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!

6 Reasons We are Obsessed with Fall in Lancaster

As Anne of Green Gables once said “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Here in Lancaster we are especially glad- actually more than glad, we are obsessed! Lancaster seems to glow in the autumn- bustling with harvest festivals and farm days or whipping up all sorts of pumpkin flavored goodies. We just can’t wait to put on our flannel and boots and go crunch some leaves. Read through our top six reasons we are obsessed with fall in Lancaster, and then get out there and enjoy the season!

  1. Leaf-peeping
    The foliage in Lancaster is a highlight of all fall-activities… you can’t seem to go anywhere without noticing the beautiful oranges, reds, and golden yellows painting the background of your day.
  2. Perfect Weather
    Not too hot, not too cold, it’s just right for an outdoor adventure. Unplug from your busy days and spend some time outside hiking or biking around the county.
  3. Hayrides
    Haunted or not, who doesn’t enjoy going on a hayride? This fall tradition is fun for all ages. If it’s a chilly night you can bundle up in sweaters and blankets, or warm up with some hot apple cider.
  4. Pumpkin Everything
    Pumpkins seem to pop up everywhere once the leaves start to turn and the air cools down. In farmer’s markets, on door steps, in foods and drinks, you name it and there seems to be a pumpkin variation of it.
  5. Apple Picking
    Apple picking is a great way to spend the day outdoors with family or friends. Once you are finished choosing your apples you can make all sorts of delicious treats – pies, crisps, caramel apples, dumplings, or cider donuts, whatever tickles your taste buds! Try heading over to Cherry Hill Orchards or Brecknock Orchard Farm Market.
  6. Seasonal Brews
    Pick your poison- coffee or beer– both have great seasonal varieties in the fall. Pumpkin spice latte, cinnamon chai, or Oktoberfest, we can’t decide which flavor is our favorite.

Lancaster Locals’ Favorite Coffee Spots & Cafes

Coffee, café, java, cup-of-joe – Lancaster is no stranger to coffee shops, in fact we have over 70 coffee shops and cafes around the county- including 9 that roast their own beans! We talked with some Lancaster locals to ask them for their tips on the best places. Read the list below for a new suggestion on where to grab your next cup, it may become your new favorite!

Ryan S. – Passenger
7 W. King St., Lancaster, PA 17602 | passengercoffee.com
“I mean, Passenger is definitely the best. I like it for its philosophy about roasting – nothing is too dark or burnt, they excel at bringing out unique flavor profiles in each roast. The options are on point, from cold brew to pour overs. The space itself is modern and beautiful, there’s really nothing like it in the city. It brings a little bit of the west coast vibe to our town.”

Jordan H. – Passenger
“I love Passenger, but those $1 refills from Mean Cup give them a run for their money.”

Ryan M. – Prince Street Café
15 N. Prince St., Lancaster, PA 17602 | princestreetcafe.com
“We have some great coffee and cafes in this little city, but I think for me my favorite is still Prince Street Café. It probably has a lot to do with the nostalgia of the place. It is where I use to have my first client meetings when I was starting up my business. The coffee is consistently great, the food is excellent, and the eclectic din of conversation provides for a great environment to meet with a friend, connect with a client or get some last-minute studying done before your next final. Prince Street Café feels authentic and well lived in… it feels like home.”

Amber S.Mean Cup or Buzz
398 Harrisburg Ave. #200, Lancaster, PA 17603 and at Lancaster Central Market| meancup.com
“I can’t decide between Buzz and Mean Cup. When it comes to coffee at Central Market, I am fiercely loyal to Mean Cup. But on non-Market days, my downtown go-to is Buzz.”

Annie W. Buzz
36 W. King St., Lancaster, PA 17603 | eatabuzz.com
“My vote is cast for Buzz. I’m always greeted with a cheery hello and there’s something fun about walking up to their window. The coffee is only one size but it just so happens it’s the right size for me – large. They’re there for me when I need them.”

Katie W. Café One Eight
18 W. Orange St., Lancaster, PA 17603 | cafe1eight.com
“I love the calming environment and all of the natural light in Café One Eight. I highly recommend trying their pesto breakfast egg-sandwich, or their avocado toast with your coffee  delicious!”

