Tag Archives: Gallery Row

Downtown Lancaster Tips

Lancaster City is unique – you have to visit in order to understand. It’s exciting, it’s rich in history, heritage and the arts, and there’s an underlying hip urban vibe that permeates the community. The City boasts art in every form, restaurants and cafes, and boutique shops and hotels. Creativity, inspiration, and community envelopes this walkable City.

Come spend a day (or two) exploring. Below are a few insider tips that I believe will help you get the most out of your trip.

Tip #1 – Walk, don’t drive

Plan to walk around the City. Take your time and drink it all in. You won’t want to miss anything. From historic ghost signs to an off-the-beaten-path puppet theatre, this place has it all.

Tip #2 – Find a parking garage

Downtown Lancaster has many easily-locatable and easily-accessible garages. Although you may find street parking, chances are you’ll spend less money at a parking garage.

Tip #3 – Check gallery hours

If you like original art, check out Gallery Row located on the first and second blocks of Prince Street where you will find over 20 galleries. My tip – go online and check out gallery hours first. Not all galleries have the same hours.

Tip #4 – Take a back stage tour

Further down Prince Street, you’ll find what I like to call the “performing arts triangle.” To one side is The Trust performing arts center and directly across the street is The Ware Center; both are owned and operated by local colleges. Within a stone’s throw of these performance spaces is the majestic and historic Fulton Theatre.

These venues allow visitors to tour the facility even if you are not going to see a performance. The Fulton Theatre offers their backstage tour every Friday at Noon (the history is unique and the building is haunted). The Ware Center offers self-guided tours from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday and from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM on Saturday (this building’s architecture is amazing). The Trust Performing Arts Center hosts tours 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Tuesdays and Fridays and from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturdays (this building used to be one of Lancaster’s largest banks; ask to see the vault).

Tip #5 – Eat here; shop there

I suggest checking out the menus at Aussie and The Fox and at the Pressroom Restaurant (this place has a great outdoor seating area). Don’t miss Lancaster Central Market, America’s old continually operating farmer’s market, but note the hours: Tuesdays and Fridays from 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Saturdays from 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

After grabbing a bite to eat, check out the 300 block of Queen Street where you’ll find great shopping and a quaint café – Commonwealth on Queen – that sells gourmet coffee and sweet treats from scratch. Be sure to stop at Mommalicious and Building Character.

More POUR please

If you’re looking for a great place to meet friends for drinks and small plates in a fun atmosphere, it’s time to check out POUR. Located at 114 North Prince Street, behind the Artisans Gallery on Gallery Row, POUR opened a few years ago as a wine bar that featured a small list of draft beers and a limited seasonal menu of small plates. Since then, POUR has grown its menu to include larger entrée items, that continue to change seasonally and even serves brunch on Sundays. The last couple visits I made to POUR, it was hard to get a table on a Saturday night without a reservation. As the restaurant has grown, so has its customer following.

The menu still consists of mostly small plates, but does offer a small selection of larger plate items and a few dessert choices. The highlights of the menu include the duck fat fries, YUM! Trust me, they’re served with a roasted garlic aioli that you’ll want to dunk the rest of your food into for the entire evening; they’re a great start to the night and a great dish to share with friends.

I also suggest trying a few items from the charcuterie menu. Order these delicious items with a glass of wine from the extensive wine list and you’ll be set. However, if you’d like to extend your evening you can stay and have a large plate item or a few more small plates followed by dessert and/or a cocktail and you’ll go home happy.

The cocktail list is fun and inventive. There are a select few restaurants whose cocktail menus I truly enjoy ordering from here in Lancaster and POUR is one of them. They’ve got some fruity options and some stronger options but nothing I’ve tried has been too strong or not to my liking. I highly suggest trying one of their cocktails and this is coming from the girl who usually sticks to wine. And of course I can’t forget the beer selection. Though “smaller,” the beer that is chosen to be on tap is high quality and pairs well with many of the menu selections.

Some other highlights of POUR are its al fresco dining, it’s so nice to sit outside in the warmer months, and its location in Downtown Lancaster. This is a great location to meet up with friends on a First Friday but don’t forget that reservation, you can easily go online and make one with Open Table, which is so convenient.

I hope you’ll take an evening to enjoy POUR soon, I know I can’t wait to go back!

Marah Harbeon is the writer and creator of The Red Velvet Blog (www.theredvelvetblog.com). Marah created the blog a few years ago to document her cooking and eating adventures as a home cook and self-proclaimed foodie in Lancaster County. The blog includes recipes, travel insights and local restaurant reviews. Aside from writing about food, Marah is also a stay at home mom and shares her love of food with her husband and Bernese MountainDog. If not eating, you can find Marah golfing with her husband or enjoying a long walk with her family.

The city is alive with art and creativity

I love the energy that is in the air right now. The buds on the trees have burst open, and the downtown art gallery scene is staged to burst open too. After one of the hardest winters on record, it’s time to put my feet to the pavement and see what’s new at some of the premier stops in the bustling art scene.

Tucked in the thick of Gallery Row, Freiman Stoltzfus Gallery, one of several individual artist-centered galleries on the block, is one of my personal favorite. Freiman, a native of the Lancaster County’s Amish-Mennonite community, has a great love of travel and has made many trips to Europe. While living in Italy and France, he studied language, music and art. “Music is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music.” This quote by Goethe is a guiding principle for his newest collection of paintings, entitled “Lyrical Stones,” which opens on May 2 and continues through June. I’m excited to see this collection firsthand when it opens.

From j.a. sharp, I can walk across the street to Art & Glassworks. It’s one of the best sensory art experiences in the entire city. Glass art in every form and every color from floor to ceiling greets you as you enter Art & Glassworks. They represent over 150 American and International artists including many from the city and county. Whether you’re looking for stained glass, fused glass, blown glass orbs, paperweights, and even modern ceramics, you simply can not go wrong at this stop for either gift buying or splurging on something special for your yourself. I highly recommend a visit to this unique shop.

Take my advice; don’t stop there. There’s so much more art to see in town. Enjoy!

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