This trip was hosted by Visit Hershey & Harrisburg who helped us plan a fantastic itinerary and covered most of the cost of this trip.
If you’re looking for ideas for a girls getaway or the best places for a girls trip, you might not have to look too far. And you certainly don’t have to head to a booming metropolis. In fact, the recipe for a great girls trip usually involves a few key things: some drama-free women (they don’t all have to know each other either; this is a great time to introduce your friends to each other if you’re the planner), an accessible location, good food, and, more than likely, some good wine.
This was my scenario when I was putting together a Girls Weekend to Harrisburg and Hershey. I invited my friends and fellow travel writers Susan, Shannon, Anne, and Lindsay. They all lived within driving distance of Harrisburg and Hershey (in fact, we gathered from Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for this trip) and they didn’t all know each other. But we had a great itinerary planned that involved plenty of phenomenal food in the Harrisburg and Hershey area. The only thing left was some good wine.
We, of course, planned to have drinks with dinner each night but we all share a love of wine. So why not make a day of it? California has its wine train. We thought we could do the same, only without the train.
To start our day of visiting wineries near Harrisburg and Hershey, we had only a few requirements.
Start with coffee, end with wine.
And NO DRIVING.
The Best Way to Tour Wineries in Harrisburg and Hershey
As you can tell, we definitely traveled in style for our winery day. At first, we were going to be chauffeured in a limousine. And then in a van. And somehow we ended up with what we called THE PARTY BUS!
Unique Limousine, which provides award-winning luxury ground transportation in the mid-Atlantic, picked us up in a what they call a Large Sprinter Limousine which can accommodate up to 14 people. Or 5 of us and our coats, purses, and bottles of wine that we ended up purchasing throughout the day.
We started off innocently enough like this. Subdued lighting, bright faces, coffees in hand!
After our last stop, we truly transformed the shuttle into a party bus by turning down the overhead lights, turning up the party lights, and cranking out some 80s tunes.
Now let me share all of the stops that put us in such a festive mood.
5790 Devonshire Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112
Technically, we didn’t visit Spring Gate on our wine day. It’s where we met the night before to kick off our girls weekend. Since we were all driving from different states and arriving at different times, we all took an Uber from our hotel in downtown Harrisburg and met up for a few glasses of their wine.
Although the wine was a little sweet for my taste, the setting was perfect for our weekend kickoff. We sat out on the patio under the heat lamps but I imagine it’s an even more beautiful location in the warmer weather.
598 Schoolhouse Road, Middletown, PA 17057
Our first stop of the day was an 11am appointment at a winery and brewery outside of Hershey. Since the brewery wasn’t operating, we stuck strictly to wine with very few complaints.
The wine tasting room offered six samples of wines from their broad menu. What’s great is that we all have different wine tastes and we all found wines that we loved. I typically gravitate towards dry white wines but ended up purchasing a red (Chambourcin) and a sweet (Blackberry Portrait)!
And we remembered that every great girls weekend must be documented so we stopped for the first of many group pictures!
1489 Grandview Road, Mount Joy, PA 17552
If you’re looking for a winery with a view, this is the place to come. Although the weather was drizzly at this point, we quickly figured out why it was named Grandview.
This was also one of the few places that gave us a bit of a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the winemaking. We had a tour of the types of barrels used to age many of their wines. I ended up taking home a bottle of their dessert wine called Cherry Jack – a concentrated cherry wine aged in Jack Daniels barrels.
200 East Hershey Park Drive, Hershey
For our next wine tasting, we had… BEER! I love that my lady friends do not discriminate. We can sample beer just as well as we can sample wine! And Troegs, a Hershey institution in modern times, was the perfect spot to cleanse our wine palates and savor small plates and beer samples.
There’s no science behind this but I did happen to observe that my friends that enjoy sweet wines actually enjoy dark beers. And I, with my taste for dry wines, actually like fruity beers. Hmmmmmm.
We did take a quick self-guided tour through the brewery and check out their art gallery (fan art!) and gift shop before taking our requisite photo and heading to the next stop.
Cassel Vineyards of Hershey
80 Shetland Dr, Hummelstown, PA 17036
After wine, wine, and beer, were we ready for more sampling? Absolutely. But our afternoon was a little more low key.
Close to Hershey is a small tasting room for Cassel Vineyards. We came and sampled but my favorite from this location was the mulled wine. Since the weather was cool and damp, we loved sampling the specialty wine drinks just as much as the signature wines.
621 Hershey Rd, Hummelstown, PA 17036
Literally right down the road from Cassel, we wandered into CrossWinds Winery where we were served by Ed, one of the owners.
He chatted with us about his love of aviation (hence the name CrossWinds) and was not only passionate about his wines but was even thoughtful enough to have gluten-free pretzels. After serving us samples of his wine, we served him with a few social media lessons and encouraged him to get his fantastic photography onto the internet!
And then what happened?
While we were more than happy to have a driver, none of us was intoxicated by the end of the day. The pacing was perfect for us all relax our way into the weekend, get to know each other a little better, and go home with a few souvenirs from the trip.
If you’re looking for ideas for the perfect girls weekend, the wineries in and around Hershey and Harrisburg will surprise you! And at the end of the day, there are plenty of fabulous restaurants nearby to keep the festivities going!