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Things To See And Do In Lancaster County PA

Amish (mennonite) people riding their buggyLast weekend, Phil, Z.E.N. and I took a trip to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Located about two and a half hours from our home in Central NJ, Lancaster County PA is home to one of the largest populations of Amish in the country. We had visited once before but Z.E.N was only 3 years old at the time, so he didn’t really enjoy it and didn’t really remember much. The area consists of rolling farmland dotted with small towns and villages with intriguing names such as Intercourse, Bird-in-Hand and Paradise.

The Amish  fled Europe during the early 18th century and settled in this part of the state, as well as other parts of the US. In addition to being deeply religious, they strive to live as simply as possible, avoiding modern devices and electronics and relying on simple and old fashioned techniques. If you drive anywhere in Lancaster County, you will almost certainly have to slow down at some point for a traditional Amish horse and buggy.

Several homes and museums offer a glimpse into the Amish way of life, including the 10 room Amish farm and house in Lancaster, and for the ultimate authentic experience, an Amish bed and breakfast is recommended. The Amish Village near Strasburg also offers the chance to tour several homes and a farm, and to experience and better understand the daily life of the local Amish people.

One of the best things about visiting this area is the food. Several restaurants serve authentic Amish food, which is plain and simple, yet delicious. Shoofly pie, a sweet dessert is one of the specialties of the area, and lavish buffets Like the one at the Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn are popular. In addition to the food, the shopping is also excellent there and some of the best buys include quilts and homemade furniture. Antique and collectible shops abound, although I hear that one of the best places for antiques is Adamstown.

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There are plenty of family oriented attractions, making Lancaster County PA a great family vacation destination. At the top of our list was Dutch Wonderland. Dutch Wonderland is a traditional amusement park with over 30 rides which is geared to younger children. We also visited Cherry Crest Adventure Farm which was a ton of fun for the whole family.

In the nearby town of Strasburg, which is the home of several railway themed attractions, We visited the Strasburg Railroad and the Choo Choo barn.

I will be writing reviews about all of the places we visited so please stay tuned!

Have you taken any mini-vacations lately?  Where did you go?

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About the author

Diane Nassy

Diane is a New Jersey-based writer and blogger. She is a wife and the mom of a 9-year-old little boy. Through her blog, she wants to inspire moms to find Zen in their lives while offering practical tips and other valuable information to help families deal with everyday issues. Check out Diane's Google+ profile "


  • I really want to go to Lancaster PA, I have been reading a lot of Amish books lately, so this has really made me more curious about the lives of the Amish. I am glad you had a good time and shared it with us.

  • I went to girl scout camp in Lancaster. Every year after camp was over we would go to Zern’s Market. Zern’s is a huge Farmer’s/Flea Market. I loved it there!

  • Hey! That’s not far from where I used to live! Funny story about Intercourse…My parents went there for their honeymoon, and bought a shirt to remember it…. I used to wear that shirt to school and get in trouble and have to turn it inside out! I never understood why…LOL! My mom was always telling me not to wear it, but I guess I liked getting in trouble!
    Lots of Amish settlements here in Mansfield, too. There’s an awesome store run by the Amish not far from where David’s mom lives that has AMAZING food!