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Tourism

“A simple kind of life never did me no harm …”

Likely as you read this quote the John Denver song came to mind. We really hope that to be true particularly if you’re an English teacher or grammar expert. But, the idea here in the Greater Susquehanna Valley is that life comes at you a little slower and full of “country charm.”

There is something for everyone to enjoy while exploring the Greater Susquehanna Valley. The region is home to a collection of attractions that includes historic sites and museums, sports teams, wildlife organizations and wineries.

Visitors are invited to discover the Valley’s vibrant past through several unique house museums. The Dale/Engle/Walker House was associated with the Underground Railroad, while the Priestly House Museum served as the home of innovative British scientist Joseph Priestly, who is said to have made the groundbreaking discovery of oxygen. Other sites to see include the Packwood House Museum, the Slifer House Museum and the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum, which offers a peek into a restored buggy factory and repository.

Looking for something interactive for the kids and family to enjoy? Plan a stop at the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum, Knoebels Amusement Resort, Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park, Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland or T&D’s Cats of the World. Families also enjoy taking a river cruise on the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat.

Fans of the National Pastime pack the seats at historic Bowman Field to cheer on the home team, Williamsport Crosscutters – a Class A short season affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Williamsport, the birthplace of organized little league play, hosts the Little League World Series each year, as well as the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum. In addition, Sunbury is the proud site of the Amateur Softball Association of Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.

The Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail adds to the region’s outstanding list of attractions. Enjoy free daily tastings and a multitude of events at notable wineries, such as Shade Mountain Vineyards; which is owned and operated by the Zimmerman family. Shade Mountain encompasses over 68 acres of vineyards featuring 40 grape varieties. They produce 30,000 gallons of wine annually – resulting in over 30 different varieties. Visit their website at www.shademountainwinery.com. For a family outing, visit Dries Orchards a 200-acre orchard, which grows apples, pears, peaches, grapes, nectarines, cherries and raspberries. Stop in for a custom-made gift basket featuring fresh fruits, preserves, syrup and more. Find more information on Dries Orchards at www.driesorchards.com.

The Greater Susquehanna Valley is home to four state parks – Sand Bridge, R.B. Winter (within the Bald Eagle State Forest), Milton and Shikellamy – as well as lakes, trails and, of course, the Susquehanna River. Together, these sites offer year-round opportunities to enjoy everything from hiking, biking and camping to boating, canoeing, fishing and spotting wildlife.

In addition to these outdoor attractions are numerous community-based recreational resources, including the Middlecreek Area Community Center, the Danville Area Community Center, the Lewisburg Recreation Authority and the Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA. These local assets provide quality facilities, including swimming pools, fitness centers and gymnasiums, as well as a year-round calendar of activities for people of all ages. The Valley is also equipped with several well-maintained golf courses, available at Indian Hills Golf & Tennis Club in Paxinos, Bucknell Golf Club in Lewisburg and the Susquehanna Valley Country Club in Hummels Wharf.

Spending the night, weekend or longer is a must for those who want to experience all the Greater Susquehanna Valley has to offer. Comfortable accommodations are supplied through more than 20 hotels and motels in the region, many of which are furnished with complimentary Internet access, on-site pools, fitness centers and various in-room amenities. Quieter quarters are available at one of the region’s multitude of bed & breakfast inns or the dozens of private cottages and farmhouses that offer a unique spin on lodging in the countryside. Visitors also have the option of staying at any number of campgrounds and RV parks in the Valley.

For detailed information on area attractions and accommodations, visit the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau’s website at www.visitcentralpa.org.

The region is also full of arts and entertainment, featuring the historic Campus Theatre in downtown Lewisburg and two state-designated Artisan Trails; “Art Thrives on Route 45” and the “Route 15 Byway of the Arts.” The trails wind through several Valley communities, bringing travelers in touch with a collection of quaint shops, art galleries, lodging, museums, historic sites and the charming scenery of Central Pennsylvania.

Numerous performing arts organizations provide an assortment of entertainment throughout the region. The Community Arts Center in Williamsport hosts music, dance, theater and other special events, as well as the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University. For more information on these venues, visit www.caclive.com and www.bucknell.edu/x12427.xml.

Annual events and festivals further showcase the culture, traditions and history of the Greater Susquehanna Valley. Don’t miss out on the following events happening throughout the Valley: the Iron Heritage Festival in Danville, the Selinsgrove Market Street Festival, the Sunbury River Festival, the Milton Harvest Festival, the R.B. Winter State Park Snowfest, the Christkindl Market in Mifflinburg, the Lewisburg Ice Fest, as well as local concerts in the parks, holiday festivities, parades and more. Find a complete list of up-to-date events on the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau’s website, www.visitcentralpa.org and the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau’s website, www.itourcolumbiamontour.com.

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