Tag Archives: Lititz

The Tastiest Tour in Town

What better way to learn about a town or city then by experiencing their food scene. Lancaster County Food Tours is offering visitors (and locals alike) a way to experience Lititz and Downtown Lancaster through a tour combining history, culture, and delicious food.

On a sunny summer day, I made my way to Lititz to meet up with the fantastic Lancaster County Food Tour guides for a tasty three-hour adventure. They opened the tour with an overview of the tour goal: to taste delicious offerings from local restaurants and shops while learning about the town and it’s history. And off we went!

The Come Eat Lititz Tour features a variety of tastes from the savory Scottish egg at General Sutter Inn to the sweet whoopie pie at Sugar Whipped Bakery. Between stops, the guide provided us with great area facts, answered questions, and offered conversation along the way. The balance of history and food was perfect!

While they discourage shopping on the tour to keep everyone moving from location to location on time, I definitely kept a running list of gift and souvenir ideas to pick up once the tour concluded.

While I could go into detail about each stop, this tour is best experienced in person. I will say, my favorite stop was the Waltz Vineyards Tasting Room. The wine tasting was thoughtfully prepared, and the sommelier was an expert in the flavors and processes behind each wine; which showed the passion put into the locally-made wines.

Stops on the Lititz Tour include: General Sutter, Olio Olive Oil & Balsamics, Waltz Vineyards, Julius Sturgis Pretzels, Sugar Whipped Bakery, JoBoy’s BBQ, and Wilbur Chocolate.

Tour Tips:

Comfortable shoes are a must!
There’s quite a bit of walking to be done, which is a great way to experience the town of Lititz and Downtown Lancaster, however, your feet will thank you if you wear comfortable walking shoes.

Check the forecast and dress accordingly.
The Come Eat Lititz Tour takes place over lunchtime so the sun may be at its peak heat. The shops (minus Julius Sturgis) provide a nice break from the heat, but for maximum comfort throughout the entire tour, dress according to the day’s highest temperature.

Come hungry!
By the time we got to Wilbur Chocolate (the last stop), I was pleasantly stuffed, so definitely come ready to eat. If you find that you could use a little something to eat after the tour, feel free to stop by your favorite tour location or another spot that may have caught your eye while walking.

More Tours to Explore:

This summer, Lancaster County Food Tours introduced their Chef’s Table Tour and Market and Beyond Tour, both featuring eats throughout Downtown Lancaster.

The Chef’s Table Tour features small bites and cocktail pairings at five of Lancaster’s fine dining restaurants. The fresh, delectable eats and spirited drinks will have your taste buds buzzing.

The Market and Beyond Tour features tasty morsels from Lancaster mainstays and a tour of historic Lancaster Central Market. This sweet and savory tour will give you a true taste of Lancaster County.

For more information and to book your tour, visit LancoFoodTours.com

Top 25 Things To Do this Spring

It’s time to shake off cabin fever and explore all that Lancaster, PA has to offer during the spring. Whether you prefer the great outdoors, al fresco dining, or themed festivals, there’s something for everyone this season.

Check out our list of 25 things to create your spring itinerary:

1] Take a hike or go for a bike ride

2] Bid on bargains at a Mud Sale
Mud Sales are annual auctions held by communities featuring antiques quilts, locally-made crafts and more.

3] Celebrate Easter with family over brunch, dinner, Easter egg hunts, and events

4] Bounce out cabin fever at Sky Zone Lancaster

5] Discover the creative energy of the city during First Friday
Art galleries and boutiques extend their hours for browsing during this monthly event.

6] Take in the tranquil countryside from aboard the Strasburg Rail Road

7] Search for unique treasures and bargains at Lancaster’s eclectic antique shops
Spring Antiques Extravaganza is held in the Antiques Capital region, April 27-30.

8] Head to Lititz for the annual Pretzel Fest
Held on Saturday, May 6.

9] Experience the art scene in Downtown Lancaster with Spring ArtWalk
This self-guided tour takes place Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7.

10] Get a head start on your spring gardening at the Herb & Garden Faire at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum.
Held on Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13.

Credit: Dutch Wonderland

11] Fill your day with family fun at Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park.
Open weekends beginning on April 29-30.

12] Enjoy fruity festivities at Kitchen Kettle Village’s Rhubarb Festival.
Tickle your taste buds Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20.

