Author Archives: Katie

Katie

About Katie

Originally from Upstate New York, Katie is a Lancaster transplant. She moved to Lancaster in 2013 after becoming engaged to her husband. Katie is continually discovering all the unique things Lancaster has to offer. She loves being outside and enjoys running, hiking, biking, and skiing. Katie can often be found trying new restaurants downtown, or browsing Central Market after yoga on Saturdays. Katie is the Graphic Designer at Discover Lancaster and is eager to help showcase what makes Lancaster County so great!

Roadside Stand Round-Up in Lancaster, PA

From farm-fresh fruits and veggies, bountiful blooms, and even made-from-scratch baked-goods and dairy products- roadside stands in Lancaster County just can’t be beat. Where else can you pick up a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers, vine ripened tomatoes, a baked-this morning shoofly pie, and an ice-cold glass of root beer all for under $20? Nowhere that we know of! Lancaster prides itself on being a locavore community- “farm-fresh” and “farm-to-table” aren’t trends here, they are a way of life and always have been. From spring to late fall you are sure to find something worth stopping for at one of our road side stands.

Since they are often hidden gems on the backroads rather than on the main drags of Route 30 or 340 we have compiled a list of some of our favorite places to stop. As well as some “how-to” tips to help you act like a local. So come on, take the long way home and savor the simple pleasure you will find in a quart of freshly picked strawberries.

Where to Stop:

Sheep Lane Produce Stand:
100 Sheep Lane, Washington Boro
Located just 10 minutes from Millersville University’s Campus is the Sheep Lane Produce Stand. Here you will find fruits and veggies from May-October/November. From strawberries and apple to pumpkins, gourds, and green & purple cabbage, you’ll find the price is always right at this local farm stand.

Funks Roadside Stand & Riverview Greenhouse:
2277 River Road, Washington Boro
Located just 300-feet from the Susquehanna River, the Funk’s invite you to come enjoy this farm’s amazing produce, flowers, and view! Stop by the greenhouse in May for a free scoop of ice cream for everyone with your purchase!

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Riverside Blooms:
363 Penn Street, Washington Boro
This micro flower farm sells seasonal bouquets and loose stem flowers weekly from April to October. All flowers are gown on the farm and the bouquets change throughout the season based on what is blooming. The stand is open Friday & Saturday in April and May 9 AM to dusk, and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday June through October 8 AM to dusk.

Fisher’s Festivals:
2816-B Irishtown Road, Ronks
Fisher’s Festivals farm stand is open during the fall and specializes in a variety of pumpkins, gourds, and mums.

Busy Bee’s Farm Market:
3378 Old Philadelphia Pike, Ronks
This Amish roadside stand just west of the village of Intercourse offers delicious fresh fruits and vegetables in season, as well as homemade potato chips and crafted items. On Saturdays they have homemade soft pretzels.

Olde Heritage Rootbeer:
3217 Old Philadelphia Pike, Ronks
Famous for their homemade root beer this  stand also offers many Lancaster County favorites such as homemade potato chips, fudge, noodles, chow-chow, pickled beets, whoopie pies, and shoo-fly pies.

Pop’s Produce Stand:
265 Paradise Lane, Ronks
Located just outside of Strasburg Pop’s offers fresh fruits and vegetables and are open seasonally from April through November.

Fisher’s Bakery & Roadside Stand:
328 North Belmont Road, Gordonville
This stand offers a wide array of homemade baked goods such as pies, breads, sweet breads, cookies and whoopie pies. As well as homemade canned goods, jams, jellies and pickles. In fruit season they homemade root beer and lemonade.

The Corn Wagon:
2100 Block of Millersville Road, Lancaster
This is exactly what it sounds like- multiple wagons filled with corn fresh for the taking. They also have other produce such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants etc., but corn is their specialty. If you haven’t had Lancaster County sweet corn you highly recommend you try some!

Schopf Brothers Farm:
3493 Marietta Ave., Lancaster | 1900 State Road, East Petersburg

Owned by the brothers who run Field of Screams, both stand locations offer seasonal produce, such as corn and tomatoes, as well as seasonal flowers. In the fall they offer a variety of pumpkins, gourds and mums. In the winter they have pre-cut Christmas trees and wreaths.

Lapp’s Farm Market:
1406 Lampeter Road, Lancaster
Located before the traffic light where Pioneer Road crosses Lampeter road. This stand will be on the right when you are heading south and it sits back off the road. They have jams, jellies, produce, baked goods, and flowers. There is also chicken barbecue from time to time.

King’s Organic Produce:
197 W. Millport Road, Lititz

This Amish run stand has both fruits and vegetables seasonally as well as canned goods, jams, and jellies. They also have nightcrawlers  and worms for fishing- so if you are a fisherman this is your place to stop on the way to the river.

Creekside Farm Market:
1436 Mount Joy Road, Manheim

Though this stand may look small they have a great variety of produce- peppers, candy onions, beans, peaches, zucchinis, tomatoes, bicolor corn, and fabulous garlic.

Do’s and Don’ts of Roadside Stands:

 Do: Be sure to pull fully off the road and park in the parking area. If no parking area is available be sure to park on the shoulder of the road as to not impede traffic.

Don’t: Leave your vehicle running, it’s best to turn it off while you are browsing.

Do: Total up all of the items you plan on buy, most stands will have a sign stating how much each item costs.

Don’t: Leave without paying, even if no one is at the stand. The honor system is still in full force here in Lancaster and stand owners trust that you will pay them for their goods even if they aren’t there.

