Welcome to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a historic city with a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant arts scene. Founded in 1729, Lancaster has a long history that dates back to the colonial era, and it even served as the U.S. capital for a single day in 1777. Today, the city offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern amenities, making it an ideal destination for visitors seeking a diverse range of experiences. This comprehensive travel guide will help you plan your visit and make the most of your time in this delightful city.
Central Market: Established in 1730, Lancaster Central Market is the oldest continuously-operated farmers’ market in the United States. Located in a beautiful, historic building, the market offers a wide variety of fresh, locally-sourced produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods.
Lancaster Science Factory: This interactive, hands-on science museum offers exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages, with a focus on STEM education and learning through play.
The Amish Farm and House: Take a guided tour of this authentic Amish farmstead and learn about the history, culture, and lifestyle of the Amish community in Lancaster County.
LancasterHistory: A museum and research center dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of Lancaster County, featuring exhibits, historic buildings, and a beautiful walking trail.
Food and Dining:
Hunger-N-Thirst: A stylish gastropub offering a diverse menu of American fare, craft beers, and inventive cocktails. They also feature a gourmet market and bottle shop on-site.
Prince Street Café: A popular gathering spot in downtown Lancaster, this café serves delicious coffee, sandwiches, and baked goods in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.
Callaloo Trinidadian Kitchen: Experience the flavors of the Caribbean at this vibrant restaurant, which serves Trinidadian and other Caribbean-inspired dishes.
Rachel’s Café & Creperie: A charming eatery offering sweet and savory crepes, as well as a selection of sandwiches, soups, and salads.
Shopping and Services:
Park City Center: A large shopping mall featuring popular retail stores, dining options, and a movie theater.
Downtown Lancaster: Explore the charming streets of downtown Lancaster, which are lined with a mix of boutiques, specialty shops, art galleries, and restaurants.
Lancaster Marketplace: A local shopping destination offering a variety of vendors selling unique, handmade, and locally-produced items.
Long’s Park: A beautiful, 80-acre park featuring walking trails, picnic areas, a playground, and a large pond. The park also hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, including the popular Long’s Park Art Festival and free summer concert series.
Lancaster County Central Park: With over 500 acres of green space, this park offers numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, biking, and birdwatching.
Susquehannock State Park: Located along the Susquehanna River, this park features hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Fitness and Recreation:
Lancaster Family YMCA: A community-oriented fitness center offering exercise equipment, group fitness classes, and wellness programs, as well as a swimming pool and childcare services.
Evolution Power Yoga: A welcoming yoga studio offering classes for all levels and abilities, with a focus on empowering and transformative practice.
Events and Festivals:
Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival: An annual celebration of roots, blues, and world music, featuring performances by local, national, and international artists.
Lancaster Craft Beerfest: Held each year in September, this event showcases a wide variety of craft beers from local and regional breweries, along with food vendors and live music.
Red Rose Transit Authority (RRTA): Lancaster’s public transportation system, providing bus services throughout
the city and surrounding areas.
Amtrak: Lancaster’s Amtrak station, located downtown, offers train service to destinations such as Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
Biking and walking: The city is home to several bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly streets, making it easy to explore the city on foot or by bike.
Taxis and rideshares: Readily available throughout the city for convenient transportation.
Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square: A modern, upscale hotel located in the heart of downtown Lancaster, offering comfortable rooms and a range of amenities, including a fitness center and on-site dining options.
Cork Factory Hotel: A boutique hotel housed in a beautifully restored historic building, featuring elegant rooms and a charming restaurant.
The Lancaster Bed & Breakfast: A cozy, family-owned bed and breakfast offering comfortable accommodations and a delicious home-cooked breakfast.
Lancaster Arts Hotel: A unique, art-themed boutique hotel featuring original artwork by local artists and stylish, comfortable rooms.
Lancaster Neighborhoods to Explore:
Downtown Lancaster: The heart of the city, featuring historic architecture, a lively arts scene, and a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.
Chestnut Hill: A charming, residential neighborhood known for its tree-lined streets and beautiful historic homes.
Musser Park: A peaceful neighborhood centered around Musser Park, featuring a mix of historic homes and modern condominiums.
James Street: This neighborhood is home to a variety of unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries, as well as the historic Fulton Theatre.
Lancaster is a city that offers something for everyone, from its rich history and cultural attractions to its vibrant dining scene and beautiful outdoor spaces. With so much to see and do, you’re sure to have a memorable experience during your visit.