Pennsylvania Dutch Country
Earth : North America : United States of America : Mid-Atlantic : Pennsylvania : Pennsylvania Dutch Country
Pennsylvania Dutch Country is a region in Pennsylvania also referred to as South Central Pennsylvania. The region is home to many major tourist attractions such as Lancaster county's Amish country, Harrisburg's state capitol and museums and Hershey's chocolate world and theme park.
While Pennsylvania Dutch Country consists of a lot of rural areas and is noted for its high Amish population, it is home to over 1.5 million people and maintains one of the highest rates of population growth in the Northeast United States due to lower cost of living but close proximity to major metropolitan areas. It is truly a diverse region with rolling hills, orchards and farms but also growing, vibrant yet historic cities.
Much of the "Plain" population (consisting of groups like the Amish and Old Order Mennonites) is bi-lingual, speaking both English and a dialect of German called "Pennsylvania Dutch." A much smaller portion of the non-Plain population of Pennsylvania Dutch descent is also bilingual. Among the Plain, some smaller children speak only this dialect until starting school. The name "Pennsylvania Dutch" is actually a mispronunciation of "Deitsch," or German in the regional dialect. Church services are held in "high German," as opposed to the dialect.
There are several regional airports in south central Pennsylvania but the largest and most used is Harrisburg International Airport  (MDT) located in Middletown, just minutes from Harrisburg and PA Route 283. Harrisburg International Airport has over a dozen non-stop flights to cities in the U.S. and Toronto in Canada.
The easiest way to get around the region is by car. There is an extensive network of roads and the area is criss-crossed by several major interstates (81, 76, 83) and U.S. routes (11, 15, 22, 30).
Amtrak's high-speed Keystone line  travels through Lancaster and Dauphin county with stops in Lancaster, Mount Joy, Elizabethtown, Middletown and Harrisburg is useful if traveling between Lancaster and Harrisburg but does not link up the rest of the region.