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Unique Lodging in Lancaster, PA

After a day of exploring Lancaster’s many offerings, it’s time to refresh and relax. When you’re looking for a place to stay, whether for a weekend getaway or a week-long family vacation, do you seek out a run-of-the-mill hotel or some place with a unique twist?

If you answered, “a unique twist” then this is the list for you! We’ve rounded up some of Lancaster’s coolest lodging options to help with your trip planning.

All aboard for our first pick – the motel that Booking.com named as the Pennsylvania representative on their list of “coolest places to stay in all 50 states.” Red Caboose Motel, located in Ronks, features 38 cabooses refurbished to sleep two to six guests. Train fans, along with fans of unique places to stay, will love the chance to climb aboard and cozy up in a train car, outfitted with great amenities. During your stay, stop by their on-site restaurant, Casey Jones’ Restaurant (also in a train car) for a bite to eat and grab ice cream at Janie Jones’.

There’s plenty to do while staying here – from their petting zoo and viewing silo to buggy rides through the countryside and free movies in the barn.

For an urban vibe, check out Lancaster Arts Hotel, a boutique hotel in Downtown Lancaster. The lobby, guestrooms and suites are filled with fabulous art and décor that sets it apart from typical hotels. Venture down to the connecting restaurant, John J. Jefferies, for superb seasonal, farm fresh offerings and artfully crafted cocktails. Lancaster Arts Hotel is located within walking distance of even more delicious dining options, exciting things to do, and great places to grab beer, coffee, and even mead.

Get a glimpse at life on the farm with a stay at Verdant View Bed & Breakfast in Paradise, where you’ll be staying on a real working farm with loveable animals and neighboring Amish homesteads. To dive deeper into the Lancaster County experience, participation in morning farm duties is encouraged… and is actually fun! Rise and shine for a family-style farm breakfast in the morning, complete with homemade goodies, fresh eggs, and more before your day of exploring nearby attractions.

Want to stay in a refurbished double-decker bus? How about a tree house? Or maybe a yurt on the lake? All of these uniquely charming rentals can be found at Lake-in-Wood Campground in Narvon, where guests can glamp (camping in style with touches of modern luxury) in the countryside of Lancaster, PA. These options are great for families, especially since the campground also has a mini-golf course, basketball courts, trading post, two playgrounds, indoor and outdoor pool, and scheduled events during the spring, summer, and fall.

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New to the unique lodging scene is Tiny Estates in Elizabethtown, featuring a variety of tiny homes available to stay in, starting April 2018. Get a taste of minimalistic living in one of these cozy abodes, complete with kitchens, full bathrooms, and flat screen TVs. You can even travel lightly, as linens, pots, pans, soap and shampoo will be waiting for you upon arrival. Pet-friendly houses are available so even your dog can experience tiny house living.

A place to stay is just the beginning! Find plenty to do, see and eat in our FREE Getaway Guide (order here) or sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the know.

Guide to Hotel Pools in Lancaster

Where to splash and swim indoors and out, and then spend the night.

Many of our hotels in Lancaster, PA offer visitors (and staycationers!) a chance to hang out poolside, and the opportunity for your little ones to play in a zero depth a splash zone. After a long day exploring Lancaster, hotel guests can lounge outside (or indoors), or take a lap or two in the pool.

Below is a look at some of Lancaster’s best hotel pools for beating the summer heat or to get your energy out during the winter blues.

Note: The below list is in alphabetical order.

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[1]  AmishView Inn & Suites
Enjoy your stay in an upscale hotel where you can draw back your curtains and see the lush Amish farmland, and to top it off, you’ll love their indoor pool, fitness center and whirlpools

[2]  Best Western Plus Intercourse Village Inn
With some much to do in Lancaster, save some time to take a dip in the indoor pool and hot tub. Located in the heart of Intercourse, you can conveniently stay within walking distance of many of the local attractions and shops.

[3]  Bird-in-Hand Family Inn
With both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the Family Inn is the perfect place for an active family, no matter the season of travel. In addition, your family will love the tennis and basketball courts, and more.

[4]  Circle M RV and Camping Resort
If you’re truly up for an adventure, enjoy 104 acres of land surrounded by the Conestoga River, mini-golf, pitch and putt golf, and an indoor water park.

[5]  Clarion Inn at Historic Strasburg
Take a dip in the outdoor heated pool at the Clarion Inn, right in the heart of Lancaster County. If you are looking to visit Sight & Sound Theatres, the Strasburg Rail Road, or Lancaster’s Outlets, this is an ideal location.

[6]  Comfort Suites Manheim/Lancaster
Centrally located between Hershey & Lancaster’s attractions, and right up the road from the largest indoor sports complex in the U.S., the indoor salt-water pool will be the perfect addition to your stay.

