15 Best Things to Do in York, PA

15 Best Things to Do in York, PA

Christian Hinkle / shutterstock.com

York is a city in Pennsylvania and also the capital of York County. It is known far and wide as “The White Rose City”, because of the symbol of the white rose which was adopted as an emblem representing the royal House of York.

One of the biggest cities in Pennsylvania, York city is known for its unique style of architecture and rich history. The people of York have always been very closely intertwined with history, culture, arts, music, and theatre, all of which have contributed to the place being a great spot for tourists.

We compiled a comprehensive list so that it has an enjoyable activity for everybody. You can partake in these activities, regardless of whether you are a tourist or local.

While York is a small city, it has tons of beautiful locations which are worth visiting. Whether you seek adventures, long walks in nature, boating trips, amazing food, or exciting history lessons, York is the place for you.

Made perfectly for people like you who love to explore every bit of a place- we came up with the right things. Here are the top 15 fun and exciting things to do in York, Pennsylvania:

Walk Down a Trail at Rock Ridge Park

Rock Ridge Park is a 750-acre piece of land, which doubles as both a forest and a park. The first park in York County is perched on a hilltop. You can get a view of the beautiful valleys surrounding the park by heading over to the observation deck.

Because of the expansive size of the park, there are many trails available, some adventurous which will take you through the heart of the forest, and others serene, which will walk you through bubbling streams of water.

Choose the trail according to your skillset and preference, because all of them offer a different experience. There are also options of hiking, jogging, and bicycling.

You can even bring along your pet dogs, as long as you keep them on a leash. You can even get the chance to spot wildlife. If you visit the park around the holiday season at the end of the year, you will get a chance to see their popular Christmas Magic show, which makes the entire trail light up.

Take A Stroll at Richard Nixon Park

Richard Nixon Park is a beautiful culmination of a meadow, park, field, and woodland, dense in flora and fauna. The park has managed to retain its natural beauty by creating and maintaining both aquatic and wild habitats.

Ponds and streams add to the beauty of the park. You can even spot colored wood ducks and snapping turtles in their natural habitat.

Right in the center of the park, stands the Nixon Nature Center. The 14000 square foot building was gifted by the Bob Hoffman family to the park and has been named after the former president of the United States, Richard Nixon.

The Center features displays and exhibits, which represent York’s wildlife. These include a working honey bee hive, reptiles, birds, insects, and amphibians.

Have a Delicious Lunch At the York Central Market House

The York Central Market House is York’s best farmer’s market, known for selling fresh and high-quality farm produce at affordable prices.

It is always bustling with families, some buying food and others eating at the cafés. You will find many small eateries and stands, selling delicious food.
On your trip to the York Central Market House, you can get your hand on fruits and vegetables, meats, pretzels, bread, dairy, and lots of baked goodies.

All of their shops are popular and well-loved, with friendly sellers and cheerful customers. Moreover, the market supports small businesses, many of which are home-owned, by giving them space and a ready customer base.

Enjoy Fresh Ice-Cream at Perrydell Farm and Dairy

Open since 1963, Perrydell Farm and Dairy is a country farm that sells freshly made dairy. They pride themselves on using products that are grown locally in the farms of York.

They offer guided tours which take you through the farm and its workings in detail, completely free of cost. They even allow the visitors to pet their animals, as long as they are gentle. Their delicious, fresh and homemade ice cream is a favorite of locals.

If you’re visiting Perrydell Farm and Dairy, make sure you get their ice-cream flavor of the day; they are known to be quite creative and unique.

Watch a Live Broadway Show at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts

Located on George Street, Appell Center for the Performing Arts is a non-profit theatre. With tickets as low as 2 dollars, it puts on massive performances, which include Broadway shows.

It comprises two theaters, the Strand Theatre with 1200 seats and gold architecture, and the Capitol Theatre with 450 seats and a high balcony.

The theatre also has an educational program, for those studying theatre and performing arts. With movie screenings, live shows, performances of famous artists, and plays, the Appell Center is always hosting an event.

Catch A Game at PeoplesBank Park

PeoplesBank Park
Gnome8910, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The PeoplesBank Park, located in the downtown area of York, is a baseball park. With more than 5000 seats, the park can accommodate many people at one match and also has several seating options. The park is home to the official baseball team of York, the Revolution.

A small cannon goes off every time the Revolution scores a home run or wins. Apart from games, the park also has a fun area for kids to play games, Stauffer’s Downtown Playground. Multiple concession stands will provide you with delicious snacks to have during games.

Moreover, the PeoplesBank Park can also be booked for weddings and parties!

Explore the Trails at John C. Rudy County Park

Covering 150 acres of land, John C. Rudy County Park is an outdoor park and meadow which offers many recreational facilities. It is known far and wide for its canine meadows, wherein dogs can be walked without leashes.

The park also has trails for cross-country and sports fields. For those interested in astronomy, the park hosts public star-watches for you to gaze at the night sky and its celestial bodies through a telescope.

