Author Archives: Ally

Ally

About Ally

Ally is a Lancaster County native and self-proclaimed foodie who loves exploring what the county has to offer. In her free time, Ally can found browsing Lancaster Central Market, enjoying the outdoors with her 4 year old daughter or savoring a meal at one of Lancaster’s many eateries, whether an old favorite or a new find. Ally is excited to share her passion for the county with as the Marketing Coordinator at Discover Lancaster

The Wacky Town Names of Lancaster County

As you drive through Lancaster County, you may come across some towns with tongue-and-cheek and just plain wacky names. Or maybe you saw the video of the Chicago news anchor fumbling over the pronunciation of “Lititz”.

How did these names come to be? We’re digging through the history books to find where these unique names originated, giving a rhyme and reason to the names that make us giggle.

Lititz

The town of Lititz traces its name back to Germany, where the founder – Count Nicholas Ludwig – hailed from. The Count left Saxony, Germany, and settled in this area of the state in 1741 with Moravians who were seeking religious freedom. The name “Lititz” was inspired by a Bohemian Castle near Kunvald that held the name “Litice.”

Resource: Venture Lititz

Blue Ball

While this name may make us chuckle, its origins are pretty straight-forward. The town is named after an 18th century inn, located in the town. The owner hung a blue ball on the building, referring to the inn as “The Sign of the Blue Ball.” The name stuck – and the rest is history.

Resource: WGAL

Paradise

Welcome to Paradise – Paradise, PA that is! Two people, Joshua Scott and Mary Ferree, are commonly credited with the naming of this town. While standing in the middle of the road, Joshua Scott stated that the town should be called Paradise because of the beauty he saw around him.

Mary Ferree’s story, on the other hand, has a little more legend involved. After fleeing France, Ferree and her family received a land grant for the acreage in PA. Her family arrived and lived peacefully among the Native Americans who called this area home. Legend has it that upon arrival, Mary said “this is truly a paradise,” giving the town its name.

Resource: Amish Country News & Lancaster Online

Intercourse

There are a couple theories behind this cheeky town name. The first theory comes from an old race track located on Old Philadelphia Pike, called “Entercourse.” Some think that the name “Entercourse” evolved to “Intercourse” and became the town name in 1814.

The second theory stems from the two famous roads that intersected in the town, one running east and west from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and one running from Erie to Wilmington. Because of this, the town was called “Cross Keys” which may have eventually became “Intercourse.”

The third theory concerns the language used during the town’s early days, when the word “intercourse” described fellowship and social support in the community. The town name of Intercourse would have described the comradery of the town.

Resource: Intercourse Heritage Days

Bird-in-Hand

Have you heard the saying “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” Legend has it that the saying played into this unique town name. Two men were surveying the highway between Philadelphia and Lancaster. Needing a place to stay, they found an inn (a simple log hut), quoted that saying, and stayed for the night. The inn became known as “The Bird-in-Hand,” giving the town its name.  The sign outside the inn depicted a man holding a bird, which made it easy for travelers to find.

Resource: Bird-in-Hand

Local Picks: Best Pizza in Lancaster

What makes the perfect slice of pizza? Whether it’s thin, crispy crust topped with exotic toppings and fresh mozzarella or thick, fluffy crust topped with cheese and classic pepperoni – Lancaster has the perfect slice for you.

We’ve rounded up the cheesiest, tastiest and most unique pies for you to sink your teeth into. Check out some local picks that will satisfy your pizza cravings.

Federal Taphouse

201 N. Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 | FederalTaphouseLanc.com
Ally says “I love the pizza at Federal Taphouse – they use a wood-fire oven so the crust is nice and crispy. Their toppings range from traditional to seasonal and unique, like drunken figs and sweet corn. As an added bonus, the Fed has around a 100 beers on tap to pair with your pie.”

Pie to try: 3 Little Pigs – red sauce, house pork belly, house ham, pepperoni, mozzarella, provolone

Norma’s Pizza at Roots Country Market

705 Graystone Rd, Manheim, PA 17545 | Facebook.com/NormasPizzaAtRootsCountryMarketAndAuction
Nate says “My family loves Norma’s pizza, done to perfection in either boardwalk or Detroit styles. Pro-tip – since she’s only open on Tuesday’s when Root’s Market is open and she sells out nearly every Tuesday, get there early or place your order ahead of time to ensure that you get a slice!”

Norma is the 2016 USA Caputo Cup New York Style Pizza Champion, beating out pies from Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and beyond!

Pie to try: Sicilian style pizza with pepperoni

Luca

436 W. James Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 | LucaLancaster.com
Liz says “I love the unique combos that you can find a Luca!”

Andrew says “Luca’s pizza is out of this world. The pizza is baked in a Neapolitan wood-burning oven, and you can taste the love and care they put into each pie.”