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[7]  DoubleTree Resort by Hilton – Lancaster
Your kids will love the indoor water playground – complete with slides, dump buckets, and water sprayers – also featuring a shallow wading area with a frog slide and rainbow sprinkler. And don’t forget to grab a warm and gooey DoubleTree Cookie when you check in!


[8]  Eden Resort & Suites
If you’re looking for a little luxury with your family fun, the Eden Resort is the hotel for you. Enjoy both a heated indoor and outdoor pool and Kidz Water Zone spray park. In addition, the lighted outdoor ping pong, billiard, and shuffle board tables, basketball court, Boccee, and putting green will add even more chances for fun.

[9]  Fulton Steamboat Inn
Savor the full service accommodations in addition to a heated indoor pool & whirlpool. And if it’s nice outside, head out to feed the ducks and koi in the pond, or spend the evening by the fire-pit on the patio, overlooking beautiful Lancaster County farmland.

[10]  Greystone Manor Victorian Inn
Enjoy a stay in a beautiful Victorian Mansion, built in 1883 on 2 park-like acres including beautiful gardens and a pool and hot tub. Greystone Manor truly offers a unique stay in a serene setting in Lancaster County.

[11]  Hampton Inn Lancaster
You’re sure to enjoy the seasonal heated outdoor pool and patio area, and less than a block away, you can relax on a paved walking trail with ponds, water fixtures, a playground, unique sculptures, and more.


[12]  The Hotel Hershey
For year-round fun, relax by the indoor pool, and don’t miss the spa, located in the hotel. Whether you want a couples retreat or a family fun vacation with Hersheypark as part of your trip, this is the hotel for you.

[13]  Lake-in-Wood Camping Resort
From an indoor heated pool and spa to a larger outdoor pool complex, your family is sure to remember your stay at Lake-in-Wood – featuring two fun playgrounds, a total fitness hiking trail, rec room, and paddle boats.

[14]  Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square
Located in the center of Downtown Lancaster, the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square is perfectly situated for a night on the town. After exploring the city that was recently named one of Forbes Top Ten Cities to Visit in 2018, relax in their indoor pool.

[15]  Tru by Hilton Lancaster East
Featuring an indoor heated pool, the new Tru by Hilton Lancaster East is perfect for the traveler who’s looking for affordable travel with upscale amenities. This hotel features a lobby with areas to let you work, play, lounge and eat, and a fully equipped fitness center.

Lancaster, PA Harvest Guide

Here in Lancaster County, we take fresh produce seriously. With rich soil and acre after acre of farmland, farmers offer their plentiful bounties at farm stands and local markets, while chefs are taking advantage of the freshest offerings to add to their seasonally-changing menus. It’s truly a beautiful thing when passionate growers share their hard work with the community that embraces their craft with open arms (and market baskets).

Want to find tomatoes and strawberries at their peak? Not sure what seasonal eats to pick up during the winter? Our harvest guide is here to help you find and celebrate each month’s harvest. So as you pass the fields and farm stands, be sure to keep your eyes out for these fruits and vegetables, picked at the peak of freshness just waiting to be enjoyed.

January/February: Celery

Even in the chilly months, there’s something growing in Lancaster County. For the beginning months of the year, we’re celebrating celery. This veggie is great for snacking, in soups and stews, and in salads. Stop by Sweethearts of Lancaster stand inside Lancaster Central Market for some crisp celery, plus recipe ideas and tips from some celery experts!

March: Mushrooms

Since mushrooms can be grown indoors, they’re another ideal cold weather crop. Pennsylvania has great soil for these fungi. Iron Hill Brewery in Lancaster highlights the mushroom with their Kennett Square mushroom soup, named for the town of Kennett Square in neighboring Chester County that is known for producing this crop.

April: Asparagus

Have you ever seen how asparagus grow? It’s quite the sight to see! The stalks grow right out of the ground, just waiting to be cut and roasted. Be sure to pick some up at one of our Farmers Markets to serve with your spring dinner.

May: Rhubarb

This tart fruit (well, technically vegetable) is spring’s prize crop. Rhubarb is often paired with sweeter fruits like strawberries or made into jam with plenty of sugar. Kitchen Kettle Village celebrates the Rhubarb harvest with a two-day festival, with plenty to tasty treats, activities, and the world’s only rhubarb race-car derby.

June: Strawberries

June brings juicy, red strawberries to the fields and farm stands across Lancaster, PA. Strawberries are actually the first fruit to ripen each year. For the chance to wander the fields and pick your own, visit Brook Lawn Farm Market and Shenk’s Berry Farm – but be sure to call first to check availability and picking times.

