An aerial view of the rural farmland in southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Things to do in  Lancaster

Take a day trip to Dutch Country

Here in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, life seems to run a bit slower—and is all the better for it. Lancaster’s pace is partly set by the city’s Amish community, a religious group who dress modestly, still use horse-drawn buggies, and avoid many modern conveniences. Visitors can learn more about their practices during a farm visit (and visit Amish bakeries for tempting treats like whoopie pies). Beyond the buggies, Lancaster’s quaint downtown offers many things to do—think antique shopping, gallery hopping, and market browsing aplenty—and is a popular weekend escape from ever-bustling Philadelphia.

Top 3 attractions in Lancaster

Amish Farm and House

Anyone curious about the history, heritage, and daily life of America’s Amish will be fascinated by the community at the Amish Farm and House in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This 200-year-old house—one of the nation’s oldest Amish attractions—hosts house and farm tours, cultural demonstrations, and interactive classes.More
Dutch Wonderland

Dutch Wonderland

A giant purple-trimmed castle welcomes families to Dutch Wonderland, a fairytale-themed amusement park on the eastern outskirts of Lancaster in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. Its 30-plus rides are tame compared to larger amusement parks like Six Flags or Cedar Point, and most of its daily shows like “Bubba Bear & the Badland Band” or “Adventure of the Frog Prince” are geared toward younger children.More

President James Buchanan's Wheatland

Encounter presidential history at Wheatland, President James Buchanan's 19th-century Pennsylvania property on the grounds of LancasterHistory. Explore a mansion replete with period details. See objects from the 15th president of the US, learn about Civil War America, and enjoy a guided tour free with general admission.More

Top activities in Lancaster

International Food Tour Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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Lancaster History and Breakfast Walking Tour
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Murder Mystery Night Solve the Case Lancaster PA
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Unique Amish Immersion in Lancaster
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Lancaster Puzzling Adventure

Lancaster Puzzling Adventure

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Guided Ghost Tour of Lititz
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Guided Ghost Tour of Lititz

Guided Tour of the 1792 Johannes Mueller House
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All about Lancaster

When to visit

Summer is a popular time to visit Lancaster County. Families flock to the Dutch Wonderland amusement park, while good-weather days are perfect for an Amish farm visit. But fall—with its harvest days, Hot Air Balloon Festival, and Whoopie Pie Festival—is also a great bet.

Getting around

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is roughly 72 miles (116 kilometers) west of Philadelphia. Lancaster Station is served by Amtrak's Keystone line, linking it to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The city itself is best explored on foot or by car. (Failing that, horse-drawn buggies are the most traditional mode of travel.)

Traveler tips

Lancaster is celebrated for its Amish baked goods and traditional fare, but those in the know realize that its all-you-can-eat buffets might be the city's best culinary offering. Shady Maple Smorgasbord, located in nearby East Earl, is Lancaster County's most popular option—come hungry.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EST (UTC -5)
Country Code

People Also Ask

Is it worth visiting Lancaster, Pennsylvania?

Yes, it’s absolutely worth visiting Lancaster. Not only is the city home to the oldest Amish community in the United States—with plenty of opportunities for cultural exchange, it also boasts antique parlors, boutiques, and museums, plus highlights like the Dutch Wonderland amusement park and Lancaster Central Market.

What is Lancaster known for?

Lancaster is the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country known for its sizable Amish community. Visitors will encounter Amish culture and traditions by visiting farmsteads, enjoying traditional treats at local bakeries, or even watching the horse-drawn buggies drive by. The city is also renowned for its antiques.

Does Lancaster have a beach?

No, Lancaster does not have a beach. The landlocked city—the county seat of Lancaster County—is located in southeastern Pennsylvania. However, it is a 20-minute drive from Lake Clarke, an artificial lake along the Susquehanna River that operates a swimming area in the summer months.

Is Lancaster a walkable city?

Yes, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is a walkable city. Thanks to its wealth of shops, restaurants, and bakeries, its charming and approachable downtown area is best explored on foot. However, if you wish to visit area farms, flea markets, or highlights like Dutch Wonderland, you'll need to travel by car or taxi.

What is the best time of year to visit Lancaster?

There’s never a bad time to visit Lancaster, but summer and fall are particularly popular. Both offer festive events—including Fourth of July fireworks, harvest celebrations, and even a hot-air balloon festival—as well as generally dependable good weather, making outdoor excursions more appealing.

Is Lancaster Amish country?

Yes, Lancaster County in Pennsylvania is known as the home of Amish Country, and the city of Lancaster is located right in its heart. There are plenty of opportunities to engage with Amish culture, from farm and house visits to horse-drawn buggy rides, walking tours, and shared meal experiences.

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