy.

843/838-7516

tours are at 9:45 and 1:45.

has tours of Beaufort and sea islands such as St. Helena that focus on the traditions of African-American culture.

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

On US 278, 1/2 mile west of Hilton Head.

Open daily dawn to dusk.

7.9 mile round trip.

Contains over 4000 acres of salt marsh and small islands. 14 miles of trails for walking or biking; no cars allowed past the parking lot.

Waddell Mariculture Research and Development Center

On Sawmill Creek Road about 3 miles west of Hilton Head.

Near the intersection of 278 and SC46.

The center researches the cultivation of marketable marine life. Tours of the facility and ponds by appointment only.

Grove Plantation.

Grove Plantation, Jebossee Island Rd., Edisto Island

843/889-3084.

Free.

Daily 7:30-4.

This 850,000-acre area, named for the rivers that bound it (the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto), is one of the largest, most pristine estuarine ecosystems in North America. More than 100 bird species, sea turtles, otters, and other wildlife live here, 17 of which are endangered or threatened, including the wood stork and loggerhead sea turtle.

Harbour Town Lighthouse

The lighthouse was constructed by developer Charles Fraser in 1970 and is internationally recognized as the symbol of Hilton Head.

Audubon-Newhall Preserve.

Palmetto Bay Rd., Hilton Head Island,

843/785-5775.

Free.

Daily dawn-dusk.

Located in the south of the island, the preserve is 50 acres of pristine forest, where you’ll find native plant life identified and tagged. There are trails, a self-guided tour, and seasonal plant walks

Edisto Beach State Park.

843/869-3396

This park has 3 miles of beach with excellent shelling, housekeeping cabins by the marsh, and campsites by the ocean (though severe erosion limits availability). Luxury resort development has begun to encroach around the edges of the park

Edisto Island Presbyterian Church.

2164 U.S. 174, Edisto Island

843/869-2326.

Free.

Grounds and cemetery, daily 9-5; church usually locked except during services.

Though founded in 1685, the present church dates from 1830. The pink Legare mausoleum at the back of the cemetery is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl who was inadvertently buried alive in it.

Edisto Museum.

2343 U.S. 174, Edisto Island,

843/869-1954.

Admission charged.

Tues., Thurs., Sat. 1-4.

This tiny museum houses artifacts and historical items about the history of Edisto.

Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

This park, off Bay Street, is a great place to survey the scene. Barbra Streisand filmed Prince of Tides here. Its 7 landscaped acres along the Beaufort River, part of the Intracoastal Waterway, include a seawall promenade, a crafts market, gardens, and a marina. Some events of the popular mid-July Beaufort Water Festival, as well as a seasonal farmers’ and crafts market, take place here.

Hilton Head Beaches.

Hilton Head Island has 12 miles of ocean beach, and although the resort beaches are reserved for guests and residents, there are four public entrances to the beach. Two main parking and changing areas are at Coligny Circle, near the Holiday Inn, and on Folly Field Road, off U.S. 278. Signs along U.S. 278 point the way to Bradley and Singleton beaches, where parking space is limited.

Sea Pines Forest Preserve.

Hilton Head Island, accessible via U.S. 278,

843/785-3333.

Sea Pines Plantation

Cost per car for nonguests, includes access to preserve.

Daily dawn-dusk; closed during Heritage Golf Classic in Apr.

Sea Pines is a 605-acre public wilderness tract with walking trails, a fishing pond, a waterfowl pond, and a 3,400-year-old Indian shell ring. Both guided and self-guided tours are available.

York W. Bailey Museum.

Land’s End Rd., St. Helena Island,

843/838-2432.

Donation suggested.

Tues.-Fri. 11-4 and by appointment.

The museum was named after a Penn School graduate, the first African-American doctor to serve the Sea Islands. The collection includes photographs, arts, and crafts of the Gullah people, as well as oral histories.

Animal Life on Hilton Head Island

Wildlife abounds on land, in lagoons and in the ocean of Hilton Head Island

Birds: Sanderlings and Sandpipers. Egrets are found more often in lagoons and marshes than on the beach. These are the large, pure white, long legged birds with a very long thin neck. The Great White Egret is the larger one, distinguished by a yellow beak. The smaller Snowy Egret has a black beak. During nesting season both these birds display beautiful, long, delicate plumes. The huge grayish blue birds similar to Egrets are Great Blue Herons. They can be seen in lagoons and marshes, but they do come to the beach at dusk and often remain until nightfall.

The Ibis, often found on golf courses is identified by a long, curved beak. The Ibis is white when mature, but the young are mostly brown.

The Wood Stork is becoming more common on Hilton Head as they lose their habitat in Florida , due to wetlands drainage. This bird looks all white when walking, but reveals half black wings (underside) when flying. The Wood Stork is endangered, with a declining population.

Brown Pelicans glide gracefully through the air, skimming above the water

The dark colored birds standing with their wings outstretched are either Anhingas or Cormorants. Cormorants are more common and can be identified by a hooked beak, whereas the Anhinga has a straight, pointed beak. They feed by swimming under water.

The most common bird on the beach is the Sea Gull. They are scavengers, usually eating dead things that wash up on the beach.

Hilton Head’s inland birds include songbirds such as the Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Mocking Bird , Sparrow, Chickadee, Woodpecker and Wren. Grackles, a type of blackbird, are very common and very noisy. The males are an iridescent black and the females are brown. Ring-necked Turtle Doves are becoming increasingly common. They are a smoky beige in color, with a black band at the back of their necks. Finches, Warblers, Hummingbirds various Ducks and Vireos, among others, are migratory visitors.

Other than the beach, the best places for bird watching on Hilton Head are the Sea Pines Forest Preserve and the Audubon Newhall preserve on Palmetto Bay road.

Alligators: Alligators in Hilton Head can grow to about 12 feet in length.

Turtles: The turtles sunning themselves on the banks of lagoons are Diamondback Terrapins. Count the rings on the “diamonds” on it’s shell, to tell its age in years.

The sea turtle you might see will likely be a Loggerhead. These turtles can grow up to four feet in length, weighing 400 pounds. Only one Loggerhead egg in 1,000 will result in a hatchling becoming an adult. Loggerhead hatchlings are guided to the ocean by the reflection of starlight on the water. The laws that protect Loggerheads provide extremely severe penalties for anyone who disturbs a nest or interferes with the hatchlings rush to the sea and also requires lights visible from the beach to be extinguished or shielded.

Dolphins: Dolphins are mammals, not fish. Technically, they are “toothed whales” , with only one blowhole (nostril). Mothers take care of their young during their first year. They can grow up to 12 feet in length and 800 Lbs. in weight and can swim at speed up to 45 mph. Since Dolphins are air breathing they are easily spotted when they surface for air.

Dolphins abound in the waters around Hilton Head. You can see them from the beach or from a boat. About 200 of the dolphin population is permanent, but many more are migratory. Many dolphins are friendly to humans and will come up to a boat out of curiosity.

Zodiac boats hold six people plus the captain and can go almost anywhere. You are almost certain to see dolphin when traveling in a zodiac boat.

Crustaceans: Common crustaceans on Hilton Head are crabs and shrimp. The only edible crab here is the Blue Crab, which is actually mostly green, except for the legs. Other crabs are:

Ghost crabs, which live in holes in the sand above the tide line.

Fiddler crabs are abundant in the mud flats at low tide, They are smaller than a dime and live in holes they dig in the mud.

Hermit crabs live in discarded shells .

Stone crabs are less common. They can grow up to five inches in width, and are reddish brown in color.