July: Tomatoes + Corn

For July, we couldn’t pick just one! The corn and tomatoes harvested this month are both super tasty, and can be found at the majority of roadside stands and farmers markets.

Tomatoes can be found in all shapes, sizes, and colors – from the bright red, small cherry tomatoes to the bumpy purple heirlooms. Each summer, Washington Boro holds the Annual Tomato Festival, full of tasty tomato dishes and family-friendly activities, typically taking place in mid-July.

What has hundreds of ears, but cannot hear? A corn field! Corny jokes aside, late July brings ears upon ears of sweet, juicy corn from the fields and to the farm stands. As many locals will tell you, the place to go for great deals is the Corn Wagon in Millersville, PA. The corn fields even make for an exciting family activity as mazes are carved through the fields, like the maze at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm.

August: Watermelon

When the August heat sets in in Lancaster, PA, nothing is more refreshing than a slice of ripe watermelon. Watermelons are perfect for picking and savoring this month. If slicing such a melon seems like a daunting task, Lancaster Online’s article has step-by-step instructions on cutting watermelon “sticks” for cleaner eating as well.

September: Apples

Toward the end of September in Lancaster, fall is in the air – and there are plenty of apples just waiting to be picked. Orchards around the county grow a variety for baking, saucing and snacking, and can guide you to the apples that will fit your taste and purpose. Orchards like Cherry Hill Orchard in Lancaster and Weaver’s Orchard in Morgantown even offer hayrides for added family fun.

October: Pumpkins

October is prime pumpkin picking time here in Lancaster County. Pumpkins and gourds are waiting to be turned into jack-o-lanterns or pies, and both varieties can be found in our fields or at a road side stand, like Fisher’s Festivals. If you want to search for the perfect pumpkin, check out one of the fantastic pick-your-own farms and explore the patch for yourself.

November: Kale

Hail to kale in November! Bundles of this leafy green are harvested in the fall to be cooked or used as a festive fall decoration. Craving a savory kale salad? According to Yelp, eaters love the kale salads at Checker’s Bistro and Luca.

December: Beets

You can’t beat the beets in December in Lancaster, PA. Root vegetables, like beets, are a common winter harvest as they get plucked from the freezing ground. If you’re in search of the perfect jar of pickled beets, head to Kitchen Kettle Village’s Jam & Relish Kitchen. They also have great recipes to jazz up their traditional canned variety.  

Fun Family Weekend in Lancaster

A Fun Family Weekend in Lancaster, PA

Do you feel the need to escape the cabin fever of late winter and create memories with the ones you love? Looking for something close by? Easy to plan? We have just the thing for you! Conveniently located within a couple of hours from most cities in the Mid-Atlantic region, Lancaster, PA offers a combination of small-town charm, historical appeal, and vibrant city amenities that your whole family will enjoy.

We rounded up a list of recommendations for a 3-day weekend trip, removing the stress of planning from the equation. With a focus on quality family time together, hands-on learning, and partaking in the unique foods Lancaster offers, we hope that you find this weekend one to remember. If you’re more of a planner, and want to add your own twist on what’s recommended below, we’ve got the perfect Lancaster County Destination Guide for you – and it’s free!

Day 1: Friday Night in Lancaster

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We know you’ll appreciate staying in Marriott in Downtown Lancaster, as its location provides the perfect backdrop for the start of your weekend. There are over 60 delicious dining options and 80 shops all within walking distance. If you don’t want to spend too much time on your phone, scrolling through the whole list of restaurant options, we recommend Isaac’s Downtown Bar and Grill. It’s an award-winning, bird-themed restaurant featuring grilled sandwiches, homemade soups, fresh salads, and a fun, interactive Kid’s Menu. After dinner, take some time to unwind. There’s nothing quite like sinking into a comfy hotel bed at the end of a long week. Plus, you’re going to want to be well rested for your Saturday adventures.

Day 2: Saturday in Lancaster

Morning: For a great start to your day, grab a hearty breakfast at the Baker’s Table, which offers coffee, tea, pastries, and their spin on old-fashioned treats like whoopie pies. They also offer a crowd-pleasing breakfast buffet featuring homemade waffles, made-to-order omelets, and all-you-can-eat bacon. After breakfast, head to the Lancaster Science Factory, which is located in the same historic complex as the Baker’s Table cafe. The Science Factory features 65 interactive exhibits, workstations, and mini-labs, offering engaging, open-ended learning experiences for kids ages Pre-K through 8th grade.

Afternoon: The best part about the Science Factory is that your pass is good all day, so you can come and go as needed. When everyone is tired and hungry, you can fuel up at Cork and Cap, also located in the same complex as the Science Factory. They’re known for their Pennsylvania Dutch fare, which they offer up with a contemporary, cosmopolitan twist. There’s no need to pack up the car and drive to multiple locations!

