Posted: 10/07/2022 | by Katie

Things to do in Lancaster, PA for First Time Visitors

Be sure to try these unique activities.

a Buggie passes farmlands in Lancaster County

If this is your first visit to Lancaster, PA – we welcome you with open arms and warm Pennsylvania Dutch hospitality. If you are eager to learn what all the fuss is about, we have compiled a list of five great things to do while you are in town. These activities are “classic” Lancaster at their core. They help to make up what Lancaster is all about and have led to the development of so many of the wonderful experiences and traditions around the county.

Keep up to date with all things Lancaster County by signing up for our e-newsletter and start planning your trip by requesting your free copy of the getaway guide. Also be sure to check out some of the super fun events happening during your stay.

Visit Amish Country

When we say “Lancaster” you say “Amish.” These two often go hand in hand, being that Lancaster, PA is home to one of the largest Amish populations in the United States. Our county is known for its rolling hills, beautiful farmland, and relaxing way of life. Try taking a buggy ride with Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy Rides to have a truly authentic experience on the back roads. If you prefer to move at a faster pace, opt for a scooter ride through the countryside with Strasburg Scooters Tours. Attractions like the Amish Farm & House, the Amish Village, and The Amish Experience are also great places to learn about the plain lifestyle. You can see first-hand what an Amish home or one-room schoolhouse looks like plus learn traditions and customs of this unique culture. Start planning your trip to PA Dutch Country here.

Stop by Lancaster’s Central Market

Lancaster Central Market is the country’s oldest continually operating farmers’ market. Open on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, this market is the perfect place to see the combination of diverse cultures and cuisines that make up Lancaster County. Be sure to pick up some locally-grown produce, freshly-baked goods, meats, or cheeses to take home with you. If your visit doesn’t coincide with market days, don’t worry, there are plenty of other farmers’ markets around the county which you can visit.

Central Market is located in Lancaster's bustling and vibrant city, where you can find tons of delicious restaurants, independent retailers and shops, coffee shops, and more! Be sure to spend some time exploring this cool downtown.

Try some traditional Pennsylvania Dutch food

Traditional Pennsylvania Dutch food is truly a treat. Prepared from scratch with simple, hearty, ingredients, you can taste the love in every bite. From chicken pot pie, to pork and sauerkraut, or shoofly pie to whoopie pies you are sure to find something to indulge in while you are here. Our many Pennsylvania Dutch restaurants like Miller’s Smorgasbord Restaurant & Bakery or Shady Maple, offer all the traditional dishes for you to sample and enjoy. Not sure what you will like? Check out some local must-eats and how to make them at home!

Shop for antiques and hand-crafted goods

Here in Lancaster we like to make things by hand, the old fashioned way. We value quality, crafted goods that are passed on to generations and hidden gems scoured from our many antique stores. Each item has a story, and more than likely someone around to tell you about it. If you are looking for the perfect piece to add to your home be sure to head out to Adamstown to check out the many antique malls, markets, and auctions. Downtown Lancaster also offers a number of artisans and galleries for you to explore on Gallery Row.

Check out our awesome attractions

Take a ride on the U.S.A.'s oldest operating railroad at the Strasburg Rail Road, featuring super fun events all year long, or have an exciting day at Dutch Wonderland family amusement park! With attractions for all ages ranging from scooter tours to Amish adventures, there's plenty to do throughout the county.

See a show

Lancaster is home to a number of theatres with performances ranging from musical, to dramatic, to comedy, or even spiritual. While in town you can visit the largest faith-based theatre in the United States, Sight & Sound Theatres® or catch a Broadway caliber musical at the oldest working theatre in the United States, The Fulton Theatre. Keep up to date with upcoming shows.

If this isn’t enough to keep you busy while you are in town, there is plenty more to do! Stop by our Visitors Center for more ideas and recommendations. We are positive that you will want to come back again to do some more exploring, when you do we will be ready with more suggestions. If you want to learn more of what all there is to do in Lancaster, check out our Getaway Guide (order here) or sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the know.

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