Downtown Lancaster — the word is getting out that we have a downtown at all, and that it's historic yet hip, in enticing contrast to the surrounding Amish countryside for which we've long been known. The city has grown in population by almost 10% in the past 5+ years, to just over 60,000, something (growth, that is) that can likely be said about very few small/medium size cities in PA nowadays. In that same timeframe, the city has witnessed the opening or expansion/renovation of over 150 retail/dining/cultural venues.
We've got four upscale hotels (Cork Factory, Lancaster Arts Hotel, Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, The Hotel Lancaster), Gallery Row and art anchors (Fulton Theatre, symphony & opera, museums; **see full paragraph below), national Top 25 indie shopping, a modern convention center, fine dining (as well as the nation's oldest continuously-operating farmers market), and entertaining nightlife.
Downtown Lancaster also plays host to several special events during the year, as well as monthly First Fridays showcasing our arts community and Music Fridays on the third Friday evening of each month.
** When you consider our anchor arts organizations, it's unusual for a city the size of Lancaster to have a major regional theater that produces its own shows (Fulton Theatre, at 160+ years old, the oldest continuously-operating theatre in the U.S.), a symphonic orchestra (Lancaster Symphony Orchestra), three art museums (Lancaster Museum of Art, Phillips Museum of Art, and Demuth Museum, latter of which is the home of a major Amer. modernist artist), two performing arts venues (Ware Center and The Trust), and an accredited four-year fine arts college (Pennsylvania College of Art & Design).
You won't find such a breadth & diversity of quality arts anywhere else in a single downtown space in PA between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. These organizations are the pillars of our arts community and provide the infrastructure around which the galleries and everything else in the arts has developed.