Night: After a long day of discovery, you can always head back to your hotel for a break and take a dip in the pool. If you ended up craving a late night snack, the Lancaster Sweet Shop has a selection of Stroopies and a large variety of ice cream flavors. Take our word for it: mixing ice cream with a local favorite like Stroopies, is a perfectly delicious way to cap off your busy day.

Day 3: Sunday in Lancaster

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Morning: Why not start off your morning at the Prince Street Cafe? Just a block and a half walk from your hotel, they serve a satisfying selection of egg sandwiches, breakfast wraps, smoothie bowls, coffees, and teas. After breakfast, we recommend taking a trip back in time to experience the historic Strasburg Rail Road. Only a 20-minute car ride away from Downtown Lancaster, you won’t regret climbing aboard an antique train car from the 1800’s as you witness the beautiful countryside pass outside your window. Be sure to get your tickets in advance to guarantee you get the seats that work best for you!

Afternoon: If you’re hungry before you hit the road toward home, The Fireside Tavern is a cozy spot located in Strasburg just minutes away from the railroad. The restaurant offers a great selection of casual dining fare for both kids and adults, and in the winter, you can enjoy the warmth of three working fireplaces.

We hope our ideas provide you with some inspiration for creating new memories with the ones you love, all while helping you beat those winter blues.

Forbes names Lancaster, PA as one of the “10 Coolest U.S. Cities to Visit in 2018”

Looking for a hip city to explore this summer or even for a weekend during the spring or fall? Why not pick Lancaster – who was just named as one of Forbes’ “10 Coolest U.S. Cities to Visit in 2018.”

What makes Lancaster so cool?

Tucked amongst the beautiful, iconic Amish farmland, Downtown Lancaster has a food scene that’s on the rise. Venture beyond the PA Dutch food for out-of-this-world Italian cuisine and wood-fire pizza at Luca – where Chef Taylor Mason combines the old-world charm and flavors of distant Italy with the ultra-local ingredients grown right here in Lancaster.

Be sure to make reservations ahead of time – the more popular dining times go fast!

Lancaster’s architecture is a big part of the charm. Passionate Lancastrians are transforming old warehouses and buildings to create new spaces for eating, drinking and entertainment. Thistle Finch Distillery and The Fridge are doing just that. Located in the former Walter Schnader Tobacco Warehouse, Thistle Finch is bringing of distilling to Downtown Lancaster, creating rye whiskey, white rye, gin, and vodka – then serving the spirits up in artfully crafted cocktails.

More of a craft beer enthusiast? The Fridge is a cozy bottle shop with an impressive selection of hard-to-find craft, micro, imported and local beer, located right behind the Lancaster Arts Hotel. Pair your beer with a slice of their flatbread pizza (because few things go better together), and cozy up by their fire or enjoy their outdoor space – depending on the weather.

Our vibrant art and theatre scene also adds to the coolness of Lancaster – with a plethora of live performances and galleries to tap into your artsy side. If you find yourself in Lancaster on the first Friday of the month, enjoy the extended gallery and boutique hours, and special performances and exhibits as you get swept up Gallery Row’s creative energy on First Friday.

Live theatre lovers will adore the historic, stunning Fulton Theatre – not just for its broadway-calibur shows, but also for its ornate architecture and rich history. The theater is full of character and stories, much like the shows that take place on its stage.

Outside the wide-array of offerings in Downtown Lancaster, families can experience life on the farm, breathing in the fresh air and even petting lovable animals. Find your way through the corn maze at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm and watch the Strasburg Rail Road train chug by. You’ll love the fresh air and relaxing pace, while your kids will love all the hands-on, farm-centric activities – win win!

And that’s just the beginning – get info on Lancaster’s latest and coolest by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter, and stay in the know.

Resource: Abel, Ann, “The 10 Coolest U.S. Cities to Visit in 2018,” Forbes

Things to do for Easter in Lancaster, PA

Easter Bunny Train
Strasburg Rail Road™ | March 30, 31 and April 1
Hop aboard the Easter Bunny Train at the Strasburg Rail Road. Welcome spring with a ride through beautiful farmland with Peter Cottontail as your Conductor. Peter will delight boys and girls with an Easter surprise as he greets them on board this special train. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Easter Dinner Train
Strasburg Rail Road™ | Easter Sunday, April 1
This event, only offered on Easter Sunday, is a one-of-a-kind way to dine with your family. Traditional Lancaster County fare is served in the fully restored Victorian dining car on Strasburg Rail Road’s Easter Dinner Train. Guests should purchase tickets in advance.