John C. Rudy County Park also offers the experience of hiking, camping, and enjoying a picnic with your family and pets.

Learn About History and Heritage at the York County History Center

York Country History Center gives you a detailed picture of the rich history of York, Pennsylvania. Through museums, historic sites, archives, libraries, murals, and research centers.

There are separate buildings, all focused on different aspects such as architecture, industry, and culture. You can find preserved maps, old newspapers, rare books, and court records in the archives.

Whether you are someone who has lived in York or not, you are bound to make some exciting discoveries in the museums of History and Heritage at the York County History Center.

Go Wine Tasting at the Mason Dixon Wine Trail

The Mason Dixon Wine Trail is not just your regular winery, it is a collection of wineries that stretch as far as Hershey and Lancaster. Located along an area called the Dutch County, it offers a unique selection of wines from all of Pennsylvania, and other parts of the country as well.

You can attend wine tasting events and learn all about wine and how it is made. Next to it, you can witness stunning views of the countryside.

With each winery, you will be promised a taste of the area’s local flavor, that too in several varieties. To make it a weekend of just sipping wine, you can book a getaway package wherein you will get to stay at a hotel nearby.

Hike at William Kain Park

William Kain Park
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Totaling 1,637 acres, William Kain Park is the perfect place to enjoy a scenic hike. With 12 different trails, you have many options to choose from. The trails also allow you to go horse-riding, biking, or hiking.

What makes William Kain Park even more special, is that there are two beautiful lakes located inside it, Lake Williams and Lake Redman. You can rent a boat out for fishing, and if you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch one among the unique fish species- Sunfish, Large Mouth Bass, or Muskie.

For bird-sighting enthusiasts, you can take your binoculars to spot some beautiful rare birds at the Bird View Deck.

Go Ice Skating at AvalancheXpress

If you’re up for some fun, thrilling adventures, make sure you visit the AvalancheXpress. Families enjoy visiting this place because it offers exciting snow-related activities.

For starters, you can go ice skating at a massive ice rink. If you are looking for a day full of games and competition, you can opt for the ice hockey adventure.

The AvalancheXpress at York is most popular for snow tubing, a sport wherein you glide down the snow-covered path on top of a tube.

Enjoy a Picnic at Samuel S. Lewis State Park

Samuel S. Lewis State Park
Nicholas, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Samuel S. Lewis State Park is an 85-acre piece of land. The name of the park came to be when Samuel S. Lewis, former Lieutenant Governor, donated around 35 acres of land to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

After more contributions of land were made, Samuel S. Lewis State Park was formed. The park has many picnic tables, where you can enjoy a hearty meal on a relaxing day.

The main feature of the park is Mt. Pisgah, which is its highest point. The 270 meters high mountain offers stunning views of the area around the park, including the Susquehanna river valley. If you are interested in astronomy, you can hike up the mountain for star-gazing.

Visit the Past at Old Town Historic District

Christ Lutheran Church
Christian Hinkle / Shutterstock.com

The Old Town Historic District is an area that consists of 309 old buildings, whose styles of architecture depict the old times, especially the Victorian and Revival eras.

These structures were built in the times of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Walking through the Old Town Historic District is like walking through different stages of American history.

You can visit buildings such as the Christ Lutheran Church, Pullman Factory Building, U.S Post office, Lafayette Club, all of which have played notable roles in history.

To get an optimal experience, you can opt for guided tours, which will help you learn more about historic buildings and architecture. And on Fridays, the entire street lights up with performances and food stalls.

Enjoy a Lavish Meal at Left Bank Restaurant

One of the most high-rated eateries in York, Left Bank Restaurant is tucked in a cute corner on George Street. This upscale restaurant serves delicious food in great portions, making it a favorite among locals for celebrations or a fancy night out.

Most popularly known for its steak and seafood, the restaurant also has live music, which creates a lovely ambiance. Moreover, they source their raw materials locally, giving you a proper and authentic York food experience.

The restaurant offers a premier menu of wine and cocktails and has also been awarded the title of Best Cocktails of York. To have a unique and exclusive York dining experience, you must have a meal at Left Bank Restaurant.

Visit the York Barbell Hall of Fame

The York Barbell Hall of Fame is a weightlifting museum located in the York Barbell administrative building. It houses within itself exhibits displaying the history of sports, bodybuilding, powerlifting, and Olympics, along with displays of barbells and iconic trophies.

Right in front of the billboard, you will spot the 7 feet tall bronze statue of famous Bob Hoffman, who was known as, “The Father of World Weightlifting”.
The York Hall of Fame also houses an auditorium, where films are viewed and weightlifting competitions are held.

For weightlifting enthusiasts, the place is a delight because it is filled with artifacts and vintage memorabilia, many of which are originals.

These are the top 15 things to do in York, Pennsylvania. We hope you enjoyed the list. We will be back with some more. Till then stay safe and enjoy!