5 Things to Do in Gettysburg

Planning a trip to Pennsylvania this summer? If you are, don’t forget to visit historic Gettysburg. In addition to the Battlefield sites, there is a lot more to do in this little piece of Pennsylvania. First things first – book a cabin stay at Drummer Boy Camping Resort. With 95 wooded acres and just minutes from downtown Gettysburg, it’s the perfect spot to soak up nature, history and all the reasons why more than 1 million people visit here each year. Drummer Boy has great cabin and cottage accommodations, a pool and onsite fishing opportunities, and is close to everything. Or, cozy up in a cabin at Round Top Campground, located 15 minutes from downtown Gettysburg. Once you’re settled, here are 5 things you don’t want to miss.

Gettysburg National Military Park and Museum: The site of the 1863 battle which was considered the turning point of the Civil War, the museum provides visitors with so much up-close-and-personal history from the battlefield tour to the exhibits, films, and memorabilia available through the Films, Cyclorama, and Museum Experience. Living History program tours are available weekends from June 10-12 through August 14-16. Children of Gettysburg is a new family-friendly program that provides insight as to what it was like for a child living near the battle. For details, visit gettysburgfoundation.org.

The National Apple Museum: An interesting museum where visitors can learn all about the apple and fruit tree industry in Adams County. FYI, apples are the state’s fourth largest agricultural commodity and Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest apple producing state. The museum includes an assortment of antique picking and harvesting equipment as well as farm implements and a replica of an 1880s kitchen. There is an 18-minute video, “Apples, Apples, Apples.” A summer concert series runs on Friday nights through September 2. There’s also an orchard and gift shop. For information, visit nationalapplemuseum.com.

Cabin at Drummer Boy Camping Resort
Cabin at Drummer Boy Camping Resort

Tours, Tours, and More Tours: Check the website at gettysburgghosttours.com and you’ll find a whole lot more than just ghost tours. There’s the Lincoln Tour which follows the steps of President Abraham Lincoln when he visited Gettysburg to deliver the now famous Gettysburg Address. There’s also the Craft Beer and Spirits Tour which incorporates history, ghost stories and, of course, spirits of the drinking variety. Another fun tour is the Walking Tour of the Taverns of Gettysburg which includes Civil War history, details about the Temperance societies in Gettysburg, and more unusual but true stories. A great site for tours in the area is gbltg.com.

Battle of Gettysburg Anniversary: On July 2, an all-day event to commemorate the 159th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg will be held at the historic Daniel Lady Farm. The event will feature living history activities, battle reenactments, cavalry demonstrations, and tours of the historic house and barn. Visit gbpa.org for details.

The Historic Round Barn and Farm Market: First off, one reason to visit is that this is one of the last surviving round barns in the U.S. Secondly, the fruit and veggies available here, which include apples, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes and more, are amazing. Plus, there are also baked goods to take back to camp from pies to muffins to breads, all sourced locally. And once you’ve eaten your fill and bought all you can, take a minute to just bask in the beauty of the rolling hills of the scenic Pennsylvania countryside. For information and Barn hours, visit roundbarn.farm.

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Best Photo Op Spots

Sam Abell, a photographer well-known for his amazing photos for National Geographic through the years said, “Essentially what photography is is life lit up.” Light up your life this month and get outdoors and take some amazing pics of your life’s adventures. After all, it is National Photography Month. Back in the day, excellence in photography required all kinds of gear. Now it’s simply using your ever-present smartphone to capture the people and scenery experienced during your travels. Here are a few spots to visit for some guaranteed spectacular shots.

California: The varied landscape of California makes for plenty of great photos (not to mention all kinds of outdoor fun). Consider a stay in a cabin or cottage at Russian River and head to nearby Guerneville to capture the majestic giant redwoods; or book at yurt at Yosemite Lakes and try your luck at photographing a moonbow at Yosemite Falls. Late May and early June are prime time for this opportunity and for specific times and details, check out yosemitemoonbow.com.

Florida: The Sunshine State is full of all kinds of great photo ops, from the crocodiles in the Everglades to the characters of Disney World. But one off the beaten path location that makes for great photos is Kelly Park, home to the amazing Rock Springs. Book a colorful cottage at Tropical Palms Resort in Kissimmee and spend the day photographing the natural beauty of Kelly Park/Rock Springs.

Maine: According to goxplr.com, there are at least 17 great photo opportunities in Maine’s Acadia National Park. Those include the view from atop the Park’s Cadillac Mountain, Schoodic Point, Jordan Pond, and the Park’s wild gardens. Choose your basecamp from either Mount Desert Narrows or Narrows Too, book a cozy cabin, and see if you can capture all 17. For a complete list, go to www.goxplr.com/maine/guide-to-acadia-national-park.

Photo Captured from Mount Desert Narrows Camping Resort
Photo Captured from Mount Desert Narrows Camping Resort

Oregon: May is said to be a great time to capture the rushing waters of Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. The melting snows of winter make a May visit to the falls worth the trip. Plus, the budding wildflowers are an added bonus. Book a tiny house at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village and get set to capture plenty of breathtaking images in this area, including majestic Mt. Hood of course.

