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Lancaster is a city in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country of the state of Pennsylvania.
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Points of Interest in Lancaster
Although the Amish culture dates back hundreds of years, they have not done much to change their lifestyles. They are traditional and they have a strong sense of community. They exist inside a larger community and everyone gets along with out internal problems. They keep to themselves, but they give back to the outside Lancasterian community with their goods.
There are ways to learn about how the amish live. Here are some attractions to get informed about "The Simple People":
- Amish Experience F/X Theater, 3121 Old Philadelphia Pike Bird-in-Hand Pa
- The People's Place Quilt Museum, 3510 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, PA 17534 800-828-8218
- Amish Country Tours, 3121 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-In-Hand, PA 17505 717-768-3600
- Mennonite Information Center, 2209 Millstream Rd. Lancaster Pa.
- Elizabethtown College. Founded by the Anabaptist Bretheren, this college has a center dedicated to the study of Plain communities in America. The center employs several experts on Plain societies like the Amish and contains a one-of-a-kind library of resources on the Mennonite, Bretheren, and Amish.
- The Ephrata Cloister. A beautiful historic site with original, 18th century buildings. Tours explain the lives of the German religious refugees that created the community in 1732.
- Franklin and Marshall College. Founded by Benjamin Franklin and John Marshall (separately, as Franklin College and Marshall College, respectively), this college is on the highest hill in the city of Lancaster.
- Millersville University, PO Box 1002 1 South George St. Millersville, PA 17551, ☎ +1 717 872-3011. Founded over 150 years ago today, Millersville University is one of the most highly regarded public universities in its region of the United States.
- National Watch and Clock Museum.
- Strasburg Rail Road. All aboard America's oldest short-line railroad, where you'll ride authentically restored passenger cars pulled by a huge, coal-burning steam locomotive. See our Amish neighbors up close as they work and play on nearby farms.
- Plain and Fancy Farm. Good all-around tour of the Amish community including a restaurant, bus tours and a movie. Particularly good if you're a foreign visitor without a car.
- Antiques Capital. The Antiques Capital in Adamstown is the premier year-around antiques destination with 5,000 quality dealers, farm markets, golf courses, easy access to Lancaster and Reading outlet centers, auto racing, micro brewery, fine lodging, dining, camping, Amish and Mennonite culture and more.
- Bird-in-Hand Village. A visit to the Village of Bird-in-Hand is like returning to a bygone era. Here you will find friendly shopkeepers, homegrown Lancaster County foods and restful lodging for weary travelers. An old-fashioned Farmer's Market lies in the center of town where you can purchase fresh foods, handmade crafts and homegrown produce. The town's Old Village Store is still open for business, filled with unique and nostalgic inventory.
- Intercourse Merchants Association Group. Intercourse is the hub where the Amish and local folks do their business and host thousands of visitors each year. The beautiful Amish farms surround the Village which is on the Old Philadelphia Pike (Route 340), earlier known as King's Highway, in Eastern Lancaster County. Intercourse is in close proximity to all Lancaster County attractions and in particular, the sister villages of Bird-in-Hand and Strasburg.
- Historic Lancaster City. The City of Lancaster was established in 1730 and is now designated as one of the largest historic areas of the country. Begin your tour of the city at the Visitor’s Center near Central Market Center, corner of Queen and King Streets.
- Lititz. Visit the historic village which of Lititz. Founded in 1756, Lititz is known for its quaint, tree-lined streets and historic district, its many unique shops, museums, businesses, inns, bed and breakfasts, and much more! Don't forget to visit the famous Wilbur Chocolate, Sturgis Pretzel, and explore the many side streets and shopping district treasures!
Lancaster is home to a very diverse group of people. It is a strong agricultural town with various farmlands all over. It is a scenic place with lush vegetation and great produce. This is because the Amish dwell in and around Lancaster's many townships. The Amish are fairly isolated from the rest of the community, but they are acknowledged, respected, and not bothered. They are masters of farming and simple living, for they don't use electricity. They teach in their own schools, and they have their own churches. They get around by horse and buggy and they are easily seen, wearing black suits, hats, and bonnets. But that is not all Lancaster has to offer. Lancaster has evolved from Pennsylvania's capital back in 1799, before Harrisburg was named the capital in 1813, to a strong and well known city in Pennsylvania. It is actually the oldest inland city in the U.S. Lancaster has grown into a modern and attractive city that has something to offer for all people of all ages. From the farms to downtown Lancaster city, you will enjoy Lancaster.
