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2019 Pennsylvania Calendar and PA Amusement Parks Book Options


Exploring the Lake Erie Wine Trail in PA & NY, Chautauqua Lake, NY & More

We always have a great time when we visit Erie and head into the Lake Erie and Chautauqua Region into New York. This is such a serene and beautiful place, where rolling hills are covered in vineyards, and lead towards huge natural lakes, including Lake Erie, Chautauqua Lake, Findlay Lake, and others. We opted to spend a long weekend in this region and had a great time visiting the wineries, relaxing by the lakes, and taking in all of the scenery.
As autumn approaches, grape season goes into full swing. September and into October are the prime harvest times for grapes in this region. On Route 5, the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, the air will be filled with the fantastic smell of grapes. From the borough of North East, PA, up into New York, you see endless rolling hills, covered in vineyards, with numerous wineries along the way, especially along Route 5 and Route 20. For more detailed information on the grape culture and wineries in the region, check out our comprehensive article at this link.
Penn Shore Winery in North East, PA, makes some excellent wines and is a very laid back place to visit. Their pricing is also very reasonable.
 Grapes nearing harvest at Penn Shore Winery
Mazza is another excellent winery in North East, PA. Mazza was one of the pioneers of wine making in Pennsylvania.
Barcelona, NY is home to a beautiful harbor and Lighthouse. The Lighthouse dates back to 1829 and is absolutely stunning.
A view inside of the lighthouse.

Johnson Estate Winery, on Route 20 in Ripley, NY is great in every way. Their wines are superb, especially their dry whites and rieslings. It is the oldest estate winery in New York State and their facility is absolutely beautiful. 
The tan bottles hold their port wine, of which they make one of my absolute favorites. It is a tough call between them and Mazza when it comes to port wines. 
 The production area for Johnson Estate. 
Sunset over Chautauqua Lake in Mayfield, NY.
 A little peeper in the grass.
 The morning brought some quick storms through the area, which was pretty exciting the watch. 
The former Pennsylvania Railroad Station in Mayfield, NY. The railroad's old right-of-way has been converted into a walkway along the lake. It is home to a public art space and the Chautauqua Township Historical Society, which covers the history of the region. 
The Chautauqua Belle Tour Boat. This boat is a nod to the past at Chautauqua Lake, when people would flock to the clean and unpolluted waters offered by the lake. Railroads would carry tourists to the lake, and then they would ride steamboats across the 17 mile long lake. 
The clean reputation of Chautauqua Lake also lead towards the harvesting of ice in the winter months, which would be shipped by railcar and stored in Ice Houses as far away as Pittsburgh and Buffalo. The lake remains an idyllic place to visit.
As the storm headed into Mayville, NY, we decided to hop in the car and see the storm roll into the beautiful village of Bemus Point. There is lots of Victorian character in this old tourist village, which has remained a hub of tourist activity since the early days of railroading. Located nearby are Long Point State Park, which is home to beaches, a marina, and picnic areas, and Midway State Park, which is home to a family amusement park.
 The sun reappearing after the quick storm.
The Hotel Lenhart was founded in 1882. This current building dates all the way back to 1892 and is absolutely stunning. The village's Casino is less than a block away, which is another stately old building. Bemus Point makes you feel as if you have traveled back in time.
Now we head back over to Lake Erie. The Luensman Overview Park in Brocton, NY gives a tremendous view of some of the vineyards of the region, and Lake Erie. 
 We naturally had to grab more grapes.
 The Lake Shore Railway Museum in North East, PA has a great collection of old locomotives, railcars, and other railroad memorabilia. It is located in a former New York Central Railroad Station. For more information on the museum, check out this article from a previous visit.
We then headed to Erie, PA's Presque Isle State Park, one of our favorite places to visit. It is great being able to connect with nature at this stunning state park.


