Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in York, PA

  • Published 2022/05/22

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 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 theater, all of which have contributed to the place being an excellent spot for tourists.

While York is a small city, it has many beautiful locations worth visiting.

Whether you seek adventures, long walks in nature, boating trips, fantastic 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, here are the best things to do in York, Pennsylvania:

Walk Down a Trail at Rocky Ridge Park

Pretty red bird at Rocky Ridge Park

Charles Wintermyer /

Rocky Ridge Park is a 750-acre piece of land that doubles as 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 park’s expansive size, there are many trails available.

Some are adventurous and will take you through the heart of the forest, while others are serene and 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 to go hiking, jogging, or bicycling.

You can even get the chance to spot wildlife.

Dogs are welcome here, too, as long as you keep them on a leash.

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 M. Nixon County Park

Richard M. Nixon County Park is a beautiful culmination of a meadow, park, field, and woodland, dense in flora and fauna.

The park has retained 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 14,000 square-foot building was gifted by the Bob Hoffman family to the park and has been named after former US PresidentRichard Nixon.

The center features displays and exhibits that represent York’s wildlife.

These include a working honey bee hive, reptiles, birds, insects, and amphibians.

Have a Delicious Lunch at Central Market House

Central Market House is York’s best farmers’ 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 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 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, the Appell Center for the Performing Arts is a non-profit theater.

With tickets that go as low as $2, it puts on massive performances that include Broadway shows.

It comprises two theaters, the Strand Theatre with 1,200 seats and gold architecture, and the Capitol Theatre with 450 seats and a high balcony.

The theater also has an educational program for those studying theater 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

Entrance of PeoplesBank Park

Gnome8910, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

PeoplesBank Park is a baseball park located in York’s downtown area.

It’s home to the Revolution, the city’s official baseball team.

The park can accommodate over 5,000 people per game and has several seating options for guests to choose from.

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 called Stauffer’s Downtown Playground for kids to play games.

Multiple concession stands will provide you with delicious snacks to enjoy 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 that offers many recreational facilities.

It is known far and wide for its canine meadows, where 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

The York Country History Center gives you a detailed picture of York’s rich history, through museums, historic sites, archives, libraries, murals, and research centers.

There are separate buildings, and all are 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 or not you are someone who has lived in York, you are bound to make some exciting discoveries in the museums at the York County History Center.

Go Wine Tasting at the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail

The Mason-Dixon Wine Trail is not just your traditional winery.

It is a collection of wineries that stretch as far as Hershey and Lancaster.

Located along the Dutch County, it offers a unique selection of wines from all over Pennsylvania and other parts of the country.

You can attend wine tasting events and learn about wine and how it is made.

Next to it, you can witness stunning views of the countryside.

To enjoy a whole weekend of sipping wine, you can book a getaway package wherein you will get to stay at a hotel nearby.

Hike at William H. Kain County Park

Scenic view of William Kain Park

Christian Hinkle /

Totaling 1,637 acres, William H. Kain County 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 horseback riding, biking, or hiking.

What makes the park even more unique 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 birdwatching 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, visit 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.

AvalancheXpress is best known 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 during the golden sunset hour

Nicholas, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Samuel S. Lewis State Park is an 85-acre piece of land.

The park’s name came to be when Samuel S. Lewis, former Lieutenant Governor, donated around 35 acres of land to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

After more land contributions 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.

Signboard at the entrance of Samuel S. Lewis State Park

Gerry D, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park’s main feature is Mt. Pisgah, its highest point.

It stands at 270 meters, offering 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 stargazing.

Visit the Past at the Old Town Historic District

Christ Lutheran Church

Christian Hinkle /

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 18th, 19th, and 20th 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.

On Fridays, the entire street lights up with performances and food stalls.

Enjoy a Lavish Meal at The Left Bank Restaurant

One of the top-rated eateries in York, The 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 The Left Bank Restaurant.

Visit the Weightlifting Hall of Fame

The Weightlifting Hall of Fame and Museum is located in the York Barbell corporate headquarters.

Its exhibits display the history of sports, bodybuilding, powerlifting, and the Olympics, along with displays of barbells and iconic trophies.

Right in front of the billboard, you will spot a 7-foot bronze statue of famous Bob Hoffman, known as the Father of World Weightlifting.

The Weightlifting Hall of Fame also houses an auditorium, where films are viewed and weightlifting competitions are held.

The place will be a delight for weightlifting enthusiasts because it is filled with artifacts and vintage memorabilia, many of which are originals.

Learn How the County Developed at the Agricultural & Industrial Museum

Display of a vintage tractor in Agricultural & Industrial Museum

Klaus Nahr, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At the York County Agricultural and Industrial Museum, visitors learn about the history of manufacturing in York County.

This museum is a must-see for history buffs in York because of its excellent exhibitions.

You’ll be immersed in the city’s 300-year-long history of agriculture, transportation, and industry via many of its hands-on exhibitions.

Take a look at the displays and read the descriptions.

You may also ride in a 1916 trolley vehicle, use a rotary phone from the 1930s, or see a three-story flour mill in action.

Catch a Children’s Production at The Belmont Theatre

The Belmont Theatre was founded in 1953 and has become a well-known name in local theater.

If you like seeing plays and dancing performances, this book is for you.

That means you’ll have a terrific time seeing youngsters from the local area do their best work on the stage of this theater.

If you want to learn more about the people and culture of the region, this is an excellent choice for where to go today.

When you’re on vacation, do something new: go to the cinema, having no idea what’s on.

A wonderful surprise awaits you when you see how well these kids portray their roles.

Relax at Liquid Hero Brewery

In the heart of York city, the Liquid Hero Brewery is a modest but well-regarded microbrewery and tavern.

If it’s rainy or freezing outside, this pub’s chilled beer is a pleasant inside pastime to pass the time.

Regardless IPA, What the Floc, and Rye Oatmeal Stout are just a few of the numerous options available to you here.

In many cases, you may acquire them in advance, just in case.

A soft pretzel, some bacon, or chips accompanies your drink.

Taste York’s Vodka at Old Republic Distillery

Check out this distillery while you’re in York!

Old Republic Distillery, or ORD as it’s called, is a great place to sample some of the best vodkas in the world.

After Prohibition, this distillery was one of the first in the region to open, and it is now known for its delicious flavored vodkas.

These high-quality vodkas, made in tiny amounts, are a real treat.

Since the establishment offers BYOF (Bring Your Own Food), diners may bring their own food and enjoy the beverages while learning from the knowledgeable and experienced staff about vodkas.

Blackberry Vodka and Apple Pie Moonshine are two of their most popular products.

The pub has live music every Saturday night, so come on out and have a good time.

Make Your Own Souvenirs at Sunrise Soap Company

At Sunrise Soap Company, you’ll be surrounded by a heavenly scent as soon as you enter this shop.

Products at this natural body care shop are manufactured from solely raw materials and handcrafted by a team of artisans.

All-natural soaps, lotions, bath bombs, scrubs, lip balms, and more are available.

To make their own soap and bubble bath, customers are welcome to use the store’s kitchen.

Visitors are encouraged to ask questions and participate in hands-on activities such as producing their own fizzes with the help of the facility’s knowledgeable personnel.

Final Thoughts

York, Pennsylvania, is an easy place to fall in love with its serene charm.

With serpentine pathways and magnificent parks across the city, you’ll find enough fun and relaxation with its old town vibe.

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