13] Celebrate Spring at Rock Ford Plantation’s May Fair Celebration
Takes place on Sunday, May 21.

14] Catch a Broadway-caliber musical, drama, dinner theater performance or jaw-dropping concert.

15] Explore learning with a twist at a kid-friendly museum.

16] Flock to Lancaster for great birding.

17] Relax with a picnic in the park.

18] Find fun for the thrill seekers at Hersheypark’s Springtime in the Park.
Held on April 8-9 and 14-16.

19] Ride as the Amish do with an authentic buggy ride.

20] Grab a paddle for adventures on the river.

21] Stop by Central Market for local goodies.
Open Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

22] Tour the back roads and covered bridges.

23] Stop to smell the roses at Hershey Garden.

24] Refresh your wardrobe with a trip to the outlets.

25] Saddle up for a horseback ride along the trails at Ironstone Ranch.

To find even more exciting events and happenings, visit our events calendar.

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

Things to Do in February

The winter chill is still in the air, but that doesn’t stop the fun in Lancaster! From two exciting festivals to the first Mud Sale of the season, you’re sure to find something unique to make your trip one to remember.

Festive Festivals

Lititz presents their Fire & Ice Festival over President’s Day Weekend (February 17-20) featuring ice sculptures, great food, live entertainment and activities throughout the weekend. To contrast the frosty ice sculptures, a Chili Cook Off is held on Saturday alongside the Winter Wonderland Carnival and Vendor Fair.

The sweet, sweet sounds of roots and blues music will fill the air of Downtown Lancaster during the three day Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival, February 24-26. The 2017 lineup includes over 50 artists performing at 8 venues throughout the city. A variety of ticket options are available, from one to three day tickets along with VIP and Under 21 options.

Dinner with Your Sweetheart

To celebrate the day of love, join the Vineyard at Grandview for a five course wine pairing Valentine Dinner that will infuse your holiday with romance. Delicious dishes are paired with the vineyard’s wines made on location. Mark your calendars for February 10 and reserve your seats today.

For the craft beer lovers, the General Sutter Inn presents a Beer & Food Tasting dinner featuring Founders Brewing Company on February 27. For $38 per person, you’ll enjoy courses paired with brews that will have your tasty buds buzzing. With the popularity of this event, reservations are required.

If PA Dutch style cooking is what you’re craving, Bird-in-Hand Fire Company is hosting their first Chicken Pot Pie Dinner of 2017. They are serving up all-you-can-eat chicken pot pie, peas, pepper cabbage, rolls, desserts, and more from 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM (or until they sell out) on February 25. It’s the perfect PA Dutch meal to fill your belly on cold day.

Bring Your Boots

Mud Sale season kicks off on Saturday, February 25 with the Strasburg Mud Sale. Whether you’re looking for great bargains on antiques, crafts, furniture and quilts or spectating and enjoying the wonderful food, be sure to remember your boots. These events are classically muddy as they are held as the ground begins to thaw.

Gimme Some Sugar

So sweet – it’s time for Maple Sugaring at Lancaster County Park. On-going demonstrations in the sugar bush of the park will be held on Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26. Learn about the process from tree tapping to boiling to making the sweet product into candy. Maple products will be on sale for you to take tasty treats home to share.

Arts & History  

Browse Charles Demuth-inspired art at the Demuth Museum’s annual exhibition featuring Lancaster area artists. “Valentines for Demuth” invites Lancaster area artists to create works inspired by his work, 1896 Valentine. Works will be on display from February 4 to 26.

Rock Ford Plantation invites children ages 4 and up and their parents to celebrate the first President of the United States, George Washington. Enjoy cake and ice cream with Mr. Washington, enjoy crafts and games, and learn why we continue to celebrate his birthday. Reservations are required for this February 26th event.

For a complete list of events in February and beyond, click here

Ten Things to Do in November in Lancaster

November embraces fall fun in Lancaster, but also marks to beginning of the holiday celebration. Whether you’re ready to get into the holiday spirit or are still holding on to the excitement of fall, there are plenty of events for you this month in Lancaster!

Gifts Galore:

Start your holiday shopping or find the perfect memento of your visit.

If pottery is what you please, Eldreth Pottery’s 29th Annual Christmas Open House, November 11 through 13, is the event for you. Featuring a great selection of handmade pottery and unique items, this is a wonderful opportunity to find gifts for loved ones or even an addition to your own home décor.

