In an effort to take a break from the hustle and bustle of New York City, I hopped on a train and headed to Lancaster County on a fun weekend getaway. It completely exceeded my expectations and I was in awe of its beauty and charm. The drive from New York City is about 3 hours and the train from here is just under that. I do recommend having a car while you’re there so you can enjoy all of the towns and sights at your own pace. The drive is really beautiful and peaceful throughout the county as well.
I started off in Downtown Lancaster where there is charming streets and architecture, boutique shops, fun restaurants and bars and more.
The Local Culture
Lancaster County is home to the largest Amish community in the United States, and it’s essential to remember that the Amish live a private and modest life. Always respect their culture and way of life during your visit. When you’re scooting past Amish schools, homes, and farms, remember that these are not tourist attractions but private properties. It’s also respectful not to take close-up photos of the Amish without permission.
Where to Stay
The best and most central place in Downtown to stay is the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square. It’s a modern property with a gorgeous rooftop and excellent views.
Where to Eat
Adorable diner with excellent milkshakes
Southern Market Lancaster
Awesome food hall with tons of options for every taste.
The Lancaster Dispensing Company
Great bar food and local as well as imported beers.
Things to Do
Lancaster Central Market
This historic market, operational since the 1730s, is a food lover’s paradise. You’ll find a vast array of local produce, Amish-made goods, and world cuisine. Grab a bite for lunch, or take home some fresh farm goodies.
For the nostalgic lovers, visit the super vintage Stans Records shop.
Read Rose Books
Explore the stacks at Read Rose Bookshop.
Hang out and people watch, listen to local musicians or have a drink in Penn Square.
Catch a Show at Fulton Theater
The historic theatere is he oldest working theatere in the United States.
Lancaster County Towns
Every charming town in the area is about 25 – 35 minutes outside of Downtown Lancaster and they all of something wonderful to offer.
I headed to Strasburg to board the nostalgic Strasburg Rail Road and this was my favorite experience on my trip. The authentic train cars have the most gorgeous interiors (every class has a different aesthetic), drink and snacks available for purchase, friendly crew and conductors and gorgeous views. I highly recommend this experience!
Moyer’s Book Barn
I stumbled upon this bookshop as I was driving to the trains and had to stop. I spoke with the owner Judy for about an hour as she talked about her late husband who opened the bookshop and died in 2020. The bookstore has been around for 25 years and is housed in a real barn.
A stunning outlook that is worth having a picnic at during the day or watching the sunset from. It’s open until sunset and you can either drive right up to it or hike up.
Strasburg Scooter Tours
If you’re new to the world of scooters, fear not! Lancaster County has several reliable rental services that cater to both novices and experienced riders. Strasburg Scooters is an excellent choice, offering single and double-seated scooters that are easy to maneuver and perfect for the county’s rolling landscape. Their team will provide a brief safety training and make sure you’re comfortable before you set out on your adventure. They also offer guided tours if you prefer to follow an expert guide
Zook’s Mill Covered Bridge
Covered bridge that spans Cocalico Creek built in 1849.
The Inn At Leola Village – A Historic Hotel of America
The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel is a historic boutique hotel located in the perfect area nearby most of the beautiful towns. The property has tons of character and charm with modern touches.
This blog was written in partnership and sponsored by Discover Lancaster. As always, opinions are my own.