Lancaster is America's oldest inland city and is known all over the world as the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. A lot of visitors come to see what the Amish are all about but the place also has a vibrant downtown district with its share of bars, nightlife, music venues and other after-dark activities.
The Amish community is an important part of Lancaster County and visitors will enjoy the many Amish-themed attractions here. If you want a small taste of the Amish lifestyle, you'll find buggy rentals, as well as buggy sightseeing tours you can join.
The Amish Experience is a day tour around the oldest Amish settlement in the world. Guides will explain all things Amish and you'll see the Amish at work on their farms, Amish House, and get a chance to talk with an Amish family. Make sure you stop in at the Plain & Fancy Farm Dining Room, where you can enjoy a generous meal of Pennsylvania Dutch home cooking, with all the dishes direct from farm to table. For souvenirs, there's the Country Store, which sells Amish handcrafts, clothing, toys, dolls, jams, jellies and more.
If you're a chocolate lover (and who isn't?) take a drive over to nearby Hershey for the Great American Chocolate Tour to see how chocolate is made and get your hands on a free sample. While in Hershey, car buffs will want to make a pit stop at the Antique Auto Museum, which has over 90 historic cars and buses displayed in period settings.
Back in Lancaster, art aficionados should make time for the Demuth Museum, dedicated to American modernist painter Charles Demuth. Then cap off your day of culture at America's oldest operating entertainment site, the Fulton Theater. This National Historic Landmark retains its beautiful Victorian architecture but has been restored with modern amenities. It presents a wide range of music, theater and dance performances, everything from Sunset Boulevard to Miss Saigon.
If you have kids along, take them over to the Dutch Wonderland amusement park, where they can enjoy dozens of rides, mini golf, shows and a lot of other attractions.
Shopping and Dining
The Central Market at Penn Square is America's oldest farmers market building. Farmers have been bringing fresh fruits, vegetables and meats here since the 1730s. You'll also find deserts, breads, cheeses, flowers and crafts. Imagine an 18th-century shopping center transported to the new millennium.
Restaurants in Lancaster County run the gamut from casual cafes to white-tablecloth places. But since you're in Pennsylvania Dutch country, you really should focus your culinary attention on Pennsylvania Dutch food. That means hearty local favorites like shoofly pie, apple dumplings, schnitz und knepp and chicken pot pie with a little chow chow on the side. Most establishments serve dishes made with local ingredients, for an authentic taste of Lancaster.
2288 New Holland Pike
311 Stanley K. Tanger Boulevard
910 Plaza Boulevard
650 North Prince Street