- Amish Buggy Rides: You may have to travel a little to experience this. In Bird-in-Hand Pa, Abe's Buggy Rides takes you on a scenic tour of Lancaster county
- Amish Village. Enjoy an educational guided tour through this 1840's farm house furnished as a typical Lancaster County Old Order Amish house. Grounds include barn with farm animals, operating water wheel, smoke house with PA Dutch foods, blacksmith shop with tools of the smithy's trade, village gift shop and picnic area after tour.
- Choo Choo Barn - Traintown U.S.A.. See Lancaster County and America captured in miniature in hand-built detail. Featuring more than 140 animated figures and vehicles and 18 operating trains.
- Covered Bridges Lancaster county has many covered bridges. It is a tradition that the passenger pays a toll to the driver when crossing a covered bridge. This generally takes the form of a kiss.
- Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park. It's A KINGDOM FOR KIDS! Especially suited for younger children. Families with pre-teens may prefer nearby Hersheypark.
- First Fridays. Lancaster's First Fridays are an exhilarating celebration of the arts! Every month, without exception, we showcase the arts in downtown Lancaster. Walk around and explore our 70+ arts venues. You'll find new exhibitions, live music, theatrical performances, artist receptions, and fun surprises, too.
- Lancaster Barnstormers Baseball. An independent baseball team that plays in the Atlantic League. Very competitive baseball with very reasonable ticket prices. All home games are played at Clipper Magazine Stadium in the James Street District of downtown Lancaster.
- Landis Valley Museum. Largest Pennsylvania Dutch Living History Farm & Village in the country, interpreting German Heritage from 1740-1940, including tours and traditional craft demonstrations.
- Laserdome. High-tech fun park, with laser tag, virtual reality and laser theater. Even as an adult, you will havea lot of fun. They offer laser shows that play to the music of the Doors, and the Rolling Stones.
- Leisure Lanes Bowling and Golfing Center. Go bowling in the winter, and mini golfing in the summer. If you are adventerous, you could do both in a days time. Bowling lane is open 24 hours a day.
- Lost Treasure Golf and Maze.
- Anderson Pretzel Bakery, 2060 Old Philadelphia Pike. These pretzels are delicious. They offer free tours to see how they are made and learn a little about the history of the bakery. The tour ends with, of course, a sampling of their great pretzels. You can buy them, and other snack foods to take home to the family and relive the experience later.
- Dutch Apple Dinner Theater, 510 Centerville Road. You may have heard about dinner and a movie, but how about dinner and a broadway show. This is the place to go for quite an experience. This place has a fun atmosphere which is great for groups to come and dine and watch a broadway performance. Friends, food and theater. Nothing can beat that
- Balloon Flights Daily, 2300 Lincoln Highway. Lancaster is a beautiful and scenic place to see when you drive around. It is even more beautiful from the sky. You can ride a hot air balloon and relax in the sky.
- American Music Theater, 2425 Lincoln Highway. Yet another great place to see a performance. Great for a romatic date or just for pleasure.
- Central Market, Downtown. The oldest, continuously operating farmer's market in the country! A must-see! You can find just about anything here. The Amish and local vendors all bring their products to sell here. Everywhere you walk, you will see and smell all kinds of food. The market is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 6AM to 4PM and Saturdays from 6AM to 2PM.
- Hands-On-House, 721 Landis Valley Road. This is a great place to take your kids. This interactive museum allows kids to explore their senses and touch everything.
- Wheatland, 1120 Marrietta Av. This is the home of President James Buchanan. They give costumed tours of his historical mansion. This place has been around for ages and has a lot of history inside the walls.
- Clipper Magazine Stadium, 650 N. Prince Street. This new establishment is home to the Lancaster Barnstormers, our newest baseball team. The tickets are cheap and the games are always fun. In the winter time, they turn the stadium into an ice skating rink.
- Lancaster Malt Brewing Company, 302 N. Plum Street. Great food, great micro brews, and you can see how it is all made with the tours they have to offer.
