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West Ridge Guest House
www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at
the West Ridge Guest House in Elizabethtown, Pa.
The plush carpeting throughout the suite was green, and there was an ivy theme running through it (ivy wallpaper, plants, etc.). The suite was air-conditioned and had ceiling fans in the bedroom and the sitting area. It was a very warm day when we visited, and although the hallway was not air-conditioned, the air conditioning and ceiling fans had thoughtfully been turned on in our suite. It was extremely clean and it appeared the innkeepers took pride in keeping everything in good repair. Late in the evening, we went out on the balcony and enjoyed sitting there, gazing up at the stars, out in the country with no bright lights or loud noises to interrupt us.
We snuck a peak at some unoccupied rooms whose doors were open, and the other suites in the main house were very appealing. We also looked at some of the rooms in the guest house, and they were all impeccably neat, clean, and very attractive in décor. One could likely stay at the inn multiple times, occupying a different room each time, and have a nice experience.
We highly recommend this inn. Not only is it nice, it is a good value.
All of the rooms have TVs (with a good selection of cable channels) and VCRs, and all have phones and air conditioning. Some of the rooms have whirlpool tubs (some larger and some standard single size). There is an exercise room that contains a hot tub. We checked out the hot tub (but did not use it – it was a warm night) and it was very clean and surrounded by wood walls and hanging plants.
The inn also offers bicycles and helmets. There is a tennis/basketball court behind the main house as well – the whole place was quite an estate. Everything was obviously well looked-after and clean.
West Ridge serves a full breakfast in the guest house on the lower floor in a large dining/sitting room with an attached kitchen. We were greeted by some great aromas in the morning. We were served fruit, banana nut bread, wonderful made-from-scratch pancakes, and scrambled eggs with fresh herbs. Our server asked if we wanted seconds, but we were full. It was very good.
The inn does not have a bar or lounge; we took our own (having the refrigerator helped).
These people know what they are doing. We learned some things on this visit that made us wonder why more places don’t use the same procedures. Upon our arrival, we entered the guest house (where the Office sign was). There was a basket in a prominent place with an envelope that had our name on it. The envelope provided us with instructions – where our room was, where to park, etc. We moved our car to over to the main house and entered, where we found an envelope containing our keys. What a great system – by doing this, they eliminated having to have an innkeeper staying in the same place all day, not being able to do anything else. In the room was plenty of information on inn policies, information on the local area, restaurant menus, etc. The other very smart thing they did was to have a breakfast menu in our room. All we had to do was check off what we wanted, what time we expected breakfast (within a pre-set time limit), and left it outside our door so they could pick it up that evening. By doing that, they knew who was coming, when, and what to make – also saving time and increasing efficiency. Another great idea! The people we met were friendly and happy to talk to us. If we had needed advice on where to do and what to do, they would happily help us, or they would leave us to our own devices – whatever we preferred. Lori was familiar with the general area, having gone to college in the region years ago, so we knew what we were doing.
Elizabethtown is a college town, and Elizabethtown College is nearby. There are also vineyards and Hershey Park – our prime reason for visiting south central Pennsylvania.
Our little get-away was prompted by our desire to visit Hershey Park, in Hershey, PA – about 20 minutes from Elizabethtown. We had both grown up less than two hours from Hershey and had been to the amusement park as kids, but neither of us had been there for at least 20 years. Even though we are adults, we thoroughly enjoy amusement parks and rides – the scarier, the better. We had been down to Disney in March and thought – hey – why not go to Hershey? Hershey Park is easy to find, just off Route 422 in Hershey, PA – there are signs, so it is nearly impossible to miss it. One of the highlights of the park – and the reason we were there – is they have several great coasters. We went on all of the “dry” coasters (those that weren’t water rides): Comet, Great Bear, Lightning Racer, Sidewinder (which gave us the most thrills), SooperdooperLooper, Wild Mouse (it seemed like we were going to drop right off the top of this one), and Wildcat. Another highlight is they have a lot of water rides. After getting pretty soaked on a ride and having to traipse through the park afterwards with wet clothing, we opted out of the water rides. Hershey has lockers, which make it more practical to enjoy the water rides. When they say you will get wet – they mean it. We passed one ride where even the bystanders got soaked. Hershey Park is a great place to take very small children – there are lots of rides for tots. Of course, you can get that famous Hershey chocolate in the park – at shops, stands, and vending machines. This is more of an old-style amusement park.
We waited until leaving the park in mid-afternoon to visit Chocolate World, which is right outside of the amusement park. Chocolate World is a free ride that simulates a tour through the chocolate factory (there was a time when visitors could tour the actual factory, but that is not generally available to the public any longer). As you ride in air-conditioned comfort, the sweet smell of cocoa is pumped in. Lori remembered at the end of the ride, they gave out free chocolate – they still do. There was a smiling woman with a basket of Hershey chocolate bars. Keith loves chocolate and thought she was a very nice lady. After that, visitors are dumped into what is probably one of the biggest chocolate shops in the world, so of course we had to buy some chocolate.
Mount Hope Winery is located just off exit 20 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The Renaissance Fair is held here August through October. We went to the winery. Lori had not been there for 20 years (prior to the beginning of the Renaissance Fair) and was amazed at how the area had grown up. The winery offers many different wines for tasting. We liked the Seyval and Chardonnay the best and purchased some.
L.C. Jordan’s - 54 Mt. Gretna Road, Elizabethtown, PA, 17022, 717-367-1859
Like any college town, there are likely some bars to go to. We chose instead to go back to our room, use the whirlpool, and sit out on the balcony looking at the stars.
This is the mid-Atlantic region, which gets all four seasons. We were there at the end of May and it was unseasonably warm, in the high 80s during the day with high humidity.
If you go to Hershey Park during the summer, be sure to dress in cool, light-colored clothing, as many of the lines for the rides are in the sun. Don’t forget a hat or sunglasses and sunscreen.