Visitors Bureau welcomes spring with tours

LEWISTOWN — Take a selfie. Share a selfie. Capture the #juniatarivervalley for your selfie.

The Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau is officially launching its newest special interest tours this spring, including Picture Perfect and Let’s Play.

With the ever-growing popularity of selfies being taken each day, the Visitors Bureau’s Picture Perfect tour invites residents and visitors to document their journey in Mifflin and Juniata counties by taking photos of their smileing faces at some of the area’s best scenic locations.

The tour lists locations which vary between scenic overlooks, parks, historical sites, downtown culture and other fun photo opportunities. Participants are encouraged to share their selfies on social media such as Facebook and Instagram and utilize the hashtags #jrv and #juniatarivervalley.

“Our office gets requests from brides and other people for unique photo location ideas,” said Jenny Landis, bureau executive director. “We thought that visitors may be looking for that perfect selfie spot, too. This tour is a great resource for professional photographers, too.”

The second tour, Let’s Play, gives a plethora of ideas for fun, family-friendly activities in the Juanita River Valley.

From an ice cream trail guide, a list of area playgrounds and parks, educational locations, creative outlets, seasonal celebrations and pursuits, everyone should find something to do indoors and outdoors.

“This tour will be one the one that local schools, kids’ groups and agencies will find helpful along with our visitors,” said Landis. “Some will be surprised that there’s so much available to do.”

The list is two pages long and is broadly categorized by the type of activity. As with other Special Interest Tours, the Visitors Bureau has created, paper copies are printed in-house in limited quantities so changes can be made quickly.

Along with the new Picture Perfect and Let’s Play special interest tours, the Visitors Bureau is also debuting two new weekend itineraries created by local notables. Juniata County resident Carlen McClure created a Juniata County weekend, and business owners Liz Quintin Wicks created an itinerary that celebrates all that Big Valley has to offer.

The weekend itineraries are designed to introduce visitors to the region and show them what there is to do when they visit and to help locals entertain their out-of-town guests visiting for a weekend.

As a lifelong resident of Juniata County, McClure said, “I have been to all these places in one form or another over the years.”

Her list of suggestions are within a 10-mile radius and offer just a small sample of what Juniata County has to offer.

For lodging, McClure suggests staying at the historic 1811 era Lily Manor which also offer gourmet breakfasts. Once settled in, head to Two Sisters gift shop because this “shopping experience will please any palate,” McClure said.

For dinner, McClure, the former owner of Spruce Hill Lunch, from 1976 – 2006, recommends heading there for Friday night dinner specials, including filet minon, prime rib, made-from-scratch crab bisque and desserts. To end the evening, enjoy live music at Juniata Valley Winery, which is conveniently located next to Lily Manor.

Saturday’s activities range from outdoor experiences like exploring the Tuscarora Mountain and Creek or enjoying a round of golf at Lost Creek Golf Course. Or spend time pampering yourself at Serendipity x2 Day Spa. For lunch, take time to visit Guante Family Restaurant where all the Latin American food is made from scratch. Finish the day by visiting the area’s largest attraction, Port Royal Speedway.

Sunday brunch can be found at Springhouse Restaurant and Pub, overlooking the golf course. To end your weekend, visit two historic locations, Pomeroy/Academia Covered Bridge and the Tuscarora Academy Museum.

The Wicks, known for their restaurant, Revival Kitchen, in Reedsville, ask visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the Juniata River Valley while visiting Big Valley’s best offerings.

Depending on whether your taste is modern or historic, lodging could be at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, or Hill Store Guest Cottage.

For Friday dinner, take a trip to the wild side and try wings at The Wilderness.

Recommendations for breakfast include either corned beef hast or the stuffed French toast at The Honey Creek Inn. Then explore Big Valley by swinging by Brookmere Winery, Peight’s Country Store and Green Lane Greenhouse or Smoker Family Farmstand. For lunch, grab a sub at Whitehall Story or food at Danny’s BBQ.

For a glimpse at one of the area’s true artisans, take a must-see trip to Joe Peachey’s Wood Lathe Shop in Allensville.

If interested in visiting a working Amish organic farm, make your way to Hostetler’s Naturals in Milroy, where the Wicks source many ingredients for their restaurant, Revival Kitchen.

Visitors are encouraged to check out Big Valley Antique Center before heading home.

Both tours and itineraries can be found online, along with many other tours, on the Visitor’s Bureau website at www.juniatarivervalley.org. Printed copies can be found at the bureau’s office in the Mifflin County Historic Courthouse, and in brochure racks at several locations in Mifflin and Juniata counties.