- Chameleon Club, 223 N. Water St. This is the best concert venue in Lancaster city. All kinds of artists come through to play for the locals. They have a constant calendar to remind you months in advance of who is playing and when. They also cater to parties in the Lizard Lounge
- Long's Park, Harrisburg Pike, ☎ +1 717 735-8883. In the summer Long's Park has "Summer Music Series", which is free concerts being held at the park each Sunday. Also, the park has an annual "Art's and Craft" festival which showcases 200 top artists and craftspeople from across the United States, Canada and beyond. Long's Park is also known for their annual Sertoma Chicken Barbecue (known as the World's largest chicken barbecue in the Genius Book of World Records!)
- Amish Farm and House, 2395 Lincoln Hwy. E., ☎ +1 717-394-6185. This 200-year old farmhouse provides great insight into the Amish lifestyle.
- Allimax Farm Trail Rides, 4606 Marietta Avenue Columbia, PA 17512, ☎ +1 717-669-2042. A perfect place to have a family trail ride! Supervised horseback riding on farm trails along the scenic Chiques Creek. Trail rides can be scheduled for a 1 1/2 hour, 1/2 day or a full day of riding pleasure.
Lancastrians are well known for their local food. Although there are many "chain" restaurants around, such as Texas Roadhouse, Fuddruckers, Ruby Tuesdays, Panera Bread, Friendly's, McDonald's, Arby's, and Burger King.
- Pine View Acres Dairy 2225 New Danville Pike. 717-872-5486. This is NOT a "sit down" restaurant, but is definitely a must see! This dairy is a small, old fashion convenient store. Pine View is very inexpensive and sells the best homemade ice cream, juice, and milk (the beverages are in bags, just like elementary school days!). There is also an area to pet baby cows. This is a great place to visit with friends and family on a relaxing, sunny day.
- Brickyard. in the city near the Clipper Stadium. Great bar food and specials, and you can go to the game after you eat.
- El Serrano Mexican/Peruvian Restaurant in a very atmospheric castle. Food is high quality. 2151 Columbia Ave +1 717 397-6191
- House of Pizza in Willow Street is a family oriented cash-n-carry restaurant located just minutes south of the city in the small community of Willow Street. Besides pizza, local favorites include stromboli, fresh cut french fries, and many soft serve ice cream choices. Locals enjoy ice cream at the picnic tables on warm summer evenings.
- Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant, 2481 Lincoln Hwy (across from Rockvale Square Outlets), ☎ +1 717-295-1621. Great food and colorful menu names like "Evil Jungle Princess", "Young Girl On Fire".
- Lyndon City Line Diner 1370 Manheim Pike. +1 717-398-4878. Most popular diner in Lancaster with a huge menu of items. This place ALWAYS seems to be crowded. Great location. Be prepared to wait for a table during busier times, especially on Sunday mornings after church.
- Neptune Diner. Is a classic diner found on the north side of Lancaster city.
- Olde Hickory Inn, 709 Olde Hickory Rd (north of town, off Oregon Pike), ☎ +1 717-569-3590. Very good breakfasts at good prices. Can get very crowded, especially on Sunday mornings after church lets out.
- Shady Maple Smorgasbord, 1344 E Main St. East Earl (Route 23 at Routes 897 and 625). You have never experienced anything like this. Shady Maple's breakfast, lunch, and dinner smorgasbord of food has everything you could ever want to eat. There is almost too much food here. It is a great place to go with the whole family or a large group of friends.
- Taj Mahal, 2080 Bennett Ave. Indian food. The naan, or flat bread is delicious and they have all kinds of curry dishes.
- Villa Nova West Sport Bar & Restaurant, 2833 Columbia Ave. This bar/restaurant is great for all ages. Very friendly staff with a fun atmosphere! Absolutely must try the steak tip sandwich AND an appetizer of "wing zings".
- Willow Tree Restaurant & Smorgasbord, 2416 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster. Over 45 years of serving great meals, the Willow Tree Smorgasbord specializes in PA Dutch favorites and has amazing - Thomas family recipe - fried chicken and beef vegetable soup! Great for groups and families, open 7 days a week! +1 717-464-2716
- Belvedere Inn, 402 N Queen St. This is in the city, near lots of bars and restaurants. Two story restaurant with seasonal outdoor for amazing food and drinks in one of the nicest bars in town. No lodging, great piano bar on second floor
Up until Prohibition, Lancaster had several fine breweries which earned it the reputation as Munich on the Conestoga. With the resurgence of microbrewing in the last decade or so, a few new breweries have cropped up. If you want to get your favorite mass-produced, lowest common denominator, lite beer, there are more than enough bars and restaurants to patronize. But these three establishments are worth checking out, particularly if you're a beer connoisseur.