The Artisan Fair at Spooky Nook Sports builds on the tradition of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsman, and features crafts and fine art from 80 local and national fine artists and craftspeople. November 12 and 13, the artists gather under one roof to display functional pottery, handmade jewelry, designer clothing, glass art, and more!

For one-of-a-kind Christmas items from local artists and craftspeople, be sure to visit Landis Valley Museum Store’s Holiday Open House on November 19 and 20. Browse items including Belsnickels, ornaments, Pennsylvania German paper stars, books, and more! Visitors can also learn how to make paper stars or punch a tin ornament.

Give Thanks:

Before sitting down to a delicious and filling Thanksgiving meal, take a spin around the county on a scooter or scoot coupe with Strasburg Scooters. Their Thanksgiving Day Tour takes place at 9:00 AM, and is a great way to experience the country side before a hearty family supper.

Celebrate Thanksgiving with family over a delicious meal in Lititz. At the General Sutter Inn, guests can enjoy either the Thanksgiving Buffet or Ala Carte menu featuring turkey, beef and seafood in Inn’s elegant dining room. Call ahead to guarantee your place at the table.

Enjoy a comforting meal with family without the hassle and dirty dishes. Lancaster DoubleTree’s Thanksgiving Feast features carved beef and ham, turkey, seafood, traditional sides, and scrumptious desserts. Reservations are required, so be sure to call ahead!

A Dash of Holiday Spirit:

The holiday season is right around the corner, and many theaters begin their winter-themed shows this month. From musicals to heartwarming holiday cheer, you’re sure to leave the theater humming a tune and ready for snow.

American Music Theatre presents The 2016 Christmas Show: Winter Wonderland, November 7 through December 31, for a feel-good holiday event that celebrates music, magic, and the meaning of Christmas.

A hilarious look at family tradition, holiday expectations, and the real meaning of Christmas, Our Christmas Dinner shines on the Bird-in-Hand Stage from November 11 to December 31.

Holly Jolly Christmas lights up the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre stage, November 17 through December 31, featuring dancing, holiday favorites, and a visit from the big guy in red!

Rainbow’s Comedy Playhouse presents Green Holly & Gray Potatoes, a Christmas comedy filled with family antics, now through December 28.

So whether you’re enjoying the final moments and events of fall or getting in the holiday spirit, there’s plenty to do in Lancaster. For a complete list of events, visit our complete online events calendar.

10+ Things to Do in Lancaster County in August

There’s still plenty of time to enjoy the splendors of summer in Lancaster County. Plan some last minute fun with the kids before school starts or enjoy a weekend girlfriend’s getaway.

Kid-Friendly Festivities:

Happy Birthday to Kitchen Kettle Village’s beloved gingerbread man mascot, Yummie! Join Yummie and his friends for a family fun birthday party, featuring a petting zoo, pony rides, pedal cart rides and samplings of Kitchen Kettle’s tasty jams, pickles and more. This event is best suited for children 10 and under. Before the festivities begin, party-goers can enjoy a breakfast buffet filled with Lancaster County favorites. Tickets are required for the pre-party breakfast, and can be purchased online.

Thomas is coming back to town – Thomas the Tank Engine™ that is! August 27th through September 4th, Strasburg Rail Road® will host their Day Out with Thomas™ event, featuring a train ride with Thomas, storytelling and more. Thomas won’t be traveling alone, as his friend Percy will be joining in the festivities too. Tickets can be purchased for the August and November Day Out with Thomas™ events online.

For the Art-lovers:

If you’re a fan of arts and crafts, you’ll love the art show line up this month in Lancaster County.

Shank’s Mare Outfitters hosts their annual Art & Outdoor show on August 6, featuring local artists who will be displaying and selling their works along the Susquehanna River. Local non-profit outdoor, historic, and cultural organizations will also be displaying information on their activities and programs. Show-goers can enjoy activities throughout the day.

Drawing 700 crafters from throughout the United States and Canada, the Rotary Club of Lititz Craft Show will be held along East Main Street, Broad Street and in Lititz Springs Park on August 13.

A weekend of art comes to Mt. Gretna, August 20 and 21, and features a plethora of artists, exhibitors, live music and delicious food options. Stroll the show grounds as you take in art of all kinds and activities for all ages.