Horseshoe crabs are not crabs at all – they are related to spiders. Their large shells, up to 8 inches across and sometimes including legs and their spiny tail, are common on the beaches. Horseshoe crabs are fierce looking but completely harmless to humans.

The shrimp caught in the waters off Hilton Head are Brown shrimp, Pink shrimp, and White shrimp.

Side Trips

There are four main places of interest to visitors to Hilton Head:

Daufuskie Island is accessible only by boat, is across Calibogue Sound from Hilton Head. There are golf courses, condominiums, and gated residential communities, but the charm lies in the sparsely inhabited areas. Much like Hilton Head was before the bridge, the roads are unpaved and motor vehicles are rare. Travel is by foot or by golf cart, except for a few tour buses.

Savannah, GA was recently made famous by the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. You can drive (about 50 minutes to downtown) or you can go by boat (The Spirit of Harbour Town) – the time is about the same. Savannah has much history and charm. One of the best ways to tour is to take one of the ”trolley” tours.

The Riverfront is one of the most recent additions to Savannah. All of the old factories have been turned into restaurants, boutiques, antique shops, and art galleries. What was once the least desirable area has become one of the most popular. The complex can be entered at the river level. Above this are four levels of shops, etc. At street level one emerges onto Factors Walk, a cobblestone street with markers at intervals telling the name of the city and county in which the cobblestones originated in that section of the walkway.

There are many excellent narrated tours of the city which describe its architecture and history.

Beaufort, SC is about the same distance in the opposite direction. It has much beauty and fascinating history. In more modern times it has been the site of several movies. It is best to tour Beaufort by horse drawn carriage. Highlights are the lovely antebellum mansions.

Charleston, SC is about a two hour + drive north There is so much to see and do in Charleston, and the distance is such that it is probably best to make that a separate trip in itself rather than trying to append it to a visit to Hilton Head.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Pirate’s Island

681-4001.

located at mile marker 8.5 on highway; open every day of the year.

During the summer, the crew works 9am until 11pm.

Golf Courses and fun for the entire family.

Captain Kidd’s Challenge

A more difficult course, Captain Kidd’s Challenge (par 56) presents more hazards and requires a steady hand. This course can accommodate the physically handicapped and baby strollers due to lack of steps and barriers. But beware as you pass under the waterfall through the cave; it’s a known Pirate hideout. A treasure and dungeon have been sighted there!

Coastal Discovery Museum

689-6767

Offers nature walks, kayaking, and bird watching tours.

Enjoying nature on the water.

Zodiac boats are inflatable boats with rigid hulls. They hold up to six people plus the captain (a few might hold more if the captain is licensed for more). They are low in the water, so provide a good platform for observing dolphins. Going out on a zodiac, you will also have an expert guide and will be in a small group. Zodiacs have a greater range than kayaks, so they can go farther to find dolphins. Also, you don’t have to paddle them. Here are some places that provide eco tours on zodiacs.

2nd Nature Outdoor Center in Palmetto Bay Marina. 843-341-5590.

Commander Zodiac at the South Beach Marina in Sea Pines plantation. 843-671-3344.

Dolphin Discoveries in Shelter Cove. 843-290-2802.

Enviro Tours in Harbourtown Marina in Sea Pine plantation. 843-671-4386.

H2O Water Sports in Harbourtown Marina. 843-671-4386.

Island Explorer at The Old Oyster Factory restaurant on Marshland Rd. 843-785-2108.

Island Water Sports at Skull Creek, behind Charlie’s Crab restaurant. 843-689-6800.

If there are more than six people in your party and you want to be together, there are enviro tour boats that can hold more passengers but are still small enough to provide a close-up view.

E- Events & Entertainment:
January

3rd week: Winter Roast Annual Oyster Roast with Lowcountry favorites, live entertainment and children games. Sponsored by Island Recreation Center, 4-8pm Palmetto Bay Marina 681-7273

February

De Arts Ob We People: A Gullah Celebration (through 3rd weekend in February) The Self Family Arts Center – 842-ARTS

March

SpringFest (Month of March) During Hilton Head’s Springfest (Hilton Head Island, 843/686-4944 or 800/424-3387), throughout the month of March, you can enjoy concerts, plays, films, art shows, theater, sporting events, food fairs, and mini- tournaments.

Early March

Daily Sea Pines Forest Preserve Wagon Tour The preserve is home to numerous animals & was home to Native Americans hundreds of years ago. 3:30-5pm, 363-4530

Daily Sea Pines Historic Stoney Baynard Ruins Tour Explore this historic tabby ruin & archeological dig site, which was built around 1793. Learn how a cotton plantation was operated. 10-11:30am– 363-4530

Daily: The Spirit of Harbour Town Historic Savannah Cruise Cruise in heated or air-conditioned comfort to the heart of Savannah’s historic district. Spend over 4 hours shopping, sightseeing and dining. 9:30am – 4:30pm, 842-7179

Daily Vagabond Daufuskie Island Adventure includes land tour. call 842-4155 for times and reservations

Daily Beachwalks with the Coastal Discovery Museum This tour is a long time favorite of Island visitors and residents. call 689-6767 for times and reservations

Mid-March:

Annual Chocolate Fair sponsored by the Jr. Sailing Program. Coligny Plaza – 842-6050

2nd weekend: Annual Wine Fest largest outdoor tented wine tasting on the East Coast! includes souvenir tasting glass, 1-4pm, Shelter Cove Harbour – 800-424-3387

2nd weekend: Jazz Fest entertainment provided by the Hilton Head Jazz Society. Free, Hilton Head Factory Stores 1 & 2 – 837-4339

2nd weekend in March

St. Patrick’s Day Parade largest free spectator event on the Island. Free, 2pm, Pope Avenue – 842-4319

Last weekend in March

SpringFest Open House/International Food Tasting Free, 4-6pm, USCB at Hilton Head – 785-3995

Late March

Architects Selected Preview of Homes a 1-day tour of selected homes designed by local architects. 10am-5pm, 836-2929

St. Helena’s Episcopal Church Spring Tours (Church St. and North St., St. Helena, 843/524-0363) offers festive tours of Beaufort’s Colonial homes and lovely Lowcountry plantations in March and April.

April

Worldcom Classic-The Heritage Of Golf (11 Lighthouse La., Hilton Head Island, 800/234-1107), when more than 100 top golfers play at the Harbour Town Golf Links for a $3.5 million purse.

May

Beaufort’s Gullah Festival in May highlights the fine arts, customs, language, and dress of Lowcountry African-Americans.

July

In July during the Beaufort County Water Festival (Beaufort, 843/524-0600), boats galore turn up for water sports and entertainment. It’s held in the Waterfront Park on Bay Street.

September

Over Labor Day weekend, Hilton Head hosts the Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament (Hilton Head Island, 843/842-7711), during which celebrities and amateurs play for three days on three different courses to raise money for children’s charities.

Annual FoodFest – Best of the Lowcountry

Mid-September: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

The popular event now covers 2 days and is held at Shelter Cove Harbour, starting at 11:00 am. 32 Island Restaurants, (16 different ones each day), showcase samples of a few of their most popular menu items. Contests, prizes, family-style entertainment

For further information for day of event activities please contact the Hilton Head Hospitality Association at 843-686-4944 or 1-800-424-3387.

October

St. Luke’s Tour Of Homes (Hilton Head Island, 843/785-4099), take self-guided tours through beautiful homes and plantations.

Beaufort Fall Festival Of Homes And Gardens (208 Scott St., Beaufort, 843/524-6334), private homes and gardens are open to the public, and you can tour historic sites and attend lectures and special events.

