Themed road trips to explore throughout the Mid-Atlantic this fall

Produce stands line the country roads of southeastern Pennsylvania, where horse-drawn wagons and their emissions suggest you’re in Amish country. In the city, centuries-old farmers’ markets offer a communal sensory feast. The oldest is Lancaster three days a week Central Markethas been going strong since 1730. Among other foods and crafts, vendors offer cured meats in the best German-influenced Pennsylvania traditions, including S. Clyde Weaverfamily run since 1920. In Long Standing horseradish, you can watch him grind the humble root into a pungent flavour.

If you miss market days, get bologna in
Stoltzfus meat, a popular market and café in the town of Entrecourse, 10 miles east of Lancaster. Its aisles are filled with shiny boxes of meats, cheeses, baked goods, snacks and condiments. Nearby, the farming community of Ronks offers a glimpse into the “normal” lifestyle with farm tours, petting zoos, quilt shops, and — if the timing is right — homemade root beer tastings. We arrived too late to sample the “minty, spicy and not-too-sweet” drink. Ancient heritage. A handwritten road sign promised Cold, home-made root beer, but all we saw at the end of the farm driveway was what looked like a late afternoon meeting of buggy owners. (The place is closed on Sundays and “all Christian holidays.”)

But the Dutch country isn’t just the province of smoked ham and sweet bologna. Here chocolate lovers will find two cocoa capitals: Hershey And Lititz, about 40 and 20 minutes’ drive from Lancaster, respectively. The latter is home to Wilbur Chocolate Company And the beloved Wilbur Buds, coated chocolate bars that look a lot like (but predate) their sweet cousins, Hershey’s Kisses. When we were last in Lititz, this century-old factory was still operating, on a Willy Wonkaesque system, but it’s now closed, replaced by a renovated version housing the upscale Hilton hotel, residential apartments, and retail space. Fear not, Wilbur fans: Buds and other products are available at the company store across the street.

If you want a multi-sensory Wonka treat, visit
Hershey’s Chocolate World, the full family attraction for the legendary candy maker that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To celebrate the occasion, The Hershey Company has added another feature to the already popular transportation ride with a chocolate-making process and candy bar-making experience. The Great Candy Expedition, a train-themed cinematic adventure, allows visitors to explore Reese’s Ridge, Jolly Rancher Junction and other candy lands of their choice.

Another interesting route passes through the Pennsylvania Dutch country. “Pickled: a fermented trail”It celebrates local brews, wine, kombucha, kimchi, and yes, pickles. We sampled the spicy Korean side dish at Kimchi girllocal seller in
New market in Hershey Town Square, a modern farmers market located in what was once a meat processing facility. Their three tingling blends—Napa cabbage, cucumber, and Korean radish—are derived from family recipes.

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