Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, PA

In a landscape filled with quintessential Lancaster County towns, what makes Elizabethtown, PA stand out?

Is it their prime location, situated between tourist-attracting cities such as Hershey, Lancaster, and Harrisburg? Perhaps it’s the stunning Masonic Village, inspiring Elizabethtown College, the ever-impressive Star Barn, or the scent of Dove Chocolates floating through the air when the wind is just right. Could it be their historical roots and the ability to rise and thrive when setbacks come their way. Or maybe it’s their small business owners who, in spite of their unique personalities and goals, come together over 24 times a year to offer community events that make magical memories for residents and visitors alike. In the end, you don’t need to choose just one reason that Elizabethtown stands out. Instead, Etown warmly welcomes you to experience it for yourself to see why it’s a Pennsylvania destination worth discovering.

Elizabethtown, PA

Thomas Harris purchased land and established a trading post on the Conoy Creek in 1730. The trading post evolved into the Bear Tavern, which in 1753 was purchased by Barnabas and Elizabeth Hughes, natives of Ireland. The Elizabethtown region shares many names with Ireland such as Donegal, Rapho, and Mount Joy.

Barnabas established a town and named it Elizabethtown after his wife. As you explore the town, take note of a few of the “first roads” Hughes named—Market Street, High Street, Rose Alley, Cherry Alley, and Peach Alley. Elizabethtown was officially identified as a Borough on April 13, 1827. Historians recognize Elizabeth and Barnabas Hughes as the founding family of Elizabethtown.

If you’re looking for unique places to enjoy the outdoors, Etown, as the local folks like to call it, is the perfect place to go! A pedestrian path suitable for walking and biking runs through the downtown connecting the Amtrak train station, Elizabethtown College, as well as the Elizabethtown Area School District. Masonic Village, full of architectural delights and an award-worthy formal garden has walking paths galore, as well as outdoor trail maps showing the distances and loops that are available for the public to enjoy. While you’re there, stop in at The Masonic Village Farm Market. It’s the perfect family destination to walk around, take in the stunning view, and pick your own apples, peaches, and more! Prefer a water walk or cycling? Take a short ride to the Susquehanna River to discover two fabulous attractions, the Northwest River Trail Northwest River Trail, and the unparalleled White Cliffs of Conoy White Cliffs of Conoy, where you’ll feel like you’re hiking on the moon!

Elizabethtown also boasts the gorgeous Stone Gables Estate, home of the IronStone Ranch and Star Barn Village. This picturesque property features the fully restored Star Barn, Hog Barn, Chicken Coop, and Carriage House from 1877. The 175 acres of scenic views and land provide the perfect post to host your special event. In addition to spacious areas, the Village hosts family-friendly events throughout the year. From Fourth of July fireworks and historic train rides to Christmas festivities and horseback rides, there is a wide variety of things to do year ‘round at Stone Gables.

Other popular events held in Elizabethtown, PA:

  • Second Fridays, Every Month
  • Strawberry Social, June
  • July 4th Celebration at the Star Barn Village, July
  • Elizabethtown Fair, August
  • Trunk or Treat Candy Crawl, October
  • Merry Grinchmas Tree Lighting, November
  • Christmas Light Drive-Thru at Stone Gables, November – December
  • Holiday Parade, December
  • New Years Celebration & Winter’s Promise Street Festival, December

Where to Eat in Town:

Where to Eat just out of Town:

Other places to enjoy delicious, local fare:

Explore More

Lancaster County's seemingly endless rolling Amish countryside back roads and scenic trails provide a backdrop for breathtaking touring.

Experience Lancaster County’s natural beauty with biking, hiking, covered bridge tours, hot air balloon rides and the best outdoor Lancaster activities.

Tour over 25 covered bridges in Lancaster, PA.

Lititz Springs Park

Lancaster is home to eight county parks, totaling 2,003 acres.