Note regarding alcohol sales: - Under Pennsylvania law, beer purchased at various beverage outlets can only be sold in quantities no less than 1 case. Smaller quantities can be purchased, but only at bars that offer carry-out service.
- Alley Cat, 30 E Lemon St. Delicious pizza (and cheap too). Plus low-to medium price range for drinks ($3-4.50 for a mixed drink) and a good amount of seating for those less interested in sitting at the bar. Young to middle-aged crowd most nights.
- Annie Bailey's Irish Pub, 28 E King St # 30. Your typical Irish Pub. Good atmoshphere for the older folks. Very large deck recently built to handle the smoking crowd and the addition of an "Irish Tiki Bar". Solid middle price range ($3.50-5 for a mixed drink) and good food. Young professional crowd over lunch, college students on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Brendee's Cafe, 449 West Lemon, ☎ +1 727-397-8646. The pit stop for those who live on the West End of Lancaster. Good food, good prices, good staff. Smoking is permitted inside. Low to medium price range ($3.50-5 for a mixed drink). Usually a neighborhood crowd, some young locals mixed in. Limited seating in the back. Excellent jukebox. The Dutchland Rollers (the local roller derby team) sometimes calls this bar home.
- Bube's Brewery. Bube's Brewery is an intact historic 19th century brewery and museum complex located in Mount Joy, PA. Bube's has had a few different restaurants operating for several years:
- Alois. Check out the new martini bar.
- Bottling Works. Host to live music and special events.
- The Catacombs. Is a must! Be sure to make reservations for their themed feasts, which run most weekends.
- Chauncey's Pub, 6049 Main St, East Petersburg.
- Hildys, 448 West Franklin St, ☎ +1 717-397-1384. Local watering hole. Drinks only, no food, therefore: you can smoke inside, it can get thick at times. Older local crowd before 8PM, Franklin and Marshall students and younger crowd after that. Mostly bar seating, some tables. Low to medium in terms of drink prices ($3-5 for a mixed drink).
- Lancaster Brewing Co. This micro brewery crafts a wide variety of brews and also serve food as well. The Amish 4 grain Pale Ale is their specialty. They make seasonal beers as well like their Pumpkin spice ale for the Fall.
- Lizard Lounge, 223 N. Prince St. Best place to go to hang out with the "hip" crowd. Bottom floor of The Chameleon Club. Open Tu-Su. Usually a drink special ($1 beers, $2 wells) on weeknights. DJ's on Tuesdays, sometimes Wednesdays. Karaoke on Thursdays. Biggest party in town on First Friday.
- Lucky Dog Cafe, 1942 Columbia Ave, ☎ +1 717 392-9208. Good for both younger and older crowds. Fun bar atmosphere. Must try the wings and on Thursday's try the $.25 great tasting shrimp.
- Rock Hill Tavern, 1684 Long Lane Millersville, ☎ +1 717-872-7505. Tavern that has a great atmosphere and tasty food.
- Shamrock Cafe, 312 West Walnut, ☎ +1 717-299-2927. The downtown "blue collar" bar. Low prices for drinks. Smoking friendly. Pool table. The bartenders here are the old school sort: if you tip well, and they get to know your name, you will be taken care of. Limited take out options. Has an undeserved reputation for being a "rough" joint, but pay no mind. Give it a shot and make some new friends.
- Stoudt's Brewing Company. Has the distinction of being the first micro brewery in Pennsylvania and has won several awards for its brews.
- Tally-Ho Tavern, 201 W. Orange St, ☎ +1 717-299-0661. A very nice, gay-friendly bar in the downtown area. Medium to upper price range ($5-7 dollars a mixed drink) but well worth it. Bartenders are very friendly and make a stiff cocktail. Smoking friendly. Small dance floor. This place is relatively quiet before 11PM, but packed by 2AM.
Malls & Outlets
- Park City Center. Visit the area’s largest indoor shopping center with over 150 fashion retailers and numerous dining and entertainment options.
- Rockvale Outlets Lancaster.
- Tanger Outlet Center.
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