Plantation Tour (Edisto Island, 843/869-1954) of the 18th- and 19th-century former plantations and old churches on the island. Docents at every location give historical background on all the sites.

Call for tickets.

Daniel Island Park Day Saturday, last weekend in October

Daniel Island offers hundreds of acres of parkland. this event is an opportunity to showcase both these new and existing island parks. Each park will have a variety of different activities for all ages. There is no entry fee to attend this event, and most of the day’s activities will be free of charge. Bicycles will be available for rent to allow visitors to tour the island’s parks and neighborhoods and take part in all of the exciting activities. Visitors can also take old-fashioned hay rides around the island in traveling to each destination.

At Children’s Park:

great activities for children and adults alike including the following: “Gullah” story telling for children, local music, fly fishing demonstrations on the dock, sweetgrass basket weaving, and more.

November

1st weekend: Hilton Head Oyster Festival. Shelter Cove Community Commons, 11 AM to 4 PM. All you can eat oysters, plus chili, chowder, burgers and hot dogs. Games and live entertainment. 843-681-7273

2nd weekend: “Taste of the Seasons”. Holiday season specialties from various restaurants. 6 PM to 8 PM, Port Royal Clubhouse. 843-785-2600 ext. 377, M. C. Strong.

2nd weekend: “14th Annual Merrie Christmas Shoppe Arts and Crafts Show”. At the Boardwalk on Folly Field Road. Free admission. 11/8, 6 PM to 9 PM; 11/9, 10 AM to 7 PM; 11/10, 10 AM to 4 PM. 843-681-5092.

3rd week: Hayrides in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. 3PM to 4PM or 4PM to 5PM. 843-363-4530.

Thanksgiving weekend: Santa arrives at Coligny Plaza, with Yostie’s puppets and Rick Hubbard’s Kazoo band. Noon. 843-842-6050.

Thanksgiving weekend Christmas tree lighting, caroling, crafts, refreshments, Santa and other entertainment. Self Family Arts Center. 843-842-2787.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

A- Overview:
Wilkum! to Lancaster County and the scenic Pennsylvania Dutch Country. This is an area that visitors have grown to love. Here, they discover Amish communities where life moves at a slower pace and centers upon time-honored traditions and values. The scenery is breathtaking. Rolling hills of rich farmland dotted with one-room schoolhouses and wooden covered bridges, modern farm machinery pulled behind four-and six-mule teams, homemade clothing and quilts gently blowing in the breeze, and the sound of the clip-clop of horses’ hooves echoing down quiet country roads.

The relaxed atmosphere, the peaceful scenery, and the variety of the many unique attractions and family activities have made Lancaster, Pennsylvania one of America’s favorite vacation destinations.

The extensive Amish and plain communities give this area a tranquil ambience. The Amish as a whole place value not on the materialistic concerns of our modern society, but on an adherence to a more traditional way of life. Their emphasis is on the value of the family and the community. This influence is apparent throughout the local society. Visitors are welcome to glimpse the community’s lifestyle first hand by visiting an actual Amish farm and house. There is one conveniently located on Route 30 (east) in Lancaster, which is appropriately called The Amish Farm and House. This is one of the most intimate ways to learn about the Old Order Amish of Lancaster County. Visitors experience life on a 25-acre farm where they learn about the simple lifestyle of the Amish people, their farm animals and various crops, and view a variety of farm buildings. During and after such a visit, visitors gain a perspective on the life and values of the “plain people,” and have an opportunity to reflect on the values that make them so “different”. There is much to be said for the slower-paced lifestyle of the Amish.

There is no shortage of amusements and attractions for all ages in and around Lancaster. They are nestled in and among the Amish farms and the country villages, just waiting to be discovered! Where else can visitors ride in an Amish buggy, whip around on a roller coaster, ride an historic steam locomotive, play a round of championship golf, tour an operating farm, enjoy a peaceful hot air balloon ride, and take in a Broadway play all in the same day? Lancaster has all of this and much more.

Summer tends to be the busiest time of year due to the tranquil beauty of the region as well as its proximity to world famous Hershey, Pennsylvania. A visit to Hershey is worth the calories. With the daytime temperatures during the summer reaching the mid 80’s F and the evenings dropping to the pleasant 60’s, it’s a perfect time to take advantage of the many enjoyable outdoor activities available in the area. Spring and fall are simply beautiful and quite comfortable. In the daytime a light sweater is all that is needed and at night, it’s a perfect time to enjoy a fine meal while sitting by a warm fire at one of the many excellent restaurants in the area. Winters can be cold at times and snow is quite likely, and heavy at times. Although the temperatures are low during this time, getting wrapped up in a warm blanket while take a local buggy ride is something that won’t be forgotten. Add a little falling snow, and it’s a Rockwell-like picture. Whatever the season and whatever the reason for visiting, beautiful and tranquil Lancaster is waiting.

B- City Information:
Population: 56,348

Elevation: 368 feet above sea level

Land Area: 7.4 square miles

Location: Located in the south central section of Pennsylvania, approximately 80 miles west of Philadelphia and 65 miles southeast of Harrisburg

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (when it’s noon in Lancaster, it’s 11am in Chicago and 9am in Los Angeles). Lancaster observes Daylight Savings Time from April – October.

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
29.1
31.5
40.7
50.8
61.2
69.8
74.4
72.9
65.3
53.7
43.4
34.1

High temperature (°F)
37.5
40.6
50.5
61.7
72.1
80.2
84.7
83.1
75.9
64.7
52.9
42.3

Low temperature (°F)
20.8
22.4
30.8
40.0
50.1
59.2
64.1
62.6
54.8
42.6
33.7
25.9

Precipitation (in)
3.4
2.5
3.5
3.3
4.3
4.0
4.3
3.4
4.4
3.6
3.4
3.2

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precipitation
11
10
11
13
13
11
10
9
9
9
10
10

Wind speed (mph)
8.6
9.3
9.8
9.4
7.9
7.1
6.6
6.2
6.4
7.0
8.1
8.3

Morning humidity (%)
73
72
72
70
74
77
79
83
85
82
77
74

Afternoon humidity (%)
58
55
52
49
52
53
52
55
56
54
57
58

Sunshine (%)
49
54
58
58
59
65
67
66
62
58
47
44

Days clear of clouds
7
7
7
6
6
7
7
8
9
10
6
6

Partly cloudy days
7
7
8
9
10
12
12
11
9
8
8
8

Cloudy days
17
14
16
15
15
12
12
12
12
13
15
17

Snowfall (in)
9.1
8.6
5.5
0.4
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
1.8
6.1

Local Seasons:

Summer tends to be the busiest time of year due to the tranquil beauty of the region as well as its proximity to world famous Hershey, Pennsylvania. With the daytime temperatures reaching the mid 80’s F and the evenings dropping to the pleasant 60’s, it’s a perfect time to take advantage of the many enjoyable outdoor activities available in the area. Spring and fall are beautiful and quite comfortable. In the daytime, a light sweater is all that is needed and at night, it’s a perfect time to enjoy a fine meal while sitting by a warm fire at one of the many excellent restaurants in the area. Winters can be cold at times and snow is quite likely, and heavy at times. Although the temperatures are low during this time, getting wrapped up in a warm blanket while take a local buggy ride is something that won’t be forgotten. Add a little snow falling, and it’s a Rockwell-like picture. Whatever the season and whatever the reason for visiting, beautiful and tranquil Lancaster is waiting.