Do: Leave your money in the appropriate collection spot- whether it’s a jar, a tin, a cashbox, or even a rain barrel just drop your amount in before you leave. If you do not have the exact change just round up to the next closest whole dollar.

Don’t: Take photos of the Amish if they are at the roadside stand, this is disrespectful to their culture.

Do: Carefully load your purchases into your car and secure them before driving off. There is nothing worse than getting home and finding the peaches you just purchased are bruised from rolling all over the trunk. Often stands may have plastic bags or boxes for you to use for packaging up your purchases.

Don’t: Get upset if you stop and they aren’t open or are out of your favorite tomatoes. Being that these stands are privately owned and operate seasonally we cannot guarantee that they will be open when you drive by or that they will have exactly what you are looking for. Also, many are closed on Sunday so plan your visits accordingly.

Do: Be sure to savor every bite full of Lancaster County flavor!

 

Upcoming Shows in Lancaster, PA

Lights, curtain, action! Did you know that Lancaster is home to the oldest working theatre in the United States, The Fulton Theatre, and the largest faith-based theatre in the United States, Sight & Sound Theatres, as well as dinner theatres, comedy shows, and family productions? If you like theatre then you are in the right place. Lancaster hosts a number of Broadway caliber productions and high-profile performers throughout the year. If you are looking for an activity the whole family will love, or a special date night we suggest you take a look. This summer’s bill has a number of hot-ticket shows that appeal to a wide range of audiences. Plus, attending a show is a great way to keep cool when the temperature rises! Below is the list of shows coming to Lancaster this summer.

JESUS- Sight & Sound Theatres™ | March 10- January 5

JESUS is the musical stage adventure about the most famous person ever to walk the earth and the everyday people whose lives he changed forever. This action-packed experience will captivate your imagination as you take in the stories, scenery & sets, and elaborate costumes of this timeless production.

The Home Game- Bird-in-Hand Stage | March 27-October 27

The Home Game follows the story of Levi and his father. Levi must choose between his father’s expectation of an Amish life and his own deepest dreams of playing baseball in the major leagues. Filled with laughter and drama, this new musical is sure to hit it out of the park!

Magic & Wonder: Dream- Bird-in-Hand Stage | April 18- October 27

Inspired by the idea that magic can move outside the limits of reality, Brett creates a whimsical world where you can experience whatever you can dream. Whether your dream is to fly, join the circus, go back in time or venture into the future, you’ll discover that nothing is truly impossible when you unleash your imagination. This show is great for families!

Fun Home- Ephrata Performing Arts Center | April 26- May 12

Fun Home is a tragicomedy musical about growing up and coming out. The book and lyrics are written by Lisa Kron with Music by Jeanin Tesori. This show is a five time Tony Award Winner in 2015, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book of a Musical. It is recommended for teen and adult audiences.

Songs of the Silver Screen – American Music Theatre | May 1- October 5

Movie buffs of all ages will delight in this new original production at American Music Theatre. The cast and band will perform the biggest hits from movies past and present spanning decades of film making. Grab your popcorn and get ready for a harmonious, cinematic show!

Grease– Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre | May 3- June 17

Dust off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby-socks, and take a trip back in time with Danny, Sandy, the Pink Ladies, and the T-Birds to the 1950s. This show features great dance numbers and popular songs such as You’re the One That I Want, Summer Nights, Greased Lightin’ and more from the hit movie. Race on over, you won’t want to miss this show. After all Grease is the word.

American String Quartet with Christopher Shih- Trust Performing Arts Center | May 3

Internationally recognized as one of the world’s foremost quartets, the American String Quartet will make their debut at The Trust Performing Arts Center this May. The Quartet is known for its performances of the complete quartets of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schoenberg, Bartok, Mendelssohn, and Mozart. For this performance they will be joined by award-winning pianist Christopher Shih.

Songs For a New World- Prima Theatre | May 4-6, 11-13

Triple-Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown’s song-cycle musical offers a vibrant, thrilling and moving journey through the life-changing moments that define us. These unforgettable songs weave individual stories into an electrifying evening, illuminating the timelessness of self-discovery. Brown is a past PRiMA guest artist, whose Songs For A New World was PRiMA’s first staged production. This show features some of the most memorable songs from the early works of this celebrated composer-lyricist, known also for his work with The Last Five Years, Parade, Bridges of Madison County, 13 and Honeymoon in Vegas.

Joy Ike Trio at the Trust Trust Performing Arts Center | May 5

Polished and precise yet buoyed with an airy grace, Joy Ike will be performing with upright bassist, Jason Rafalak, and percussionist, Ryan Socrates to perform songs off of her new album Bigger Than Your Box.

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour- Pullo Center | May 26

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. Re-imagining La Bohème, and enjoy this inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

Getting Momma Married– Rainbow Comedy Playhouse | June 2 – August 11

A young woman and her husband live under Mom’s roof. When the stork is due to make an arrival, the kids must find their own nest. And what about poor Momma, all alone? Enjoy an evening of laughs and help make plans to get Momma married ASAP!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame– The Fulton Theatre | June 5- July 22

This Pennsylvania Premiere is based on the beloved Disney movie. Set in 15th century Paris The Hunchback of Notre Dame follows the life of Quasimodo, a deformed bellringer who is held captive by his caretaker at Notre Dame cathedral. That is, until he escapes has his own adventures and saves the day. See for yourself how magical and unforgettable this musical truly is.

