From pools to beaches, the Lancaster area provides plenty of chances to cool off. While nothing beats the simple joy or convenience of hitting up the resort pools with a drink in hand, there are also a few excellent places to visit when you want to swim offsite. Fishing, canoeing, and kayaking are also great options for a laid-back day of outdoor fun.
Lancaster County Central Park. This park arguably fits in all the categories highlighted thus far: as we mentioned, it's home to hiking trails, and there are also great spots for picnics and birdwatching. There is also a sizable pool with water fountains, slides, and a wading area.
Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach. Lancaster locals often head to Ocean City or Cape May when they crave time on the beach, but there are also a few options closer to town. Arguably the best? Mt. Gretna, which offers a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of amenities. The vast sand beach is perfect for building castles, while older kids can typically be found at the diving board or high dive. Kayaks, canoes, and even inner tubes are available for rental, as are beach chairs if you prefer to soak up the sun.
Boating on the Susquehanna River. The stunning Susquehanna River delivers the ultimate boating environment, with plenty of outfitters happy to provide all the equipment and insight you need for a great day on the water. Look to Chiques Rock Outfitters for single or tandem kayaks. For an especially intriguing river experience, take a historic tour aboard the Chief Uncas, which was originally constructed for the beer tycoon Adolphus Busch.
Local fishing. There are plenty of hidden gem fishing spots in and around Lancaster, but one of the best is arguably Hammer Creek in Lititz. This has long been the region's go-to for trout fishing. Other spots worth checking out include Lake Grubb and Lake Aldred. Keep in mind that you'll need a license to fish in Pennsylvania. There is a fishing tackle loaner program for the state parks, plus a few bait and tackle shops in and around Lancaster.