Pennsylvania: Although the covered bridges found throughout Lancaster County are man-made, they still provide some pretty unique opportunities for great photos if you’re planning to spend some time in this beautiful area of Pennsylvania. With 29 covered bridges sprinkled throughout the County, there are plenty of choices. Some of the most popular include Pine Grove Covered Bridge and Zook’s Mill Covered Bridge. For a list of bridges and covered bridge tour opportunities, visit discoverlancaster.com/things-to-do/covered-bridges. A cottage or yurt rental at Circle M makes for a great stay while snapping the bridges.

Bay Landing • Bridgeport, TX
Bay Landing • Bridgeport, TX

Texas: Are you a fan of Bridgerton? If so, you might want to plan a visit for you and your camera to the Rose Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. The garden rivals anything you might see on the popular Netflix series, and you can make-believe you’re waiting for Lady Whistledown to write you into the story. Book a cabin at nearby Bay Landing and explore the gardens. The months of May and June promise plenty of blooms from the Garden’s jasmines, hydrangeas, dogwoods, and southern magnolias.

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Cheers to National Lager Day

Friends toasting with beer glasses in the brewery.

Did you know the third most widely consumed beverage in the world is beer? With water and tea being number one and two, respectively, beer comes in at number three most likely due to the fact that cultures around the world have their own version of their favorite brew. December 10 is National Lager Day so why not raise a glass of lager and toast this popular drink? If you’re planning to continue to celebrate National Lager Day well past the December date, consider these popular lagers when you’re on the road to your next outdoor adventure.

BTW – what makes a lager different from other beers, you ask? Becoming a lager is all about the bottom-fermenting technique and using younger hops, a main ingredient in beer. Also, lager yeast can withstand lower temperatures, unlike ale yeasts, and that is where it gets its name. Lager comes from the German word “lagern” which means to store and lager is in cold storage while it ages. Some examples of lagers include Corona, Budweiser, and Miller Lite. We came up with a round of lagers from some of the smaller U.S. brewers conveniently located near our great Petite Retreat accommodations.

New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, WI.

New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, Wisconsin: Check out the Two Women lager at this Wisconsin brewery in the Swiss-style village of New Glarus. This lager is aptly named because it is the result of a collaboration between two craft breweries both run by women. Book a cozy cabin or a cottage at Yukon Trails and visit New Glarus to sample Two Women as well as the other brews made here, including the pretty popular Spotted Cow. Forget about the beer that “made Milwaukee famous” – New Glarus and Yukon Trails is where it’s at!

Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches, OR.

Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Oregon: The perfect tasting trip could combine a tiny home accommodation at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village and a visit to Deschutes Brewery in nearby Bend. Deschutes has been craft brewing since 1988 and has two really great lagers in their repertoire of beer – Pacific Wonderland and Rip City Lager, whose interesting name has ties to the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team. Want to be even closer to the brewery? Try staying in a yurt or snug cabin at Bend-Sunriver.

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Pottsville, PA.

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Pottsville, Pennsylvania: Reputed to be America’s Oldest Brewery, Yuengling (pronounced ying-ling) offers a traditional amber lager that comes in in a “light” version as well for those watching their waists! Plan a stay at Appalachian RV Campground in a cozy cabin or cottage and head to Pottsville to explore Yuengling’s brewing facilities, which features hand dug caves for fermenting. It’s just about a 25-minute drive through the lovely Pennsylvania Dutch countryside from the campground.

Doghaus Brewery, Leavenworth, Washington: Proving you don’t have to be big to be good, Doghaus Brewery bills itself as a nano-craft brewery with a micro-sized taproom, but nevertheless offers the German Pointer Lager (get the dog reference?). Based on an original blue-ribbon recipe, this one is described as a helles lager, helles being German for “pale in color.” That’s it for this small brewery when it comes to lagers, but they also offer IPAs, stouts, and ales. This is a good place to visit because the Leavenworth Tiny House Village is just 30 minutes away and who wouldn’t want to enjoy some beer in this beautiful spot in the Pacific Northwest?

Leavenworth Tiny House Village in Leavenworth, WA.

If you are looking for a craft brewery near your favorite Petite Retreat, visit www.craftbeer.com for a listing of breweries across the country. Cheers!

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Rent a Cabin

On many fall bucket lists you’ll find “Rent a Cabin” as one of the list-makers because a cabin in a wooded location with the trees changing color and the crispy fall air all around is about as autumn-y as you can get. So, let’s get to it! Here are a few cabin locations to consider:

Mt. Hood Village in Welches, OR.

Mount Hood Village (OR): Mid- to late-October is prime color time in the Mt. Hood area so choose from the deluxe or standard cabin rentals at Mt. Hood Village in Welches and bask in the fall colors. The Mt. Hood Scenic Loop is a great way to see the vibrant red, gold, and orange foliage, or a hike or bike ride in the Mt. Hood National Forest will do the trick. Try fly fishing in the autumn air – plenty of outfitters in the area can set you up or point you in the right direction. Visit www.mthoodterritory.com for more information.