Hank Williams: Lost Highway- Gretna Theatre | June 21-24

A spectacular musical biography of the legendary singer-songwriter and innovator of American music. The play follows Hand William’s rise from his beginnings to his triumphs at the Grand Ole Opry, to his eventual self-destruction. Throughout the show you are treated to favorites like I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry, Move It on Over, and Hey, Good Lookin’. If you are country music fan, this is the show for you.

The Wizard of Oz– Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre | June 21- August 4

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! See it all at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre this summer. From the yellow brick road to the Emerald City you can follow Dorothy, Toto, and their new friends on their magnificent adventures in Oz to learn there is no place like home. This 1939 classic is one of the greatest family musicals of all time, don’t miss the chance to travel Over the Rainbow.

Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike- Gretna Theatre | June 28- July 1

A 2013 Tony award winner for Best Play, this show is set in Bucks County, Pa. Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia live a quiet life in the farmhouse where they grew up. Their peace is disturbed when their movie star sister Masha returns with her twenty-something boyfriend. This hilarious story will have you laughing from beginning to end.

She Loves Me- Gretna Theatre | July 12-21

Amalia and Georg are co-workers, who don’t see eye to eye and constantly bump heads on the job. Little do they know the anonymous pen pals they have both been falling for happen to be each other! With a moving score, join Amalia and Georg to discover the identity of their true loves. Nominated for Best Revival of a Musical Tony Award in 2016, She Loves Me features songs like Tonight At Eight and the favorite Vanilla Ice Cream.

West Side Story- Ephrata Performing Arts Center | July 19- August 4

West Side Story is an epic fan-favorite musical following the story of two rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks as they face more than turf wars in 1950s New York. Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a forbidden romance buds between a boy and girl from different gangs. The groups must confront and overcome their racial tensions. This show will keep the you on the edge of your seat with intense choreographed fight scenes and have you singing into the night.

The 39 Steps- Gretna Theatre | August 2-5

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python, and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This two-time Tony Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters, an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance!

Swing! – Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre | August 9 – September 15

Jump and jive with over 30 fabulous songs from the Big Band Era of the 1930s and 40s and the dances that went with went with them. Classics such as It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Cry Me a River, and many more will be performed. Whether you are nostalgic about the past or new to swing, you’re sure to be swaying in your seat. This is the show for you if you love to watch Dancing  with the Stars.

Love, Lies and the Lottery– Rainbow Comedy Playhouse | August 18- October 27

Picture this, one winning lottery ticket, five people who think they own it, and one of the tickets has gone missing! Or has it… when there is $510 million dollars at stake sometimes the people you love may tell lies. Help the cast figure out who is the rightful winner of the money.

An Evening with Groucho- Gretna Theatre | August 23-26

Award-winning actor/director/playwright Frank Ferrante recreates his PBS, New York and London acclaimed portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx in this fast paced 90 minutes of hilarity. An Evening With Groucho consists of the best one-liners, anecdotes and songs including “Hooray For Captain Spalding,” and “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.”  The audience literally becomes part of the show as Ferrante ad-libs his way throughout the performance in grand Groucho style.

For specific show dates, times, ticket information, and additional performances, be sure to visit each theatre’s website. You can also sign up for our e-news to stay in the know on what’s happening when around Lancaster County.

Lancaster County, PA- Visitors Scavenger Hunt

Lancaster County is full of hidden gems and quite peaceful spots which are fun to stumble upon on your own. We have created a scavenger hunt for you while you explore. If you are ready to take on the challenge we invite you to follow along.

Our list is broken down into three sections: one for Downtown Lancaster, another for Lititz, and a third for Strasburg. Complete all three, or mark where you left off and come back another day! We suggest you try taking a photo with each item and sharing them with us by tagging #DiscoverLancaster. Or splitting your group into teams and seeing who can check everything off first, the fastest group gets whoopie pies (count us in!). Learn interesting facts and take in the sites as you discover what is hidden around Lancaster County. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask a local for a hint or directions some of these items can be tricky to find.

10 Things to Find in Lititz:

  • A giant pretzel
  • The oldest house on Main Street
  • A British flag
  • A chocolate mold shaped like a rabbit
  • Three mallard ducks
  • A Rolex clock
  • A Moravian star
  • A train station and caboose
  • An authentic heritage garden
  • The start of the Lititz spring
  • Bonus: A giant egg

10 Things to Find in Downtown Lancaster

  • A mural or piece of public art
  • An ice cream shop
  • A historic theater
  • The oldest continuously operating farmers market in the U.S.
  • Live music or street musician
  • A historic landmark
  • A roof top bar
  • A place to play a sport
  • A fountain
  • A man reading a newspaper
  • Bonus: Three outdoor pianos (May-September)

10 Things to Find in Strasburg

  • A train with a caboose
  • A theater up on a hill
  • Farm animals
  • A horse and buggy
  • A place to stop for a sundae
  • A giant statue of an Amish man (hint: it’s close to a restaurant)
  • A historic place to stay
  • Corn fields – Bonus point if you find a corn maze
  • Antiques and items from the past
  • A pink flamingo

Top 10 Things to do this May in Lancaster, PA

The flowers are blooming and the weather is getting warmer. With the longer days come exciting events and things to do in May in Lancaster County. Here are some of our top recommendations for things to try while you are in town.

 

  1. Songs of the Silver Screens: Movie Buffs of all ages will delight in this new original production at American Music Theatre, opening on May 1. The cast and band will perform the biggest hits from movies past and present spanning decades of film making. Grab your popcorn and get ready for a harmonious, cinematic show!

