Lancaster County Vacation Travel Guide
Draped across over 950 square miles of southern Pennsylvania is Lancaster County, a charming region with a creative city, historic townships, and clusters of small communities that lead traditional, technology-free lives.
Stitched together with the threads of tradition and creativity, Lancaster County is a patchwork quilt of rolling countryside, small farming villages, and its captivating city of the same name. This rural corner of Pennsylvania is well known for its population of Amish, Mennonite, and other communities known as “plain people”.
The groupings are committed to a life of simplicity and humility, forgoing the trappings of modern technology. In the 1720s, these minority communities fled persecution in Europe and began a new life in this remote region, which soon became known as Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
The best way to explore these rolling fields and quaint villages are by car, and the first stop on your Lancaster County road trip is the small farming community of Ronks. Call into the Amish Village to ease into Dutch Pennsylvania’s gentle way of life.
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Explore the village’s traditional barn, a fine example of Amish fellowship and camaraderie, then wander the rest of the 12-acre community and witness this simple yet joyful culture. Ronks is also home to the Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, where local farmers delight in demonstrating their heritage through what they call “agritainment.
” Say hello to friendly barnyard animals and roam through the Amazing Maize Maze, a 5-acre labyrinth of corn crops. To experience Lancaster County’s theatrical gifts, catch a show at the nearby Sight and Sound Theatres, which has long been reimagining the greatest bible stories on stage.
Hit the road for the short drive to the town of Intercourse, home to Kitchen Kettle Village. Starting life as a family jelly making business in 1954, the village serves up some of the tastiest flavors Lancaster County has to offer.
Learn more about the area’s farming and trade history in Strasburg, Lancaster’s most historic town. Strasburg began as a village along the Great Conestoga Road, which was once the main thoroughfare between Philadelphia and the west.
Known as Train Town USA, be sure to visit some of the world’s most iconic locomotives at Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the Strasburg Railroad while you’re in here. Once you’ve explored Strasburg, make tracks and pull up a chair to a hearty meal at Good ‘n Plenty, which has been serving traditional Amish fare since 1969.
When your belly’s full, treat yourself to a musical feast at the American Music Theatre, which hosts touring shows, celebrity concerts, and original productions. For a change of pace, spend an afternoon at Dutch Wonderland, where the kids can get their fill of old school adrenalin.
As you venture throughout the county’s rolling hills and farmlands, you’ll cross many covered bridges. In years gone by, these became known as “kissing bridges,” for the brief moment of privacy they gave starry-eyed couples out on their evening strolls.
Once you’ve explored the rural byways and villages of Lancaster County, make yourself at home in Lancaster City. This is a city that proudly honors and preserves its history. Discover the first chapter of historic dwellings in Lancaster County, and step inside a Native American longhouse, built in the traditional style of Pennsylvania’s first nations.
Then, call into three-hundred-year-old Hans Herr house, the oldest surviving homestead in Lancaster county. Finally, explore Rock Ford Plantation, the illustrious estate of Edward Hand, a general in the Revolutionary War.
Appart from its many historic homes, Lancaster City has long cultivated an intense passion for art. You’ll feel it in the lovingly curated exhibits of the city’s many galleries… the dazzling lights and performances of Fulton Theatre… and the art boutiques lining the streets of Gallery Row.
The city’s love of tradition and creation was born in Central Market, the oldest farmers’ market in the USA. Savor homemade pickles, creamy cheeses, and crusty sourdoughs, whose recipes have been passed through the generations since the market first opened in 1730.
Welcome to Lancaster, a county where life’s wholesome pleasures are cultivated in tradition, community, and its bountiful soils. So wander across these bridges into simpler times, and you’ll soon understand why there’s just no point changing things to keep up when life is already this good.
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