How to Get There:

By Air

Harrisburg International Airport

208 Airport Drive

Middlestown PA 17050

717- 948-4642

Located approximately 60 miles northwest of Lancaster, the airport is served by many of the national carriers as well as center local and regional airlines as well.

Philadelphia International Airport

8000 Essington Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19153

215-937-5499

The airport is located approximately 2 hours east of Lancaster and is one of the largest airports in the United States. It is served by many of the national and international airlines as well as certain local and regional carriers.

Ground Transportation:

All of the major car rental companies, as well as taxi and limousine service is available at both airports.

By Car

Lancaster is easily accessible by car as all of county’s major highways (US Routes 30, 283, and 222, and PA Routes 501, 462, 272 and 23) meet in Lancaster City with the exception of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (US Route 76), which travels in an east-west direction across the northern part of Lancaster County.

By Train

Amtrak

53 McGovern Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17602

800-USA-RAIL

By Bus

Greyhound

53 McGovern Avenue

Lancaster PA 17602

717-397-4861

How to Get Around:

With so many things to see and do, both in Lancaster as well as throughout the entire region, the best way to get around is by car, either personal or rental.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day last Mon. in May

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve Dec. 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Amish Farm & House
2395 Route 30 East

Lancaster, PA 17602
717-394-6185

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The Amish Farm and House is one of the most intimate ways to learn about the Old
Order Amish of Lancaster County. A visit to this 25-acre farm begins with a guided tour through the house where visitors learn about the simple lifestyle of the Amish people. Next explore the farm complete with animals, various crops, and a range of farm buildings.

Bethel Harambee Historical Services

450-512 East Strawberry Street

Churchtowne of Lancaster

Lancaster, PA 17602
717-509-1177

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

“Living the Experience” is a creative, living history production of the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania. Individuals such as Eliza Parker, Rev. Stephen Smith, Rev. Jarena Lee, and Lydia Hamilton Smith tell their courageous stories about their work on the Underground Railroad.

Historic Lancaster Walking Tour
100 South Queen Street

Lancaster, PA 17603
717-392-1776

Hours: Call for further information

Admission Charged

Mennonite Information Center

2209 Millstream Road

Lancaster, PA 17602

717-299-0954

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Free

Knowledgeable staff and exhibits interpret the faith and the practices of Amish and Mennonite peoples, explain the meaning and purpose of the original Old Testament Tabernacle, and help area visitors to better understand the background and origins of the people of the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania area.

Dutch Wonderland

2249 Rt. 30 East

Lancaster, PA 17602

717-291-1888

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

An amusement park for the whole family that includes a water park and a museum!

Hands on House, Children’s Museum

2380 Kissel Hill Rd.

Lancaster, PA 17601
717-569-5437

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The museum is designed for children ages 2-10 years. At Hands-on House, adults and children play and learn together. The philosophy of childhood learning is simple: it lasts longer if it’s more fun, and it’s more fun if it includes doing. The exhibits, classes and programs are short on lectures, and long on interactive, participatory activities.

Heritage Center Museum of Lancaster County

13 West King Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
717-299-6440

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The Lancaster Cultural History Museum collects, preserves and interprets Lancaster County’s history and decorative arts through its permanent collection, annual exhibitions and education programs.

James Buchanan’s Wheatland

1120 Marietta Ave.

Lancaster, PA 17603
717-392-8721

Hours: Open daily from April 1 through October 31 and Friday through Monday in November.

Admission Charged

During his lifetime, James Buchanan welcomed numerous visitors into his home. Visitors are invited into his home today to learn more about Pennsylvania’s only President and the times surrounding his life at Wheatland. Wheatland is situated amid four landscaped acres where Buchanan’s outbuildings, the smokehouse and the privy, can still be seen. Guided tours begin in the Carriage House Visitors Center with a video and introduction and continue in the mansion. Visitors will want to take a few minutes to enjoy Wheatland’s two museum shops, as well as strolling through the Victorian herb garden.

Landis Valley Museum

2451 Kissel Hill Rd.

Lancaster, PA 17601
717-569-0401

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Landis Valley Museum is a nationally significant living history museum that collects, conserves, exhibits, and interprets Pennsylvania German material, culture, history and heritage from 1740 through 1940.

North Museum of Natural History & Science

400 College Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17601
717-291-3941

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

From the foundations of our earth to the wonders of space, dinosaurs to Native Americans, hands-on discovery for children to live snakes and turtles, the North Museum offers a universe of fun learning experiences about science and the natural world.

Lancaster Newspapers Newseum

28 S. Queen St.

Lancaster, PA 17603
717-291-8600

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Nearby

Strasburg Rail Road Company

Route 741 East

Strasburg, PA 17579
717-687-8421

Hours: Call for train schedule

Admission Charged

Enjoy the 45-minute ride while relaxing to the rhythmic clickety-clack of the wheels rolling down the rails at a leisurely pace through the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

The People’s Place Quilt Museum

3510 Old Philadelphia Pike

Intercourse, PA 17534

800-828-8218

Hours: Jun.-Oct: 9am – 8pm, Nov.-May: 9am – 5pm, Closed Sundays

Admission Free

The People’s Place Quilt Museum features exhibits of antique Amish and Mennonite quilts (usually pre-1940) and other decorative arts. Recommended by The New York Times and many others.

Amish Village

Route 896, 1 mile south of Route 30
Strasburg, PA 17579
717-687-8511

Hours: Spring, summer, and fall, Mondays – Saturdays – 9am – 5pm, Sundays, 10am – 5pm

Admission Charged

Take a guided tour through an authentically furnished Lancaster county Old Order Amish farmhouse. Learn about the history and customs of the 18,000 Amish living in Lancaster County today. Discover why the Old Order Amish live as they do.

Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy Rides

3121a Old Philadelphia Pike

Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505

717-768-8828

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

At Aaron and Jessica’s you can have your own private buggy. As couples
or families you may have your choice of buggies or open wagons.

Choo Choo Barn
Rt. 741 East,

Strasburg, PA 17579
717-687-7911

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

See Lancaster County in Miniature…bring your camera.

National Toy Train Museum

Paradise Lane

Strasburg, PA 17579
717-687-8976

Hours: Open weekends in April, November and December; Daily May – October, 10am – 5pm

Admission Charged

Toy trains are presented in a colorful and exciting turn-of-the-century setting. The Museum’s vast collection of floor toys, electric trains and train-related accessories includes those from the mid-1800s through the present. See Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, Marklin, LGB and many, many others.

The National Watch & Clock Museum

514 Poplar St.

Columbia, PA 17512

717-684-8261

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Take a tour through the history of timekeeping, from early non-mechanical devices to today’s atomic and radio controlled clocks. With over 12,000 items in its collection, this museum is purportedly the largest and most comprehensive horological collection in North America.

Hershey Park

800 Hershey Park Dr.

Hershey, PA 17033

717-534-4900

Hours: Open rain or shine daily! If rain dampens your day stop by the Guest Services Building for details on the “Come Back Guarantee.”

Admission Charged

You’ll want to ride the coasters and water rides first because the lines for these popular rides are much shorter at the beginning of the day. The park has several drenching water rides. If you’d rather not walk around in wet clothing, be sure to pack a spare T-shirt and shorts. Changing rooms and lockers are available.

Zoo America

100 West Hersheypark Drive
Hershey, PA 17033-0866
800-HERSHEY

The Zoo is located just across the walking bridge from Hershey Park.