Dana D. Copper Cup
922 Columbia Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603 | coppercup.co
“I love Copper Cup Coffee in Lancaster.  It’s one of the few coffee shops that has the option of hanging out and enjoying their unique vibe inside or zipping through their drive through window if you’re in a hurry.”

Ally H. Courtyard Café on Main
349 Main St., Denver, PA 17517 | courtyardcafeonmain.com
“One of my new favorites is Courtyard Café on Main in Denver. It has a lot of charm – from their outside courtyard to the sense of community felt throughout the café. They put a lot of thought into their food menu, as they feature local, seasonal ingredients and house-made pastries.  Whether I’m in the mood for coffee or tea, they have a great selection of drinks to choose from.”

Sarah L. Speckled Hen
141 E. Main Street, Strasburg, PA 17579 | speckledhencoffee.com
“My vote is for Speckled Hen. I have always loved taking my kids to Strasburg, but mostly just for the train-themed attractions and the creamery. I feel like Strasburg is coming into its own with the new(er) businesses opening up. Speckled Hen is a place where you not only get served excellent food and fresh roasted coffee, you get to mingle with the locals – Amish included. If you’re not into coffee, don’t leave without having the London Fog – it’s one of the best.”

Luke W. Dosie Dough
45 S. Broad St., Lititz, PA 17543 | DosieDough.com
Dosie Dough is my favorite. I love the diversity in people that pass in and out – everybody from a mom running an errand on a Saturday morning, to a bike group stopping by, to the regulars, or just people passing through town. It has its own unique, quirky vibe and is always bustling with activity. I also love walking up the steps off of the beautiful section of Lititz Pike, through the outdoor seating. Everyone just seems so relaxed and content.”

Honorable Mentions:
Tomato Pie Café
Lancaster Coffee Roasters
Café Chocolate
Commonwealth on Queen
Chestnut Hill Café
Café di Vetro
Perkup & Co.
Folklore Coffee & Company
On Orange
Square One

Fall Foliage in Lancaster

People have all sorts of ways for predicting the weather and seasonal outcomes of the year, such as reading a Farmer’s Almanac, studying the way the moss grows on trees, achy bones, etc.

According to the interactive map on SmokeyMountains.com, it the predicts that the peak time for foliage peeping in Lancaster is at the beginning of October. Others may factor in that we have had quite a bit of rain this summer which usually makes for an early autumn. One thing we do know for certain is that Lancaster is beautiful in the fall and so is its foliage.

Below is a list of popular Lancaster County spots to take in the beauty of the season.

Parks and Preserves
Parks are a great place to admire Mother Nature dressed in her fall finery, and better yet they are free! Make a day out of it by taking a hike and packing a picnic lunch. Below are some of our favorite parks around Lancaster County.

– Breezyview Overlook at Chickies Rock County Park
– Lancaster County Central Park
– Lititz Springs Park
– Pinnacle Overlook, Susquehannock State Park
– Speedwell Forge County Park
– Money Rocks County Park
– Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Not a hiker? There are still plenty of ways for you to leaf-peep. Sit back, relax and take in the foliage from one of these various modes of transportation. You will also get great views of Lancaster County’s countryside.

-Take a Strasburg Rail Road train ride through the countryside.
-Try a helicopter tour with Smoketown Helicopters over the patchwork of farmland.
-Gaze at the tree tops in a U.S. Hot Air Balloon Ride as you gently float on you may even be able to reach out grab a leaf!
-Drive along Discover Lancaster’s Covered Bridge Tour (this way you can stop and take photos wherever you want to).

Sip while you sight-see
See the auras of autumn view while you are sipping. These vineyards not only serve local wine, but also provide great outdoor spaces to take in the view.

The Vineyard at Grandview
The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey
Nissley Vineyards
Waltz Vineyards

Lancaster’s Labor Day Weekend Guide- 2017

For many folks, Labor Day Weekend is the unofficially end of the summer. However, there is still plenty to do in Lancaster before you pack your white pants away and dive into the school year… From Friday, September 1 through Monday September 4, look forward to everything from fine wine and original art to family bike rides and live music.

Special Events:

September 1–3
Long’s Park Art Festival
This year is the 39th Annual Long’s Park Art Festival in beautiful Long’s Park. Over 200 artists from 30 states will be exhibiting their art including photography, painting, jewelry, sculpture, digital, fiber, metal, and wood art, as well as furniture. A bistro area in the park will be serving up local food, wine and craft beer.

