Gettysburg, PA

There are numerous ways to discover Gettysburg, PA.  The charm of this destination is the availability of so many options and activities, no one can ever be bored.  You can plan a great trip here that is budget conscious or extravagant.  Whatever your tastes and wallet can handle.  Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Visit the National Park Service website – this is a great place to start your planning
  • Click HERE for Official Map and Guide
  • Bus Tours
  • Hiking Trails
  • Audio Tour in your car
  • Scooters
  • Bicycle Riding
  • Look up Gettysburg in your APP store
  • Guided Tour from Licensed Battlefield Guide
  • Horseback Riding Trails on Battlefield
  • Books on the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg
  • Conversations with local residents
  • Experiencing the Battle of Gettysburg with Reenactoers
  • Local Eateries
  • Cemetaries
  • ghost Tours
  • Dress in Historic Clothing

As we wrap up this visit, there are some final thoughts we would like to share.  This is our big take-away from this trip.

If your life is fast paced, super busy and time seems to pass at warp speed, then Gettysburg is for you.  This is a destination where you can spend a good chunk of time, like a week.  If you are not too far away, a long weekend here could be the best medicine as well.  Turn off your cell phone and walk around.  Read as many of the 1300 monuments that are located within 25 square miles.  Wear your FitBit and get your fill of steps in, daily.  With all of the flat trails, you could have your 10,000 steps in by lunch!

Then take time to spend the afternoons relaxing with family and friends around your campfire.  It doesn’t get any better than this!

Discovering America Together!  Sparky & Darlin’


East Earl, PA

I was more than excited to share the Shady Maple experience with Sparky on this trip.  See, growing up, Shady Maple was our primary destination for holiday grocery shopping.  In fact, it continues to be our ‘big shopping order’ grocery store, when we visit my parents.

Shady Maple started as a produce stand in the Amish Country of Pennsylvania in the early 1960’s.  Through the years, we have experienced the multiple expansions of Shady Maple.  Here are some of the changes to Shady Maple we remember: a focus on local produce, bulk foods – we always head here for sprinkles, a bakery with Shoo Fly Pie and the tastiest Apple breads and desserts, cafeteria grows to a buffet then grows to a smorgasbord – you need to be rolled out after visiting this eatery, a partnership with IGA and building expansions and remodels.  If I heard correctly, Shady Maple started out as a family farm stand and now employs over 700 people.  The farm stand also has grown, considerably – all departments use over 150,000 square feet of space.  Wow!

Let’s talk food.  Let’s talk Smorgasbord.  As we walked around, Sparky’s eyes were wide as we walked the over 200 feet of food.  Yes, 200 FEET.  Let’s provide a few visuals here…200 feet =  3/5 of a football field, 15 VW Beetles, 30 queen size beds, well, you get the idea…TONS of great food!

After realizing there is no way to sample everything, we just had to prioritize.  Sparky and I were starving, so you can imagine how high our FIRST plates were piled.  You name it, we tried to stack it.  Corn Fritters, Potato Cakes, Kielbasa, Salad Bar with DOZENS of options, Cucumber Salad, Soup, Casserole, Meatballs, Prime Rib, ohhh, I could go on.  Let’s just skip to dessert – cheesecake, turtle pie, cookies and the sundae bar.  Holy cow!  We can surely eat alot!

Guess I would like to say that if you are traveling through the Amish Country in Pennsylvania, be sure to look up Shady Maple.  Make sure that you are not hungry, but STARVING hungry!  The price is right, the selection seems endless and with seating for 1200, there is rarely a wait.  Check out what others say about Shady Maple on: TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Discovering America with You!  Sparky & Darlin’