As if from old German lore, Cook Forrest has an enigmatic pull. The tucked-in villages and the unspoiled landscape create a very unique Pennsylvania. Every November, in this very same old and mysteriously beautiful setting, visitors from all over come to this area to drive the annual Gingerbread Tour. Started by a handful of friends, The Gingerbread Tour has grown to include dozens of merchant over three towns. Intimate and fun, this tour is a great way to kick-start the holiday shopping while enjoying the local flavor.
The shops are largely easy to find and there are usually refreshments waiting at every stop. Specialty stores on the Gingerbread Tour are renowned for their originality and quality. If you take the tour, you can expect a great variety of quality merchandise. Hand-crafted furniture, soaps, oils, quilts, hand-made toys, and original art are examples of just some of the opportunities at the stops. In addition to refreshments, there are several cafes on the tour catering to hungry tourists. Even if you’re not from the area, the genuine warmth and joy of these shop owners makes the experience feel like coming home.
Plan accordingly. The tour is free but it’s self-service. Cook Forrest can be an isolated place so make sure there’s gasoline in the car. The tour officially runs till 5:00 pm and many of the shops close around that time but you might still consider staying the night at a local inn or B&B. Have your maps and grab a brochure and take the ride!