Luca recently appeared in the New York Times, who raved about their wood-fire appetizers, artisan cocktails, and handmade pasta that are featured alongside their tasty pizza.

Pie to try: Piccante – crushed tomato, hot soppressata, mozzarella, pecorino, shaved garlic, hot honey

DiMaria’s Pizza

1183 Erbs Quarry Road, Lititz, PA 17543 | DimariasLititz.com
Katie says “I love Grandma Pizza from DiMaria’s in Lititz. It requires extra wait time when you order it, but it’s so worth it!”

Pie to try: Grandma Pizza – thin square pizza with chunk tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, garlic & olive oil

Steel Peel

611 Harrisburg Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603 | Steelpeelpizza.com
Sean says “Steel Peel’s specialty pizzas – like the Quattro Gusti pizza – are truly special. The combination of toppings make for a flavorful pizza.”

Pie to try: Chesapeake Chicken – chicken steak, bacon, bruschetta tomatoes, old bay, ranch, cheddar & mozzarella with pizza sauce

Thom’s Bread

Lancaster Central Market or 113 Butler Ave, Lancaster, PA 17601 | Thomsbread.com
Tisha says “My favorite right now is Thom’s tomato pie from Thom’s Bread. It can be bought at Lancaster Central Market or their bakery location off of Oregon Pike.”

Pie to try: Tomato Pie – house made crust, tomato sauce

Espino’s Pizza

323 W. Lemon Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 | Espinospizza.com
Lauren says “Espino’s pizza is delicious – the crust is crispy on the bottom, yet fluffy. He also has Latin items on the menu if you aren’t in the mood for pizza.”

Pie to try: Veggie Pizza – peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives

Parma Pizza

301 W Main St, Landisville, PA 17538 | Parmapizzaandgrill.com
Nicole says “It’s hard to pick just one! Our favorite local spot is Parma Pizza. We especially like the Holiday pizza which has spinach, broccoli, tomato, and ricotta- yum.”

Pie to try: Holiday Special – white pizza with fresh garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, ricotta, mozzarella cheese

Carr’s Restaurant

50 West Grant St, Lancaster, PA 17603 | Carrsrestaurant.com
Sarah says “Carr’s dough is soft, not too overdone, making the crusts a warm, delicious breadstick of sorts. The sauce is light and sweet. These pizzas make a great lunch on their own, or appetizer with friends.”

Pie to try: White pizza with garlic and sweet basil or their Pizza of the Day

DiCarlo’s

155 E King St, Lancaster, PA 17602 | Dicarlospizzalanc.com
Matt says “DiCarlo’s pizza is unique and super tasty. Rather than cooking the pizza with cheese on it, they add grated cheese to the sauce and crust AFTER it comes out of the oven.”

Pie to try: the original – it’s unique enough you won’t need toppings (although you can get pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, hot peppers or black olives if you’d like)

Or Try These –

Mod Pizza

Pasquale’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria

Lancaster Brewing Company

Alley Kat

Warm & Hearty PA Dutch Dishes

Who doesn’t love the occasional indulgence in the comfort of a hearty meal? It warms your body all the way through, and you can almost taste the love in every bite.

That’s what Pennsylvania Dutch food is all about – it is wholesome, stick-to-your-ribs dishes, made from scratch with plenty of love and care.

Below is a list of some of our favorite traditional dishes to try and where to find them. Next time you visit Lancaster, be sure to come hungry and prepare to leave full.

Main Dishes:

Chicken Pot Pie- Now, most of you think you have tried this dish before, but here in Central PA it is prepared a little differently- there is no crust! Chicken Pot Pie in this area is a tasty, stew-like meal, complete with hearty broth, tender slow-cooked chicken, carrots, potatoes, and savory square noodles. It’s like a hug in a bowl.

Try chicken pot-pie at: Dienner’s Country Restaurant, Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant, or Oregon Dairy Country Restaurant & Buffet.

Ham Balls- This PA Dutch delicacy is similar to meatballs, but prepared with ground pork and ground ham. To pair with the savory flavors of these meaty morsels, ham balls are commonly served with sweet pineapple glaze. You won’t be able to eat just one!

Try ham balls at: Yoder’s Restaurant & Buffet, Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord, or Oregon Dairy Country Restaurant & Buffet.

Pork & Sauerkraut- While this dish is traditionally served on New Year’s Day for good luck, it can still be found year-round at many PA Dutch restaurants and smorgasbords. Juicy pork is slow-roasted with tangy sauerkraut, creating the perfect meal for a fall or winter day.

Try pork & sauerkraut at: Katie’s Kitchen, Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord or Lititz Family Cupboard

 

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Chicken Croquettes- Chicken croquettes or turkey croquettes are like gourmet, grown-up chicken nuggets. They’re fried to perfection, creating a crisp outer shell covering the rich, velvety inside. Commonly served with mashed potatoes and gravy, this meal will have you in carb heaven.