September 1
First Friday in Lancaster
There’s nothing like a First Friday in Lancaster! Join in Lancaster’s highly popular arts extravaganza from 5 to 9 pm. Discover innovative exhibitions, performances and perhaps a few surprises as you downtown Lancaster.

Local Labor Day Sales:

September 1-4
Tanger Outlets- Lancaster Grand Opening
The Tanger Outlets have added 25 new stores that will be opening Labor Day weekend. This event will feature not only great shopping, but also food trucks, face painting, giveaways, and more. 

August 31 – September 4
Labor Day Sidewalk/ Tent Sales at Rockvale Outlets Lancaster
Visit Rockvale Outlets for great deals from a variety of name-brand stores. The tent sale will close one hour before the center.

Family Fun:

September 1-4
Duke’s Lagoon
End the summer with a splash! Duke’s Lagoon at Dutch Wonderland closes for the season after Labor Day weekend, so don your swimsuit one last time and head on over while you can.

September 1, September 2
Music and Fireworks at the Lancaster Barnstormers
Friday night the Lancaster Barnstormers take on the Somerset Patriots at 6:30 PM in Clipper Stadium followed by a post-game concert by “Credence Clearwater.” On Saturday night both teams face-off again at 6:30 PM, followed by a spectacular fireworks display.

September 2
Lititz Bikeworks’ Taste of Lititz Bicycle Tour- Family Style
This bike ride combines salty and sweet with a bit of history, departing at 2 PM and running until 6 PM. It is kindly suggested that riders make reservations one week in advance. Tours are limited to 10 riders, ages 12 and up. Includes bike, helmet, water, pretzel/chocolate tastings.

September 3
Nikki’s Sunday Picnic Scooter Tour
Enjoy a leisurely 50cc scooter ride through the back roads of Amish country. Ride past Amish farms and schoolhouses, and possibly pass a few buggies along the way to a scenic location, featuring a historic covered bridge to enjoy a locally prepared picnic basket lunch. Ride departs at 11 AM.

Sip and Savor:

September 1
September Wine by the Vine
Visit the Vineyard at Grandview from 6-8:30 PM for wine, music by John Grisbacher, and food from JoBoy’s Brew Pub served on the deck.

September 2
Nissley Lawn Concert: The Flyboys
The Music in the Vineyards is an open-air lawn concert held at the Nissley Winery. Bring a picnic and some lawn chairs or a blanket, and enjoy an evening of local music and wine. Must be 21 to attend, bring photo I.D.

September 1-4
Get your grill on!

Everyone loves a good cook-out for Labor Day, try serving some of our locally produced meats and vegetables at your party. Fresh foods can be picked up at Central Market on Friday September 1 from 6 AM – 4 PM, and Saturday September 2 from 6 AM – 2 PM, or at many of the various farm stands around the county.

Back to School Lunches – Lancaster Style!

Hey Lancaster locals – with the kids going back to school at the end of the month, it’s time to gear up for another year of learning. Once you’ve collected your school supplies, stock up on great lunch ideas to keep your kids full and focused.

If your goal for this school year is to break away from the PB & J, try packing some of these local items in your child’s lunch for an authentic, nutritious, and most importantly, kid-friendly Lancaster County mid-day meal.

1] Rolling up turkey or ham is a great alternative to PB & J, and easy for little ones to eat.
(Stoltzfus Meats & Deli)

2] Cube cheese into bite-sized pieces for extra calcium and protein
(September Cheese Farm)

3] To add a crunch to their day, pack an individual size bag of Herr’s chips.
(Herr’s Snack Factory)

4] Not a chip fan? Pretzels are another salty alternative. After all, they are practically their own food group in Lancaster County with so many varieties to choose from.
(Julius Sturgis or Hammonds)

5] A piece of fresh, locally-grown fruit, or vegetables cut up and served with hummus make a healthy and colorful snack.
(Local farm stands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a special day like a birthday or just a TGIF treat, add in a mini whoopie pie from Shady Maple, some Wilbur Buds, or a treat from Miesse Candies.