Easter Bunny Breakfast
Kitchen Kettle Village | March 24, 30, 31
Visit Kitchen Kettle Village with your family and enjoy breakfast with the Easter Bunny and the Kitchen Kettle mascot, Yummie! The breakfast offers a delicious buffet featuring Lancaster County favorites. This special event fills up quickly so be sure to reserve your spot. Children who attend can partake in a VIP egg hunt.

Easter Bunny Toddler Time HOP
SkyZone – Lancaster | March 23
Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the trampoline trail at SkyZone. This event is great for little ones to expend some Easter excitement. They can jump, hop, wiggle and flop while wearing bunny ears. Storytime, snack, an Easter craft, and a meet-and-greet with the Easter Bunny are also included.

Bunny Village at Country Barn
Country Barn Market & Barnyard Kingdom | March 24, 25, 30, 31
There are so many different activities to do at the Barnyard Kingdom to celebrate Easter. From riding through Bunny Village to see the Easter Bunny’s home, to egg hunts, or even breakfast with the Easter Bunny himself. Little ones will be bouncing with joy once the day is through. Be sure to visit the baby animals, bunnies, and chicks while you are there.

Jesus – Live on Stage
Sight & Sound Theatres® | Check website for performance schedule
Jesus is the musical stage adventure about the most famous person to ever walk the earth, and the everyday people whose lives changed forever. This new performance, opening in March, is the perfect show to see with your family to celebrate Easter.

AACA Easter Egg Hunt
AACA Museum | March 24, 31
Children can partake in a special Easter egg hunt through the AACA Museum. All kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult. Guests can hunt in a variety of “egg spots” and visit the Easter Bunny. All egg treats are provided by the Hershey Company. Be sure to bring your own basket.

Easter Brunch
If your family is past the age of eating with the Bunny, there are plenty of restaurants around the county to visit for brunch. Review our list of the Best Weekend Brunch spots and be sure to look for special schedules, menus and deals on each restaurant’s website. The Revere Tavern and The Cameron Estate Inn both offer special Easter Sunday meals.

Egg Hunts:

There are dozens of egg hunts around Lancaster County. Here is a list of a few which you can participate in:

Community Egg Hunt at Zion Lutheran Church, Leola – Saturday March 24, 2018
Registration Required *

Grace Church Egg Hunt & Party – Saturday, March 24, 2018

Ephrata Lion’s Club Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday, March 31, 2018

Lititz Lions Club 72 Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday, March 31, 2018

18th Annual Columbia Community Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday, March 31, 2018

Adamstown Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday, March 31, 2018

Elizabethtown Lion’s Club Eggstravaganza – Saturday, April 8, 2018

Lancaster Easter Traditions:

Did you know that the symbols of the egg and the rabbit at Easter can be traced back to Germany and that the Pennsylvania Dutch are responsible for bringing the traditions to America?

Easter traditions in Germany date back to the 1500s and the Pennsylvania Dutch who immigrated to the United States continued the tradition of the Oschter Haws, or Easter Hare. If the children were good, the Easter Hare would lay colored eggs in the grass for them to discover. However, instead of baskets, the children would prepare special nests using their own bonnets or hats.

The custom did not catch on nationally until the early 1900s, for the idea of an egg laying rabbit was a rather hard sell to non-Germanics.

Source: Lancaster Newspaper, “Easter Bunny, like the Belsnickle, owes American roots to the Pa. Dutch”

Things to Do in March in Lancaster, PA

March is in like a lion, out like a lamb, and filled with great events in Lancaster, PA! With indoor events and shows for those blustery days and outdoor Easter events for when the sun comes out, this month has things to do for all weather conditions and occasions.

Start the month with a tasty meal. Lancaster City Restaurant Week kicks off the month, running through March 4, with delicious meals at various restaurants throughout Downtown Lancaster. For every time of day and budget, you’re in for a memorable meal.

In the mood for tons of great live music? Mosey down to Lancaster for the weekend (March 9-11) for Lancaster Roots & Blues. This festival is back for its fifth year, returning with a line-up packed with stellar soul, blues, funk, roots, and folk performances at nine different venues in Downtown Lancaster. While you’re venue-hopping, pick your poison – caffeine or cocktails – at one of our coffee shops or fine dining restaurants to keep you going through the late night hours.

For the history and museum buffs, March 11 marks Charter Day – the day that William Penn received the royal charter for what we now call Pennsylvania. To commemorate the occasion, three of Lancaster County’s museums and historical attractions are open, free of charge.

– Dive into the past at Ephrata Cloister, for a look at life in a religious community from the 1700s.

– Landis Valley Village Farm & Museum brings the 1800s PA German world to life.

– The Railroad Museum of PA offers locomotive fanatics the chance to explore the history of the railroad, trains and more.

