As fall comes into full force and the days grow shorter and cooler many folks think that activities in this part of the world slow down as well. I am here to tell you that it “just ain’t so”! Late fall and winter are some of the richest, activity wise, in Lancaster County. Here are some fun filled ideas of what you can do with 3 days in beautiful Lancaster County. Visit our website for links to those that have websites. For those that don’t we will have all the info for you here when you check in.
Of course we are near Lititz and love all that there is to do right here! November brings 2nd Friday on Nov 11, with shops open later, music and other fun things to do. Lancaster City boasts 1st Fridays with special events, food and music as well. While there visit the Central Market, the oldest inland farmers market in Lancaster County, open only on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Friday’s are also Green Dragon days, a busy outdoor/indoor farmers market in Ephrata. Auctions, produce, crafts and flea market all rolled into one.
This is a great day to tour through Amish farmland, slow your pace to that of the horse and buggies around you, add in a stop at Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse for some shopping. Jellies, jams and preserves abound here. Small stores with handmade crafts, and other beautiful things can be found here as well. Quilt shops are dotted through the countryside. Ask us for our favorites. You will want to stop for ice cream on an old order Amish farm that makes just about the best ice cream on the face of the earth! End your day with one of the many performances at the Millennium Theater, Rainbow Dinner Theater, or the American Music Theater.
Sunday is the quiet day here in the county. Pretty much anything Mennonite or Amish run will be closed. Buggies wend their way through the back roads to and from church services or visiting. Today is a good day to visit some of the museums in the county. Most are open from noon to 5. The Ephrata Cloister is fascinating and has several programs throughout the year. My favorite is the Christmas Lantern Tours and Christmas at the Cloister, both in December. These require tickets and advance reservations.
President Buchannans home, Wheatland is open for tours as well.
Landis Valley Museum, is a living history village and farm, which collects, preserves and interprets the history and material culture of the Pennsylvania German rural community from 1740 to 1940. Also open 12-5 on Sundays and well worth a visit.
End your day with dinner at one of the amazing restaurants close by. We love Lily’s on Main in Ephrata or the General Sutter Inn on the square in Lititz.
We love telling guests about the New Holland horse auction that takes place on Monday’s. This is not a tourist attraction and cameras are not allowed. Many Amish go here to purchase new carriage or work horses. It is fascinating and we will be happy to give you directions. Monday’s are also wash day in Amish country and touring through the farmlands is beautiful no matter what the time of year. This is a good day to visit the outlets as they are far less busy than later in the week.
Year round farmers markets include Lancaster’s Central Market open on Tuesday. Schedule a visit to the Quilt Museum just next door while you are there. Lancaster also offers walking tours and boasts some excellent restaurants. Like other small cities it is filled with small shops and interesting things to do. The Fulton Opera House boasts some excellent performances year round.
The other farmers market that is only open on Tuesday is Roots. This is an outdoor/indoor market chock full of excellent stands. Just south of Manheim it is a short drive from the Inn. On your way back to the Inn a visit to Waltz Vineyard just west of Manheim. We love Waltz wines! Their wine tasting room is beautiful and bright, the perfect spot to spend a few winter hours. Be sure to try their award winning Fusion wine.
Outdoor activities abound in northern Lancaster County all year round. Take an afternoon to hike the trails behind the Inn, or at Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve just a short drive from us. At the end of January, beginning of February through the middle of March you can enjoy the migration of the snow geese and tundra swans. Not just a few but tens of thousands of them find their way north with a stop at Middle Creek. Several hundred overnight here at our own Speedwell Forge Lake, but the really impressive flocks are just a short drive away at Middle Creek. Bring your camera! Bikers love this area and we have access to cue sheets to help you find your best route. Covered Brideges are scattered throughout this part of the county and make a beautiful tour. End your day at the Boars Head Pub in Lititz for one of their incredible craft beers on tap. Jeff, the bartender will help you find the perfect one to go with your traditional pub fare . What a great place to spend a wintery evening!
Wow are we through a whole week already? I have barely touched the list of all there is to do here in the county. Today would be a great day to take a short 25 min drive to Hershey if you want to visit Chocolatetown USA, or for a closer chocolate fix a trip to Wilber’s right here in Lititz is in order. Home of the Wilber bud they have a wonderful chocolate museum and great outlet store for your Christmas and Valentines day needs. Down the street you will want to stop in at the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Factory and try your hand at twisting a pretzel. Do a good job and you will come away with a certificate to hang on your wall. For more pretzel fun we can send you to a small Mennonite run pretzel bakery where they still stand around tables twisting pretzels and singing. Out to dinner and why not end your day with a nice hot cup of coffee in front of our roaring fireplace.
I have not even scratched the surface of all there is to do. Check out the Area section of our website for links and more events and things to see and do. Every month is filled with special events, theater preformances, concerts, and tours. Werner and I have innkeeping for 25 years and we love to map out days tailored to what you, our guest want to experience. I hope you have enjoyed your armchair week in Lancaster County, Why not come for a visit?