9/27/2022 Kim O'Brien

Top 5 Fall Activities When Visiting F&M

Are you exploring Franklin & Marshall College for the first time this fall? With its towering oak trees and brick-lined pathways, it’s hard to beat a crisp fall day at F&M.

To make the most of your visit, browse the list below for ideas to fill a one-day visit to Lancaster (or longer). 

Before you go: Campus tours are by appointment only. They are currently offered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m, and Thursday at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. On-campus info sessions are held Monday at 10 a.m. and Friday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (with occasional exceptions). Register for tours and info sessions here.

For virtual tours and info sessions, see current virtual offerings. 

  • Pumpkins such as this one, sporting the hash tag #truebluefandm, abound on a brisk Saturday in autumn, perfect football weather. Image Credit: Melissa Hess

1. Pick Your Own Produce (and Pumpkins!)

Lancaster County is home to dozens of orchards and roadside stands. Spend an afternoon picking your own apples, peaches, pumpkins and more. Cherry Hill Orchards is a six-mile drive from campus. 

If you prefer a more scenic route, explore hidden gems nestled among Lancaster County’s bountiful farmland. Find roadside stands to purchase Amish-made jams, jellies, flowers, baked goods and more. (Insider tip: Bring cash, as many stands do not accept credit cards.)  

  • Spalding Conservancy Image Credit: Eric Forberger

2. Find the Best Foliage 

Short on time? You can catch a glimpse of nature’s beauty right on campus! Just one mile from F&M, the 50-acre Spalding Conservancy has been used in F&M coursework and research since the 1980s. This urban conservancy serves as a natural laboratory for students and local environmental groups. View Google map.

Want to get off campus? Lancaster County Central Park is just four miles away from F&M, offering 544 acres for hiking, biking and horseback riding. View the Central Park Trail Guide. 

For hikes just outside the city, view the Lancaster Conservancy list of hiking spots.  

  • covered bridge photo Image Credit: Gary Yost (Unsplash)
  • Salina Almanzar ’13, photography technician at F&M, was hired to paint a mural in a Lancaster neighborhood. Image Credit: Dave Parry

3. Take a Driving Tour

Lancaster County is home to more than 25 covered bridges – each with a story to tell. Take a driving tour of covered bridges. Many of these architectural beauties are adjacent to quaint  towns and villages lined with restaurants, shops, galleries and attractions.  

If you’re more inclined to modern art, spend the weekend searching for Lancaster Public Art installations (several of which are created by F&M alumni and staff artists). For an Instagram-worthy backdrop, view a map of Lancaster murals in the city and surrounding county.  

  • F&M students enjoy a visit to Lancaster Central Market. Image Credit: Deb Grove

4. Enjoy Farm-to-Table Dining

When it comes to locally sourced meals, Lancaster is hard to beat. For the best farm-to-table cuisine, check out this local list

The county is also home to many farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, and much more. Our students love venturing to Central Market, the oldest continuously operated farmers market in the country. Make your way to Market for fresh produce, meats, sweets and more on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

  • Shadek stadium Image Credit: Office of Communications
  • Alumna Mandy Berman ’09 gave a reading and hosted a craft talk at the Emerging Writers Festival (EWF) in 2018. For the third year in a row, an F&M graduate will be among the attendees of the EWF. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Nancy Macko: The Fragile Bee SP/22 Image Credit: PHILLIPS MUSEUM OF ART
  • Students convene outside at F&M campus in fall Image Credit: Deb Grove

5. Explore F&M

With the fall semester in full swing, there’s plenty to see on campus, too. Cheer on the Diplomat sports teams, visit the Phillips Museum of Art, catch author craft talks, book signings and open mic nights at The Writers House, and more. 

Find the full suite of campus events.

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