 

  1. Step back in time at a Sheep Shearing Day: On both May 4 and May 11 you can watch live, professional sheep shearing at The Amish Farm and House, as well as see demonstrations from spinners and weavers who use the wool to make crafts. Learn how to make a horse shoe, take a buggy ride, sample Amish baked goods, and visit the petting zoo to complete your sheep-shearing day

 

  1. Ready, Set, Game!: From May 4-6 Zenkaikon will be at the Lancaster County Convention Center and the city will be abuzz celebrating anime, comics, games, science fiction, and fandom. From workshops to concerts, video gaming to table-top gaming this convention has got it covered. Even if you can’t attend the event, be on the look-out for elaborate costumes as you explore the city.

 

  1. Twist it up: Stroll through the shops of downtown Lititz and taste tantalizing treats along the way at the Lititz Pretzel Fest on Saturday, May 5. The festival will feature 10+ delicious pretzel treats, minute-to-win-it games, local musicians, and lots of small-town charm. While you are in town be sure to stop in at Julius Sturgis, the nation’s oldest commercial pretzel bakery. For more places to get pretzels in Lancaster check out this list.

 

  1. Celebrate ZooAmerica: ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park celebrates its 40th anniversary the weekend of May 5-6 with fun activities for the whole family. Guests can participate in educational scavenger hunts throughout the zoo, see desert tortoise hatchlings, watch historic videos and even visit Pinky the Gila Monster, an original animal since 1978.

 

  1. Get your Green-Thumb on: The Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum will host their annual Herb & Garden Faire on May 11-12. With more than 80 vendors of plants garden art and more you are sure to find something to give your garden a healthy start this spring. Plus, tours of the gardens will be run by the museum’s Heirloom Seed Project.

 

  1. Explore the open roads: What better way to explore Lancaster County in the spring than by bicycle? Intercourse Bikeworks is hosting a Bicycle Tour with a Farm-to-Table Amish Dinner on May 12. The casual bike ride will wind through some of the county’s most beautiful farmland and finish up with a farm-to-table meal outside as the sun sets. Along the way you will pass Amish schools, covered bridges, old mills and a historic mansion. Sounds picturesquely-perfect to us!

 

  1. Go on an Ultimate Amish Experience: If biking is not your preferred method of transportation, try taking a tour with Strasburg Scooters. Their Ultimate Amish Adventure tour on May 19 offers a close-up and personal experience with the Amish culture. You can interact with the Amish and get a first-hand experience of what their lifestyle is like, all while zooming around on Lancaster’s back roads.

 

  1. Get Rowdy with Rhubarb : Rhubarb is being celebrated this month at one of the biggest foodie-approved festivals. Kitchen Kettle Village’s annualRhubarb Festival will be held May 18 and 19 to pay tribute to this spring vegetable. This family-friendly festival features live music, a Rhubarb Race Car Derby, and a Rhubarb Dessert Contest. Stroll around the village, sample rhubarb-centric treats, and browse a variety of shops.

 

May Fair @rockfordplantation #historicrockfordplantation #mayfair

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  1. Celebrate Spring: Celebrate the arrival of spring at Rock Ford Plantation’s May Fair event on Sunday, May 20. You can take a guided tour of the mansion as well as learn about this traditional spring time celebration complete with period dancing around the Maypole, historical games and music, and open-hearth cooking demonstrations. You may feel as if Mr. Darcy himself is about to come around the corner at any moment.

For more ideas of what to do during your visit check out our events calendar, or sign-up for our e-newsletter to stay in the know.

 

10 Places to get Pretzels in Lancaster, PA

Being home to America’s first commercial pretzel bakery, (established in 1861 in Lititz, PA), pretzels are pretty much their own food group here in Lancaster. Our County is home to a number of family-owned and even national pretzel bakeries. While some of you may think a pretzel is a pretzel, we know there are a lot of factors that go into pretzel preferences: hard & crunchy verses soft, salty verse low-salt, light and buttery verse extra dark. There are even dessert varieties such as cinnamon and sugar or chocolate-covered pretzels. While we you are in town be sure to try several different kinds so you can develop your own pretzel palate. Below is a list of 10 different places to get pretzels in Lancaster, PA.

  1. Julius Sturgis:

219 E. Main St., Lititz, PA | JuliusSturgis.com

Established in Lititz in 1861, Julius Sturgis is the first commercial pretzel bakery in the United States. Upon visiting you can tour the bakery and watch how these old-fashioned pretzels are made by hand, or even try to make one yourself!

Have a pretzel! So Lancaster County! #hammondspretzels #lancastercity

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  1. Hammond Pretzel Bakery, Inc.:

716 South West End Ave., Lancaster, PA | HammondPretzels.com

Specializing in hand-rolled sour dough pretzels, Hammonds has been producing pretzels in Lancaster since 1931. They believe a hands-on approach to baking yields better product than a machine can produce. Hammonds Pretzel Bakery is the oldest continuously family operated hand-made pretzel bakery in America.

  1. Auntie Anne’s:

Park City Center | 201 Park City Center, Lancaster, PA | AuntieAnnes.com

Many of you have probably eaten an Auntie Anne’s pretzel at some point in your life, but did you know that this famous pretzel chain was founded here in Lancaster? It’s founder Anne Beiler lived in Lancaster County, and the headquarters for Auntie Anne’s are located right downtown.

  1. Immergut Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels:

3537 Old Philadelphia Pk., Lancaster, PA | 717-768-0657

“Immergut” translates to “Always Good” in Pennsylvania Dutch, and that’s exactly what these pretzels are! Family-owned and operated, this Amish run business focuses in hand-rolled soft pretzels and pretzel wraps.

