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anna_moon Lancaster - A travel report by Polly
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Lancaster,  United States - flag United States -  Pennsylvania
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anna_moon's travel reports

Pennsylvania Dutch Country

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Page: 1 2
This past July, my mother and I picked up my aunt (visiting from Texas) from the airport, and drove straight to Amish Country in south-central Pennsylvania for a weekend trip.


Picturesque Amish Barn
Picturesque Amish Barn
When people talk about Lancaster, PA, most probably think of the city of that name before considering the county. However, much of the city of Lancaster is built up with touristy theme parks and chain hotels. If you’d like to experience the calmer, less commercial side of Amish country, take a drive along Rt. 340 in Lancaster County between the oddly-named towns of Intercourse and Bird-In-Hand.

Favourite spots:
An Amish quilt
An Amish quilt
With all of the tourists, there are many places to buy Amish wares. At Intercourse Canning Company, you can sample and buy pickled treats and watch them being canned. Kitchen Kettle Village also sells canned goods, but also refers to the shopping center downtown where you can buy all sorts of gift items, Amish and modern. Beautiful quilts are easy to find. The produce, cheese and meat at the Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market are worth a look, even if you’re not buying. Furniture is another specialty – I bought a small, unfinished pine trunk. Antiques are plentiful; one good place to look is in Strasburg, near the railroad museum.

What's really great:
Our driver, Sam
Our driver, Sam
The most unique part of our trip was the buggy ride, located at The Amish Barn. Our driver was a man named Sam, who had grown up in an Amish household. We learned a bit about him and why he left the lifestyle, saw some beautiful farmland, and stopped at a farmhouse with several other tour buggies. Three beautiful little children had a stand set up with homemade root beer and other treats for sale. While they were getting our drinks, they also gave our driver a free treat, and talked with him in a language similar to German that is unique to the Amish.

Sights:
Colorful hanging laundry
Colorful hanging laundry
Driving around is the best way to see the countryside. We stopped at a small schoolhouse next to a cornfield, complete with a rail to tie up horses, and peeked in the windows. There are several old mills, including the Mascot Roller Mill and Herr’s Mill and covered bridge. The most picturesque sites can be found again and again in Amish country – covered bridges, laundry hanging out in deep solids and black, horse drawn buggies and their occupants.

Accommodations:
Our guesthouse at Kitchen Kettle Village
Our guesthouse at Kitchen Kettle Village
The first night we stayed at GreyStone Manor Inn, a Victorian B&B. It was beautifully decorated, and the gardens were gorgeous. The breakfast wasn’t great, but the new owners are from the area and gave us vouchers for a free buggy ride. The second night, we stayed in a guesthouse at the Kitchen Kettle Village, right in the heart of Intercourse. The rooms were new and clean, nicely decorated (gorgeous quilts on the beds), with lots of amenities. It was clearly created for tourists, but enjoying our gift basket of jams and jellies while sitting out on our porch, listening for the familiar clip-clop of a passing buggy was quite enjoyable.

Restaurants:
Stoltzfus Fram Restaurant
Stoltzfus Fram Restaurant
We had two meals that completed the Amish country experience. The first was at The Amish Barn, where we ate a small but filling meal of a cup of chicken-corn soup and apple cobbler. Both were out of this world. The second was at Stoltzfus Farm Restaurant, where we experienced a family style meal. We had a long table to ourselves, but when crowded, strangers may end up sitting at long tables together. The price is fixed, and rather than taking your order, the waitress brings dish after dish to your table. We sampled fried chicken, ham loaf, sausage, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, potatoes and gravy, noodles, chow chow, pepper cabbage, applesauce, and rolls with apple butter.

Other recommendations:
An Amish family, in their buggy
An Amish family, in their buggy
The Amish don’t appreciate having their pictures taken (which led me to wonder how photographers had captured all the great images of Amish children in books in local gift shops). I wasn’t sure how far you could go to take a good picture while still being respectful, so I guiltily took pictures of people’s backs.

Published on Monday December 27th, 2004


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Tue, Dec 28 2004 - 03:22 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

very nicely written report

Mon, Dec 27 2004 - 11:17 PM rating by mistybleu

This really shows a different, simpler way of life. Nice report.
Misty

Mon, Dec 27 2004 - 10:14 PM rating by magsalex

An interesting report.

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