Summertime Bucket List


A trip to the Lebanon Valley is a good idea at any time of the year, but we’d be lying if we didn’t agree that there is just something special about summertime in the Valley. From the annual Lebanon Area Fair to outdoor dining under the trees in Mt. Gretna, we’ve compiled a list of our top picks in the Lebanon Valley this summer. So, whether you’re three hours down the turnpike or a few minutes down the road, be sure to check out these places and events around the Lebanon Valley this summer!

Outdoor Dining

When it comes to outdoor dining, the Lebanon Valley has no shortage of options. Dine under a 250+ year old Catalpa tree at the Quentin Tavern or enjoy a bite while you watch the sun set at the Blue Bird Inn. Want a place to grab a drink with friends in the summer air? Head over to a local restaurants like The Hideaway in Mt. Gretna (pictured right) or The Rising Sun in Campbelltown. No matter which you choose, the Lebanon Valley is sure to bring the best of food, brews, and outdoor views this summer.

Where: Multiple Locations

Photo credit: Michael Choate

Mt. Gretna Playhouse

Take a moment to sit back, relax, and enjoy the best of music and theatre in the Lebanon Valley at the Mt. Gretna Playhouse. Since 1892, the Playhouse has been host to countless live performances including those by Grammy Award winning musicians and Broadway stars alike. Home of both Gretna Music and Gretna Theatre, this historic, open-air auditorium continues its legacy of sharing the arts in “casual elegance” each and every summer.

Where: 200 Pennsylvania Ave, Mount Gretna, PA

Historic Schaefferstown

History comes to life at Historic Schaefferstown. With a full schedule of events and activities throughout the summer, you’re guaranteed to find something for everyone. Don’t miss the Traditional Cherry Fair & Early American Craft Show on June 24th, relax among the flowers during their Afternoon Garden Tea on July 9th, and even enroll the kids in the Young Villagers Colonial Workshop, a four-day program where kids learn about Early American Life through educational demonstrations, crafts, cooking and more! Visit the Gemberling-Rex House or Thomas R. Brendle Museum, great alternatives in the event of a rainy day. Book tours and view a full calendar of events on their website:

Where: 111 S Market St, Schaefferstown, PA

Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach

Did you know that there is a beach in Lebanon County? Okay, maybe it’s not the ocean, but a relaxing day on the sandy shore of Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach is an experience like no other. Jump from the high dive, launch off the one-of-a-kind swing, or simply enjoy the view with your feet in the sand, no matter what you choose, the lake is a sure way to enjoy the summer sun. Open every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day, this hidden gem is a unique step back in time that can only be found in the Lebanon Valley.

Where: 130 Lakeview Drive, Mt Gretna, PA 17064

Lebanon Area Fair

Next on our summer bucket list is none other than the annual Lebanon Area Fair. Established in 1957, the Lebanon Area Fair has long been a summer highlight in the Valley and for good reason. Boasting a full week of delicious food, live entertainment, carnival rides, track events, and so much more, it’s no wonder over 50,000 fairgoers flock to the event each summer. Join us at the fair this year from July 22nd to the 29th for what area residents have voted as the Lebanon Valley’s Best Local Event! Plus, pick up a free slice of a 150ft Sandwich in the North Hall when we create the World’s Largest Lebanon Bologna Sandwich on July 25th!

Where: Lebanon Area Fair, 80 Rocherty Road, Lebanon, PA 17042


Looking for a place to get beautiful flowers and fresh fruit? Well, we’ve got your “pick” here in the Lebanon Valley. Get your hands dirty with pick-your-own fruit at Risser Marvel Farm Market and Honey Bear Orchards. Explore the family farm and pick some flowers along the way at Royal Oaks Farm (pictured right). Whether you have a wedding on the horizon, some crazy kiddos to entertain, or you just need a little something sweet to brighten your day, the Lebanon Valley has what you need with flower and berry picking across the county!

Where: Multiple Locations

Mt. Gretna Outdoor Art Show

For nearly 50 years, the Mt. Gretna Outdoor Art Show has been displaying award-winning fine art and craft from around the country under the trees of Old Chautauqua. Occuring August 19th and 20th, the show features over 200 exhibitors, emerging artists, a kids art show, as well as gourmet food, music and entertainment, the art show is a staple for summer in the Lebanon Valley.

Where: 101 Chautauqua Drive, Mount Gretna, PA

2023 Photo Contest

The Valley is full of countless opportunities for a good photo op! Enter your photos into our annual photo contest, running from June 26 – July 31, into this years 5 categories: Arts & Entertainment, Outdoor Dining, Family Fun, Outdoor Recreation, and Events.

Do you have a favorite place in Lebanon County to watch the sunset? Maybe you have a favorite event or favorite spot to enjoy dining outside? We want to see it all!

Visit our photo contest page to view last years winners and get some inspiration!


Learn More & Submit Your Photos


Cool off this summer in the many waterways around the Lebanon Valley. From a stroll along Quttie Creek in the Quittapahilla Creek Nature Park to a day spent on the water at Memorial Lake, Lebanon County is full of streams and channels… and we’re not talking about the ones on your TV! Rent a kayak at Middle Creek Lake, take the kids on a tubing adventure down the Swatara Creek, or cast a line at Stoever’s Dam Park. Whatever your speed, there’s something for everyone along the waterways of the Lebanon Valley.

Where: Multiple Locations

Ice Cream

There’s no better way to end a hot summer day than with a delicious scoop of ice cream. From Jonestown to Mt. Gretna, Palmyra to Myerstown, and everywhere in between, the Lebanon Valley knows how to go a la mode. For farm fresh, homemade ice cream head over to Patches Family Creamery in Lebanon. For the lactose-free folks, try a snowball at Rainbow Snow and Ice Cream in Palmyra. And for a frozen treat after a day at the lake, check out The Jigger Shop, located right across the water from Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach.

Where: Multiple Locations


Visit our Event Calendar for a full list of events happening in The Valley!

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