Try Chicken Croquettes at: Shady Maple Smorgasbord or Miller’s Smorgasbord.

 

Sides Dishes:

Brown Buttered Noodles- Some Lancaster County cuisine is rooted in simplicity – much like the tasty side, brown buttered noodles. Soft egg noodles are tossed in nutty browned butter for a scrumptious side enjoyed by diners young and old.

Try brown-buttered noodles at: Yoder’s Restaurant & Buffet, Dienner’s Country Restaurant,  or Katie’s Kitchen.

Chicken Corn Soup- Ask a Lancastrian what they think about chicken corn soup and their face will instantly light up- it’s that good. With every spoonful of this rich soup, you’ll find tender chicken, sweet corn, rivels (small dough balls, sort of like miniature dumplings), and sometimes hard boiled eggs, all swimming in savory broth.

Try chicken corn soup at: Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant or the Cloister Restaurant.

Potato Filling- What do you get when you cross mashed potatoes and stuffing? PA Dutch Potato Filling. Classic filling is mixed into creamy potatoes, making one big, happy, side-dish. While it’s commonly served at Thanksgiving, you can also find it on smorgasbords year-round.

Try potato filling at: Yoder’s Restaurant & Buffet, the Cloister Restaurant, or Miller’s Smorgasbord.

 

Desserts:

Whoopie Pies- This dessert makes everyone “whoop” with joy! Soft cream is sandwiched between two cake-like cookies – like an oreo but better. The traditional variation is chocolate with vanilla cream, but there are new combinations are popping up in bakeries and market stands.

You can try whoopie pies at: Shady Maple Smorgasbord, at Lancaster Central Market, or Lititz Family Cupboard Restaurant & Buffet.

Apple Dumplings- Simplicity is key with this dessert, featuring just a few staple ingredients. A cored apple is wrapped in buttery pastry dough and baked with brown sugar and cinnamon which creates a sweet, gooey sauce. It’s a great way to wrap up a PA Dutch meal – especially in the fall.

You can try apple dumplings at: Shady Maple Smorgasbord, Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Café, or Zig’s Bakery.

Shoofly Pie- Me oh my – it’s shoo-fly pie! This fluffy molasses dessert is a Lancaster tradition that got its name because the molasses attracts flies. It comes in two varieties – dry bottom with a cake-like consistency throughout, and wet bottom with a cake-like top and gooey custard underneath.

You can try Shoofly pie at: Yoder’s Restaurant & Buffet, Hometown Kitchen, and Fisher’s Amish Restaurant.

Say Cheese … and Wine!

Not many things go better together than cheese and wine. Creamy, hard, tangy or mellow cheese can be paired perfectly with wines – from white to red or in between with a rosé.

Find the cheeses on our list at Lancaster Central Market or local shops that are making the cheese themselves from dairy sourced from neighboring farms. For a bottle of vino, head to one of the local vineyards where winemakers are growing the grapes and creating delicious wines.

We challenged our taste buds and rounded up five fantastic wine and cheese pairings – matching a cheese found or made locally with a wine, crafted at a Lancaster County vineyard. Try them yourself, or get inspired and create your own.

Bon appetite!

Linden Dale Farm’s Chevre from Lancaster Central Market paired with Waltz Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc

Our first pairing features creamy, spreadable goat cheese, Chevre, found at Linden Dale Farm’s stand at Lancaster Central Market, paired with the award-winning Sauvignon Blanc from Waltz Vineyard. The chevre is fresh and locally made, and can be spread on crackers or raw veggies. Waltz’s Sauvignon Blanc is a dry white wine with notes of green apple, citrus and honeysuckle. The crispness of this wine pairs well with the rich, creaminess of the chevre.

Delgiorno’s Italian Specialties’ Mozzarella from Lancaster Central Market paired with Weathered Vineyard’s Pinot Gris

Next up, we’ve paired a creamy, mild fresh mozzarella with a crisp Pinot Gris. The mozzarella, a classic Italian cheese, was found at Delgiorno’s Italian Specialties at Lancaster Central Market. The freshness pairs well with Weathered Vineyard’s Pinot Gris, a fruity white wine with citrus, pear, white nectarine and apple notes. The fresh cheese paired with the fruity wine is a match made in heaven.

September Farm Cheese’s Honey Brook Jack paired with Nissley Vineyard’s Merlot

Our third pairing features a locally made Monterey Jack cheese from September Farm Cheese and a merlot with moxie from Nissley Vineyards. This fresh, mild cheese is made in Honey Brook with dairy from the neighboring farm. If you’re a fan of dry, medium-bodied Merlots, Nissley’s is for you. With hints of black pepper, the wine goes well with the tasty, mild cheese.

