Road trips are not my favorite thing. In my mind, vacation starts once we arrive at our destination. This year for spring break the kids and I headed “home” to Newfane, NY for the week. The drive is one that we have done lots of times over the years. We have developed a list our favorite stops….and not a chain restaurant or store is included!
Our route takes us from Virginia, through West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and finally arriving in New York. We were able to make it to West Virginia before we needed our first rest stop. We have a method to our rest stops. One person walks the dogs while the others head to the bathrooms. First person out switches with the dog walker. Dave denies it but I have seen him check the time. Goal: 5 minutes. Since Dave wasn’t with us we took time for a picture. You will have to excuse the clothes – we left the house before 6am!
Route 15 (between Port Treverton and Williamsport) in Pennsylvania holds our favorite places to stop. Heading north we arrive first at Weaver’s Farm Market. This is a wonderful Amish store with a bake shop next door. We have been known to purchase gifts and veggies at the store but we ALWAYS get things at the bake shop! Just step inside and smell the fresh baked breads and cookies. The Amish women are busy shaping the cookies and the ovens are all huge and run on propane because this is truly an authentic Amish bake shop. We always get cinnamon-raisin bread (only $2.25 a loaf) and honey wheat bread ($2.00). The cookies are delicious and we usually grab a bag of one of our favorites. Today they had a plate of assorted whoopee pies. Who could resist this???
A few miles up the road is Hilsher’s General Store. This store is run by Mennonites and boasts an inventory like none you have ever seen before. Hardware store, grocery store, gift shop, men’s clothing and diner all rolled into one!! How fun is it to be able to look at a wide selection of Amish hats & suspenders while picking up lunch. Lunch (or dinner) is why this place is a must for our family. There is a deli that also has homemade, hot food. We can choose what combination we want and it is priced per pound. Such delicious food and you can get a huge portion for the price of a meal at a fast food joint. Take a look at Clare’s lunch!!! Parking lot for cars is in the front….horse and buggies are out back!
Since Easter is just around the corner we had to visit Purity Candy to pick up some of the best handmade chocolates around. There are all different kinds of chocolates in all shapes and sizes….including this 75 pound bunny. My mom gets a milk chocolate horse, Sean has a computer while Dave gets a power saw. So much fun to look at everything….and to try the samples at the register.
There is one more place that the boys are particularly fond of. Bylery’s Meats! We didn’t stop there today but we will next weekend on our way back to Virginia. The reason the boys’ love it so much is their beef jerky. I am not usually a fan of the stuff that is in the grocery stores but this stuff is incredible. This isn’t just a butcher shop, it is also the farm where the meat is raised. They make their own special sausages, bacon and many other great things for the carnivore in your life.
Shop local doesn’t have be something that you do at home. Finding these small, family owned stores have been a highlight on our trips. Search out the special places on your next road trip….skip McDonald’s!