Break out your boots – its Mud Sale season! These annual auctions are one of the best ways to experience Lancaster County life, as many auction-goers and auctioneers are Amish. Wander the aisles of goods up for grabs, including lawn equipment, shrubbery, housewares, hand-stitched quilts, crafts, and even the kitchen sink. Whether you’re looking for a bargain or maybe just good PA Dutch eats and to experience a slice of Amish culture, you’ll find it on Saturday at a Mud Sale.

March is the perfect time for quilters and quilt admirers to visit Lancaster, PA. This month brings AQS QuiltWeek to Downtown Lancaster for four days (March 21-24) of workshops, exhibits, vendors and contests, all focused around the art of quilting. In need of sewing supplies, inspiration or instruction? This event has everything a quilter could ask for! Plus, many of the fabric stores around the area have sales and extended hours for even more shopping.

Speaking of shopping, Tanger Outlet’s Mommy and Me event, to be held on March 28 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, offers up an afternoon of kid-friendly fun. Kids will love the games, craft activity, and guest appearances from Cylo from the Lancaster Barnstormers, Duke from Dutch Wonderland and Nano from Go ‘N Bananas. Moms will love the tasty bites from Saladworks and Chick-fil-a, and the chance to win a $100 Tanger Gift Card (especially if she wins!).

Hop on over to Lancaster for family-friendly Easter events. The Easter Bunny is in town for breakfast at Kitchen Kettle Village and a train ride on the Strasburg Rail Road – two wonderful ways to celebrate Easter as a family. Kick off the weekend with a local egg hunt, then relax with the family over brunch or Easter dinner.

For even more events throughout the year, let our Events Calendars be your guide!

A Guide to Quilting in Lancaster, PA

Whether you’re new to quilting, an expert quilter or purely an admirer, Lancaster County is a hub for the craft with a wealth of fabric stores and places to buy handmade quilts for your home.

Quilts can be passed down from generation-to-generation, reminding us of the past. They can keep us warm when winter’s chill rolls in, and add a pop of color to a wall as a decorative item. No matter what you use it for, these works of art are meant to be seen.

Whether you create your own quilts or are shopping for a handmade gem made by a local crafter, Lancaster’s quilt scene can be explored and experienced in many ways.

Just For Fabric:

Browse the aisles of expertly organized fabric to find inspiration for your next project. Fabric stores are plentiful in Lancaster County, full of classic and modern prints along with basic solids of every color. Don’t forget your thread and notions!

Fisher’s Houseware and Fabric (Paradise, PA)

Mook’s Fabric Outlet (Leola, PA)

The Quilt Ledger (Christiana, PA)

For Both:

Looking for a one-stop shop? For those who sew, find fabric, notions, thread and patterns. If you’d rather purchase a fully made, ready to cuddle quilt – they have those too. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to browse. There’s lots to look at!

The Old Country Store (Intercourse, PA)

Log Cabin Quilt Shop & Fabric (Bird-in-Hand, PA)

Family Farm Quilts & Fabric (Intercourse, PA)

Just For Quilts:

Handmade and stitched with care, you’ll find beautifully made quilts as you wander the shops below. They can range from simple colors and classic shapes to vibrant and abstract patterns. Amish, Mennonite, and local artisans create these masterpieces – some even still sew them by hand. Smaller goods like quillows (quilted pillows that fold out to a blanket), wall hangings, bags, and table runners are great for those who may not have space for a large quilt.

The Quilt Shop at Miller’s (Ronks, PA)

Country Lane Farm Amish Quilt Shop (Leola, PA)

Village Quilts (Intercourse, PA)

Riehl’s Quilts (Leola, PA)

Tip: Don’t hide your beautiful quilts away. They can be displayed on a rack or hung on the wall, and even used as a warm bed spread or a cozy cover when cuddling up on the couch.  Many are machine washable, using a mild detergent and possibly a color catcher if the quilt features white and rich reds. Some actually get better with use.

Quilting Events:

To get a taste of local life, swing by a Mud Sale in the spring or early summer. Many of these annual auctions feature handmade quilts, made by Amish and Mennonite crafters. Bid on your favorites or just check out the offerings while enjoying some tasty PA Dutch classics, like freshly made donuts and chicken corn soup.

Quilters will gather at Lancaster County Convention Center in March for AQS QuiltWeek® – the annual convention featuring workshops, exhibits, contest, vendors and more. In need of sewing supplies, inspiration or instruction? This event has everything you will need when it comes to quilts. Many of the quilt and fabric stores offer sales and extended hours during the convention.

Want to Learn How to Quilt?

Get your feet wet and learn to basics or perfect your sewing skills. The Old Country Store in Intercourse offers a variety of learn to sew and quilting classes, where their skilled instructors walk you through a project you can be proud of. Who knows – you may even find your new favorite hobby!

