Discover Lancaster Visitors Center FAQs
The Discover Lancaster Visitors Center fields some pretty interesting questions. Among others, one of the oddest questions they have been asked includes “Where can I buy a live chicken?” We’re not entirely sure why someone would need to know that, but to each their own!
In order to put some of your burning questions to rest, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions received by the Visitor’s Center, along with their answers.
Are you Amish?
No. Anyone you see working in the Visitors Center is not Amish, although they have plenty of knowledge about the Amish and resources to share if you want to go someplace where you likely will run into some Amish folk.
How can I tour an Amish person’s house?
Generally speaking, the Amish are pretty private people, and do not wish to be made a spectacle of. Just as you probably wouldn’t want random strangers watching you eat dinner with your family or doing chores at your own house, the Amish do not allow guests to come watch them in theirs. However, there are public settings where you can see and learn about Amish people, such as the Amish Experience in Bird-In-Hand, PA.
Where can I find the Amish?
Believe it or not, there actually isn’t any kind of observable Amish commune where you can find a bunch of Amish families living in close proximity to each other. They’re spread out on farms all over Lancaster County, so there’s no one right place to see them. Our best advice is to go check out the local markets scattered around Lancaster County, where Amish people like to frequent. Remember—they’re people too; they go about their days doing normal things like shopping and working.
I don’t want to see any “pretend” Amish. Where can I find the real deal?
You’re in luck, because in Lancaster County, there is no such thing as “pretend” Amish. There is another sector of the Amish faith called Mennonite, but that is basically a less strict version that allows some use of modern technology. The “pretend” Amish you might be referring to stems from television shows like Amish Mafia, but that is staged. The Amish you see around Lancaster County are very much real people who believe in the Amish faith.
Can I live with the Amish to learn more about them?
No. You probably wouldn’t want to, anyway, if you’re coming from the luxury of modern technology. The Amish don’t use any electricity (not even air conditioning in the summer!) or automobiles which can be a huge cultural shock. Aside from that, they generally prefer to live separately from the “English” outside of their faith.
Do the Amish vote?
Actually, yes! Typically only the men of the family vote, but they do in fact get a say on modern day American politics. Sources have shared that they really liked former President George W. Bush.
I’ve heard Lancaster is on the rise as an art city. Where should I go to experience that?
Downtown Lancaster is a really great place to start! It’s home to many great theatres and art galleries like the Fulton Theatre or the Freiman Stoltzfus Gallery. You can also check out the largest Christian theatre in the country at Sight & Sound Theatres. There are plenty of shows and art exhibitions in Lancaster!
Do the Amish pay taxes?
Yes, they pay taxes just like you do, with a couple exceptions, like Social Security tax.
What’s the easiest way to get to Philadelphia from Lancaster?
We recommend taking the train! You can buy round trip passes anywhere from $19-$26 from Amtrak.
If you have any other questions or want even more area info, make the Visitors Center your first stop!