Things to do in Lancaster, PA

When you visit Lancaster, PA, you’ll experience a city and countryside steeped in history, incredible scenery for outdoor adventures and a vibrant culture filled with arts, entertainment and rich history. You’ll find no shortage of things to do in and around Lancaster.

Heritage Press Museum
A 1920s-era print shop with the country’s oldest operating letterpress (circa 1750).

Lancaster Central Market
More than 60 local vendors call the beautiful 1889 Market House home three days each week. A step inside is sure to highlight all that Lancaster County has to offer. A walk through its aisles will find an abundance of produce from the deeply nutrient-rich soils native to the local landscape, an array of prepared foods representing the proud cultural diversity of the county, and locally sourced meat, poultry, cheeses, and more.

Lancaster Sweet Shoppe
Coffee, tea, smoothies, ice cream — and world-famous fresh, warm stroopies—delicious waffle cookies with a perfect blend of caramel and cinnamon, dipped in chocolate. The Lancaster Sweet Shoppe and Stroopies, Inc., welcome resettled refugee women who are provided employment while learning English and adapting to their new world.

Lancaster’s Gallery Row
Lancaster is a nationally recognized art center and Gallery Row is the center of the Lancaster art scene: North Prince, North Queen and West King Streets. Explore the talents of local artists and their vibrant paintings, hand-crafted pottery, and unique antiques.

Hans Herr House
The 1719 Hans Herr House stands as the oldest structure and the oldest Mennonite meetinghouse in Lancaster County. Built by the Herr family as their residence and their community’s meetinghouse, it is the only remaining dwelling of the very first group of settlers in the area. Experience the charm of its medieval Germanic architecture and discover early colonial and Mennonite history and culture by viewing the museum buildings featuring agricultural and domestic life exhibits.

Historic Lancaster Walking Tour
Come along on a delightful and interesting stroll through the beautiful streets and byways of old Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You will discover a city of today, steeped in the history and traditions of nearly 300 years of America’s colorful and exciting past. A two-hour, easy-walking tour leaves from the Visitors’ Center across the street from the Marriott.

Hiking Trails
Open air and nature await you in Lancaster County. Come enjoy hiking the many trails and rail trails, parks and nature walks. Stroll along the Susquehanna River or view the scenery from a couple hundred feet up. Breathtaking views and the wonders of nature await you.

Amish Country
The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America’s oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old “Plain” lifestyle. Arriving in Amish Country allows you to step back in time to enjoy a slower, more peaceful pace – one where the horse & buggy remains a primary form of transportation. Take a scenic drive through Amish country. Head east on Route 340 through the towns of Smoketown, Bird-in-Hand, and Intercourse (yes, that’s the name of the town!). Other scenic drives include Route 23 East to New Holland and Blue Ball. Or head to Strasburg and ride the historic Strasburg Railroad.

Hershey, PA
Hershey, “The Sweetest Place on Earth.” Hershey Chocolate World offers a free tour. Hershey has other attractions as well including The Hershey Story Museum, Hershey Park including the new Candymonium roller coaster, Hershey Gardens and ZooAmerica.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
The world-class collection of more than 100 historic locomotives and railroad cars includes everything from classic woodburners and mammoth steam engines to sleek, electric-powered and diesel locomotives. Take the throttle on a simulated run in a real Norfolk Southern freight locomotive cab, sit in an engineer’s seat, climb aboard a caboose, explore Steinman Station early 20th century passenger depot and telegraph office and inspect a 62-ton locomotive from underneath.  Walk 100 years back in time past the general store, hotel and tavern, union office, photography studio and railroader’s home.

Gettysburg National Military Park Museum
Gettysburg is known for Gettysburg National Battlefield, site of a turning point in the Civil War, now part of Gettysburg National Military Park. The park also includes the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center, displaying Civil War artifacts, and Gettysburg National Cemetery, where a memorial marks the site of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg Address. Consider also visiting Seminary Ridge Museum, which features aspects of the Civil War that aren’t the focus of any other museum in Gettysburg; the seminary acted as an emergency ward assisting the wounded of both sides of the conflict.

National Civil War Museum
The National Civil War Museum is dedicated to the education of the American Civil War 1861-1865. This unique, one of a kind facility portrays the humanistic side of war, from slavery to camp life to the turmoil of 19th century politics, with equal emphasis to both sides.

National Watch & Clock Museum
The National Watch & Clock Museum collection is international in scope and covers a wide variety of clocks, watches, tools, and other time-related items. The largest collection is of nineteenth-century American clocks and watches. However, additional collections include early English tallcase clocks, Asian timepieces from Japan and China, and timekeeping devices from Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Russia.

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