Hours: Open year-round, call for exact hours of operation

Admission Charged

Zoo America is an 11-acre walk-through zoo home to animals and living plants native to five regions of North America. Over 200 animals, representing 75 species, serve as ambassadors to provide us with a new perspective on our natural environment and to teach us about preserving our wildlife.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Amish Farm & House
2395 Route 30 East

Lancaster, PA 17602
717-394-6185

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The Amish Farm and House is one of the most intimate ways to learn about the Old
Order Amish of Lancaster County. A visit to this 25-acre farm begins with a guided tour through the house where visitors learn about the simple lifestyle of the Amish people. Next explore the farm complete with animals, various crops, and a range of farm buildings.

Dutch Wonderland

2249 Rt. 30 East

Lancaster, PA 17602

717-291-1888

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

An amusement park for the whole family with a water park and a museum!

Hands on House, Children’s Museum

2380 Kissel Hill Rd.

Lancaster, PA 17601
717-569-5437

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The museum is designed for children ages 2-10 years. At Hands-on House, adults and children play and learn together. The philosophy of childhood learning is simple: it lasts longer if it’s more fun, and it’s more fun if it includes doing. The exhibits, classes and programs are short on lectures, and long on interactive, participatory activities.

James Buchanan’s Wheatland

1120 Marietta Ave.

Lancaster, PA 17603
717-392-8721

Hours: Open daily from April 1 through October 31 and Friday through Monday in November.

Admission Charged

James Buchanan welcomed numerous visitors into his home. Visitors are invited into his home today to learn more about Pennsylvania’s only President and the times surrounding his life at Wheatland. Wheatland is situated amid four landscaped acres where Buchanan’s outbuildings, the smokehouse and the privy, can still be seen. Guided tours begin in the Carriage House Visitors Center with a video and introduction and continue in the mansion.

Nearby

Strasburg Rail Road Company

Route 741 East

Strasburg, PA 17579
717-687-8421

Hours: Call for train schedule

Admission Charged

Enjoy the 45-minute ride while relaxing to the rhythmic clickety-clack of the wheels rolling down the rails – at a leisurely pace – through the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

Amish Village

Route 896, 1 mile south of Route 30
Strasburg, PA 17579
717-687-8511

Hours: Spring, summer, and fall, Mondays – Saturdays – 9am – 5pm, Sundays, 10am – 5pm

Admission Charged

Take a guided tour through an authentically furnished Lancaster county Old Order Amish farmhouse. Learn about the history and customs of the 18,000 Amish living in Lancaster County today. Discover why the Old Order Amish live as they do.

Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy Rides

3121a Old Philadelphia Pike

Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505

717-768-8828

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

At Aaron and Jessica’s you can have your own private buggy. As couples
or families you may have your choice of buggies or open wagons.

Hershey Park

800 Hershey Park Dr.

Hershey, PA 17033

717-534-4900

Hours: Open rain or shine daily! If rain dampens your day stop by the Guest Services Building for details on the “Come Back Guarantee.”

Admission Charged

You will want to ride the coasters and water rides first because the lines for these popular rides are much shorter at the beginning of the day. The park has several drenching water rides. If you’d rather not walk around in wet clothing, be sure to pack a spare T-shirt and shorts. Changing rooms and lockers are available.

Zoo America

100 West Hersheypark Drive
Hershey, PA 17033-0866
800-HERSHEY

The Zoo is located just across the walking bridge from Hershey Park.

Hours: Open year-round, call for exact hours of operation

Admission Charged

Zoo America is an 11-acre walk-through zoo home to animals and living plants native to five regions of North America. Over 200 animals representing 75 species serve as ambassadors to provide us with a new perspective on our natural environment and to teach us about preserving our wildlife.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

February

Annual Honeybrook Fire Co. Auction & Sale – Honeybrook Fire Company

Location: Honeybrook, PA.

610-273-2688

Call for additional information

March

Charter Day

Held in mid March

Location: Railroad Museum

Route 741

Strasburg, PA 17579

717-687-8628

Admission Free

Observe the birthday of the Commonwealth – amid Pennsylvania made and operated historic rolling stock at the Keystone State’s official railroad museum. Open to the public free of charge.

April

Quilters Heritage Celebration

Held in early April

Location: Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center, Lancaster

800-233-0121

Call for additional information

Shakespeare & A Classic – Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

Held in mid April

Location: Route 72, Cornwall, PA 17016

717-665-7021

The excitement and imagery of Shakespeare plus the riveting drama of a literary classic unfold in Victorian Mount Hope Mansion.

Art Walk

Held in late April

Location: 120 N. Duke Street

Lancaster, PA 17608

717-291-4711

Admission Free

A free two-day walking tour of 25 arts organizations, artist’s studios and businesses in downtown Lancaster.

May

Herb & Garden Faire

Held in early May

Location: Landis Valley Museum

2451 Kissel Hill Road

Lancaster, PA 17601

717-569-0401

Admission Free

This is one of the East Coast’s largest sales of heirloom varieties of herb, vegetable, and ornamental plants. Over 90 vendors of plants, seeds, garden equipment, and outdoor art and crafts are featured.

Season Opener – Mud Bog / Tuff Trucks

Early May

Location: Buck Motorsports Park

Route 272, Lancaster, PA 17604

717-859-4244

Call for additional information

June

Wachovia Cycling Series

Held in early June

Location: Lancaster

717-859-4244

91-mile cycling race through the streets of Lancaster and the adjacent Lancaster County Park. Race starts at 4:30 pm on Queen Street in center city Lancaster.

Dave Martin’s Championship Rodeo Presents The Buck-A-Roo Bull Ride Mania

Held in early June

Location: Buck Motorsports Park

Route 272, Lancaster, PA 17604

717-859-4244

The Wild, Wild West Comes to the Buck! Bronc Riding, Cowgirls barrel racing, wild cow milking contest, bull hockey, rodeo clown act and America’s most dangerous sport – bull riding…plus Little Buck-A-Roo rodeo events.

Lucas Oil East Coast Series – Smoke & Thunder Nationals

Held in mid June

Location: Buck Mototsports Park

Route 272, Lancaster, PA 17604

717-859-4244

Super Stock/Pro Stock Smoker Tractors, Wheelstanding 2WD Trucks, Multi-engine Modified Tractors, S.S. 4WD Trucks.

Annual Berry Festival

Held in mid June

Location: Kitchen Kettle Village

Rt. 240, Intercourse, PA.

717-768-8261

No one goes away hungry at this turn-of-the-century community social complete with down-home banjo music and old fashioned family festivities. Indoors and out, guests will find all types of food displays and cooking ideas featuring berries – from great beverages and tempting sweets to colorful side dishes and barbecued meats grilled with berry sauces.

Celtic Fling – Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

Held in late June

Location: Route 72, Cornwall, PA 17016

717-665-7021

Enjoy the sounds, scents, sights and tastes of Ireland and Scotland, both traditional and new.

July

Musser Park Old Fashioned 4th of July

Held on the fourth of July

Location: 120 N. Duke Street, Lancaster, PA 17608

717-291-4711

Food, games, crafts, entertainment and fun. An Independence Day celebration held in Musser Park.

August

Annual Heritage Day

Held in early August

Location: Hans Herr House & Museum

1849 Hans Herr Drive, Willow Street, PA.

717-464-4438

Heritage Day is a fun-filled farm festival featuring demonstrations of farm life and activities from the 18th century through the early 20th century. Watch demonstrations of plowing with oxen, hay making, threshing, 18th century gardening, broom making, carpentry, meat smoking, home textile manufacture, quilting, hearth cooking, blacksmithing, and much more!

