This rapidly growing bedroom community has served as home for four generations of my family on the maternal side, all born and raised in this lovely town. So, I feel more than qualified to share some of the history and some of my all-time Palmyra favorites with you.
An important part of Lebanon Valley heritage occurred in Palmyra starting with the Seltzer’s Bologna Company. The care they use to curate this flavorful all-beef smoked sausage makes it stand above and beyond all other bologna products. (In case you hadn’t noticed, we take our Lebanon Bologna very seriously here; this isn’t the pink stuff. There is even a giant Lebanon Bologna drop on New Year’s Eve in downtown Lebanon.) Lebanon Bologna is finished in smokehouses just like they have done for over 120 years. It comes in sweet or regular, I like the sweet but I also really like the new Sweet Chipotle version. One very telling way to get to know a person is how they eat their Lebanon Bologna? My favorite way is with to eat Lebanon Bologna is with an egg and cheese on an onion bagel; so good! This savory Lebanon favorite is a must have for any well-dressed charcuterie board! You can pick some up at any deli or visit Black Swan Antiquities for a selection of Seltzer’s products.
If I had a free day to spend in Palmyra, I would start out with breakfast at either 3J’s Coffee (extensive Gluten free options and great coffee) or the Filling Station (an old school style diner with great food; try the grilled sticky bun or take home one of their donuts before they are gone.)
Next, I would enjoy some shopping fun! If you are up for a treasure hunt, you must go to Black Swan Antiquities and Schoolhouse Antiques, two unique antique shops, less than 1 mile from each other. You never know what you will find, which is part of the game. If you need a gift, try visiting the Old Forge Gift Shop.
After spending several hours digging through knick-knacks and vintage décor, it is time to eat again? When in Palmyra, lunch must be at Lisa’s Café, where her homemade soups are simply the best! But if you need more, try the cheesesteak stromboli, it never disappoints.
Next, it’s time to exercise and enjoy some family fun at the same time. Head to Palmyra Bowling, a staple, I still love to glow bowl, or head to the FlightPath Sports Park which is a fantastic addition to the south side of town with In the Net soccer and ball fields, the Klick Lewis Ice Arena for skating, or big fun with Lazer Factory. For a quiet respite, the Palmyra Public Library is tucked in this park. Or you could do what I did every summer and play some tennis on the High School courts and then enjoy the Palmyra Community Pool.
When you are ready for dinner, consider two of my personal favorites, Lazzaro’s Italian Bistro (try the eggplant or veal parmesan and BYOB wine) or Babe’s Grill House (with an organic, thoughtful menu, a busy smoker and they make a mean Cosmo).
When the evening rolls around, it’s a quiet town, but you can opt for some local music at a pub or check out a movie in the reclining seats at Flagship Cinemas. If you are looking for a much simpler activity, do what I love and just enjoy the sunset over Smith’s Dairy farm (with a cocktail – because its my back yard.)
This is where Lebanon Lilly, our cow mascot was born, at Dave Smith’s Dairy Farm in Palmyra. She is the little cow with a thirst for adventure. See how her excursions take her all over the Lebanon Valley in her own children’s book, “The Adventures of Lebanon Lilly”, available at Visit Lebanon Valley or any Lebanon County Public Library.
Agriculture is the #1 industry in the Lebanon Valley. We respect our farmers for the work they do to provide us the quality produce, meat, and dairy that we enjoy every day. I leave you with this little saying that we were taught as children…
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man (or woman) healthy, wealthy and wise.”
This motto speaks to a good work ethic, and healthy habits throughout life. So, if you want to be wise, you will heed it too; after a long day in Palmyra, go to bed! It all leads to living a healthy life in the Lebanon Valley.
About the Blogger
Jennifer Kuzo, President, Visit Lebanon Valley, is a long-time local of Palmyra! She loves exploring the Lebanon Valley and promoting all that it has to offer.