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Gardens in Hershey, Mechanicsburg highlight new PA Tourism road trip

Hershey Gardens and two gardens in Mechanicsburg have been chosen to highlight southcentral Pennsylvania in a new road trip announced today by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office.

Best Buds: A Garden Trail,” a self-guided road trip released to coincide with the 2021 Philadelphia Flower Show, describes Hershey Gardens as “23 acres of floral splendor, complete with a hands-on children’s garden, conservatory, butterfly atrium, and a bug zone featuring fascinating insects from around the world.”

Liberty Forge Arboretum in Mechanicsburg, which is on a golf course, is a member of the American Public Gardens Association. It has more than 100 acres of breathtaking views, from pristine gardens to impressive collections of trees and plants native to the commonwealth.

Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses, also in Mechanicsburg, features a fully stocked greenhouse and nursery brimming with flowers, vegetable plants, herbs, houseplants, trees, and shrubs, as well as the tools of the trade. But it makes the list for another reason too: its onsite bakery.

“Follow the aroma of fresh baked cookies, whoopee pies, breads, muffins, and other tasty treats to reach this highly popular gardening destination,” Best Buds advises.

The entire garden trail, with 21 garden or arboretum stops, runs from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, visiting a selection of award-winning grounds and greenery, with detours along the way.

Also in the list and close by for families in the midstate is the Arboretum at Penn State Mont Alto, in Franklin County. Visitors will find more than 1,000 trees representing close to 175 different species that have been gathered and planted over the past 115-plus years.

One of the tallest trees is a large Northern Red Oak, native to Pennsylvania.