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Lancaster County

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Lancaster County

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Lancaster county is in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. It is noted for its high Amish population, countryside, Pennsylvania Dutch food and crafts and historic Lancaster city and other towns.

Cities[edit]

Lancaster

Other destinations[edit]

Amish towns have colorful names, most are unintentionally humorous.

  • Intercourse
  • Paradise
  • Blue Ball
  • Bird In Hand
  • Fertility
  • Gap

Understand[edit]

The Amish are a community of Christian Anabaptists, related to the Mennonites and Church of the Brethern. The name "Pennsylvania Dutch" is actually a mispronunciation of "Deutsch" or German. The Anabaptists orginally came from Switzerland and were welcomed to Pennsylvania by William Penn and his descendents.

Although Lancaster county thrives on tourism, the Amish community does not particularly like visitors, tourists, or sightseers. They are generally an intensely private religious community doing their best to go about living according to the ways of their religion and culture, and very much wish to be left alone unless you are invited. Don't take photos without permission, or harass or otherwise pester them about their way of living. Above all else, don't trespass on private property.

There are official tourist exhibits set up by the local government and various private enterprises that will allow you to learn about the county and the Amish in a way that is respectful and positive for everyone involved.

Talk[edit]

Amish have some of their own vocabulary, related to German (Pennsylvania Deutsch). Non-Amish Americans are called "English".

Get in[edit]

The closest international airport to Pennsylvania Dutch Country is Harrisburg International. (MDT) Rental cars are widely available and the city of Lancaster is a short, 30 minute drive along Interstate I-283.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Itineraries[edit]

Do[edit][add listing]

An excellent way to see the Amish by automobile is to travel along Rt 896. Follow Route 30 East from Lancaster for 3 or 4 miles and make a right turn when you come to Rt 896. It will be directly past the outlet centers. This road will take you to the little town of Strasburg which is a very picturesque place in its own right. Along the way, you will see numerous farms and probably a decent number of horse and buggies. Please remember to drive slowly around the Amish horses in order to avoid scaring them.

  • Bird-in-Hand Stage, 2760 Old Philadelphia Pike, #A, Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505 (On Route 340 near Ronks and Intercourse, PA.), (717) 768-1568, [1]. Mon-Sat 6am-8pm. Live theatre with Broadway-style musical plays and magic shows. Price varies. (40.038101,-76.174466) edit
  • Black Rock Retreat (Black Rock Camp), 1345 Kirkwood Pike, Quarryville, PA 17566 (In between Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD in southern Lancaster County. Near Interstate 95), (717) 529-3232, [2]. 24/7. Christian retreat and conference center hosting overnight summer camps, summer day camps, and outdoor education (school field trips). Price varies. (39.867340,-76.106930) edit
  • Rainbow Dinner Theatre, 3065 Rt 30 East Paradise, PA 17562 (Take rt 30 East to Paradise. Theater is directly behind the Best Western), 717-687-4300, [3]. Very economical and enjoyable way to spend an evening. The food comes highly recommended and the shows are sure to bring a smile and/or a laugh.  edit
  • Refreshing Mountain Retreat and Adventure Center (Refreshing Mountain Ziplines), 455 Camp Road, Stevens, PA 17578 (Between Hershey and Lancaster, PA near the Denver exit of the PA Turnpike), (717) 738-1490, [4]. 24/7. Resort offering a variety of outdoor activities, (including ziplining and outdoor obstacle courses), group retreats, and cabin rentals. Price varies. (40.250492,-76.234438) edit
  • Strasburg Railroad, 301 Gap Road Ronks, PA 17572 (Rt 30 East, turn right on 896, then left on 741. Railroad is on the left side), 717-687-7522, [5]. Authentic steam-powered locomotives will take you for a ride back in time. Very realistic and lots of fun. There is also a picnic grounds where the train stops and riders can get on or off. It provides a lovely, secluded area for those wise enough to bring a packed lunch.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Amish are known for their well-made wooden furniture. Showrooms are clustered along main roads.

  • Wolf Rock Furniture, 3533 Lincoln Highway East (Route 30), Kinzers, +1 717 442-8990, [12]. Finely finished North American hardwood furniture is made on premises. Also has outdoor furniture. Ships to 20 states.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe [13] Address: 2715 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505. Phone: (717) 768-1501. Pies, birthday cakes, sandwiches, coffee, whoopie pies, shoo-fly pie, ice cream, breakfast food, snacks.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Amish Country Motel, 3013 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505 (Along Route 340 between Bird-in-Hand and Intercourse, PA.), (717) 768-8396, [6]. checkin: 3:00pm; checkout: 11:00am. Family-owned motel in Amish Country. Outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, in-room fridge, free guided bus tour of Lancaster County. Price varies. (40.039161,-76.156175) edit
  • Bird-in-Hand Village Inn & Suites, 2695 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505 (East of Lancaster, PA on Route 340 (near the outlets, across the street from the Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market, and next to antique shops).), (717) 768-1535, [7]. checkin: 3:00pm; checkout: 11:00am. Up-scale bed and breakfast-style inn in Amish Country. Complimentary deluxe continental breakfast with homemade baked goods and hot farm-fresh selections. Jacuzzi tubs, free Wi-Fi, access to swimming pools included. Price varies. (40.038746,-76.179984) edit
  • Cameron Estate Inn, 1855 Mansion Lane, Mt Joy Pa (Three miles south of Rheems Elizabethtown Exit off 283), 717 492-0111, [8]. checkin: 3:00 PM; checkout: 11:00 AM. Historic Country Inn in Lancaster county with reasonable prices, many times lower than the Holiday inn. Secluded on 15 Acres surrounded by Farmland  edit
  • Country Acres Campground, 20 Leven Road, Gordonville, PA 17529 (Essentially next to Route 30, east of Dutch Wonderland.), (717) 687-8014, [9]. checkin: 2:30pm; checkout: 2pm; Cabins at 12 noon. Campground and RV park in Lancaster County’s Amish Country. Outdoor pool. Pets allowed, dog-run area. Free Wi-Fi. Cabin rentals, tent camp sites, pop-up camper sites, RV sites (including big rig sites). Price varies. (40.015155,-76.146274) edit
  • MainStay Suites of Lancaster County, 314 Primrose Lane, (717) 285-2500, [10]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 12pm. Located in the heart of PA Dutch Country and offers guests free continental breakfast.  edit
  • Travelers Rest Motel, 3701 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, PA 17534 (In the Village of Intercourse, surrounded by Amish Country farmlands.), (717) 768-8731, [11]. checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 11:00am. Motel in the middle of Intercourse, PA. Easy walking distance from small shops & attractions. Free Wi-Fi, free deluxe farm-fresh continental breakfast, cable TV in every room, air conditioned. Price varies. (40.039332,-76.102230) edit

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

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