We planned an Amish Country Trip full of enjoyment for couples and small groups.
We love that our community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania keeps receiving national attention (for example, from the New York Times and Forbes) because of our small-town vibe, bigger city amenities, and unique attractions — all of which converge to make us the perfect getaway destination.
The Amish have been drawing visitors to Lancaster County since the 1950s, with the formation of the Pennsylvania Dutch Tourist Bureau. Their “plain” way of life, highlighted by their reluctance to adopt technology, makes for a fascinating dive into a different way of living.
When you’re taking a trip to Lancaster’s Amish Country, you’ve got to hit 3 main objectives:
1. Experience Pennsylvania Dutch Culture
PA Dutch Cooking
Traditional PA Dutch cooking is known for its homestyle heartiness, and you’ll find plenty in Lancaster County! If you have a specific dish in mind (like pork & sauerkraut or world-famous fried chicken), or if you’re in the mood to sample, you can try the family-style dining at Bird-In-Hand Restaurant & Smorgasbord. Family Style dining brings you together with people from all over the world. You’ll enjoy a wide variety of foods passed around on platters and bowls at a large communal dining table.
Forget big tour groups. Enjoy a conversation with John and Myrna Smucker, owners of Bird-in-Hand Village Inn & Suites. The couple — whose Amish ancestors immigrated to Pennsylvania in the 1700s — share insights into the history and beliefs of the Amish and Mennonite communities by highlighting cultural and religious concepts, such as community and peace traditions, and a peek into their everyday lives.
2. Take in the Amish Country Scenery
The best choice for enjoying the pastoral scenery of the rural Lancaster countryside is (of course!) via Strasburg Scooter Tours. Our family-owned company of Lancaster tourism experts offers guided tours on easy-to-ride 50cc scooters.
The Country Roads Excursion winds through backcountry roads, with stops for popular Pennsylvania Dutch treats, off-the-beaten-path shops, and unique surprise encounters. Date Night in Amish Country gives couples a two-seater scooter for an evening of exceptional views of the countryside, including some of the sites featured on the Covered Bridges Tour, plus Amish farms and schoolhouses. You can explore all of our options at our main location in Strasburg, PA.
3. Visit Renowned Strasburg Restaurants
The historic town of Strasburg has a variety of places to eat. Some of our favorites include:
Coffee: Speckled Hen Coffee & Kitchen
The Hen represents owners (and Lancaster natives) Ryan & Janae Dagen’s love for local farm culture and food. Ryan’s mom was born into an Amish family and grew up eating delicious Lancaster farm favorites made fresh by his relatives; while Janae’s family farm (the Runnymede in Quarryville) has been family-run for over 50 years — and supplies the eggs for The Hen’s breakfast favorites. (Pro-tip: If you go on Strasburger Scooters’ Bridges & Brunch Tour, you’ll get a voucher to use here!)
Cozy Late Lunch: Fireside Tavern
Every room in the Fireside Tavern offers beautiful views of Lancaster County farmland, along with award-winning food and (depending on the weather) a roaring fireplace or outdoor patio dining. Enjoy a romantic meal by the fire, or take in a game by the TVs in the bar — either way, you’ll enjoy food and beverages treasured by locals.
Evening Downtown: Shot & Bottle
When Forbes named Lancaster one of the 14 best places to travel in the U.S. last December, it named Shot and Bottle — which features only spirits, wines, and craft brews from Pennsylvania locations, and a modern take on classic PA Dutch dishes — as a must-visit, with its historical location and view of the town square. Check their Facebook page for specials. They serve brunch on weekends!
Lancaster clearly has lots to offer visitors, so I hope this list helps you build an itinerary for your trip to our spot in the central Pennsylvania countryside.