S. Clyde Weaver’s Smoked Gouda paired with Vineyard at Hershey’s Firefly (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Blend)

For this pairing, we picked up a classic smoked Gouda from S Clyde Weaver, which offers a nutty, smoky flavor. This semi-hard cheese is perfect for snacking while sipping on the Vineyard at Hershey’s red-blend, Firefly. An artful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this wine is full-bodied with notes of plum, currant, and spice. The warm finish of the wine pairs well with the smokiness of the cheese.

Lancaster Farmhouse’s Balsamic Fig White Cheddar from Lancaster Central Market paired with The Vineyard at Grandview’s Cabernet Sauvignon

To wrap up our pairings, we paired a flavorful cheese with a wine to match. Hand-rubbed with balsamic from Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom and figs, this cheese is a party for your taste buds. A cheese like this deserves a rich wine. The Vineyard at Grandview’s Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine aged in oak barrels, with notes of red fruit and spice. Together, this combo is yum-o!

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What’s New for 2018 in Lancaster?

With a new year comes new things to explore, experience, and eat in Lancaster – whether you’re visiting for the first time or fiftieth time, or even if you’re a local. We’ve got new exhibits, activities, and shops along with vibrant shows and new ways to experience the tastes of Lancaster.

Dive deeper into the new and upcoming offerings for an exciting year in Lancaster.

Explore

It’s tea time at Turkey Hill Experience! With their new Tea Discovery, you can see, smell and taste delicious Turkey Hill iced tea, all while learning where the flavors come from. A Tea Expert will walk you through the experience as you sip black tea, green tea, hibiscus tea – and more!


Slated for spring 2018, Refreshing Mountain Retreat is offering new challenges with a 2-tier Aerial Obstacle Course. With 20+ new elements that range from 10-25 feet off the ground, those up for the challenge can experience the excitement of maneuvering through the course while floating above the ground. Package this activity with even more outdoor adventure, including ziplining, horseback riding, and more.

Explore great deals on popular brands at Tanger Outlets, who recently expanded and added 23 new stores. Browse old favorites like Gap, Yankee Candle and J. Crew, and check out the new offerings including Francesca’s, The North Face, Under Armour, Columbia Factory Store, H&M, and Express.

For the train enthusiasts, the Railroad Museum of PA will be overhauling their exhibits to present new improvements, exhibits, and innovations to museum-goers, young and old. If you love trains, mark your calendars for June 2018 when renovations are slated to be finished.

Experience

New thrills, twists and turns are awaiting at Dutch Wonderland this summer as they unveil their new family-friendly suspended roller coaster, Merlin’s Mayhem. Guests will soar to up 60 feet above the ground, twist through two helix turns, and twist and dip as they zoom along. Dutch Wonderland is also home to more mild rides for younger children, making it fun for the whole family.

Sight & Sound Theatres is bringing the powerful story, Jesus, to life this spring. Known for their epic productions filled with beautiful costumes & sets, talented performers (and even live animals), and fantastic effects, Sight & Sound presents this story that focuses on a love that rescues.

Bird-in-Hand Stage’s newest musical, The Home Game, hits it out of the park. Debuting March 27, you won’t want to miss this new show, paired with a tasty PA Dutch meal.

2018 brings exciting changes for Zoetropolis Art House. This year, they will be moving to Water Street (just blocks away from Lancaster Central Market), expanding to include a restaurant and distillery, and changing their name to Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse. Their lineup includes independent, documentary and foreign films, art shows, and community events. They’ve even secured a famous investor – Lancaster native, Taylor Kinney of “Chicago Fire” fame.

Movie buffs will love American Music Theatre’s new original show – Songs of the Silver Screen. Experience the talented AMT cast and live band as they perform cinematic songs, made famous by icons like Elvis Presley, Julie Andrews, Bette Midler, Rosemary Clooney, Barbra Streisand, John Williams and more.

Eat

Believe it or not, Lancaster has distilling traditions that date back to 1753. Stoll & Wolfe is reigniting these traditions at their distillery and tasting room in Lititz. Stop by for a taste of their Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey or the Blend of Straight American Whiskeys (or both), and try a hand-crafted cocktail that is sure to put some pep in your step.

After eight months of renovations, the Downtown Lancaster corner bar, Yorgos is open for the new year. This multi-level bar/restaurant features a sports bar (first floor), upscale steak and seafood restaurant named Kefi at Yorgos (second floor), and a cocktail lounge and roof deck (third floor). They’ve expanded their menu and beer offerings to match their renovated interior and exterior, adding to Lancaster’s night-life offerings.

After all this…

Once you’ve experienced all the new thing to do and see, why not rest up for another day of fun at the new Hotel at Rock Lititz (slated to open in fall 2018). While the hotel’s primary purpose is to serve the rock and pop bands and production crews that practice at neighboring Rock Lititz, the everyday traveler can kick their feet up there too. To add an extra splash of uniqueness and a “backstage” vibe, many of the decorations and furniture will be crafted out of repurposed gear cases, tech items and the like.

