Posted: 06/16/2023

Beat the Heat in Lancaster, PA

For those days when the heat is simply too much

Summertime fun at the pool. Photo credit: Discover Lancaster / Gabe McMullen

Exploring Lancaster County is tons of fun, but on the absolute hottest summer days, you might want to find a cool place to retreat to. If you’re looking for a way to beat the heat this summer, Lancaster, PA has some great options.

Water Activities

Make a splash this summer in Lancaster! If you’re the adventurous type, consider heading to a place where you can go kayaking, canoeing, or tubing. Chiques Rock Outfitters is a great place to start, as they’re conveniently located on the Susquehanna River and offer equipment for you to rent if you don’t have your own. Or, book your trip on tranquil waters with kayakLanCo, one of the only outfitters to provide kayaking at Speedwell. This private excursion is a a unique opportunity for people of all ages to adventure and get active!

River Discovery Boat Tours are back for the 2023 season at The Susquehanna National Heritage Area! Sit aboard a historic electric-powered vessel that was built in 1912. Experience the joy of being on the water, hear stories of the river, and view scenic landscapes and abundant wildlife aboard this elegant treasure from the past!Beginning this June through mid-October, The Susquehanna National Heritage Area is offering tours where you can experience the joy of being on the water and experience what it is like to be aboard an elegant treasure from the past. They even offer sunset cruises, perfect for a date night! Advance reservations are recommended.

Things to do by the river

If you’re aiming for more of a kid-friendly setting, you might want to check out Duke’s Lagoon Water Playground at Dutch Wonderland, which is great for kids age 12 and under. Alternatively, if the whole family wants to have fun in a water park-type setting, you could venture over to HersheyPark to swim and ride on the slides at The Boardwalk, an 11-acre water park within HersheyPark that has over 16 attractions. Don’t miss two of their coolest waterslides: Breakers Edge, a hydromagnetic coaster with flying saucer turns, and Whitecap Racer, which includes six lanes of the longest mat racing slide in the world.

Perhaps, you would prefer to spend a chill day lounging at the pool. There are a few public pools scattered around Lancaster County to jump in, like Nickel Mines Pool in Paradise, PA, Lititz Springs Pool in Lititz, PA, or Skyline Pool in Lancaster, PA.

For all the lake-lovers, Mount Gretna Lake & Beach is the perfect spot to spend the day. Pack a picnic, lay out a beach towel on the sandy beach, and paddle out to the rope swing you can jump off of in the middle of the lake. Other amenities include tube, canoe, and kayak rentals, in addition to a snack bar and diving platforms. The area is nice and secluded amongst the trees, while still feeling like a hot summer hub for people of all ages. While there, be sure to stop by the Jigger Shop for an ice cold scoop of creamy, delicious ice cream!

The Jigger Shop is a part of the Lancaster County Ice Cream Trail! So, be sure to download the FREE app to save with a special discount, earn points and redeem them for unique prizes!

Stay at a Hotel with a Pool

Indoor Activities

If you prefer to stay in the AC when it’s hot outside, no worries! There are a variety of great museums all over Lancaster that provide an exciting educational experience. Whether you enjoy art, history, transportation, or getting hands-on, there’s a museum that suits your interests.

You can also check out fun indoor attractions like Go 'N Bananas, Laserdome, Turkey Hill Experience, Lancaster Science Factory, and more!

Feel the wind on your face in an open-air car at the Strasburg Rail Road, or book a scenic ride aboard of their air conditioned first class cars. We recommend you reserve your seat in advance for your 45-minute train ride to Paradise, PA. In Lancaster, you can also zoom around the countryside in a 50cc scooter with Strasburg Scooter Tours. This is the perfect way to beat the heat while still feeling the warm sunshine on your skin.

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