How we roll…& twist

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  1. Martin’s Pretzel Bakery:

1229 Diamond St., Akron, PA 17501 | martinspretzelspa.com

Opening in the 1930s, Martin’s Pretzel Bakery has a long family history of hand-rolling and twising traditional pretzels. In fact each employee produces 10-12 pretzels per-minute! Martin’s pretzels can be found in grocery stores or markets within 50 miles of Lancaster county, and even in New York City.

  1. Dutch Country Soft Pretzels:

2758-1 Division Hwy., New Holland, PA | dutchcountrypretzels.com

Making both pretzels and pretzel rolls, Dutch Country Soft Pretzels has been baking here in Lancaster for over 25 years. Be sure to stop by and stock up on these snacks. Once you smell the fresh-baked aroma you won’t be able to pass by. Bonus, you very well may pass a buggy on the way to the bakery.

  1. Pretzels on Market

Central Market, Stand 58, 23 N. Market St., Lancaster, PA | 717-538-3134

Located in Historic Central Market in Downtown Lancaster, Pretzels on Market serves delicious Philly- and Lancaster-style pretzels with various dipping sauces. They even have pretzel breakfast sandwiches to start your day off with, and pretzel mixes so you can bake some PA Dutch pretzels back home.

  1. Foltz Pretzels

60 N. Queen St., Lancaster, PA | 717-208-7965

Located downtown, Foltz offers hand-rolled soft pretzels with a number of seasoning options, as well as pretzel dogs and pretzel nuggets. This is a great place to stop in for a snack while you are exploring the city.

While these two aren’t “technically” in Lancaster County, we think they are close enough to count…

  1. Uncle Henry’s Pretzel Bakery:

1550 Bowmansville Rd., Mohnton, PA | unclehenry.com

Regular, extra-salt, reduced-sodium, extra-dark, sesame, whole wheat, chocolate-covered… you name it, they probably make it at Uncle Henry’s Pretzel Bakery. With a recipe and process that have been handed down for the past 50 years, these pretzels are nearly perfect. Plus, they offer personal tours if you call ahead of time.

  1. Shuey’s Pretzels

702 E. Lehman St., Lebanon, PA | facebook.com/shueyspretzels

This family owned bakery has been producing pretzels since 1927. Baking both hard and soft varieties that are delicious on their own, and delectable when covered in Wertz Candies caramel and chocolate! If soft pretzels are what you prefer, be sure to visit on Soft-Pretzel Saturdays- that’s the only day of the week when soft pretzels are baked.

If plain pretzels aren’t quite your thing don’t worry we have other options too. You can always try a sandwich on a pretzel bun, even order ice cream in a pretzel cone. The pretzel potentials are endless here in Lancaster. Next time you are in town be sure to give some a twist, we promise they won’t leave you feeling salty.

Six Reasons to Stop by the Discover Lancaster Visitors Center

If you are traveling to Lancaster, PA be sure to plan a stop at our Visitors Center located right off of Route 30’s Greenfield Road exit. Inside you will find local information, clean restrooms and friendly faces there to welcome you. If these reasons alone aren’t enticing enough, here are a few more reasons why you should stop by our Visitor Center…

  1. A clean, safe stop

We know stopping with kids can be a process, so we try to always provide a family friendly environment. Our Visitors Center offers clean, spacious restrooms, plenty of parking, and outdoor picnic tables for a nice snacking area. So whether you are traveling with your crew, your dog, or just yourself you are sure to feel comfortable stopping. Plus, we are right off the exit so you don’t need to worry about traveling too far off the main route.

  1. Real people who give real directions and information

Our Visitor Centers’ staff are the best local guides to Lancaster that you could meet. They know all of the backroads where the best farm stands are, and can give you clear, concise directions to anywhere in the county. Whatever your question, they are sure to know the answer. They are experts on where to stay, what to eat, which show to see and even “how to become Amish” (they surprisingly get asked this a lot!).

  1. Maps, brochures, Special offers- oh my!

Sometimes when you are on the backroads of Lancaster, Siri just won’t cut it. It’s nice to have a map handy to get around, and we have them. We also have specific trails and programs you can follow catered towards your own individual interests. Try one of our Wine, Ale, Arts, or Outdoor Adventure Trails, or try to see every Covered Bridge in the County.

  1. Free locally roasted coffee

Driving can be a drag, so why not stop in for a free caffeine boost? Our Visitor Center supplies free coffee from Lancaster County Coffee Roasters with all the fixings. The beans are roasted right here in Lancaster to create signature blends such as “Starbarn” Red Rose Espresso” and “Old Amish.”

  1. Mr. Sticky’s Famous Sticky Buns

Located in the same parking lot as the Visitor’s Center, Mr. Sticky’s is a notorious local favorite. Fair warning, as all locals know these sticky buns are “extremely addictive” and also amazingly delicious. Grab one as a sweet treat to go with your coffee to revive you from your drive.

  1. Our Art Gallery & Gift Shop

Our Visitors Center includes a beautiful, naturally lit gallery which features local artists from around Lancaster County. From paintings, to pottery, to hand stitched quilts and quillows, the work in the Visitors Center gallery is superb. Our gift shop also features locally made goods ranging from sea-salted caramels all the way to handcrafted furniture. You are sure to find the something to take back home with you.

So next time you come this way, stop in and say “hello,” we can’t wait to see you and share everything we can with you about our beautiful Lancaster County. We may have humble roots, but we love to brag about all that there is to do around here. If you can’t wait to come explore check out our Getaway Guide (order here) or sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the know.