Want to experience life in a tiny house, without abandoning your not-so-tiny house lifestyle? Tiny Estates, opening this spring, could give you that experience! The former Ridge Run Campground in Elizabethtown will soon be outfitted with half a dozen tiny houses for visitors to stay in, giving them a taste of minimalist living.

A Museum for Every Interest

History to hands-on, art to industrial – there’s a museum for every interest in Lancaster and the surrounding area. They are the perfect place to spend a cold or rainy afternoon or wander around to escape the summer’s heat. You can dive into local history or let the kids learn with hands-on activities and experiments.

Find the museum that strikes your fancy and get ready to learn.

Transportation:
Automobiles, locomotives and fire trucks – oh my! Learn about these vehicles and their history, and browse many relics of past eras that relate to how people moved from place-to-place. Dive into the history and effects of these vehicles on society.

AACA Museum (Hershey) is an automotive museum featuring antique vehicles, movie-themed exhibits and the famous Hershey’s kissmobile.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (Strasburg) is a railroad museum celebrating Pennsylvania’s rich railroading history.

The Pennsylvania National Fire Museum (Harrisburg) is a museum devoted to fire fighter heritage and history.

Photos from left to right: AACA Museum, Railroad Museum of PA & the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum 

 

Just for Kids:
If cabin fever has set in or you’re looking for a way to sneak learning into summer break, head over to one of Lancaster’s kid-centric museums. Science fun can be found at Lancaster Science Museum and North Museum, while kids can dive deep into their imaginations at Hands-on House. These museums making learning fun!

Lancaster Science Factory (Downtown Lancaster) is a hands-on, interactive museum featuring exhibits that tap into science, technology and engineering.

North Museum of Nature and Science (Downtown Lancaster) is a science museum specializing in natural science with a live animal room, planetarium and collections of rocks, fossils and more.

Hands-on House Children’s Museum (Lancaster) is an interactive museum featuring exhibits that promote hands-on learning through play.

The Hershey Story (Hershey) is a family-friendly museum celebrating the life and work of Milton S. Hershey, and the town known for chocolate making.

Photos from left to right: Lancaster Science Factory, North Museum of Nature and Science & Hands-on House


History:
As one of America’s oldest inland cities, Lancaster is packed with history and the historical sites that celebrate it. Many include tours with guides dressed in period clothes and special reenactments that create a truly immersive experience. From early settlers to the first (and only) president from PA, you’ll learn the way of life from back in the day.

LancasterHistory.org/President Buchanan’s Wheatland (Downtown Lancaster) is a history center featuring exhibits and galleries centering on Lancaster’s history and the former home of James Buchanan, America’s 15th president

Hans Herr House and Museum (Willow Street) is a historic home built in 1719 featuring several barns and outbuildings, animals, and exhibits focusing on Mennonite history and colonial and Victorian farm life

Christiana Underground Railroad Center (Christiana) is a free, publicly accessible historical site detailing the town’s involvement in the Underground Railroad, located at the Zercher’s hotel

Ephrata Cloister (Ephrata) is a historic religious community dating back to the 1730s where visitors can explore the buildings and the community’s unique way of life

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum (Lancaster) is a 100-acre living history museum that presents Pennsylvania German history and culture

Photos from left to right: President James Buchanan’s Wheatland, Hans Herr House and Museum & Ephrata Cloister

 

Industrial:
From the production of large pieces of iron and steel to the more intricate creation of watches and clocks, you’ll get a peek at these industries – from their history to their present day artistry. If you’re fascinated by how things are made, you’ll dig the following museums.

The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum (Coatesville) is a museum that celebrates steelmaking and the Lukens and Huston families, who produced steel used in many notable projects

Cornwall Iron Furnace (Cornwall) is a historical site that is home to America’s most complete charcoal fueled ironmaking complex, used in the early American iron industry

National Watch & Clock Museum (Columbia) is a museum solely dedicated to horology – the history, science and art of timekeeping and timekeepers, and featuring an extensive collection to clocks, watches and other timekeeping devices

Photos from left to right: The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum, Cornwall Iron Furnace & National Watch & Clock Museum

 

Art:
For those who prefer to stroll around an art museum, Lancaster has a few to check out during your visit. Many incorporate rotating exhibits into the mix, filling each visit with new art to browse. The variety is superb – from local artists to the work of Charles Demuth.

Demuth Museum (Downtown Lancaster) is a museum housing the paintings of Charles Demuth, located in his former studio and home

Lancaster Museum of Art (Downtown Lancaster) is a small museum showcasing local, regional & international works of art

Phillips Museum of Art (Franklin & Marshall College, Downtown Lancaster) is a museum located at Franklin & Marshall Collage featuring permanent and rotating fine art exhibitions, including student art

Photos from left to right: Demuth Museum, Lancaster Museum of Art & Phillips Museum of Art at F&M 

 

Visit our Museums page to find even more to explore!