Seaside RV Resort (OR): How about an Oregon Coast adventure this fall? Book a cabin at Seaside and enjoy the Oregon coast. Check out the wineries, coffee roasters, and craft breweries for a sample of these neat Oregon offerings (northcoastfoodtrail.com). Walk the beaches, which are just as beautiful, but less crowded now that fall has arrived. Check out Oswald West State Park for hiking and a beautiful beach, Short Sand Beach.

Appalachian RV Resort in Shartlesville, PA.

Appalachian RV Resort (PA): Berks County, Pennsylvania, is a great place come fall with the Blue Mountains ablaze with colors and all the wonderful outdoors to be explored. Book a cabin at Appalachian and then see what’s up here. Visit the Daniel Boone Homestead in nearby Birdsboro – the grounds are open from sunrise to sunset and visitors can see the house and farm where the legendary pioneer and outdoorsman lived. There’s also the Berks County Wine Trail (berkscountywinetrail.com) and Nolde Forest State Park with its hiking and walking trails.

Natchez Trace RV Resort in Hohenwald, TN.

Natchez Trace RV Resort (TN): With a large lake perfect for fishing and pontoon rides, and trees upon trees upon trees is what makes Natchez Trace in Hohenwald perfect for a fall cabin adventure. And there are eight cabins to choose from! Take a drive on the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway or enjoy the Natchez Trace Wine Trail. Hiking opportunities could include the Meriwether Lewis Loop Trail or the Falls Hollow Falls Trails which feature a waterfall. Take and drive and explore nearby Nashville or stay at camp and fish for bass.

Yukon Trails (WI): Rent one of our great log cabins at Yukon Trails and plan on plenty of fall-filled fun in the Wisconsin Dells. Visit Ski Hi Fruit Farm for some seasonal apples and a day on the farm, which dates back to 1907.  Mirror Lake State Park is great for fall outdoor adventures including exploring the many hiking, biking, and nature trails in the park.  The deluxe log cabins sleep 6 and include a compact refrigerator, microwave, stovetop, coffeemaker, and toaster, as well as a dining booth and a covered porch.

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2020 Views

Photo from Devils Bridge Trail 40 minutes from the tiny houses at Verde Valley in AZ.

Get a new perspective in 2020 and check out these amazing views around the country.

Arizona

If you’re visiting Sedona, Arizona, Red Rock State Park provides some of the most breathtaking scenery you may ever see. Simply strolling through this rugged valley with its startling sandstone formations is a sight for the eyes, but if you choose to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, you’ll add to the magnificent spectacle. Built into the buttes of the Red Rocks, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is considered an architectural wonder.

Plan a stay at Verde Valley when exploring Red Rock State Park.

Verde Valley
Tiny house photo by @adventuresonwheels from Verde Valley in AZ.

California

Any way you slice it, Yosemite National Park is one of the most scenic spots on Earth. To get a spectacular view of the Park’s highlights, including Half Dome and Yosemite Falls, take in the scenery from Glacier Point. With a commanding elevation of 7,214 feet, this popular overlook is a great way to see all the beauty of the Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite Lakes provides a perfect base camp while visiting the Yosemite Valley and the National Park.

Maine

Thunder Hole, in Acadia National Park, is named due to the thundering sound that occurs when the waves of the Atlantic roll into the cavern on this inlet at Acadia. The water can splash as high as 40 feet! Thunder Hole also offers fabulous views of Otter Cliff and the Great Head from the safety of an observation deck.

Narrows Too in Trenton is a great place to stay for a visit to Acadia, as well as the charming town of Bar Harbor.

Narrows Too
Colorful cottages from Narrows Too in ME.

New Hampshire

Pick your favorite vista when you visit Odiorne State Park, in Rye. There are beautiful views of the woodlands, the rocky coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day you can see the Isles of Shoals, a small group of six islands, located about six miles off the coast. In addition to the views, there is also the Seacoast Science Center and the remains of Fort Dearborn, established during World War II to help protect the Portsmouth Harbor.

Tuxbury Pond Tiny House Village is a little over a half hour drive from Rye.

Pennsylvania

One of the most scenic spots in Lancaster County is Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve. Lake and river views, as well as streams, creeks, and waterfalls are just a few of the scenic details here.  The rugged terrain of the woodlands provides possible glimpses of the preserve’s wildlife inhabitants, including coyotes, fox, and deer. Several well-marked trails lead the way as you explore the amazing scenery here.

Circle M is about 22 minutes from Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve. 

Washington

Kerry Park, in Seattle, is the perfect spot to grab a panoramic view of the Emerald City. If you’ve seen such a shot in a magazine or movie, it was most likely taken from Kerry Park. There are so many pluses to visiting this location. Not only is the view of the city skyline spectacular, two bonus views include Mt. Rainier and Elliot Bay. Also, the charming neighborhood of Queen Anne provides views of 19th century homes in Upper Queen Anne, and another one of Seattle’s best locations for amazing views, the Space Needle, in Lower Queen Anne.

Seattle is a perfect day trip when you stay at Leavenworth Tiny House Village or a quick trip from Tall Chief, in Fall City.

Leavenworth Tiny House Village • Otto
Otto, the tiny house, from Leavenworth Tiny House Village