Top Five Things to do in Lancaster, PA for First Time Visitors

If this is your first visit to Lancaster, PA – we welcome you with open arms and warm Pennsylvania-Dutch hospitality. If you are eager to learn what all the fuss is about, we have compiled a list of five great things to do while you are in town. These activities are “classic” Lancaster at their core. They help to make up what Lancaster is all about and have led to the development of so many of the wonderful experiences and traditions around the County.

  1. Visit Amish Country

When we say “Lancaster” you say “Amish.” These two often go hand in hand, being that Lancaster, PA is home to one of the largest Amish populations in the United States. Our county is known for its rolling hills, beautiful farmland, and relaxing way of life. Try taking a buggy ride with Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy Rides or Ed’s Buggy Rides to have a truly authentic experience on the back roads. If you prefer to move at a faster pace, opt for a scooter ride through the countryside with Strasburg Scooters. Attractions like the Amish Farm & House, the Amish Village, and The Amish Experience are also great places to learn about the plain lifestyle. You can see first-hand what an Amish home or one-room schoolhouse looks like plus learn traditions and customs of this unique culture.

  1. Stop by Lancaster’s Central Market

Located in our beautiful and bustling downtown, Lancaster Central Market is the country’s oldest continually operating farmers’ market. Open on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, this market is the perfect place to see the combination of diverse cultures and cuisines that make up Lancaster County. Be sure to pick up some locally-grown produce, freshly-baked goods, meats, or cheeses to take home with you. If visit doesn’t coincide with Market days, don’t worry, there are plenty of other farmers’ markets around the County which you can visit.

  1. Try some traditional PA Dutch food

Traditional PA Dutch food is truly a treat. Prepared from scratch with simple, hearty, ingredients, you can taste the love in every bite. From chicken pot pie, to pork and sauerkraut, or shoofly pie to whoopie pies you are sure to find something to indulge in while you are here. Our many PA Dutch restaurants like Miller’s, Good ‘N Plenty, or Shady Maple, offer all the traditional dishes for you to sample and enjoy. Not sure what you will like? Check out some of our recommendations and explanations here.

  1. Shop for antiques and hand-crafted goods

Here in Lancaster we like to make things by hand, the old fashioned way. We value quality, crafted goods that are passed on to generations and hidden gems scoured from our many antique stores. Each item has a story, and more than likely someone around to tell you about it. If you are looking for the perfect piece to add to your home be sure to head out to Adamstown to check out the many antique malls, markets, and auctions.  Downtown Lancaster also offers a number of artisans and galleries for you to explore on Gallery Row.

  1. See a show

Lancaster is home to a number of theatres with performances ranging from musical, to dramatic, to comedy, or even spiritual. While in town you can visit the largest faith-based theatre in the United States, Sight & Sound Theatres®or catch a broadway caliber musical at the oldest working theatre in the United States, The Fulton Theatre.

If this isn’t enough to keep you busy while you are in town, there is plenty more to do! Stop by our Visitors Center for more ideas and recommendations. We are positive that you will want to come back again to do some more exploring, when you do we will be ready with more suggestions. If you want to learn more of what all there is to do in Lancaster, check out our Getaway Guide (order here) or sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the know.

Things to do for Easter in Lancaster, PA

Easter Bunny Train
Strasburg Rail Road™ | March 30, 31 and April 1
Hop aboard the Easter Bunny Train at the Strasburg Rail Road. Welcome spring with a ride through beautiful farmland with Peter Cottontail as your Conductor. Peter will delight boys and girls with an Easter surprise as he greets them on board this special train. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Easter Dinner Train
Strasburg Rail Road™ | Easter Sunday, April 1
This event, only offered on Easter Sunday, is a one-of-a-kind way to dine with your family. Traditional Lancaster County fare is served in the fully restored Victorian dining car on Strasburg Rail Road’s Easter Dinner Train. Guests should purchase tickets in advance.

Easter Bunny Breakfast
Kitchen Kettle Village | March 24, 30, 31
Visit Kitchen Kettle Village with your family and enjoy breakfast with the Easter Bunny and the Kitchen Kettle mascot, Yummie! The breakfast offers a delicious buffet featuring Lancaster County favorites. This special event fills up quickly so be sure to reserve your spot. Children who attend can partake in a VIP egg hunt.

Easter Bunny Toddler Time HOP
SkyZone – Lancaster | March 23
Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the trampoline trail at SkyZone. This event is great for little ones to expend some Easter excitement. They can jump, hop, wiggle and flop while wearing bunny ears. Storytime, snack, an Easter craft, and a meet-and-greet with the Easter Bunny are also included.

Bunny Village at Country Barn
Country Barn Market & Barnyard Kingdom | March 24, 25, 30, 31
There are so many different activities to do at the Barnyard Kingdom to celebrate Easter. From riding through Bunny Village to see the Easter Bunny’s home, to egg hunts, or even breakfast with the Easter Bunny himself. Little ones will be bouncing with joy once the day is through. Be sure to visit the baby animals, bunnies, and chicks while you are there.

Jesus – Live on Stage
Sight & Sound Theatres® | Check website for performance schedule
Jesus is the musical stage adventure about the most famous person to ever walk the earth, and the everyday people whose lives changed forever. This new performance, opening in March, is the perfect show to see with your family to celebrate Easter.

AACA Easter Egg Hunt
AACA Museum | March 24, 31
Children can partake in a special Easter egg hunt through the AACA Museum. All kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult. Guests can hunt in a variety of “egg spots” and visit the Easter Bunny. All egg treats are provided by the Hershey Company. Be sure to bring your own basket.