Give the Perfect Lancaster County Gift

From Secret Santa gifts to a special something for your special someone, it can be tough to find the item that will make the recipient smile. Never fear! We’re here to help. We’ve collected a few idea from across the county for you to consider:

To Wear

— Lancaster-centric T-shirt from Fox Duck | 11 W King Street, Lancaster
— Navy Keystone Cap from Ellicott & Co |45 N Market Street, Lancaster
— Handmade jewelry from Mio Studio | 154 N Prince Street, Lancaster
— Hand-crafted leather bag from Forest Hill Leather Craft | 225 Forest Hill Road, Bird-in-Hand

For the Kitchen

— Jam Lovers Basket from Kitchen Kettle Village | 3529 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse
— Infused olive oils & balsamic from Olio Olive Oil & Balsamics | 41 S Broad Street, Lititz
— Green TEAse Green Tea Set from Spice & Tea Exchange | 20 W Orange Street, Lancaster
Lancaster Central Market Cookbook | 23 N Market Street, Lancaster (Open Tuesday, Friday & Saturday)

For the Home

— Candle from Hamilton Wax Co from Sophie Stargazer Boutique | 323 N Queen Street, Lancaster
— A Fair Trade Frame from Ten Thousand Villages | 240 North Reading Road, Ephrata
Garden Party Soap from Building Character | 342 N Queen Street, Rear Warehouses, Lancaster
— Wood & Marble Coasters from Cocalio Creek Country Store | 2359 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster

For the Kids

Dutch Wonderland Tickets or Season Passes | 2249 Lincoln Highway, Lancaster
— Tickets to Turkey Hill Experience | 301 Linden Street, Columbia
— Toy Trains from Strasburg Train Shop | 226 Gap Road, Strasburg
— Alpaca wool gloves or socks from Eastland Alpacas | 2089 Rissler Mill Road, Mount Joy

To Experience Together

— Scooter Tours with Strasburg Scooters | 242 Gap Road, Strasburg
— Amish Dinner Bike Tour with Intercourse Bikeworks | 3614 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse
— Helicopter Tour with Smoketown Helicopter Tours | 311 Airport Drive, Smoketown
— Hot Air Balloon Ride with the United State Hot Air Balloon Team | 2737 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand

Of course this is just a small sampling of the wonderful gifts available in Lancaster. Browse our list of shops for more idea and to plan your shopping trip.

What’s on Tap? – Winter Edition

Brewers in Lancaster and the surrounding area are creating beers that channel warm holiday flavors including spices, cherries and even egg nog. These toasty libations are best enjoyed after a long day of shopping, while celebrating the season with friends, or paired with a warm meal shared with a loved one.

So when it’s time to get out of the cold and warm up, do so with a pint of one of the area’s winter brews:

Odin’s Ale from JoBoy’s Brew Pub | ABV: 9%
JoBoy’s winter ale is an ode to Odin, the god of intoxicating drink from medieval folk lore. A true taste of the season, this ale is brewed with ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange and honey, then aged to perfection over the year.

Grab one on tap or in 22 oz bottles at JoBoy’s in Lititz.

Mad Elf & Mad Elf Grand Cru from Tröegs | ABV: 11%
A winter beer list wouldn’t be complete without Tröegs cheerful Christmas beer, Mad Elf. With an ABV of 11%, this brew packs a punch with notes of cherries, raw honey, cocoa, cinnamon, clove and allspice. This year, Tröegs is escalating the madness with Mad Elf Grand Cru – a twist on the classic elf made with tart Balaton cherries.

Catch a Mad Elf at Tröegs Tasting Room in Hershey, along with select locations around the county. Mad Elf Grand Cru is only available in cork & cage bottles, and may be a little harder to find.

Naughty & Spiced Winter Warmer from Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey | ABV: 8.4%
For a taste of Christmas, the Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey is serving up a winter-spiced Wee Heavy (like a Scottish ale). This warming brew is full of seasonal spices and notes including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and orange zest – much like a liquid gingerbread cookie.

Served up at the Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey in various vessels including on tap and in 12 oz cans.

Winter Warmer Ale from Lancaster Brewing Company | ABV: 8.9%
For a winter warmer with gusto, check out Lancaster Brewing Company’s Winter Warmer Ale – a full-bodied ale with deep, malt richness. This winter ale doesn’t feature the typical spices of the season, but is sure to warm you up.

Find it at Lancaster Brewing Company in Downtown Lancaster and Lancaster Brewing Co. Taproom & Grill, along with select locations around the county.

Grinnin’ Grizzley Holiday Spiced Ale from Appalachian Brewing Company | ABV: 5.7%
A holiday brew that will have you grinning from ear to ear, Appalachian Brewing Company’s seasonal brew is an amber ale full of the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and fresh orange zest. You’ll love this well-balanced ale, especially if you enjoy light hop notes and mild spiciness.

