Why yes, that's right, George looks hilarious and the lake is lovely, picturesque.
So lovely that you should go and see it for yourself before summer is over, truly. Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach is quaintly situated in—go figure--Mt. Gretna, Pa., a tiny community in Lebanon County with a totally unique history.
Founded in the late 19th century, Mt. Gretna was, for the first years of its existence, a lovely, shady summer getaway. By 1892, two interesting groups began to call Mt. Gretna home, and helped shape the next century of its history: The Mt. Gretna Campmeeting Association, a Bible-based summer camp of sorts that still exists, and the Pennsylvania Chautauqua.
What’s the Pennsylvania Chautauqua? I’m so glad you asked. Generally speaking, the Chautauqua movement (think Christian-based arts and sciences movement) was started in the 1870s and swept the nation with its popularity. The Pennsylvania chapter settled in Mt. Gretna, with the purpose of “the advancement of literacy and scientific attainment among the people and the promotion of popular culture in the interest of Christianity.” Though the movement sort of petered out after WWI (when it stopped receiving government subsidies), Mt. Gretna proudly holds onto its heritage today, offering up robust slate of Chautauqua-based programming from sermons and author lectures to artist panels and wellness workshops.
If you’re not into the lake or, you know, intellectualizing at the Hall of Philosophy (for real) there’s plenty of hiking to be done in the surrounding South Mountains, a very charming “town” to wander through, and, my personal fave, a delicious joint called the Jigger Shop, an indoor/outdoor ice-cream parlor haling from 1895 that also offers such delicacies as the Lebanon County Banquet (that being a giant slab of Lebanon bologna on a pretzel bun. Yeah, you want it.)
This place is totally adorable and you need to go now. Picture beautiful wooded buildings, tiffany lamps, tons of trees, and a lake to jump into. And don’t you dare forget the Lebanon County Banquet. Go! Go now!