Resource: photos taken at the Old Country Store, tip courtesy of Jan Mast

Best Weekend Brunch in Lancaster, PA

Don’t like to wake up early? Brunch is for you! Love decadent breakfast treats? Brunch is for you! Is lunch more your meal of choice? Brunch is for you! It is best of both worlds… breakfast and lunch combined into one delicious meal. Who doesn’t love brunch? With so many sweet and savory options to choose from there is always something for everyone on the menu- even those folks who are hard to please.

Whether it’s an after church tradition, a time to catch-up on gossip with the girls, or to celebrate a special family occasion, brunch is the perfect pick! Plus, if you eat enough you can usually make it through the day till dinner. Brunch in Lancaster simply cannot be beat. Here is a list of some of Lancaster’s favorite places for weekend brunchin’.

American Bar & Grill- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday 11 AM- 3 PM

Mimosas and Bloody Marys served in a pint glass… if that isn’t enough reason for you to head at American Bar & Grill, then we aren’t sure what is. Be sure to try the pork roll sandwich, it is delicious.

 Annie Bailey’s Irish Public House-  Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday 11 AM- 3 PM

The French-toast at Annie Bailey’s is a sweet and crunchy treat topped off with fresh berries and whipped cream. If you prefer to stick to traditional fare, try the Full Irish Breakfast or Celtic Eggs Benedict.

Aussie & the Fox- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday 9 AM – 2 PM

If you prefer savory over sweet, try the breakfast burger at Aussie & the Fox. This restaurant offers creative, delicious dishes that are a blend of Australian and American cuisine; and those big orange booths make a great backdrop for instagram photos.

Champagne Sunday Brunch at the Eden Resort- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served every Sunday from 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Brunch with a little bubbly anyone? With a wide variety of breakfast and luncheon options the Eden Resort’s Sunday Brunch has pretty much anything you can imagine from your brunch-infused dreams. Be sure to save room to try out the various made-to-order stations ranging from omelets to New York strip steaks. You so not have to be a hotel guest to enjoy this brunch, however, staying overnight and sleeping in sounds pretty good to us.

Citronnelle- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Sundays from 11 AM – 2 PM

If you are looking to travel to Paris in the span of an hour or two, head to Citronnelle. Featuring modern French cuisine, their brunch menu is tres magnifique! We recommend trying the  decadent bread basket and the rustic open-face market omelette.

Cork & Cap Sunday Brunch- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served every Sunday 11 AM – 4 PM

This one-of-a-kind restaurant set inside of an old cork factory serves up delicious dishes almost all day. If you are unsure of what to order we recommend trying the Cinnamon-Stuffed French toast or the Country Breakfast. Both are local favorites at the Cork & Cap’s Sunday Brunch. Also if you like a little booze with your breakfast order the signature Cork Kiss- it is cranberry juice with blood orange liquer.

The Greenfield Restaurant- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served every Sunday 9 AM – 2 PM

Be sure to make a reservation if you would like to have brunch at the Greenfield Restaurant. This venue is a popular place on Sundays in Lancaster County. With its traditional dishes created with local ingredients, it is hard to pick just one thing to order.

The General Sutter- Lititz, PA

Full English breakfast is served every Saturday from 8 – 11 PM

A traditional English Breakfast complete with unlimited tea or coffee is a great way to start the day. For English bacon, sausage, eggs, baked beans, tomatoes and toast head to the Bull’s Head Public House at the General Sutter. You can even add a slice of black pudding if you fancy. Cheers Mate!

Gracie’s on West Main- Leola, PA

Open Saturdays, 7 AM – 9 PM with specials ending at 2:30 PM, and Sundays from 8 AM – 3 PM
(Breakfast is also served all day, everyday)

Gracie’s is great! We love stopping in here on the weekends for the Grilled Banana Nut Bread- it’s divine. (As is everything else on the menu- including the peanut butter pie!). Whatever you order, your taste buds will thank you. Bacon lovers rejoice- there is bacon jam, bacon of the month, and even an exclusive bacon menu!

La Petite Patisserie- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Saturdays 9 AM- 2 PM

Pastries, and biscuits, and quiche – oh my! Saturday Brunch at La Petit Patisserie is not to be belittled, big flavors can be found in this boutique bakery. Be sure to pick up some goodies to take home with you for later (the macaroons are marvelous).

 Loxleys Restaurant- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served every Sunday from 10 AM – 2 PM

A luxe breakfast at Loxleys is what you will get if you stop in on Sundays. This fun, Robin Hood- themed menu is full of crowd pleasers including a Philly Cheese Steak Omelet. Pair it with a bottomless Bloody Mary or Bottomless Mimosa and you can’t go wrong. In the warmer months, chose an outdoor table in their tree house!