Swing by their Lititz BrewPub to find this ale on tap.

The Martians Kidnap Santa! Egg Nog Stout from Springhouse Brewing Company | ABV: 8.4%
Springhouse Brewing Company’s winter milk stout puts a spin on the classic Christmas concoction with a quirky name to match. This festive beer is rich and creamy, topped with cinnamon and nutmeg, and will get you in the holiday spirit.

Head over to their Hazel Street Brew Pub or Taproom on King Street to find this tasty milk stout.

the martians kidnap Santa egg nog stout now available in 16-ounce 4-packs or cases.

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Other than Beer:

Gingerbread Cider from Lancaster County Cider | ABV: 5.5%
Hard apple cider meets gingerbread cookies with Lancaster County Cider’s holiday beverage. Semi-sweet cider is combined with brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, creating a light and refreshing holiday spirit.

Try it for yourself at Mount Hope Estate & Winery.

Dry Cranberry Cider from Levengoods of Lancaster | ABV: 5.5%
Levengoods of Lancaster is a local cidery, fairly new to the brewing scene in Lancaster. In addition to their fantastic original ciders (original, dry and sweet), they’re serving up a dry cranberry cider this holiday season, rich with cranberry and apple flavors – fresh, clean, and crisp.

Grab a pint at their shop on King Street in Downtown Lancaster.

Which Lancaster Christmas Show Should You See?

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer – and what better way to get in the spirit than with a Christmas show. Theaters across Lancaster are decking the halls and bringing inspirational, toe-tapping holiday hits to the stage.

Take our quiz and find out which show you should see this season:

1] First things first – what comes to mind when you think about the holidays?
A. Christmas Carols
B. The perfect gift
C. The birth of Jesus
D. Snow

2] Which Christmas tune fills you with joy?
A. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
B. Jingle Bells
C. Silent Night
D. White Christmas

3] If you could pick a winter getaway, where would you go?
A. New York City – Radio City, lots of holiday shopping & a stay at a luxury hotel
B. Cross-Country Road Trip – Making memories & seeing relatives
C. Disney World – Spending time as a family for wholesome fun
D. A Ski-Resort in the Mountains – Skiing, hot chocolate & relaxing by the fire

4] Which Christmas movie could you watch over and over again?
A. Elf
B. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
C. The Nativity Story
D. It’s a Wonderful Life

5] The first snow is falling. How do you spend your day?
A. Baking cookies while listening to holiday tunes
B. Having a snowball fight
C. Sledding and warming up with hot cocoa
D. Sitting by the fire with a good book

6] Christmas dinner is served! What do you fill your plate with?
A. Decadent desserts
B. Traditional turkey
C. Savory stuffing
D. Classic mashed potatoes & gravy

7] What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
A. Black Friday shopping for great gifts and deals
B. Visiting with Santa
C. Going to church with my family
D. Christmas caroling

 

The Results:

Mostly A’s:
Home for the Holidays at American Music Theatre
Broadway-caliber song and dance will have your toes tapping as you get in the holiday spirit. American Music Theatre’s annual Christmas Show features dazzling sets and costumes, and a sprightly live band.

 

Mostly B’s:
A Christmas Story at Fulton Theatre
For those looking for laughs (and a little bit of family chaos) this holiday season, the Fulton has the show for you. A Christmas Story has been brought from the movie screen to the stage for laughs and holiday antics.

 

Mostly C’s:
Miracle of Christmas at Sight & Sound Theatres
Celebrate the season with the story that captures the true meaning of Christmas. Sight & Sound’s Miracle of the Christmas captures the magic of the season, and is great for adults and children alike.

 

Mostly D’s:
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre
You’ll love this classic tale that brings the songs of Irving Berlin to life. Dutch Apple is pairing this traditional tale with an all-American menu for dinner and a show to get you in the holiday spirit.

No matter the results, we’re sure you’ll love the festive Christmas shows performed at theatres around Lancaster. For a full list, visit our Holiday Shows & Performances page.

Sandwiches Galore in Lancaster

Lunch or dinner, chilled or grilled – we’ve compiled our list of where to grab some of Lancaster’s tastiest sandwiches. You’ll find hoagies, grilled cheeses, clubs, paninis featuring quality meats & cheeses, local produce, and sauces made in-house that will have your taste buds buzzing.

Credit: Isaac’s Restaurant

Isaac’s Restaurant
A local favorite since 1983, Isaac’s serves up delicious grilled sandwiches, all named after birds. Pair your sammie with a cup of their famous pepper jack tomato soup for the perfect lunch or dinner.

Isaac’s Tip for the Perfect Sandwich:  Grill it! Heating the sandwich on the grill can change the flavor and take it to the next level.


