Bring your best bud to meet our best buds and introduce yourself to the magnificent blossoms in Adams County.
It’s always great to make new friends and spring’s the perfect time to open yourself up to new possibilities. Count on our best buds to entice and delight you at every turn. April and May temperatures in south-central Pennsylvania are mild, the air is fresh with the scent of blooming fruit trees, and there’s so much to see and do when you get there.
Gettysburg serves as home-base for an annual visit (or two visits a year, one in the spring for blossoms and one in the fall at harvest season). Affordable prices, warm hospitality, comfortable accommodations, great restaurants, and abundant shopping make getaways perfect. It’s only a ten-minute drive from downtown Gettysburg to the heart of the fruit belt.
For spectacular views atop rolling hills and breathtaking valleys of budding pink and white fruit trees, 20,000 acres of Adams County orchards in full bloom present endless possibilities for making new connections.
Blossom season can come and go quickly, and, like any good relationship, you have to plan ahead for the best results.
Late March is typically the time for apricots and plums to come into bloom. These are not as abundant as peaches and pears that hit their stride in early April. By the third week of April and into early May, apples (which around here come in 50 varieties) are at peak bloom, traditionally defined as seventy percent of buds at full blossom. Of course, Mother Nature often has other plans when rain, wind, and chilly temperatures mean less than optimum conditions. A mild winter, along with warm, sunny skies in the spring could actually accelerate the budding process.
There are hundreds of fruit-related businesses in Adams County, making this the largest apple-growing area in Pennsylvania and the No. 5 leading producer of apples in the U.S.
Growers tend to their delicate and delicious crops, some with adjoining farm markets that sell their fresh produce straight from the fields, and a few that are open year-round. A burgeoning hard cider industry takes pride in transforming local apples into the fresh, authentic taste of Adams County.
Wineries, meaderies, and breweries round out Destination Gettysburg’s Crop Hop Farm and Market Trail. Visit participating businesses and receive special seasonal discounts along with prizes based on how many you frequent.
Get ready to get in the mood, departing from Gettysburg’s Lincoln Square heading north on PA 34 toward Biglerville. To orient you to the history of apple-growing in these parts, stop by the National Apple Museum which hosts the Annual Blossom Festival in May. Continue along PA 34 to Hollabaugh Bros. Fruit & Farm Market or Sandoe’s Fruit Market, as both are open year round. McDannell’s Fruit Farm & Market is located nearby on Rt. 234. These farm markets are nestled in the heart of blossom country, so visiting them makes the trip even more special. As you head south along Boyer Nursery Road, stop by Boyer Nurseries and Orchards with its own Boyer Cellars specializing in cider and wine. Continue toward Cashtown Road for a gift-buying pilgrimage to the Historic Round Barn and its neighboring Thirsty Farmer Brew Works. Return to Gettysburg via Rt. 30.
Remember, these are working fruit farms where producers must adhere to strict food-safety regulations. A beautiful blossom is not for picking when it sits near the roadside. Stick to visiting farm markets that provide access to fruit-growing trees and, please, never wander onto private property no matter how attractive it looks.
Don’t forget to keep coming back to Adams County because these are the kinds of best buds you can count on being there for you, year after year.
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