Filed under: Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Family Day Trips, Family Weekend Trips, Historic Places & Landmarks, The Road Less Traveled
Do Lancaster PA Like a Local
Lancaster County in Pennsylvania is a destination for many. It’s home to a large cloister of Amish families and farms, there’s Strasburg Railroad, Dutch Wonderland ( a nice small amusement park for younger children) and outlet shopping, there’s something for everyone in the family to do. Since it’s such a beautiful area with much to do, there are also a bevy of campgrounds to pick from. Just check out Woodall’s Lancaster campgrounds to find a campground that suits your needs.
For us Lancaster is close enough for a weekend trip and since I have a sister there, it’s a great way to visit and not take over her house for the whole weekend. Also we’ve been able to explore, some with my sister and some by ourselves, and find some great local things to see and do in the area. I listed many of the tourist things to do, but with touristy things comes lots of people and sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy a slower pace.
We love to rummage around a good flea market. So on Tuesdays we get up early and head over to Roots Farmer’s Market (it’s pronounced like toots, like tootsie roll) in Manheim and see what treasures we can find. Of course walking around a flea market can make you feel a little hungry, so if you go into the farmers market part and find the stand where they have the ovens right there and are cooking the sticky buns as you wait in line, that’s the place to get the best sticky buns ever!!! For our family of 6, we buy one box to eat right then and another to eat the next day for breakfast. On Fridays you can head over to Ephrata and visit Green Dragon Farmers Market. They actually have a hay auction, so if you get there early, you can watch them bid, (I know not interesting to everyone, but my kids thought it was neat). There are some good hoagie shops there and we like to visit the lady selling ice cream out of her softserve truck. You can always from fresh produce from the local farmers in the area.
Another little gem we like to visit is Pine View Dairy in Lancaster, they sell milk in bags, which is neat to my family, because way back when, my parents had a dairy farm and a milk store and we sold our milk in bags as well. I recommend the chocolate milk, it’s thick, rich and a little slice of Heaven! Pine View also serves ice cream, so you can enjoy a cooling treat on a nice warm day. Pine View is a working farm, so if you time your visit, you can watch them milk their cows and even visit the calves and pet one or two (or if you’re like my family, pet them all!!) This is a great way to show the kids where milk comes from (not just the shelf at the grocery store). Be forewarned, there might be some begging to have a calf as a pet after your visit.
There’s plenty to keep you busy in Lancaster County whether it’s for a day, a weekend or the whole week, I know you’ll enjoy your stay. Also some of the campgrounds allow a local Amish family to bring their baked goods to the sell “door to door”, it’s a great way to get a home made pie, jam, or the local favorite, whoopee pie!! I’m sure if you ask, the owners will be happy to recommend a place close by to get a treat or two.
And one final note while talking about visiting Dutch Country, please be careful of the horse and buggies on the road. There are many back roads in the area and you never know when you’ll happen upon one of these slow moving vehicles, be prepared to share the road on your visit (and wash of the horse manure if it gets on your camper, that stuff is corrosive!!) I heard an Amish man say once I don’t think they’d like it if I came to their work and took pictures of them working, but yet for them to do that to me is ok. Please be respectful of their privacy. We’ve talked with many Amish on our visits out to Lancaster, some enjoy chatting with “The English” and others would rather just go about their day, so don’t take it personal if they’re not in a chatty mood.
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