A lazy Sunday in York, Pennsylvania, is anything but boring. When I’m not catching up on York College coursework, I pack my Sundays with activities found only in my hometown.

I start my morning with a rich cup of coffee from i-ron-ic on West Philadelphia Street. At i-ron-ic, I can get vegan superfood treats that keep me energized for hours. It’s a win for my non-vegan friends, too. They satisfy their sweet cravings with a freshly baked cinnamon bun, scone, or any other treat you can imagine. When they’re craving something savory, they grab a fresh-pressed panini, pretzel sandwich, or signature soup to start their day.

As we enjoy our dishes, we marvel at the artwork from more than 187 local artists displayed around the shop. With new artwork to see every 30 to 40 days, we can always discover new pieces to enjoy.

After I’m fueled on coffee and carbs, I stop by Nuts About Granola. I don’t even have to leave Philadelphia Street to shop for my favorite on-the-go snacks. I drive myself a little crazy as I decide what to get for family, friends and me. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Lovers combo, Death by Chocolate, Ginger Vanilla, Johnny Appleseed, S’mores and the list goes on … when I finally make up my mind, it’s time for outdoor fun.

Which park to explore is always a difficult decision, too. I decide on Richard M. Nixon County Park because it’s a great place for days when it’s rain or shine. Outside, I find wooded trails and waterways perfect for skipping stones.

I don’t have to worry about bad weather ruining my time here, since Nixon Park has an indoor nature and science center. The center is filled with life-size nature scenes with educational exhibits and hands-on activities. Whether you bring toddlers, elementary school-age children, or kids at heart like me, the science and nature center is a great way to learn about our environment and have some fun along the way.

Once I’ve explored the outdoors, I dig into my granola and head over to Brown’s Orchards & Farm Market. At Brown’s, my family and I pick up our apples and seasonal vegetables. We love getting our produce here because we know that most of what’s offered is grown locally and free of preservatives. The vegetables will make great soup, and the apples are perfect for on-the-go snacks or apple crisp, especially when topped with our granola crumbles.

On our way back into the city, my friends, family and I have to make a pit stop at Perrydell Farm and Dairy. My favorite part of the visit is petting the baby cows. We also observe how the farmers collect milk from the adults that goes into Perrydell’s famous dairy products. My friends and family pick up pints of their favorite homemade ice cream and chocolate milk to stock the fridge. Although I follow a vegan diet, I still indulge in treats from the farm, and I never leave without getting at least one piece of their old-fashioned candy.

When I return home, I take a break to enjoy the sights around my own home and freshen up for dining out at my favorite Japanese restaurant, Mitsuru Ya. Between authentic fresh fish and vegan sushi, my friends, family and I can always find something we like.

In addition to our sushi, I get delicious General Tso’s tofu and my dinner dates choose from among veggie and shrimp tempura and seasoned, chicken, pork and fish options. Along with the Japanese cuisine, I love coming to Mitsuru Ya because the hospitable staff makes us feel more like family than customers. 

After our dinner settles, it’s time for my favorite way to end every Sunday evening. I strap on my guitar case and head to the Holy Hound for open mic. As soon as I walk in, I’m greeted with hugs from fellow performers and devoted arts scene fans. Seeing individuals from so many walks of life interacting over crisp, signature brews, music and poetry is always a warming feeling.

As soon as I take the stage, the audience’s reaction reminds me that I am surrounded by a community of sincere, supportive and incredibly talented individuals. When I walk off stage to share to drinks with my friends, we all smile as we revel in how fortunate we are to call York our home.

Written by Brandi Mummert for YRK Magazine
Photography: YRK Magazine