A Visit to Presque Isle State Park

For us, summer means visiting Presque Isle State Park. We usually take at least two trips up to Erie each summer, and then usually at least one per season after that. Seeing the wildlife, especially the waterfowl, make this an excellent place to visit at all times of the year. Different seasons mean different animals are migrating throughout this sanctuary of nature on the shores of Lake Erie. The ponds, lagoons, and wetlands of the peninsula are just teeming with wildlife and it is always so exciting just taking it all in. 
You are always sure to see beautiful scenes in the wetlands at Presque Isle State Park.
 We saw multiple Blue Herons, as we usually do, though this was the only one that stood long enough in the same place to take a shot of it.
 I always love seeing the lily pads and grasses of the park's wetlands. Through spring and summer, you are sure to see something different in bloom.
 I like how you start to see the colors change in the plants in late summer and autumn. 
 Turtles out sunbathing
 Brit holding a Monarch Butterfly
 A Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar
 We spent most of the afternoon on the beach, getting in one last swim for the summer.
Some flowering grasses in the wetlands.
 More flowers

 More wetland plant life
Naturally, we had to get in our final rides for the season at Waldameer Park, which is located right at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park. The amusement park closes for the season on Labor Day, so we had to get in our last rides for the season at the park. As always, we recommend spending time at Presque Isle State Park. You are always sure to find and see something new and exciting when you visit.


2019 Interesting Pennsylvania Calendar

Our 2019 Pennsylvania Wall Calendar features scenes from across the state, including views of Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning, the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, Erie's Presque Isle State Park, Berks County's Roadside America, Kennywood Park, Parker Dam State Park in Clearfield County, Cole Run Falls in the Laurel Highlands, the Standing Stone Trail in Huntingdon County, Raystown Lake, Hickory Run State Park in the Pocono Mountains, Allentown's PPL Building, and Worlds End State Park.

Also available is our book on Pennsylvania's historic amusement parks, Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip. It features Knoebels, Kennywood Park, Hersheypark, Dorsey Park, Waldameer, DelGrosso's, the currently idle Lakemont, Dutch Wonderland, Idlewild, and Conneaut Lake Park.

2019 Pennsylvania Calendar and PA Amusement Parks Book Options


22+ Must-See PA Autumn Destinations

An autumn view of the Lehigh Gorge from the Fireline Trail at Hickory Run State Park in the Pocono Mountains
The view from Loyalsock State Forest's High Knob Overlook at sunset
It is time to start planning some autumn adventures! Since our last fall articles, we have added a few more places that you have to check out during the fall. We have visited places all across the state during autumn, and these are some of our favorites. Whether you open your door and look outside, or if you go to your local state park, you are sure to see some beauty. The following are just a few of our absolute favorite places to check out in autumn, thanks to their exceptional beauty. 

For some bonus places, be sure to check out all of the places on our massive guide to some the state's many spectacular scenic overlooks and vistas. 
1) Fallingwater, Mill Run, PA, Fayette County
Fallingwater: One of the most famous houses in the world
This world renowned Frank Lloyd Wright architectural wonder is absolutely stunning to see in autumn. The stark beauty of Fallingwater and the falls that it was built over are highlighted with the spectacular colors of the fall trees. We highly recommend going on a tour of the grounds and the building. For more information on visiting, check out their website at
2) Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, PA, Northumberland and Columbia County
Knoebels is always our favorite place to visit within the state. The fantastic coasters, classic rides, and overall atmosphere of the park are heightened by the crisp autumn air and vivid fall colors. The park, along with Columbia and Montour Counties, also holds a Covered Bridge Festival on October 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th, where the local covered bridges are celebrated, including the ones located within the amusement park. The park also has Phoenix Phall Phunfest on October 7th as a kickoff to the Halloween season, with craft vendors, celebrations, a bonfire in their campground, and more.  This kicks off the park's Hallo-Fun Weekends, October 13 – 15, 20 – 22, 27 – 29. We highly recommend taking in America's largest free admission, traditional amusement park as a part of your fall activities. For more information about visiting the park, check out our article and also visit
3) Big Pocono State Park, Tannersville, PA, Monroe County
The view from Big Pocono State Park, at the top of Camelback Mountain Ski Area and Resort
There are a ton of fun sightseeing opportunities and activities going on in the Pocono region of the state. One of my favorite places to check out is Big Pocono State Park, high atop Camelback Mountain Ski Area and Resort. This overlook gives you a wide expanse of view over the Poconos, and to as far out as New Jersey and New York. There are also a ton of different activities to do at Camelback, including an alpine roller coaster, zip lining, and more. There are also a plethora of different places to see throughout the Poconos
Our fourth stop takes us to Hickory Run State Park, one of the finest of PA's State Parks. The reds and yellows on the trees are fiery, and the contrast of them with the park's spectacular boulder field, especially in the midst of some morning fog, is nothing short of breathtaking. Terrific autumn views can be had throughout the park, especially the boulder field, and up on the Fireline Trail, looking down upon beautiful Lehigh Gorge. Last fall was not our first visit to the state park, but it was our first visit in the Autumn, and it was well worth the four hour drive from Pittsburgh. For more information on some of the many places to see at this huge state park, check out our article about it here

