Posted: 06/24/2024 | by Kara

Summer Bucket List in Lancaster, PA

Spend your summer in Lancaster, PA! With fresh produce, nationally recognized attractions, and the oldest Amish community in the United States, summer in Lancaster is truly an unparalleled experience. Never worry about running out of things to do with our ultimate summer bucket list.

1. Enjoy Cow-to-Cone Ice Cream

Beat the summer heat with a sweet treat! Ice cream shops are as plentiful in Lancaster County as spots on cows. With options for farm-fresh or dairy free, soft serve or hand-dipped, there’s a scoop for everyone in Lancaster.

Don’t know where to start? Check out our Lancaster County Ice Cream Trail for a list of some of the best ice cream places (and coupons!).

2. Pick Your Own Fruit

Lancaster is well-known for its abundant farmland and fresh produce. Get involved with the harvest at Cherry Hill Orchards; select from approx. 60 varieties of seasonal fruit, including strawberries, cherries, peaches, and more! If you can’t find your favorite fruits here, chances are they’re somewhere in the county. Stop by Kauffman Orchards for pick-your-own pears, blueberries, and more!

3. Shop Greenhouses and Garden Centers

Come see what’s “growing on” in Lancaster, PA. Spruce up your garden with selections of flowers and plants for every time of year. Check out our Amish-run greenhouses for picturesque views of farmland and unbeatable prices (make sure you bring cash!).

4. Have a Live Animal Encounter

Pet, feed, and befriend quintessential Lancaster farm animals, like cows, miniature goats, and ducklings. Lancaster is also home to an array of unique animal experiences such as Eastland Alpacas, the Wolf Sanctuary of PA, and a stingray touch tank.

5. Canoeing, Boating, Kayaking, & Tubing

Tube down the Pequea Creek, kayak on the Conestoga, or cruise through the Susquehanna River. Whatever your pace, we’ve got what you’re looking for!

Don’t know where to start? Check out our Lancaster County Wheels and Waterways Trail for a list of attractions that focus on unique modes of transportation (and coupons!).

6. Zipline 30 Feet in the Air

Soar through the trees on ziplines at Refreshing Mountain, a year-round retreat and adventure center perfect for adventurers of all skill levels and thrill levels.

7. Celebrate with Live Music

From sold-out stadiums to live entertainment at local eateries, Lancaster has it all! Sip your favorite wine while you discover your new favorite artist, play music trivia, or spend the night singing along with big-name artists.

8. Dine Outdoors

Looking to soak up the gorgeous summer weather? Dine outside at one of Lancaster’s open-air eateries. With everything from swanky rooftop bars to beach-themed patios, we’ve got you covered for every occasion.

9. Shop ‘Til You Drop

Home to Tanger Outlets and Kitchen Kettle Village, Lancaster is every shopaholic’s dream. When you’ve had your fill of retail shopping, hunt for bargains at Lancaster’s variety of secondhand, antique, and consignment

10. Cool Down with Iced Coffee and Chilled Beverages

Calling all coffee lovers! Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean you have to put down the coffee cup. Cool off at some of our favorite cafes and coffee spots with iced coffee, refreshers, smoothies, iced tea, and frozen hot chocolate.

Don’t know where to start? Check out our Lancaster County Coffee Trail for a list of quaint and cozy places (and coupons!).

11. Have a Picnic

Nothing says summer quite like a gingham blanket and a wicker basket filled with your favorite foods. Unwind at one of Lancaster’s peaceful parks and preserves. For a more upscale experience, grab your tickets to Conestoga House and Garden. Don’t miss out on their summer Date Night in the Garden events!

Not sure what to bring? Stop by Stoltzfus Meats for award-winning smoked meats and delectable cheeses, and build your dream charcuterie board. Order takeout from one of Lancaster’s eclectic eateries, with everything from PA Dutch classics to upscale international cuisine. Whatever you are in the mood for, you’ll be sure to find something to satisfy your craving in Lancaster.

12. Shop Roadside Stands & Farmers Markets

Say hello to your new favorite one-stop-shop, with farm-fresh produce, local meats and cheeses, made-from-scratch baked goods, and vibrant bouquets all under one roof. Known for their quality and affordability, Lancaster roadside stands and farmers markets can’t be beat. Remember to bring cash just in case!

13. Spend a Night in the Countryside

From RV parks to campgrounds, resorts to cottages, Lancaster has every accommodation to bring your dream overnight getaway to life.

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14. See a Fireworks Shows

Who says fireworks are just for the Fourth of July? Join us for one of Lancaster’s seasonal fireworks shows, happening all throughout the summer.

15. Mini Golf

Did you know Lancaster hosted the U.S. Women's Open Golf Championship in 2015 and 2024? For those of you who aren’t world-class golfers, put your putt-putt skills to the test at one of Lancaster’s mini-golf courses. Or, if you’re up for a round of 18, visit one of our pristine golf courses.

16. Paint Pottery

Escape the heat in one of these air-conditioned pottery studios. Choose from plates, bowls, mugs, figurines, and so much more to create your perfect summer memento.

17. Swim the Day Away

Splash around at Duke’s Lagoon Water Playground (ages 12 and under) or HersheyPark’s 11-acre water park—home to over 16 water slides and attractions. For a more laid-back experience, check out Lancaster’s handful of public pools, like Lititz Springs Pool or Skyline Pool.

18. Have an Adventure Indoors

On the days when it’s just too hot for outdoor activities, check out one of Lancaster’s indoor adventures. Choose from go-kart tracks, trampoline parks, arcades, laser tag, ropes courses, and much more!

19. Attend Fairs and Festivals

Get to know Lancaster’s creators, innovations, and foods at one of our summer festivals and fairs. Keep an eye out for more information about the following special events this summer:

20. Explore Amish Country

Lancaster County summer wouldn’t be complete without the Amish. You’ll find their influence everywhere: the fresh produce at your favorite café, the ice cream melting down your waffle cone, the scenic farms and fields on your evening drive home. Experience first-hand the oldest and largest Amish community in the United States at some of our authentic Amish attractions.

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Photo Credit: Discover Lancaster / Gabe McMullen

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