While Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is home to one of the country’s oldest Amish villages, there’s a lot more to Amish Country than meets the eye.
From savoring award-winning ice cream at the Turkey Hill Experience to sipping specialty brews along the Lancaster Ale Trail or sleeping in the one-of-a-kind Cartoon Network Hotel, this county has an unending variety of unique things to participate in, some family-friendly and some only for adults.
Best Places to Visit in Lancaster, PA
Continue reading to find out how to make the most of your time in Lancaster.
1. Discover Bird-in-Hand
Bird-in-Hand is a charming village that transports visitors back in time. Visitors can buy at a farmers market, take horse-drawn carriage rides through the Amish countryside, or dine on real Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine such as shoofly pie, a local favorite.
Overnight stays at a one-room Amish schoolhouse or an 18th-century inn include exceptional experiences such as an Amish agricultural tour, ice cream socials, cornfield picnics, and wine tastings. Previous guests have praised the delectable treats at the Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop as well as the fantastic shopping at the on-site businesses and boutiques.
2. Shop in the United States’ Antiques Capital
Lancaster is a treasure trove for individuals who appreciate vintage furniture, decor, and other products. While antique merchants can be found throughout the region, the best shops can be found on the streets of Adamstown, renowned as the Antique Capital of the United States.
The “Adamstown Antique Mile” runs along state Route 272 in northeastern Lancaster County and is home to about 5,000 antique dealers, with even more available during Antiques Extravaganza Weekends.
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With almost 500 dealers, Renningers Antique Market is exceptionally popular. Previous visitors to Renningers have praised their experiences, despite the fact that it is only open on Sundays.
3. Pay a visit to the Sight & Sound Theatres
Sight & Sound Theatres in Lancaster brings the stories of the Bible to life in magnificent productions that include professional actors dressed in beautiful period costumes, trained animals, world-renowned orchestras, and amazing effects that will take your breath away.
This award-winning 2,000-seat theater also has a sister site in Branson, Missouri, with shows traveling between the two.
4. Sleep in the car of a train
Consider the Red Caboose Motel in Ronks, Pennsylvania, if you’re seeking a unique location to stay that’s both nostalgic and entertaining. This vintage motel allows guests to spend the night in a historic caboose that has been restored to serve as a couple or family retreat.
While typical caboose cabins sleep two, three, or four people, the Large Family Caboose and Baggage Car sleeps six people and includes a refrigerator and microwave. Previous customers praised the hotel’s distinct room types and family-friendly ambiance.
5. Ride in a buggy
Explore the Amish countryside by horse-drawn buggy, a region where close-knit families live without modern amenities and maintain the same traditions their ancestors have for hundreds of years. Many local families provide buggy rides, and you may even include a private tour of an Amish farm.
You can, for example, schedule a private trip with Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy Rides to observe how the Amish live, including stops at one-room Amish schoolhouses, butcher shops, bakeries, quilt shops, and more. Previous guests have said that the buggy rides with Aaron and Jessica’s family, in particular, seemed authentic and enjoyable.
6. Tour Wheatland by James Buchanan
James Buchanan owns Wheatland, a Federal-style house with several outbuildings on more than 150 acres of land. Wheatland, now owned by LancasterHistory, is open to the public to provide a glimpse of President James Buchanan’s life in the 1800s.
Wheatland presents a range of educational program offerings, academic symposiums, and public events throughout the year, and guided tours are provided with limited capacity. Visitors to Wheatland admire the guided tours as well as the mansion’s exquisite decor and furnishings.
7. Investigate the Lancaster Science Factory
Families with children should visit the Lancaster Science Factory for a fun, informative experience that everyone in the group will appreciate.
This factory museum offers a range of STEM-related educational programs and workshops on a rotational basis, and interactive exhibitions include “Mechanics and Motion,” “Acoustics and Sound,” and “Structural Engineering.” Visitors to this science museum claim it is enjoyable for people of all ages, including adults.
8. Experience the Strasburg Rail Road
Strasburg Rail Road, founded in 1832, is the oldest continuously running railroad in both America and the Western Hemisphere. A themed tour or train ride will take you through the history of this landmark.
The Tap Takeover, a beautiful train trip that includes a taste of four local craft beers; a Murder Mystery train excursion for ages 2 and up that includes live performances with the standard “whodunit” twist; and Christmastime rides like Santa’s Paradise Express are among the options.
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Previous guests have said that the rides are both scenic and educational. After your trip, visit the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (across the street) and the Choo Choo Barn, which features hand-crafted animated figures and trains.
9. Pay a visit to the North Museum of Nature and Science
The North Museum of Nature and Science has a variety of exhibits and attractions that will keep children of all ages engaged and entertained.
A planetarium with an XD projection system, a live animal room with frogs, turtles, snakes, and other living species, and a Lego Lab where youngsters may build their own creations are among the major attractions. Previous visitors were amazed by the bird display as well as the reptile section.
10. Go to Dutch Wonderland
Dutch Wonderland is a well-known Pennsylvania theme park featuring over 35 rides, attractions, and shows, as well as Duke’s Lagoon, a water play area. Merlin’s Mayhem, a family-friendly roller coaster, the Flying Trapeze swing ride, and Exploration Island, with lifelike dinosaurs, are all popular attractions.
Local specialties such as hot soft pretzels, fresh-cut fries, and Turkey Hill ice cream are also available to visitors. The majority of tourists think that the amusement park is excellent for small children, but that the entire family will enjoy it.
Lancaster is one of Pennsylvania’s most fascinating cities. It has a long history with Dutch, German, and English influences, and it is very popular among Amish and Mennonite communities.
Its sweeping farmlands and quaint, old-fashioned villages are full of rustic charm. Lancaster, on the other hand, is a bustling tourist town. Shopping centers and entertainment parks abound, as do opportunities to walk, bike, swim, fish, and kayak.