While you’re there, try – the Mallard:
top round roast beef, bacon, melted cheddar, mushrooms, and Ikey’s sauce on a pretzel roll

Credit: S. Clyde Weaver


S. Clyde Weaver

From market to Main Street, S. Clyde Weaver has been in the Weaver family for generations. Nowadays, their cafe in East Petersburg is sells subs and sandwiches, along with the fresh and smoked meats their business was founded on.

S. Clyde Weaver’s Tip for the Perfect Sandwich:  Mayo and mustard are classics but for a new spin, try pesto, vinaigrette, or even salsa.

While you’re there, try – the Turkey, Bacon & Pesto: home-style roasted turkey, bacon, pesto, bacon mayo, swiss cheese, roasted red peppers served on house-made 11 grain bread

The Flying Pig Deli
Whether you’re stopping by for a yummy lunch or some gourmet goods, The Flying Pig Deli is a one stop shop for tastiness. Treat yourself to a sandwich packed with quality meats, cheeses and sauces, paired with one of their unique sides (think Cajun cole slaw, creole potato salad and Szechuan noodles, just to name a few).

While you’re there, try – the Muffuletta: genoa salami, capicola ham, mortadella, provolone, and mozzarella & olive salad served on an onion brioche roll 

Credit: Cafe One Eight

Cafe One Eight
A favorite stop for a quick cup of coffee or relaxing lunch in the city, Cafe One Eight is serving up light fare that will both fuel and satisfy. Their menu features fresh produce, bread that’s made locally, and even olive oil from a shop down the street.

Cafe One Eight’s Tip for the Perfect Sandwich:  Fresh, Lancaster ingredients make for an amazing sandwich.

While you’re there, try- Market Fresh: Thom’s rosemary bread, sliced tomato, smashed avocado, fresh basil, mozzarella, and drizzle of Season’s extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Smokehouse BBQ and Brews
Our list wouldn’t be complete without a barbecue sandwich, and Smokehouse BBQ and Brews has just the thing. They’re layering their low and slow, pit smoked meat on a roll, topped with house made sauces and piled high with savory extras.

While you’re there, try – the Legend: smoked, pulled pork smothered in their Memphis Heat sauce with pickles, cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese on a crisp country roll

 

Credit: Callaloo Trinidadian Kitchen

Callaloo Trinidadian Kitchen
One of Lancaster’s newest restaurants is whipping up sandwiches inspired by authentic Trinidadian flavors. In addition to their entrees that incorporate spices and tropical ingredients, Callaloo has two great sandwiches on their menu, both served on their house-made coconut bread, called “coconut bake” in Trinidad.

While you’re there, try – Shark & Bake: marinated and lightly fried swai with shredded cabbage slaw, tamarind, garlic, and cilantro sauces on home-made coconut bread

Credit: Gracie’s on West Main

Gracie’s on West Main
At Gracie’s on West Main, bacon is the star. Smoked, glazed, or made into jam, they’ve created a plethora of sandwiches that will have any bacon lover’s mouth watering. If you’re not crazy about bacon, don’t worry – Gracie’s has a menu full of sammies for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Gracie’s Tip for the Perfect Sandwich:  Make sure you have the proper spread to bread ratio, and that your spread goes out to the edges. A dry sandwich is a sad sandwich!

While you’re there, try – Triple Bacon B.L.T.: double smoked bacon, brown sugar caramelized bacon, Irish bacon, chipotle mayo, lettuce and tomato on toasted sourdough

Tom+Chee 
A match truly made in heaven, the pairing of grilled cheese and tomato soup is celebrated at Tom+Chee. Here you can enjoy either the classic version or something a little more daring like a grilled cheese with spicy peppers, bacon or even potato chips on it.

Tom+Chee’s Tip for the Perfect Sandwich:  There are no rules! Anything goes and will be yum+awesome.

While you’re there, try – the Flying Pig: smoked gouda cheese, hand-carved turkey breast, applewood smoked bacon, and house made pickles on sour-white bread

Sprout of Rice & Noodles 
Have you tried a Banh Mi? Sprout of Rice & Noodles is serving up this traditional Vietnamese sandwiches with a variety of protein, like seasoned pork, chicken liver pate (a chef’s special), and tofu. Raw veggies are added for crunch and freshness.

While you’re there, try – Banh Mi Pate Thit: homemade rolled ham and chicken liver pate, homemade mayonnaise, onions, cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, Chinese radish and julienne carrots on a baguette

Credit: Lancaster Farmhouse

Lancaster Farmhouse at Lancaster Central Market
A great sandwich starts with quality ingredients – and that’s just what Lancaster Farmhouse is doing. They’re serving up premium artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, and bacon, creating filling sandwiches on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at their stand in Central Market.

Lancaster Farmhouse’s Tip for the Perfect Sandwich:  Don’t forget to add the cheese!

While you’re there, try – Honey I Smoked the Turkey: honey smoked turkey, bacon, mayo, cheese, butter lettuce and pickled red onions served on a sub roll

 

Top photo credit: Gracie’s on West Main

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