Lucas Oil East Coast Points Series Summer Truck & Tractor Pulling Championships Fan Appreciation Night

Held in early August

Location: Buck Motorsports Park

Route 272, Lancaster, PA 17604

717-859-4244

Multi-engine modified tractors, hot rod 4WD trucks, limited pro-stock tractors and diesel pick-up pulling.

Lancaster Fest

Held in mid August

Location: 120 N. Duke Street, Lancaster, PA 17608

717-291-4711

Admission Free

Celebration of cultures in music, dance, food and crafts with an international theme right in the heart of downtown Lancaster. Over 100 craft vendors, 25 musical acts and food!

Annual Art in the Park

Held mid – late August

Location: 120 N. Duke Street, Lancaster, PA 17608

717-291-4711

Admission Free

A celebration of art featuring free hands-on projects of all ages.

Lancaster Airport Community Days Airshow

Held in late August

Location: Lancaster Airport

500 Airport Road (off Rt. 501), Lititz, PA 17543

717-569-1221

See a variety of civilian, military, and vintage aircraft, the US Army Special Operations Command Parachute Team the “Black Daggers”, and military and warbird flybys. Helicopter and aircraft rides are available and many of the aircraft are open for display. Talk with the pilots, tour the planes, and see them in the air as they perform.

September

The Amazing Maize Maze

Held all of September – October

Location: Cherry-Crest Farm

150 Cherry Hill Rd., Ronks, PA 17572

717-687-6843

Described by Discover Channel as the “world’s biggest free standing mind bender…”

Annual Long’s Park Art & Craft Festival

Held in early September

Location: Long’s Park Amphitheater

Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, PA 17608

717-295-7054

Call for additional information.

Anniversary Labor Day Weekend Demolition Derby Finals Plus Spectacular 3-D Fireworks Display!

Held in early September

Location: Buck Motorsports Park

Route 272, Lancaster, PA 17604

717-859-4244

Call for additional information

Christian Family Fest

Held in mid September

Location: Dutch Wonderland

Plenty of Christian music and loads of fun riding the great rides at Dutch Wonderland.

Heritage Folk Art & Crafts Festival

Held in mid September

Location: Landis Valley Museum

2451 Kissel Hill Road, Lancaster, PA 17601

717-569-0401

Admission Free

Heirloom-quality traditional handcrafts will be demonstrated and offered for sale at this unique craft show. The Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen and Landis Valley Museum are proud to present traditional crafts of the finest quality displayed in the museum setting. Meet the artists and watch as their work is created as it was in the past.

Keystone International Balloon Festival

Held in late September

Location: Lancaster Central Park, Lancaster, PA.

717-299-2274

The festival features hot air balloon teams from the U.S. and the international balloon community, hot air balloon launches, hound & hare races, tethered hot air balloon rides, night time balloon glow, entertainment, ethnic food court, antique car show, crafts, children’s activity center, carnival rides, and contests.

October

JazzFest, Art Sunday, and Outdoor Restaurant Fair

Held in early October

Location: 120 N. Duke Street, Lancaster, PA 17608

717-291-4711

Admission Free

Music, art and food combine to make a great afternoon in Downtown Lancaster. Well-known national and regional musicians perform, art presented by 30 regional non-profit organizations, businesses and artists and area restaurants also participate.

Snitz Fest

Held in early October

Location: Hans Herr House & Museum

1849 Hans Herr Drive, Willow Street, PA.

717-464-4438

Snitz Fest celebrates the apple and its part in everyday Lancaster County history. Apples constituted an important part of early Pennsylvania settlers’ diets. Watch cider being pressed and snitz being “cut and dried”. Sample some 18th century recipes using apples in the Küche of the 1719 Herr House. Take a wagon tour of the Museum’s orchard of historic apple varieties, and afterwards taste and compare the apples that came from these trees at the apple tasting table.

Harvest Days

Held in mid October

Location: Landis Valley Museum

2451 Kissel Hill Road, Lancaster, PA 17601

717-569-0401

The annual celebration of Pennsylvania German Life! Come see over 80 demonstrators participating in activities that date back as far as the mid-1700s, such as threshing, food preserving, cider and apple butter making, as well as open hearth cooking and traditional craft demonstrations.

Autumn’s Colors

Held early – late October

Location: Longwood Gardens

Route 1, Kennett Square PA 19348

610-388-1000

Glowing shades of yellow, orange, purple, and red illuminate the trees and flower gardens throughout the former du Pont estate.

Pennsylvania National Horse Show

Held in mid October

Location: PA Farm Show Complex

2300 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110

717-787-5373

Call for additional information

November

A Dickens of a Christmas – Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

Held late November – late December

Location: Route 72, Cornwall, PA 17016

717-665-7021

Experience a fun-filled, turn-of- the-century Christmas celebration as Master Charles Dickens, luminaries of the times and even a few fictional favorites from Dickens’ novels welcome guests to a joyous and festive Holiday celebration.

December

Days of the Belsnickel

Held in early December

Location: Landis Valley Museum

2451 Kissel Hill Road, Lancaster, PA 17601

717-569-0401

Start the holiday season with the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of a visit from the Belsnickel. Luncheons with tours that bring to life holiday traditions of the past.

Mayor’s Tree Lighting

Held in early December

Location: 120 N. Duke Street, Lancaster, PA 17608

717-291-4711

Admission Free

The official kickoff of the holiday season begins with the Mayor’s Tree Lighting in Penn Square. Carolers and the infamous “Tuba Christmas” lend to the festivities.

Christmas Spectacular

Held in late December

Location: Village Greens Gold

1444 Village Road, Strasburg, PA 17579

717-687-6933

Admission Charged
Come feel the warm and exciting holiday spirit radiating from over 100,000 lights as you stroll through 10 acres of holiday displays!

Countdown Lancaster

Held on New Year’s Eve

Location: 120 N. Duke Street, Lancaster, PA 17608

717-291-4711

Admission Charged

New Year’s Eve celebrated in the good old-fashioned Lancaster County way. Family-oriented entertainment features over 100 performers with fireworks and a grand finale to usher in the New Year. All events are within easy walking distance. Shuttle service provided

Arts & Entertainment

American Music Theatre

2425 Lincoln Highway East

Lancaster, PA 17602
717-397-7700

American Music Theatre is all about the music and there’s enough of it to suit any age and every taste. During the spring and summer the theatre presents a show hailed by reviewers as remarkable and equal to any Broadway production. In this unique and entertaining tribute, favorite songs are brought to life by an incredible cast of singers and dancers accompanied by the amazing AMT band. When the holidays arrive, the sounds of the season are always at American Music Theatre. Combining heartwarming family humor with the very best in traditional and contemporary holiday music, AMT Christmas is a Lancaster County tradition.

Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

510 Centerville Rd.

Lancaster, PA 17601
717-898-1900

Sizzle, romance, surprise, intrigue, spirit, and joy.

Fulton Opera House
12 North Prince St.

Lancaster, PA 17608
717-394-7133

The Fulton offers another year of nourishing the heart and soul of its patrons. The National Historic Landmark Theatre proudly serves as an artistic home – entertaining, educating, and inspiring audiences, both young and old, from Central Pennsylvania and beyond.

Theatre of the Seventh Sister
31 S. Duke St.

Lancaster, PA 17602
717-396-7764

Call for performance schedule

The Theater of the Seventh Sister continues to explore the human connection by providing heartfelt, diverse, thought provoking theater.

Lancaster Opera

Performances at the Fulton

12 North Prince Street
Lancaster, PA 17608-1865

717-397-7425

Fifty years after the first production of the Lancaster Opera Workshop in 1952, Lancaster is still watching as the Lancaster Opera Company continues to delight critics and audiences alike with its professional quality productions, mounted by one of the oldest and most unique amateur opera companies in the country.

