Lancaster: One of Forbes' "14 Best Places to Travel in the US in 2019"
Looking for a hip city to explore this summer or even for a weekend during the spring or fall? Why not pick Lancaster – who was named as one of Forbes’ “10 Coolest U.S. Cities to Visit in 2018” AND their “Where to Travel Next: 14 Best Places to Travel in the US in 2019.”
What makes Lancaster so cool?
Tucked amongst the beautiful, iconic Amish farmland, Downtown Lancaster has a food scene that’s on the rise. Venture beyond the PA Dutch food for out-of-this-world Italian cuisine and wood-fire pizza at Luca – where Chef Taylor Mason combines the old-world charm and flavors of distant Italy with the ultra-local ingredients grown right here in Lancaster. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time – the more popular dining times go fast!
For fine French dining, dive into the 4-course prix fixe and 7-course tasting menus at Amorette, one of Lancaster's newest eating establishments.
Speak-easy vibes and craft cocktails are part of the experience at the Horse Inn, where you can enjoy an amazing dinner in a vintage horse stall as the air fills with live jazz music.
Many of the ingrediants used at these restaurants come from Lancaster Central Market, the longest continuously running farmer's market in the United States, that's full of produce, local goodies and plenty of charm.
Lancaster’s architecture is a big part of the charm. Passionate Lancastrians are transforming old warehouses and buildings to create new spaces for eating, drinking and entertainment. Thistle Finch Distillery and The Fridge are doing just that. Located in the former Walter Schnader Tobacco Warehouse, Thistle Finch is bringing of distilling to Downtown Lancaster, creating rye whiskey, white rye, gin, and vodka – then serving the spirits up in artfully crafted cocktails.
Also celebrating Pennsylvania distilling traditions, Shot & Bottle is serving up spirits from the Commonwealth, in a newly revitalized space in Penn Square.
More of a craft beer enthusiast? The Fridge is a cozy bottle shop with an impressive selection of hard-to-find craft, micro, imported and local beer, located right behind the Lancaster Arts Hotel. Pair your beer with a slice of their flatbread pizza (because few things go better together), and cozy up by their fire or enjoy their outdoor space – depending on the weather.
When you need to relax after a day of traveling, the Cork Factory Hotel features chic accommodations in a downtown building that once served as a, you guessed it, cork factory.
Our vibrant art and theatre scene also adds to the coolness of Lancaster – with a plethora of live performances and galleries to tap into your artsy side. Gallery Row is home to local artists like Freiman Stoltfuz, Liz Hess, and Christiane David, along with other galleries that feature a collection of artists. If you find yourself in Lancaster on the first Friday of the month, enjoy the extended gallery and boutique hours, and special performances and exhibits as you get swept up Gallery Row’s creative energy on First Friday.
Live theatre lovers will adore the historic, stunning Fulton Theatre – not just for its broadway-calibur shows, but also for its ornate architecture and rich history. The theater is full of character and stories, much like the shows that take place on its stage.
Film-lovers should find their way to the new Zoetropolis theater, where a plethora of independent films are on the schedule.
Outside the wide-array of offerings in Downtown Lancaster, families can experience life on the farm, breathing in the fresh air and even petting lovable animals. Find your way through the corn maze at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm and watch the Strasburg Rail Road train chug by. You’ll love the fresh air and relaxing pace, while your kids will love all the hands-on, farm-centric activities – win win!
And that’s just the beginning – get info on Lancaster’s latest and coolest by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter, and stay in the know.
Resource: Abel, Ann, “The 10 Coolest U.S. Cities to Visit in 2018,” Forbes
Bloom, Laura Begley, “Where to Go Next: 14 Best Places to Travel in the US in 2019,” Forbes