Educational Family Fun:

From history to the arts and science, there are plenty of fun ways to learn in Lancaster County.

Little history buffs will love the Stories-on-the-Porch series at Rock Ford Plantation, August 3, 10 and 17. Geared towards children 3 to 7, this free program features a Rock Ford volunteer in 18th century period dress reading a story on the porch of the mansion. Following the story, children will enjoy a game or craft and light snack.

The First Friday in August brings art to the North Museum of Nature & Science with their new exhibition. The STEAM Art Gallery features creations by local artists whose work is inspired science and nature. Kids can connect with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and the exhibition with a scavenger hunt activity. On August 5, guests can experience the museum after hours, interact with the artists and enjoy light refreshments during the First Friday Exhibition Opening.

Brews Galore:

Beer lovers will love the ale-centric festivals scheduled in Lancaster this month.

Columbia celebrates brews with Rivertown Hops on August 6 along Locust Street. With over 40 brewers, live music and food vendors, Rivertown Hops promises an afternoon of beer sampling and tasty food.

Lancaster City celebrates ales, ciders, stouts and more during the annual Lancaster Craft Beer Fest on August 27 in Binn’s Park. Last year’s festival featured 64 breweries (both local and natioanlly know), food vendors and live music, combining for an afternoon of fun in Downtown Lancaster.

Going Once, Going Twice:

Mud Sales and auctions are back with three consignment sales in August.

To benefit the work of the Mennonite Central Committee, the Gap Relief Sale will be held on August 13 at the Solanco Fairgrounds. This annual community auction features quilts and a variety of items, plus delicious food available for purchase.

On August 20, the Intercourse Fire Company Consignment Auction will be held at the Intercourse Fire Company. The following weekend, the Bareville Fire Company Consignment Auction will be held in Leola at the Bareville Fire Company.

And that’s just the short list! For a complete list of the events happening in Lancaster County in August and beyond, visit our online events calendar. Happy travels!

Cafe Chocolate of Lititz

Set in the quaint little town of Lititz, PA, Cafe Chocolate was the perfect choice for a nice fresh organic lunch, imported sparkling lemonade, and of course, chocolate!

Upon entering Cafe Chocolate, we were greeted with friendly faces inviting us to make ourselves feel right at home.  What’s home without chocolate? So as we sat down to choose our lunch and drinks from the menu, they offered us a sampling of chocolate no one could refuse.

For lunch, I chose the Flatbread Pizza with sundried tomato pesto sauce, smoked chicken sausage, provolone cheese, spinach, shittake mushrooms, and artichoke hearts! Hungry yet? Needless to say, my craving for pizza was satisfied. Along with the pizza, I had an imported bottle of sparkling blueberry lemonade all the way from France!  It was deliciously refreshing and full of antioxidants!

Cafe Chocolate holds up to its reputation for good local food, specialty drinks, and premium chocolate sweets! It’s perfect for a cozy afternoon lunch or a mid-day chocolate pick-me-up!

If you’re a local, stop in for your favorite treat, but if you’re from out of town, stay a while and see all of the great things Cafe Chocolate, the town of Lititz, and Lancaster County have to offer.

Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery

How do you like your history? I’ve always liked mine crackly and flavorful. How’s that, you ask? Well, just follow me to Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery in downtown Lititz and you’ll quickly understand.

Established by its namesake in 1861, Julius Sturgis is the first commercial bakery in America and today still makes warm and delicious hand-made soft pretzels onsite, while also selling a wide selection of hard pretzels produced by Julius’ direct descendants at Tom Sturgis Pretzels just up the road in Reading.

The types of hard pretzels on offer include traditional Dutch and Thin pretzels, but it’s all the great flavors that really get me – Cinnamon Stix, Jalapeno Minis, Little Cheesers, Real Baked Chocolate . . . you see what I mean?

Plus, during the holiday season they’re featuring a fiendishly-delicious little concoction called the Pretzel Popcorn Pie, which is peanut brittle with pretzels spread over a mound of popcorn, topped with a drizzling of chocolate. Like I said at the outset – crackly and flavorful.

You can also buy stylish-looking Sturgis t-shirts and mugs or a shippable sampler box of Sturgis favorites. Combine your shopping with a bit of history by taking a hands-on tour of the original pretzel bakery in the same building, and you’ve got the makings of a wonderful experience.

Click here for more photos.

