There's a drugstore in Lititz (northern Lancaster County) that still has a soda fountain. Lititz also has a nice little park, the Wilbur chocolate factory, and is just a very attactive historic borough. Just take Route 501 out of Lancaster until you get to Lititz. Note that the drive is pretty ugly, (lots of housing developments and strip malls) but worth it....
The 400 acres of Lancaster County Central Park are great for birding because of the diverse flora. Wooded hills, winding streams, a pond, fields of tall grasses and paths for the birder make it ideal for migrational birding in spring and fall. Expect to see geese and ducks, warblers and sparrows. There is the occasional cardinal or blue jay in the pine trees. You may see some members of the Lancaster County Bird Club in the early morning and late afternoon, making field counts of species in the area.
To get there:
From Lancaster, take US222 (Willow Street Pike) south to Golf Road, wind around Golf Road past the golf course and into the park.
Have fun and good birding.
Sometimes you can find most anything at a roadside stand....or get instructions on your life from a roadside sign! You're in deep bible country here. See my travelogue for more...
This sign is telling you what you should wear in order to stay in the favor of the Lord.
The Landis Valley Museum is a living history museum that collects, preserves, and interprets Pennsylvania German culture. It is rated "exceptional" by AAA. They tell the story of the Pennsylvania "Dutch" and celebrate many American holidays and traditions.
There is an excellent museum store at the start and end of the tour.
Churchtown has its Episcopal contingent in addition to the Amish and Mennonites. The church is quite lovely and the little building to the rear almost looks like a second church. Old stones in the cemetery.
If you are looking to relax and unwind a good place to start is at the Churchtown Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, owned and operated by husband and wife, Suzanne Martin and Craig Sweigart.
They offer techniques in Swedish massage, Deep Tissue massage, and Sports massage techniques.
They are by appointment only and are closed on the week-ends.
Get a fantastic view of the Susquehanna River and the Bridges connecting Columbia and Wrightsville from Chickie's Rock. The Susquehanna River is the western boundary of Lancaster County. Take Route 30 West towards York. The last exit before the bridge into York County is Route 441. Turn right at the end of the exit and look for the Chickies Rock signs on the left as you go up the hill. It's a bit of a hike (maybe 1/2 mile). The views are fantastic.
I lived in Lancaster County most of my life. My favorite country drive through farmland is Route 896, just outside of Strasburg. If you're in "Amish Country", leave the shopping outlets (Rockvale Square and Tangers) on Route 30 (the main east-west highway) behind....take 896 - just past Rockvale - into Strasburg. Continue on 896 past Strasburg. You can drive for 5-10 miles through nearly pure farmland. Pass Michael's Bakery on the left past Strasburg, and take a peak at the wonderful view on the left as you come up over the rise. It's my favorite view in the county. I'm sorry I don't have a picture for you....but I promise you won't be disappointed.
Candy Americana Museum and Wilbur's Chocolate Company
A very interesting stop. Not to the degree as nearby Hershey. But this offers the tourist a tour of an authentic chocolate factory. The store is a must see for any chocolate lover.
Wilbur's Chocolate Company is located on PA Route 501 in downtown Lititz.
Independence Hall was Pennsylvania's State House and was built in 1732. It took an amazing 21 years to complete. Within these walls, the Declaration of Independence was debated, drafted and finally signed. That famous document is now the oldest federal constitution in existence. See also the Liberty Bell and the Betsy Ross House.
The Ephrata Cloister was founded in 1732 and was one of America's oldest communal societies. It began when Conrad Beissel broke from the Conestoga congregation in Lancaster (German Baptist ) and created his own faith which was more emotional and mystical in nature. He established the cloister here along the Cocalico Creek. After Beissel died in 1768, things went downhill for the community, but remnants of them survived until 1934.
How to get there: I-76 West to Exit 21. Rt. 222 South to Ephrata to Rt. 322 (Main St.) West. About 2 miles to Cloister.
Great sign, eh? Intercourse is located east of Lancaster on Highway 340. The downtown felt pretty touristy to me, but it was definitely lively despite the lousy weather. There are plenty of Amish-themed tourist traps, including gift shops, restaurants and craft shops. The surrounding area is full of beautiful hills and farms and I found the countryside more interesting than the town itself.
Years ago, on one of our trips to Lancaster, my mom, my sister, my aunt Sarah, my cousin Jessica, and I stopped off at a little chocolate factory in Lititz. It was neat to see how chocolate was made and to be in a place where there were so many different forms of chocolate. I thought I was in heaven. The next time you're in Lancaster, I highly recommend you make a detour to:
Wilbur Chocolate Candy Americana Museum
48 N. Broad St., Lititz, PA 17543
this is a comprehensive collection of military knives used by servicemen. There are pikes, swords, sabers, fencing bayonets, bowie, knuckle and trench knives.
The museum is located at 3562 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse.
See the toy train museum in Strasburg. The museum is headquarters for the Train Collectors Association.
This is a large collection of floor toys, electric trains, and train-related accessories.
There are five operating layouts, Standard, O, S, G, and HO.
A continuously running video show offers cartoons and comedy films about toy trains.
The museum is located at 300 Paradise Lane in Strasburg.