Lancaster School of Ballet

214 W Grant St.
Lancaster, PA 17603

717-393-9221

Call for performance schedule

Pennsylvania’s’ premier dance studio and home of the Ballet Theater of Lancaster follows the Cecchetti method and also provides training in tap, jazz, modern, Middle East, Irish and others.

Lancaster Symphony

44 North Queen St.
Central Market Mall
Lancaster, PA 17608
717-291-6440

Call for performance schedule

The core purpose of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra is to enrich, entertain, and educate the Central Pennsylvania Community through unique live musical performances and to provide opportunities for music education and appreciation to area school students.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

A- Overview:
Pennsylvania’s capital city and its surrounding areas promise a visit that is entertaining, educational, and

recreational. Harrisburg sits upon the shores of the Susquehanna River about 90 miles west of Philadelphia. The

State Capitol building features an impressive 272-foot dome, patterned after that of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The building’s elegant interior is a museum in itself with stained glass windows, 43 outstanding murals painted by Philadelphia artist Violet Oakley, and a grand spiral staircase made of marble.

Across from the capitol is the 68-acre City Park with several museums of natural science and history, including

the William Penn Memorial Museum. The State Museum of Pennsylvania, which covers the state’s history from

prehistoric times to the present, displays many artifacts and work of art. A Planetarium is also featured.

Whenever you visit, you will have four distinct seasons to enjoy it. While the east coast of the state tends to

experience very hot temperatures, the summer in Harrisburg is actually quite pleasant. It’s the perfect time to enjoy

Music Fest, the state’s largest holiday festival. The pleasant warm temperatures linger far into autumn, with

October daytime temperatures in the 60’s F, making the change of seasons ideal for a stroll through one of the many

parks in the city. You can expect a nice snowfall or two during the winter, so bundle up and get ready to enjoy some

of the many enjoyable outdoor winter activities. Spring brings a new day with temperatures averaging highs in the

60’s F and lows in the 40’s F. Any season is a wonderful time to visit the city’s many museums and art galleries.

The Capital Area Greenbelt, a 20-mile parkway used for bicycling, jogging, walking, and nature studies, loops

around the city and passes through many scenic parks. Reservoir Park, 21st and Walnut streets, has art galleries,

gardens, plazas, fountains, playgrounds, basketball courts and other facilities. Riverfront Park, along a 5-mile

stretch of scenic waterfront, features sunken gardens, public art, and various memorials. Other recreational

facilities are in Italian Lake Park, 3rd and Division streets.

City Island, located in the middle of the Susquehanna River and only a few blocks from the State Capitol Building, has

been called Harrisburg’s Playground. It’s a great place to spend time, whether day or night. It is accessible to

pedestrians via the Walnut Street Bridge, as well as to limited vehicular traffic via the Market Street Bridge. In

addition to being the “home port” for the Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat, it boasts two marinas and many other

attractions, including a beach for swimming, “Water Golf,” a championship 18-hole miniature golf course, a mini steam train, a free nautical themed playground, Riverside Stadium home of the Harrisburg Senators (a baseball farm team for the Montreal Expos), Riverside Village Eatery, not to mention an arcade, batting cages and carriage rides. The whole family will love it!

Originally constructed to highlight the state’s extensive agricultural base, The Pennsylvania Farm Show Building

covers 14 acres at Cameron and Maclay Street. Among the many events held are the Pennsylvania Farm Show and the Auto Show in January, the Eastern Sportsman Show in February and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in October.

Of special interest to Civil War buffs is the new Civil War Museum. Harrisburg also is a convenient distance to the

Gettysburg National Park, which is rich in historical documentation of the many aspects of the Civil War in

general and the Gettysburg battles in particular.

A visit to Harrisburg in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will reveal its natural beauty, its friendly and welcoming residents, and its many sites of historical significance. The experience is sure to be memorable.

B- City Information:
Population: 52,376

Land area: 8.1 square miles

Time Zone: Eastern Time Zone (When its noon in Harrisburg, it’s 11:00am in

Chicago and 9:00am in Los Angeles).

Harrisburg observes Daylight Savings Time from April – October

Location: The capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg rests on the Susquehanna River about 90 miles west of Philadelphia.

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
28.6
31.2
40.3
50.6
60.3
68.9
73.5
71.6
64.3
52.7
42.7
33.2

High temperature (°F)
37.3
41.1
51.3
63.0
72.6
80.4
84.8
82.7
75.3
64.3
52.6
41.5

Low temperature (°F)
19.8
21.4
29.3
38.2
48.0
57.3
62.1
60.3
53.1
41.1
32.6
24.8

Precipitation (in)
3.3
2.7
3.4
3.3
4.1
4.1
3.6
3.2
3.9
3.1
3.4
3.1

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precip.
11
10
11
13
13
11
10
9
9
9
10
10

Wind speed (mph)
8.2
9.0
9.5
9.1
7.6
6.8
6.2
5.8
6.0
6.6
7.8
8.0

Morning humidity (%)
72
71
72
70
74
77
79
83
85
82
77
73

Afternoon humidity (%)
58
55
52
49
52
53
52
55
56
54
57
58

Sunshine (%)
49
54
58
59
60
65
68
67
62
58
47
44

Days clear of clouds
7
7
7
6
6
7
7
8
9
10
6
6

Partly cloudy days
7
7
8
9
10
12
12
11
9
8
8
8

Cloudy days
17
14
16
15
15
12
12
12
12
13
15
17

Snowfall (in)
9.7
9.2
6.1
0.5
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
2.0
6.8

Local Seasons:

Harrisburg has four very distinct seasons. As the capital of Pennsylvania, the city is located in the lower Susquahanna area near a plateau. While the east coast of the state tends to experience very hot temperatures, the summer in Harrisburg is actually quite pleasant. It’s the perfect time to enjoy MusicFest, the states largest Holiday festival. The pleasant warm temperatures linger far into autumn, with October daytime temperatures in the 60’s F, making the change of seasons ideal for a stroll through one of the many parks in the city. You can expect a nice snowfall or two during the winter so bundle up and get ready to enjoy some fun outdoor activities. Or, if you prefer, a warm cup of cocoa by the fire is a terrific alternative. Spring brings a new day with temperatures averaging a high in the 60’s F and lows in the 40’s F. Why not take some time and visit one of the city’s museums or art galleries? Whatever the season, Harrisburg has much for everyone to do and see.

Getting There:

By car:

The Hershey-Capital Region of Pennsylvania is located right along the beautiful Susquehanna River, near the center of the Commonwealth.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-73) passes right through the center of this region, as does Interstates 81 and 83, and Pennsylvania Routes 11, 15, 322, 422, 74, and 743.

Numbered streets run north and south, parallel to the river. North-south addresses are divided by Market Street.

By Air:

Commercial flights land at Harrisburg International Airport (MDT), located about nine miles southeast of downtown Harrisburg on the east side of the Susquehanna River.

717-948-3900

Capital City Airport (HAR), located four miles south of downtown on the west side of the river, handles corporate flights.

717-774-0145

Transportation from airport to downtown

Rental Cars:

Most major rental car companies are located at or near the airports as well as downtown.

Taxi:

Cabs can be found at the main terminal at Harrisburg International.

At Capital City Airport, cabs must be ordered by phone.