Another easy way to brighten their day is to include one of our Lancaster County lunch box notes. Simply print them out at home and slip one in their lunch box.

 

 

National Farmer’s Market Week – August 6-12

Have you been to your local farmer’s market lately? If you are like us, the answer is probably yes, but just in case you need an excuse to go it is National Farmer’s Market Week! Farmer’s markets are stocked with fresh-from-the-fields produce, juicy fruits, local meats, cheeses and dairy products, and delicious baked goods. They allow us to truly “eat local,” and to know where our food is coming from. Through buying your groceries at a farmer’s market you are directly helping the community in which you live and the people that grow and produce the food you eat. Eating locally not only has health benefits, but it is also good for the environment. You can reduce your carbon footprint through eating food produced in your community, because the oil and emissions created by shipping foods are much less.

Not only does Lancaster have a large number of farmer’s markets, we are also home to the Nation’s oldest indoor farmer’s market, Lancaster Central Market. Central Market was recently named in CNN Travel’s top 10 fresh markets in the world. As they say they were “established in 1730 and still fresh.” Walking up and down the aisles you pass a variety of stands selling produce and prepared food from all different cultures. Ranging from traditional PA Dutch chow-chow to African Samosas and everything in between, there are a whole world of flavors under one roof waiting for you to taste and explore.

Different stands and markets have different schedules, but with the large number of farmer’s markets throughout the county you are guaranteed to find one that fits in with your schedule. Plus, Lancaster farmer’s markets open bright and early, so you can stop on your way to work. So why not go?

Gretna Theatre

Are you a movie or theater lover, but can’t stand the idea of spending a beautiful evening inside? The Gretna Theatre is the perfect spot for you! Located in Mt. Gretna near the lake this outdoor theater puts on spectacular summer productions. The Chautauqua playhouse has continuously operating since 1892, bringing Broadway to our own backyard since 1927. Mt. Gretna was originally established as an arts/resort community. It is now a mix of residential and vacation-rental homes, but the Chautauqua playhouse still draws a crowd in June and July.

Currently running is the popular Tony Award winning show, Man of La Mancha which is based on the novel Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes. Set during the Spanish Inquisition, it begins as famous author, actor, and poet Miguel De Cervantes is thrown in prison. He must convince his fellow inmates not to burn his beloved manuscript by convincing them of its worth before he himself must face a similar trail for his own life. He enlists their help to put on his production, making it a play within a play. The casting of characters is wonderfully done, and the singing and choreography of the show are Broadway caliber. Entertaining the audience as they follow the multiple storylines.

The show runs through July 22 as both matinee and evening productions. But don’t worry if you cannot make it, there are several other productions happening this summer as well. The summer performance schedules can be found here as well as information on other events and educational programs.

The Most “Instagrammable” Spots in Lancaster, PA

In honor of #Lancastergram we decided to create a list of instagrammable locations around the county as inspiration for the awesome shots we hope you tag us in!  Of course, anywhere and everywhere around Lancaster County is fair game to submit, however, we noticed through some hashtag snooping the following locations are particularly popular.

1. Aussie & the Fox
38 W. King Street Lancaster, PA 17603
With its bright orange booth, cocktails, and beautiful brunch display, this eatery is sure to produce plenty of likes.

2. Chickies Rock – Chickies Rock County Park
West Hempfield Township, PA 17512
Located along the Susquehanna River, this outcropping offers great hikes, challenging climbs, and impressive vistas to photograph.

3. Covered Bridges
Various locations around the County
Lancaster PA Dutch Country is known for a number of things, one of them being our quintessential covered bridges- 25 of them to be exact!

4. The Fulton Theatre
12 N. Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603
Known as “The Grand Old Lady of Prince Street”, The Fulton has been part of Lancaster since 1852, making it the nation’s oldest continuously operating theatre. That’s a place worth documenting.

5. General Sutter Inn
14 E. Main Street, Lititz, PA 17543
From the elegant dining room, to the outdoor patio, to the Bulls Hear Public House this local watering hole is a great place to catch up with friends and grab a bite or a brew.

6. Lancaster Central Market
23 N. Market Street, Lancaster, PA 17603
This 120-year-old building with its beautiful, red brick façade is a Lancaster County Icon.

