Ephrata, Lancaster County, PA

Home to rich religious history, the northeastern Lancaster County town of Ephrata represents cultural diversity, while still incorporating many Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish traditions. Founded in 1732, Ephrata was historically known as a pleasure resort and agricultural community. Over a century later, Ephrata enjoyed a reputation as a popular pleasure resort due to its renowned "spring waters" where today stands the Mountain Springs Hampton Inn and Suites. The surrounding countryside blends with the ambiance of the historic downtown district to create a unique small-town destination.

Ephrata also became home to America's first communal religious society, the Ephrata Cloister, which is still a popular historical destination today. This national landmark attracts many visitors with its unique architecture, original music, remarkable art, and more. It also hosts many exciting annual events, such as its Apple Dumpling Days in early October, Christmas at the Cloister in mid December, and Lantern Tours at Ephrata Cloister in late December.

In addition, the town offers a nice mix of local shops and boutiques, namely its Ten Thousand Villages Home Décor, Café, and Oriental Rugs. This marketplace sells fair-trade home and garden décor, jewelry, textiles, baskets, instruments, and more. Ephrata is also home to one of the largest farmers' markets in the country, Green Dragon Farmers Market & Auction. Open on Fridays, Green Dragon features tons of Amish-made items, baked goods, books, candy, collectibles, quilts, toys, jewelry, and so much more, and is a great way to support local businesses and experience that tight-knit community feel that Lancaster County boasts.

On top of all this, Ephrata also has plenty of live theatre, restaurants, events, and homey lodging. Explore many of these destinations, plus beautiful countryside and covered bridges, by driving the Northern Amish Countryside Trail.

Other Popular Events in Ephrata, PA

Community Days at Ephrata Cloister, late April, May, and October
Fire Cracker Run, July 4
Cambodia Night at Ten Thousand Villages in July
Annual Craft Show, 2nd Saturday in September
Ephrata Street Fair, last full week of September (Tues-Sat) & Parade (Wed)
Live music and shopping events at Ten Thousand Villages, throughout the year
Spectacular of Lights/Tree Lighting/Santa's arrival, Black Friday

Where to Eat

Ephrata is not short on tasty places to eat! If you’re looking for a good place to eat a hearty meal, try St. Boniface Craft Brewing Co, which features plenty of top-quality beers in addition to delicious pizzas, calzones, and sandwiches. If after dinner you’re craving something sweet, the Fox Meadows Creamery is a great place to stop by with its welcoming atmosphere and handcrafted creamy assortment of ice cream flavors made on-site with milk from the owner family’s dairy farm. De-lish!

The Hill 
Aromas Del Sur 
Olde Lincoln House 
Bella Luna Pizzeria
Three Sisters Park 
Fratelli’s Pizza 
Bright’s Family Style Restaurant 
The Tea Press Café 
Evergreen Diner 
Gus’s Keystone Family Restaurant 
Yogurtworks Café 
Pancake Farm Restaurant

Where to Stay

The Hertzog Homestead Bed & Breakfast 
1777 Americana Inn B&B 
Twin Pine Manor Bed & Breakfast 
Historic Smithton Inn 
The Hurst House 
Kimmell House Bed & Breakfast 

Other Places to Visit

Weathered Vineyards Wine Tasting Room 
Old Stone Barn Antiques 
Village Farm Market 
Ephrata Performing Arts Center

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