Yellow Cab

717-944-0200

By Bus:

The city is served by Greyhound

411 Market St.
Harrisburg PA 17101
717-255-6970

By Train:

Amtrak Station

4th and Chestnut Sts.
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Getting Around Town:

The best way to get around town is by either rental or personal car.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day: Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day: 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day: 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day: last Mon. in May

Independence Day: July 4

Labor Day: 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day: 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve: Dec. 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
City Island
717-558-5785
These 63 acres were transformed in 1987 into the center of activity for Harrisburg. City Island is the very center of life offering everything from quiet streets and walks to bustling downtown and sports centers.

Rivers Side Stadium
717-231-4444
This is the home of the Harrisburg Senators, Harrisburg’s AA baseball team.

City Island Miniature Railroad at Walnut Station
717-232-2332
Open noon to dusk daily
Some of Pennsylvania’s premier miniature railroads are on display at this attraction.

“Pride of the Susquehanna” Riverboat
717-234-6500
Leaving from City Place, the “Pride” tours the Susquehanna River in all its glory. Cruises amble along the river and are a great way to spend some time.

RiverSide Village Park
The Pavilion Picnic Area on the east bank of City Island offers a splendid place for picnicking or just relaxing. (The Pavilion can also be rented for private gatherings.) Just north of the Pavilion Area stands the John Harris Trading Post, a replica of the trading post Harris established on the east shore in the early 1700’s. Just south of the pavilion stands The Family Kite featuring kites and novelties in a wide range of prices.

City Island Beach
Located on the North End of the Island, City Island Beach offers a scenic view of the Susquehanna River Valley and Harrisburg’s skyline, and is an excellent place to swim and relax. The beach is open Noon to 8pm on weekends starting May 25th and daily June 15 to Labor Day. The Bath House adjacent to the beach provides changing and showering facilities.

Art Association of Harrisburg
21 N. Front St.
Harrisburg, PA 17101
717-236-1432
The Art Association is dedicated to coordinating Harrisburg’s numerous art venues. In addition, the Association organizes new exhibits to come to Harrisburg.

The Doll House Museum
2000 State Street, Harrisburg, PA 17103
717-233-3099
As the name suggests, this museum is dedicated to everything related to dolls and their houses. Featuring numerous dollhouses of varying sizes, the museum treats the houses as if each were a work of art. And some of them are!

Fire Museum of Greater Harrisburg
1820 N. Fourth St., Harrisburg, PA 17101
717-232-8915
This museum is dedicated to Harrisburg’s fire department, as well as many items related to fighting fires in Pennsylvania over the years.

Fort Hunter Mansion & Park
5300 N. Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110
717-599-5751
The Fort Hunter Mansion and Park offer splendid day trip opportunities for kids and adults. The park’s trails and picnic facilities are always appreciated by guests at the mansion.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
City Island Miniature Railroad at Walnut Station
717-232-2332
Some of Pennsylvania’s premier miniature railroads are on display at this attraction.

“Pride of the Susquehanna” Riverboat
717-234-6500
Leaving from City Place, the “Pride” tours the Susquehanna River in all its glory. Cruises amble along the river and are a great way to spend some time.

RiverSide Village Park
The Pavilion Picnic Area on the east bank of City Island offers a splendid place for picnicking or just relaxing. (The Pavilion can also be rented for private gatherings.) Just north of the Pavilion Area stands the John Harris Trading Post, a replica of the trading post Harris established on the east shore in the early 1700’s. Just south of the pavilion stands The Family Kite featuring kites and novelties in a wide range of prices.

City Island Beach
Located on the North End of the Island, City Island Beach offers a scenic view of the Susquehanna River Valley and Harrisburg’s skyline, and is an excellent place to swim and relax. The beach is open Noon to 8pm on weekends starting May 25th and daily June 15 to Labor Day. The Bath House adjacent to the beach provides changing and showering facilities.

Art Association of Harrisburg
21 N. Front St.
Harrisburg, PA 17101
717-236-1432
The Art Association is dedicated to coordinating Harrisburg’s numerous art venues. In addition, the Association organizes new exhibits to come to Harrisburg.

The Doll House Museum
2000 State Street, Harrisburg, PA 17103
717-233-3099
As the name suggests, this museum is dedicated to everything related to dolls and their houses. Featuring numerous dollhouses of varying sizes, the museum treats the houses as if each were a work of art. And some of them are!

Fire Museum of Greater Harrisburg
1820 N. Fourth St., Harrisburg, PA 17101
717-232-8915
This museum is dedicated to Harrisburg’s fire department, as well as many items related to fighting fires in Pennsylvania over the years.

Fort Hunter Mansion & Park
5300 N. Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110
717-599-5751
The Fort Hunter Mansion and Park offer splendid day trip opportunities for kids and adults. The park’s trails and picnic facilities are always appreciated by guests of the mansion.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

July

American MusicFest

Riverfront Park, City Island

717-255-3020

Admission Free, except for certain concerts.

The American MusicFest is Pennsylvania’s largest Independence Weekend Music Festival. Hosting over 200 hours of musical entertainment with over 80 musical & entertainment performances, the American MusicFest offers you All Your Favorite Music, in One Weekend!! The American MusicFest stretches over 12 blocks on Harrisburg’s Riverfront Park and uses much of City Island for its activities and concerts. With eleven stages on Riverfront Park, City Island and downtown, the festival brings music from local, regional, national, and international artists and performers throughout the holiday weekend. As always the American MusicFest concludes with a Gala Fireworks extravaganza.

Call for exact dates and hours

July and August

Italian Lake Concert Series

Third and Division Streets

717-255-3020

Admission Free

Set among the beautifully restored Renaissance gardens of Italian Lake, the concert series features eclectic and versatile acts like the Arcona Reel Band, Dixieland Express Band and the klezmer group called Simple Gifts. The concert series also hosts string quartets, brass ensembles, big band and Dixieland style music.

Performances are given over six consecutive Sunday evenings during July and August.

September

Kipona

RiverFront Park & City Island Parallel to Susquehanna River)

717-255-3020

Kipona is Central Pennsylvania’s largest annual festival. One of the oldest annual festivals in the nation, Kipona (which means “sparkling water” in Native American language) was named one of the top ten festivals in the state by the Pennsylvania Festivals Association. Kipona activities include a Riverfront Park festival of food, children’s rides, entertainment from several stages, nightly barge concerts, the State Chili Cook-Off, drag boat races, arts and crafts, and a wide variety of other entertainment. The festival is capped by the largest fireworks display of the year.

November

Holiday Parade At A Glance

Downtown Harrisburg

Admission Free

The Harrisburg Holiday Parade is the largest annual parade in Central Pennsylvania. Each year thousands of spectators visit downtown Harrisburg to watch the parade in person, and thousands more enjoy the parade on television. The Parade features more than a dozen bands, several giant helium balloons, and a variety of specialty units and floats.

December 31

Countdown – Harrisburg’s New Year’s Eve Celebration

Downtown Harrisburg

717-255-3020

Admission Free

The Mayor’s annual New Year’s Eve Celebration features musical entertainment, food, hot drinks, jugglers, carriage rides, a fireworks display, and the dropping of a giant lighted strawberry at midnight to the delight of the crowds inside the City Government Center and outside on Market Square. Residents from Central Pennsylvania gather in downtown Harrisburg to ring in the New Year at the area’s largest New Year’s Eve Celebration. The New Year’s Eve Celebration will feature something for all ages, including live music, strolling jugglers, clowns, carriage rides, children’s theatre performances, and plenty of food, drink, and merriment. The evening concludes as a giant lighted strawberry descends into Market Square and a fireworks and laser show illuminate the sky, ringing in the New Year with a bang.

Call for exact schedule and hours