Things to Do in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Of all the places I have been, Amish country is right behind our trip to the British Virgin Islands. I am a stickler for non-touristy travel destinations. Watching the Amish in action combined with the beautiful scenery made for a very enjoyable trip. The only regret I have is that we did not schedule more time to visit! We will most definitely go back for another visit! Here are a few of the things we did while we were in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area.
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We love unique lodging. The Red Caboose is probably the most unique place we have ever stayed in. A good kind of unique! Lodging in a train caboose is not anything I had ever even thought of. My kids, on the other hand, had plenty of visions of staying in one after reading the book series, The Box Car Children. They were living the dream in this little red caboose!
There was plenty of room inside the caboose for the five of us (could have been six if we needed the room for one more). Bunk beds for the kids in the back, a bed in the front for my husband and I, a bathroom and a small dining area was exactly what we needed for our stay.
There was plenty to do without even having to leave the grounds of the Red Caboose Motel. We did venture out (as you will see below) but we had so much to enjoy right there on the property including a playground, a small petting zoo, a viewing tower, and so much more. You can read more about our stay, HERE.
As I mentioned above, there is a lot you can do while staying at the Red Caboose Motel. Included on the grounds is the restaurant, Casey Jones. Delicious food with quite the view! The caboose has windows down both sides which gives a view to the beautiful Amish Country and the Strasburg Railway.
We indulged in two meals and dessert inside the caboose, all home cooked style foods native to Pennsylvania. They offer breakfast all day. If you eat during the off times of the day, the train car is pretty quiet and the service is exceptional and super quick. We went during a slower time and then during one of their busy times. Both were great but different experiences. The quiet dinner allowed us to soak in the views even more. The busier breakfast hours gave us a little more taste of the cultural differences.
You can’t be in Pennsylvania, let along the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area without a trip to Sight & Sound. To be honest, Sight & Sound was the drawing factor for our visit to Lancaster. Inside this beautiful building, you will find a 2,000 seat auditorium! Yes, that’s a lot of people but with its stadium-style seating, there is not a bad seat in the house! Add that with its panoramic stage that is 300 foot and tall enough to accommodate stage sets up to 4 stories tall, and you have an amazing view!
The presentation is the most professional drama I have ever been to. I have been to many plays even in the bigger theatres yet this one trumphs all. The props, lighting, sound, storyline, actors, actresses, music, and even the animals are all top notch!
We attended the play, Jesus. It was not just a play but it stuck to the correct Biblical accounts. It made the Bible come to life for all of us from my husband and myself even down to our little six year old! They also have a theatre in Branson, Missouri which is just as fantastic!
I am not sure I can do this restaurant justice through words. We had been told by a friend about the “restaurant at the bottom of the hill from Sight & Sound”. The guy who told us about it is one who you could say, “knows his food”. He always recommends the BEST restaurants. This was no different. The Hershey Farm Inn is more than just a nice dining experience. It is an attraction, as well. A petting zoo, pond, playground, walking trails, and gift shop are all on the property for all to enjoy!
The food… YUM! With the buffet style restaurant, there is NO way you can leave without feeling beyond full. Most buffet style places we have been to may have a few really good items and the rest seem to be more “fillers”. The Hershey Farm Inn Restaurant is much different than your average buffet. There was not one single thing that we ate that we would have considered to be “average”. Everything was absolutely delicious! You can read more about it, HERE.
In the downtown section of Lancaster, the 300 Block of N Queens, is known for their prime shopping. It is a neat area to walk around. We stopped in at the Sweetish Candy shop. They opened up this year and are already becoming a big talk in town!
During our stop in Sweetish Candy, I learned something new. Did you know that the Swedish fish you buy from stores are actually made in Canada, not Sweden? Not at the Sweetish Candy Shop. All of their candy comes directly from Sweden. You can taste a big difference, too! The ones from Sweden have a more fruity flavoring.
Our personal favorite was these Rambo Cola candies. I have never tasted anything like it. I may have to have some shipped to me!! All five of us agreed on them being our favorite. You may ask what they are. Well, they are cola flavoring on the outside with a lemon flavored candy on the inside. I am not sure who thought of that combination but WOW!
Another shop in the 300 Block of N Queens is The Pop’d Shop. My husband had googled “Soda Pop Shops” nearby and found this place. I am so thankful for Google because this was a winner of a place to visit! The staff was friendly, inviting, and the drinks (non-alcoholic) were so full of flavor! It hit the spot on that hot day!
My daughter opted for a homemade popsicle which wound up being passed around for everyone to taste. It was quite delicious (and much healthier than a traditional popsicle).
My son is big on popcorn, they also have locally made popcorn which has flavor in it! They gave him a bag of raspberry flavored popcorn to take home. We have made several bowls of popcorn at home. It was neat for him to get to take a bit of Pennsylvania home with him!
Lancaster is a beautiful, relaxing place to visit. The best advice I have is to make sure you plan to spend more than just a couple days there. You won’t regret it!