Easter Brunch
If your family is past the age of eating with the Bunny, there are plenty of restaurants around the county to visit for brunch. Review our list of the Best Weekend Brunch spots and be sure to look for special schedules, menus and deals on each restaurant’s website. The Revere Tavern and The Cameron Estate Inn both offer special Easter Sunday meals.

Egg Hunts:

There are dozens of egg hunts around Lancaster County. Here is a list of a few which you can participate in:

Community Egg Hunt at Zion Lutheran Church, Leola – Saturday March 24, 2018
Registration Required *

Grace Church Egg Hunt & Party – Saturday, March 24, 2018

Ephrata Lion’s Club Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday, March 31, 2018

Lititz Lions Club 72 Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday, March 31, 2018

18th Annual Columbia Community Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday, March 31, 2018

Adamstown Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday, March 31, 2018

Elizabethtown Lion’s Club Eggstravaganza – Saturday, April 8, 2018

Lancaster Easter Traditions:

Did you know that the symbols of the egg and the rabbit at Easter can be traced back to Germany and that the Pennsylvania Dutch are responsible for bringing the traditions to America?

Easter traditions in Germany date back to the 1500s and the Pennsylvania Dutch who immigrated to the United States continued the tradition of the Oschter Haws, or Easter Hare. If the children were good, the Easter Hare would lay colored eggs in the grass for them to discover. However, instead of baskets, the children would prepare special nests using their own bonnets or hats.

The custom did not catch on nationally until the early 1900s, for the idea of an egg laying rabbit was a rather hard sell to non-Germanics.

Source: Lancaster Newspaper, “Easter Bunny, like the Belsnickle, owes American roots to the Pa. Dutch”

Best Weekend Brunch in Lancaster, PA

Don’t like to wake up early? Brunch is for you! Love decadent breakfast treats? Brunch is for you! Is lunch more your meal of choice? Brunch is for you! It is best of both worlds… breakfast and lunch combined into one delicious meal. Who doesn’t love brunch? With so many sweet and savory options to choose from there is always something for everyone on the menu- even those folks who are hard to please.

Whether it’s an after church tradition, a time to catch-up on gossip with the girls, or to celebrate a special family occasion, brunch is the perfect pick! Plus, if you eat enough you can usually make it through the day till dinner. Brunch in Lancaster simply cannot be beat. Here is a list of some of Lancaster’s favorite places for weekend brunchin’.

American Bar & Grill- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday 11 AM- 3 PM

Mimosas and Bloody Marys served in a pint glass… if that isn’t enough reason for you to head at American Bar & Grill, then we aren’t sure what is. Be sure to try the pork roll sandwich, it is delicious.

 Annie Bailey’s Irish Public House-  Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday 11 AM- 3 PM

The French-toast at Annie Bailey’s is a sweet and crunchy treat topped off with fresh berries and whipped cream. If you prefer to stick to traditional fare, try the Full Irish Breakfast or Celtic Eggs Benedict.

Aussie & the Fox- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday 9 AM – 2 PM

If you prefer savory over sweet, try the breakfast burger at Aussie & the Fox. This restaurant offers creative, delicious dishes that are a blend of Australian and American cuisine; and those big orange booths make a great backdrop for instagram photos.

Champagne Sunday Brunch at the Eden Resort- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served every Sunday from 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Brunch with a little bubbly anyone? With a wide variety of breakfast and luncheon options the Eden Resort’s Sunday Brunch has pretty much anything you can imagine from your brunch-infused dreams. Be sure to save room to try out the various made-to-order stations ranging from omelets to New York strip steaks. You so not have to be a hotel guest to enjoy this brunch, however, staying overnight and sleeping in sounds pretty good to us.

Citronnelle- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Sundays from 11 AM – 2 PM

If you are looking to travel to Paris in the span of an hour or two, head to Citronnelle. Featuring modern French cuisine, their brunch menu is tres magnifique! We recommend trying the  decadent bread basket and the rustic open-face market omelette.

Cork & Cap Sunday Brunch- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served every Sunday 11 AM – 4 PM

This one-of-a-kind restaurant set inside of an old cork factory serves up delicious dishes almost all day. If you are unsure of what to order we recommend trying the Cinnamon-Stuffed French toast or the Country Breakfast. Both are local favorites at the Cork & Cap’s Sunday Brunch. Also if you like a little booze with your breakfast order the signature Cork Kiss- it is cranberry juice with blood orange liquer.

The Greenfield Restaurant- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served every Sunday 9 AM – 2 PM

Be sure to make a reservation if you would like to have brunch at the Greenfield Restaurant. This venue is a popular place on Sundays in Lancaster County. With its traditional dishes created with local ingredients, it is hard to pick just one thing to order.

The General Sutter- Lititz, PA

Full English breakfast is served every Saturday from 8 – 11 PM

A traditional English Breakfast complete with unlimited tea or coffee is a great way to start the day. For English bacon, sausage, eggs, baked beans, tomatoes and toast head to the Bull’s Head Public House at the General Sutter. You can even add a slice of black pudding if you fancy. Cheers Mate!

Gracie’s on West Main- Leola, PA

Open Saturdays, 7 AM – 9 PM with specials ending at 2:30 PM, and Sundays from 8 AM – 3 PM
(Breakfast is also served all day, everyday)

Gracie’s is great! We love stopping in here on the weekends for the Grilled Banana Nut Bread- it’s divine. (As is everything else on the menu- including the peanut butter pie!). Whatever you order, your taste buds will thank you. Bacon lovers rejoice- there is bacon jam, bacon of the month, and even an exclusive bacon menu!