Lititz Fire & Ice Festival

In a town full of old traditions, a new one is being forged right in the heart of February (sorry, there was no pun intended for you Valentine’s Day enthusiasts out there.) I got a chance to attend Lititz’s Annual Fire & Ice Festival this past Saturday for the first time.

Fire & Ice is an apropos moniker for the event. The “Fire” manifests itself as a chili cook-off while the “Ice” is represented… well… by ice. Block ice sculptures to be exact. The frozen pieces of art are liberally strewn about the shops throughout the downtown area during the festival. It’s amazing what someone (90’s joke alert) besides Sharon Stone can do with an ice pick.

After checking out the ice art, I headed over to Lititz Elementary to cast my vote in the Chili Cook-off. I sampled about 20 different chilies from local restaurants and charities and donated some extra bucks to support the various causes those entrants represented.  There definitely was a wide variety of Chili there and being a big fan of tex-mex type foods, I didn’t walk away disappointed from a taste standpoint.

Serving up the Chili at the Fire & Ice Festival in Lititz, PA

They stretch the festival over the course of the weekend, having a family block party and ice carving demonstrations on Friday night, the chili cook-off and activities for the kids on Saturday, and extended hours for downtown shops on Sunday. I only ever need the flimsiest of excuses to get to downtown Lititz, because if you’re lucky and the wind is blowing in the right direction the whole town smells like chocolate. My family is already a regular presence at the Lovin’ Lititz Every Second events there, as we enjoy the live entertainment and hopping in and out of the bevy of little locally-owned shops, so getting out to the Fire & Ice Festival was an easy decision to make.

So, if you like hot Chili and art that melts, make sure to put a big red circle on your calendar for next February.  The Fire & Ice Festival is just another great reason to visit Lititz and Lancaster County, PA!

More photos from the Fire & Ice Festival in Lititz >

Cafe Chocolate in Lititz

One of the reasons behind my family’s move back to the Lancaster area (after a 7-year stint in New England) was the desire of my wife and I to resume our date night. After 5 years of being attached at the hip to our two young boys, we needed some help getting our groove back. We love those lads dearly, but really how much of ANYONE can you take day-in-day-out for 5 straight years?

You have to think even Queen Elizabeth turns to the Duke of Edinburgh every once in awhile and says, “Hey baby, I need some ‘me’ time.” Among the many great things Lancaster County has to offer my family are the 4 grandparents from which my wife and I generously plunder time and childcare resources.

So what do we do with our newly found once-a-month freedom… sweet sweet freedom? We usually try to patronize a locally-owned restaurant followed by a trip to the Café Chocolate in Lititz, PA for dessert. If we’re lucky, the owner, Selina, will be there to chat us up about what’s going on with the Café and inform us on pretty much anything we ever needed to know about chocolate.

Real chocolate.

Not to be mistaken with the stuff you find next to the shrink-wrapped Mango-Peppermint Altoids in the checkout aisle at the grocery store. This stuff is the real deal. I’m not going to try to pass along all the chocolate-related info Selina has given us over the course of our visits there, but let’s just say if your only chocolate experience comes from eating the stuff that comes out of shiny plastic wrappers, you’re in for a pleasant surprise at Café Chocolate.

Chocolate Dipped Pizelle

As one could well guess, chocolate is sprinkled liberally throughout the menu of lunch/dinner, breakfast, drink and dessert offerings to great effect. On our visits to the cafe, we have been impressed with not only the desserts we ordered, but our tasty beverage choices as well. I’ve had a mocha frapuccino there as well as an iced hot chocolate (my favorite so far), and both were excellent.

On our last visit, we recruited another couple so we could try their molten 60% Cocoa dark chocolate fondue. As the menu states, “A feast for 2, plenty for 4.” Which I took more as a personal self-esteem preservation recommendation than a serving size recommendation, because I could have eaten the whole pot myself.  It was that good.

Cubano Sandwich

The café itself is located in beautiful downtown Lititz, a nice little shopping district full of unique little shops and eateries that is literally less than a mile from my house. Selina has the place decked out in quirky art from around the world and is more than happy to have you come in and play a few rounds of Scrabble with your significant other while you enjoy the offerings.

I highly recommend it if you need to get your chocolate fix on. You do, unfortunately, have to provide your own childcare.  Our parents are all booked up for the foreseeable future.

At the Counter

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