Tag Archives: The Amish Village

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.

The Amish Village

A lot of people come here to see the Amish lifestyle, but because it’s against their religion to take photos of their faces, and because it’s not polite to go and knock on their door as if they themselves are a tourist attraction, there are places like The Amish Village that can let you know about their lifestyle without being invading!

I recently went to The Amish Village with some of my friends, and we got to see some really cool stuff in the store, where EVERYTHING is made in PA (a lot of the crafts are made by Amish families here in Lancaster). From there, we took a tour of the house. It’s so interesting to see how they’ve adapted to modern appliances – such as a fridge that is run with propane. They don’t decorate their walls with anything that’s not useful, so you’ll find lots of calendars (because they tell you the date) and things that hold objects such as sewing scissors hung in elaborately patterned holders hung on the wall.

The Amish VillageThere’s lots to see and learn about at The Amish Village outside the house as well. There’s a barn structure that holds horses, mules, chickens, pigs, and other farm animals that you can see. There’s a one room school house, some different types of farm equipment, as well as some different types of buggies that you can get in and see what it’s like on the inside. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and was able to answer all the questions we had!

One of my favorite things to see was inside the one room schoolhouse, there are some local teachers who bring the artwork of the local students to hang up around the classroom to make it more authentic! Also to see how all the children start out as small children at the small desks in the front of the classroom, and then work their way back to the largest desks at the back of the room when they reach the eighth grade.

To view more photos from our trip, click here.

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