Cumberland Valley is a hidden gem for those seeking fresh-picked adventures. Whether you have a few hours or a whole weekend, dive into seasonal local flavors and bask in the natural beauty of our vibrant region. To help make the most of your time, we've curated a list of select activities for a journey through Cumberland Valley that promises an abundance of fresh-picked fun and unforgettable experiences.
And, if you're hungry for more, check out our complete list of farm attractions.
Option 1: Mechanicsburg U-Pick Locations
Kickstart your fresh-picked weekend at Paulus Farm Market, a local favorite. From late June/early July and lasting through the first frost, you pick an enchanting bouquet of flowers at an unbeatable price. As autumn rolls in, venture into the pumpkin field to find the perfect gourd. While here, stock up on locally sourced seasonal produce and all-natural farm-raised beef. Paulus Farm Market isn't just for adults; it's a kid-friendly destination, too. During warm weather, children can frolic on a wooden tractor and wagon, interact with barnyard animals, and swing on a horse tire. In the fall, there's a mini-straw maze, corn and soybean boxes, and a slide-and-climb area.
Continue your fresh-picked adventure at nearby Oak Grove Farms, a family-owned treasure trove of homegrown delights. You can handpick strawberries, raspberries, and sugar peas in season. Enjoy a pick-your-own pumpkin patch in the fall. Other delights include a seasonal ice cream counter with hand-dipped and soft-serve options, 50 varieties of homemade jams and jellies, flowers, bedding plants, and home-baked goodies.
Option 2: Lemoyne's West Shore Farmers Market
Alternatively, start your day at the West Shore Farmers Market in Lemoyne. This 60,000 sq. ft. farmer's market is a culinary haven. On the first floor, you'll find gourmet coffee, fresh produce, meats, cheeses, seafood, ready-to-eat meals, desserts, and treats for your furry friends. Venture upstairs, and you'll discover specialty stores offering everything from baby clothes to home décor and designer jeans. You could easily spend the entire morning shopping and indulging in delectable treats here. (TIP: Open limited hours.)
Option 1: Gourds & Fresh Produce in Carlisle
After a morning in Mechanicsburg or Lemoyne, set your sights on Carlisle, home to Meadowbrooke Gourds, the country's largest gourd-crafting company. This working farm offers an in-depth look at the gourd-making process, from seed to stunning work of art. (TIP: Free tours take place on Tuesdays at 2 pm. No reservations required.) Choose a unique piece to adorn your home, or sign up for one of their create-your-own gourd events.
If your visit falls on a Wednesday, make your way to Hanover & High Streets in downtown Carlisle for Farmers on the Square, a year-round market featuring more than 20 vendors within a 50-mile radius of Carlisle. Pick up fresh-baked bread, artisan cheese, local hard ciders, seasonal produce, fresh flowers (in season), and more.
Option 2: More Fun in Mechanicsburg
Continue exploring Mechanicsburg with a visit to Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses. This horticultural complex features greenhouses, a garden center, a gift and floral area, a farm bakery, a produce department, display gardens, and much more. Plan ahead and attend one of their informative classes or children's programs.
In nearby Dillsburg, Mt. Airy Orchards offers a farm stand brimming with fresh produce and baked goods, honey, maple products, and u-pick options. The PlayLand area promises family fun in the summer and fall with over 20 attractions, including pedal karts, swings, and tube slides. Pick-your-own berries run all summer, and you can pick apples & pumpkins in the fall.
Make it a Weekend
Option 1: Family-Fun Spots
If you are traveling with the kids, extend your agricultural adventure with a stop at Bent Pine Alpaca Farm in Mechanicsburg. Learn about these beautiful animals and shop for unique alpaca fashions at this working farm. (TIP: Open Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm, but you can schedule appointments at other times.)
A biking or walking excursion along the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail is a must for outdoorsy families. This relaxing trail from Newville to Shippensburg features informative signage that delves into the area's agricultural and Civil War history, providing a fascinating backdrop to your journey. As a bonus, stop by the Cumberland Valley Railroad Museum and the Conrail Museum, both located in renovated box cars at the Shippensburg Station trailhead.
Option 2: Nearby Farm Wineries
If your weekend is adults-only, consider extending your trip to the wineries in and around Cumberland Valley. The Winery at the Long Shot Farm and Totem Pole Ranch & Winery both grow, process, and bottle their grapes onsite. SpringGate Arcona in Mechanicsburg offers an extensive menu of red and white wines and hard ciders produced at their vineyard in nearby Hershey.
Seasonal Markets & Events
For those craving even more fresh-picked fun, check our online calendar for more seasonal markets and unique agricultural events, adding zest to your Cumberland Valley adventure.