Heading south from Hickory Run, along the Lehigh River, you will see many tremendous views of the Lehigh Gorge. Once you enter Jim Thorpe, you see the spectacular landscape, joined with beautiful Victorian architecture. Hop onto an excursion train ride along the gorge, or head on a hike up the gorge at Glen Onoko Falls or one of the other many amazing hikes in the area. We were amazed with our visit to the Lehigh Gorge and Pocono Mountains area last fall. For more information, check out this article. 

Whether you are lakeside, or checking out the awesome vistas from higher up in the gorge of the Allegheny River, you are sure to see some amazing autumn views at the Allegheny Reservoir. One of the most stunning spots to visit is the Rimrock Overlook, a rock outcropping complete with a large stone stairway that takes you out to a perch high above the Allegheny Reservoir.
7) Strasburg Railroad, Strasburg, PA, Lancaster County
One of the four pristine early 20th century steam locomotives of  the Strasburg Railroad.
Hard work ethic is what makes Pennsylvania what it is. At no place is this more evident in the state than riding through Amish Country on the Strasburg Railroad in the fall. Amish farmers are tending to harvesting the crops they have worked so hard to tend to throughout the year. Around the area, you will find freshly baked goods and harvested crops. 
The ride through Amish Country
The railroad itself is also the result of very hard work. The Strasburg Railroad is part of a collaborative effort to preserve a historic short line railroad and to fully restore equipment from the golden age of railroading. Thanks to these efforts, there is a fine fleet of pristine locomotives, passenger cars, cabooses, and more, that are restored with full accuracy to their original specifications. My parents brought me here when I was little and visiting the railroad brings about great family memories that I've held on to ever since. Going back, I appreciate more and more how amazing this railroad is. This is an awesome place to visit at any time of the year, but especially during the autumn months. For more information on visiting, check out
A pumpkin patch next to the railroad.
If the call of the wild beckons, Elk Country in the PA Great Outdoors Region in Benezette, PA is where you want to go. Autumn is the time of the rut, when the Elk practice their mating rituals. You will see male suitors duke it out, grunt, stomp, and lock antlers and compete while their potential mate watches. It is a spectacular sight. Couple that with the fall colors, especially at the nearby Marion Brooks Reserve with its amazing grove of birches, and the rest of the attractions in the PA Great Outdoors Region, and you have a terrific place to go in the fall, in addition to the nearby Kinzua Bridge. This region is perfect. Nearby Clarion also holds an Autumn Leaf Festival, complete with amusement rides, vendors, and more.
9) and 10) Worlds End State Park and Loyalsock State Forest, Sullivan County
The views afforded at Worlds End State Park and the Loyalsock State Forest in the autumn are nothing short of incredible. The colors make the trees almost appear as if they are on fire. It is incredible to see. Loyalsock Canyon Vista in Worlds End State Park and the High Knob Overlook in the adjacent Loyalsock State Forest, are stunning places to take in these fall views.
View from High Knob Overlook at sunset
View from the Loyalsock Canyon Vista at Worlds End State Park
The views at these vistas in their autumn splendor are absolutely breathtaking.

