Colorful Delights Make Autumn Prime Time for Visitors in Lancaster, Pa.

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Discover Lancaster details the many reasons for fall travel in the area, as foliage, festivals, frights, & more local color are all in store.

Jackson’s Sawmill bridge is part of the Southern Amish Countryside covered bridge driving tour in Lancaster, Pa.

Seasonal scares can be had, too, from the mild to the maniacal.

Fall is officially here, and Lancaster PA. is full to bursting with both new & classic autumn fun.

Enjoy colorful foliage? Lancaster’s on tap for a wonderful season this year, which runs primarily late September through late October, with the prime period covering the middle two weeks of October.

The area’s Covered Bridge driving tours are ideal (and likely less-populated) ways to see some of the best foliage and farmlands, while experiencing these iconic “kissing bridges” and some of the charming towns & villages found along the way. Another great way to take in the leaves is along overlooks of the Susquehanna River.

For autumn colors closer to the ground, why not visit one of Lancaster’s many pumpkin patches, such as the perfect pickings at Country Barn Farm Market? (And when they’ve given their all for the season, bring them to the annual Pumpkin Madness Festival on November 5 at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm!)

Or explore the county’s picturesque backroads with a “Spooky Scoot” or “Sunset Covered Bridges” tour from Strasburg Scooters, whose rides include the newer two-person, side-by-side Scoot Coupe.

With its deep Pennsylvania German roots, Lancaster is a great place to celebrate Oktoberfest, from more traditional settings to the Renaissance era to an old-fashioned steam train.

For something a bit less boisterous, travelers should soon be able to enjoy a smooth whiskey made onsite at the new Heritage Spirits in Lititz, slated to open in November, and now is also a great time for the tastes & vistas at fantastic wineries like Waltz Vineyards in Manheim.

Seasonal scares can be had, too, from the mild (Dutch Wonderland’s Happy Hauntings) to the maniacal (Field of Screams and Jason’s Woods).

Want a more cerebral fright? Then take part in any of several murder mystery experiences, including the inventive regular offerings at Bube’s Brewery (pro. BOOBIES) in Mount Joy – the only U.S. brewery from the 1800s that has survived intact – or gather some courage for interpretive theater based on the works of the great dark master with “Poe Evermore” at the Mount Hope Estate (11/2-13).

For a more uplifting performance, try the inspiring story of “Billy Elliott,” which opens the Fulton Theatre’s season (thru 10/16), or the useful (and timely) Plain lessons of “Josiah for President” at the Bird-in-Hand Stage (thru 11/5).

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Joel Cliff
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