7. Gretna Lake
130 Lakeview Drive, Lebanon, PA 17042
Mt. Gretna Lake is a great place to get away for the day, pack a picnic and enjoy a day at the beach (minus the shore traffic!).

8. Prince Street Pop-Up Park
118 N. Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603
With its fairy lights and shaded seating, this pop-up park is a great spot try some of the tasty treats from the city’s various food trucks or to relax with a good book and cup of coffee.

9. Speckled Hen Coffee
141 E. Main Street, Strasburg, PA 17579
Speaking of coffee, get your caffeine fix at this hip coffee shop in historic Strasburg. It’s modern décor and fresh, farm-to-table fare are right on trend.

10. Tellus360
24 E. King Street, Lancaster, PA 17602
An Irish pub right in the heart of Downtown Lancaster, Tellus360 is the place to go for great music. Snap a photo on their green rooftop bar which overlooks the city.

11. Thistle Finch Distillery
417 W. Grant Street, Lancaster, PA 17603
Thistle Finch is Lancaster’s only operating distillery, stop in for a tasting or a tour and stay for a delicious craft-cocktail!

12. Tomato Pie Café
23 N. Broad Street, Lititz, PA 17543
This café exudes charm and serves up delicious drinks and dishes to match. Make sure to stop in while you are in Lititz.

Snow Geese at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area

If you have not been to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, it is certainly worth the trip any time of year, but especially now! Sometime in late February to early March the lake is can be found filled with beautiful snow geese and tundra swans.

The birds use the WMA as a resting place on their returning migration back north, some traveling as far as Canada for nesting. This year has been a particularly good year for bird watching due to the mild winter- the grounds are mostly unfrozen for feeding, and so is the 400-acre lake. It was estimated on Sunday, February 19, that there were approximately 50,000 to 70,000 birds at Middle Creek.

It is best to go see the birds in the evening around sunset when they are making their way from the fields to the lake for the night (or vice versa at sunrise, if you are an early riser… they do say the early bird catches the worm). If you are lucky you will catch the birds lifting off the lake in a similar fashion to a murmuration of starlings. It is mesmerizing to watch them skillfully swirl around the air and then land gracefully back on the water.

If you are interested it visiting be sure to check the park website or call for information on their hours and which areas of the park are open to the public. Also, be sure to ask the bird count, since they are wild animals they do not make reservations to stay for a certain length of time. They may be there one day and gone the next! If you do have the opportunity to go it truly is a memorable experience which makes you stop think about how as humans we live in the environments and ecosystems of all nature’s creatures.

Insider’s tips:
– Wear comfortable walking shoes, there is a bit of a hike out to the point.
– Bring binoculars if you have them, since they are wild birds you can only get so close.
– Dress warmly, it can get quite windy near the lake.
– Don’t set your expectations too high, they are wild animals so if they don’t feel like flying they won’t.
– Be respectful of the park and natural environments, walk and explore in only designated areas.

Website: http://www.pgc.pa.gov/InformationResources/AboutUs/ContactInformation/Southeast/MiddleCreekWildlifeManagementArea/Pages/default.aspx

Phone number: 717-733-1512

 

Tomato Pie Café

Have you ever wanted to be transported to Luke’s Diner in Stars Hollow, or the lunch counter of a Norman Rockwell painting? Try eating at the Tomato Pie Café in Lititz! This quaint eatery is a favorite watering hole among locals and visitors alike. No matter what time of day, it is always busy. Once inside amongst the delicious smells and cozy atmosphere you can’t help but feel a little cheerier; the perfect atmosphere for catching up with a friend.

Everything on the menu is delicious, but a slice of tomato pie is their specialty. Tomato pie, the namesake of the café, is an original family recipe consisting of seasoned red tomatoes baked in a flakey pie crust and covered with a cheesy topping. Slices are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and makes a savory meal for any time of day. The café also has a full expresso bar with a selection of coffees, lattes, smoothies, and teas. If you haven’t been tempted so far, just wait until you see the dessert counter- everything is baked in town at the Bakery at the Cupboard. In additional to the standard menu, specials change monthly so there is always something new to try.

Next time you are in Lititz be sure to stop by, but allow for extra time to be blocked out of your schedule- you will end up staying for a while.

Hours:

Monday – Saturday: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm

Sunday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

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