Our House Café- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday 8 AM- 3 PM

Serving cuisine curated from ingredients provided by local farms and markets, this casual cafe is a great place for all occasions. Our House Café is a perfect place for those who like to be healthy but still enjoy delicious flavor combinations. Many of the offerings are vegetarian (or can easily become veggie). Note, this restaurant is BYOB for Saturday & Sunday Brunch.

 On Orange- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Friday – Sunday 7 AM- 1 PM

Two words- Swedish pancakes. If you haven’t tried them, we insist that you must. (Although if you prefer waffles, they have those too). On Orange offers many delectable brunch options within is historic building which dates back to the 1850s. While you dine be sure to check out the local artists that are featured on the walls of the restaurant.

 The Pressroom- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served Sundays 10:30 Am – 2 PM

Similar to its lunch and dinner offerings, The Pressroom Restaurant does not disappoint when it comes to brunch. With unique dishes like Duck Confit Hash and Chicken & Biscuits, this restaurant has many savory options. If you tend to prefer lunch to breakfast- definitely try The Pressroom!

 Pour- Lancaster, PA

Brunch is served every Sunday from 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Right on Prince Street, Pour is a perfect place to grab brunch on your way to or from Market. If the weather is nice be sure to sit outside. You can choose from changing seasonal options as well as breakfast mainstays. They also offer a selection of brunch cocktails and beers. Reservations are recommended.

. . .

All Day, Every Day

For those of you who can’t wait for the weekend… here are some popular places that serve breakfast all day, every day. So brunch on my friends!

Commonwealth on Queen– Lancaster, PA
Breakfast is served all day, everyday

Ida’s Café, Lancaster, PA
Breakfast is served all day, every day

Rachel’s Café & Creperie, Lancaster, PA
Breakfast is served all day, every day

Speckled Hen Coffee– Strasburg, PA
Breakfast is served all day, every day

Tomato Pie Café– Lititz, PA
Breakfast is served all day, every day

Café Chocolate– Lititz, PA
Breakfast is served all day, every day

 

 

The Wacky Town Names of Lancaster County

As you drive through Lancaster County, you may come across some towns with tongue-and-cheek and just plain wacky names. Or maybe you saw the video of the Chicago news anchor fumbling over the pronunciation of “Lititz”.

How did these names come to be? We’re digging through the history books to find where these unique names originated, giving a rhyme and reason to the names that make us giggle.

Lititz

The town of Lititz traces its name back to Germany, where the founder – Count Nicholas Ludwig – hailed from. The Count left Saxony, Germany, and settled in this area of the state in 1741 with Moravians who were seeking religious freedom. The name “Lititz” was inspired by a Bohemian Castle near Kunvald that held the name “Litice.”

Resource: Venture Lititz

Blue Ball

While this name may make us chuckle, its origins are pretty straight-forward. The town is named after an 18th century inn, located in the town. The owner hung a blue ball on the building, referring to the inn as “The Sign of the Blue Ball.” The name stuck – and the rest is history.

Resource: WGAL

Paradise

Welcome to Paradise – Paradise, PA that is! Two people, Joshua Scott and Mary Ferree, are commonly credited with the naming of this town. While standing in the middle of the road, Joshua Scott stated that the town should be called Paradise because of the beauty he saw around him.

Mary Ferree’s story, on the other hand, has a little more legend involved. After fleeing France, Ferree and her family received a land grant for the acreage in PA. Her family arrived and lived peacefully among the Native Americans who called this area home. Legend has it that upon arrival, Mary said “this is truly a paradise,” giving the town its name.

Resource: Amish Country News & Lancaster Online

Intercourse

There are a couple theories behind this cheeky town name. The first theory comes from an old race track located on Old Philadelphia Pike, called “Entercourse.” Some think that the name “Entercourse” evolved to “Intercourse” and became the town name in 1814.

The second theory stems from the two famous roads that intersected in the town, one running east and west from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and one running from Erie to Wilmington. Because of this, the town was called “Cross Keys” which may have eventually became “Intercourse.”

The third theory concerns the language used during the town’s early days, when the word “intercourse” described fellowship and social support in the community. The town name of Intercourse would have described the comradery of the town.

Resource: Intercourse Heritage Days

Bird-in-Hand

Have you heard the saying “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” Legend has it that the saying played into this unique town name. Two men were surveying the highway between Philadelphia and Lancaster. Needing a place to stay, they found an inn (a simple log hut), quoted that saying, and stayed for the night. The inn became known as “The Bird-in-Hand,” giving the town its name.  The sign outside the inn depicted a man holding a bird, which made it easy for travelers to find.

Resource: Bird-in-Hand

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