La Petite Patisserie- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Saturdays 9 AM- 2 PM

Pastries, and biscuits, and quiche – oh my! Saturday Brunch at La Petit Patisserie is not to be belittled, big flavors can be found in this boutique bakery. Be sure to pick up some goodies to take home with you for later (the macaroons are marvelous).

 Loxleys Restaurant- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served every Sunday from 10 AM – 2 PM

A luxe breakfast at Loxleys is what you will get if you stop in on Sundays. This fun, Robin Hood- themed menu is full of crowd pleasers including a Philly Cheese Steak Omelet. Pair it with a bottomless Bloody Mary or Bottomless Mimosa and you can’t go wrong. In the warmer months, chose an outdoor table in their tree house!

Our House Café- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday 8 AM- 3 PM

Serving cuisine curated from ingredients provided by local farms and markets, this casual cafe is a great place for all occasions. Our House Café is a perfect place for those who like to be healthy but still enjoy delicious flavor combinations. Many of the offerings are vegetarian (or can easily become veggie). Note, this restaurant is BYOB for Saturday & Sunday Brunch.

 On Orange- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Friday – Sunday 7 AM- 1 PM

Two words- Swedish pancakes. If you haven’t tried them, we insist that you must. (Although if you prefer waffles, they have those too). On Orange offers many delectable brunch options within is historic building which dates back to the 1850s. While you dine be sure to check out the local artists that are featured on the walls of the restaurant.

 The Pressroom- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Sundays 10:30 Am – 2 PM

Similar to its lunch and dinner offerings, The Pressroom Restaurant does not disappoint when it comes to brunch. With unique dishes like Duck Confit Hash and Chicken & Biscuits, this restaurant has many savory options. If you tend to prefer lunch to breakfast- definitely try The Pressroom!

 Pour- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served every Sunday from 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Right on Prince Street, Pour is a perfect place to grab brunch on your way to or from Market. If the weather is nice be sure to sit outside. You can choose from changing seasonal options as well as breakfast mainstays. They also offer a selection of brunch cocktails and beers. Reservations are recommended.

. . .

All Day, Every Day

For those of you who can’t wait for the weekend… here are some popular places that serve breakfast all day, every day. So brunch on my friends!

Commonwealth on Queen– Lancaster, PA
Breakfast is served all day, everyday

Ida’s Café, Lancaster, PA
Breakfast is served all day, every day

Rachel’s Café & Creperie, Lancaster, PA
Breakfast is served all day, every day

Speckled Hen Coffee– Strasburg, PA
Breakfast is served all day, every day

Tomato Pie Café– Lititz, PA
Breakfast is served all day, every day

Café Chocolate– Lititz, PA
Breakfast is served all day, every day

 

 

Roots & Blues Festival Round-Up

When you think Blues or Jazz music you think of somewhere like Memphis or Louisiana, right? Did you know that Lancaster has its own Roots & Blues Festival? And it is kickin’…

Held in March, this annual festival is back for the 5th year in a row to grace the city with its musical presence. Roots and Blues features over 50 artists from around the world at eight different venues throughout downtown Lancaster. Whether you are an avid Blues fan, or just a casual listener all are welcome to attend!

You can purchase tickets for the whole weekend, one- or two-days, or even one-venue. (If you would like to see any performances on the mainstage you must have a general admission ticket). Tickets are available in advance and it is recommended to purchase them ahead of time… this event is pretty popular among locals and visitors alike.

Ridiculous. #vonsmith #lancaster #rootsandbluesfestival

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The festival showcases all different types of musical genres from Blues, Jazz, and Rock ‘n Roll, to Reggae, Bluegrass, Ska, and even Celtic! Needless to say, there is just about something for everyone to enjoy.

Be sure to take a look at the artists performing a head of time so you can plan a schedule of what to see where. Downtown Lancaster is very walkable, so you should have no trouble getting from one venue to the next to see a performance.

We do recommend you dress in layers; it can be cold here in Lancaster in early March, but the venues can get crowded so you will want to be able to shed your jacket. Also, don’t be afraid to don your fringy boots, embroidered peasant top, or your favorite leather jacket- this is a music festival after all and the City of Lancaster is brimming with creative energy. Feel free to flaunt your personal style.

If listening to all that music makes you hungry, there are plenty of places to grab a bite Downtown. Lancaster has loads of ethnic eats, pub fare, and good ol’ American favorites. Some of the venues, like Tellus360 also serve food so you can dine while you listen. We recommend you try the pizza at the Federal Taphouse, and grab a beer while you are there – the Taphouse features 100 beers on tap. If you are in the mood for something cultural try Sa la Thai Restaurant on North Queen Street. For more upscale dining visit Carr’s or The Pressroom– both are delicious. (All are within walking distance of the festival venues).

The Roots and Blues Festival is a great way to experience live music and break out of the winter doldrums. Come for a day, or for the weekend and celebrate the roots of American music and explore all that Lancaster City has to offer.

Locations to purchase tickets in person:

Stan’s Record Bar – 48 N. Prince St., Lancaster, PA 17603 | 717-397-5200 | *Cash Only

CI Records – 226 N. Prince St., Lancaster, PA 17603 | 717-391-7865

The Record Connection – 555 N. Reading Rd., Ephrata, PA 17522 | 717-733-1641

Iko’s Music Trade – 2300 E. Market St., York, PA 17402 | 717-755-2752

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