11) and 12) Marie Antoinette Overlook and Wyalusing Rocks, Route 6 in Bradford County
Similar to the last two, these overlooks are within a few miles of each other. It is also easy to make a beeline 45 minutes northeast from Worlds End to hit these two overlooks. The history at both of these spots is extremely fascinating, and well worth checking out. 
The Marie Antoinette Overlook looks out over a stunning bend in the Susquehanna River. French Azilum, a place that was rumored to be an exile point for the ill-fated French Queen. In the fall, the colors in this area are extraordinary.
Just a little bit east of Marie Antoinette Overlook, is the Wyalusing Rocks Overlook, looking over an even tighter bend in the Susquehanna River. This place has been a historic spot for many generations of history in North America and is well worth checking out.  
 13) Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA, Allegheny County
If you live in Pittsburgh, a great place to go spend a weeknight or afternoon is at Schenley Park. 
Serpentine Drive in Schenley Park
As one of our nation's largest urban wooded areas, you are bound to find beautiful colors at every corner of the park and throughout the CCC, Great Depression era, infrastructure throughout the park. 
 14) Route 40 Overlook, Hopwood, PA, Laurel Highlands, Fayette County
The Route 40 Overlook in Hopwood, deep in the Laurel Highlands and near Ohiopyle State Park, Fallingwater, and Laurel Caverns. This overlook looks over a deep crevasse and Uniontown. The colors are especially vivid at this spot, in addition to Ohiopyle State Park
 15) Wine Country, North East, PA, Erie County
Fresh grapes? Need I say more? Between the cool colors, the smell of harvested grapes lingering through the air, and the always awesome views of Lake Erie, North East, PA is an awesome place to sit and relax. Be sure to check out the dozens of wineries and vineyards up and down the shores of Lake Erie.
There is nothing like fresh grapes!
 16) Tunnelview Park, New Alexandria, PA, Westmoreland County
Tunnelview Park, Indiana County
Tunnelview Park is home to multiple generations of canal and rail history, with three transportation related tunnels, and accompanying bridges. This is a spectacular and often overlooked spot, deep in the Loyalhanna Gorge. Read more about this awesome place from this article about an autumn visit and one from a winter visit. 
 17) Mingo Creek Park, Finleyville, PA, Washington County
Mingo Creek Park in Washington County is a place that takes its covered bridges seriously. They have two beautiful covered bridges, including one that was moved and saved from demolition. The autumn colors are especially vibrant in this location. For more information on visiting, check out our article on this awesome place. 
 18) Renziehausen Park Rose Garden and Arboretum, McKeesport, PA, Allegheny County

The Renzie Park Rose Garden in McKeesport is the result of decades of hard work by community members through the Garden Club of McKeesport. The fall roses, coupled with the colors of the trees of the arboretum, make this an exceptional site to take in the sights of autumn.
  19) Nockamixon State Park, Near Quakertown, PA, Bucks County
There is nothing quite like the feeling of crisp autumn air when you are out on the water. Lake Nockamixon at Nockamixon State Park is an awesome place to go during the fall months for these reasons. Additionally, the leaves seem to get exceptionally colorful in this location. Horseback riding, hiking, boating, sail boating, and more await visitors to this awesome state park. Nearby, you can also check out the funky Ringing Rocks County Park, home to an exceptional geologic wonder. For more information on visiting, check out our article on Nockamixon. 
20) Raystown Lake

While Raystown Lake is beautiful to visit at any time of the year, the Proud Mary Showboat offers special autumn cruises to see the colors on the lake. Be sure to check this out!

21) Forbes State Forest and Linn Run State Park, Westmoreland and Somerset Counties
This area has some incredible hikes and views. It is well worth checking out in the autumn. Here is a guide of the area around Linn Run State Park. 

22) Right outside your door! 
Autumn is stunning in PA, so get out there and appreciate it!

This list is far from all encompassing, but these are places you should plan to see at least once during the fall months. Have a great time! For further suggestions on places to check out, be sure to explore our Vistas and Scenic Overlooks guide at the following link, all of which are sure to look great in the fall months.
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