The Amish may live apart from the rest of the world, but the rest of the world wants to experience a part of their community — as a rela retreat from urban living.
Granted, Lancaster, Pennsylvania isn't all Amish. The city has a trendy, youthful and bustling personality akin to what you might find in Brooklyn, New York — but it is surrounded by the largest Amish community in the United States, so you'll encounter plenty of buggies after you try, say, a crafty cocktail. The city is quickly becoming the new Hudson Valley for city-dwellers who want a peaceful oasis from hustling and bustling, reports the .
"I am obsessed," Andrea DePablo, a 33-year-old temp from New York City told the Post. "There are so many cute vintage shops and cool boutiques. My friends are trying to convince me to move there, but I am afraid I'm not cool enough."
If you find yourself visiting Lancaster, fear not — with this handy travel guide, you will be cool enough. Read on for the must-do things in this town of 59,000 people.
Where To Eat: Horse Inn
The name is certainly appropriate for a town filled with horses and carriages. Young chefs are flocking to Lancaster to open new restaurants like the BYOB French bistro and the Italian spot , according to The Post, but for a bit of classic, old-town Lancaster, it's worthing visiting the . The restaurant used to be a horse stable, but in the early 1920s, the family that owned it turned the second floor hayloft into a speakeasy. Now, you can find not only at the joint, but also like pan seared fluke, chicken liver mousse and rye berry risotto.
What To Do: Take An Amish Buggy Ride
C'mon, it'll be fun! Though the Amish aren't exactly known for touting websites for their businesses, ask around once you get to Lancaster about where you can find an Amish buggy ride — the Amishman driving it will probably tell you more about the Amish way of life. It's just one of in the town, which also include Amish homestead exhibits and tours through the countryside of Amish farmland.
Where To Shop: Mud Sales And Antique Shops
First, let us explain . This is essentially a giant auction that is often held in the muddy spring months (hence the name, mud sale) to raise money for Lancaster County's volunteer fire companies. Here you can find one-of-a-kind items including furniture, quilts, garden items and more.
Alternatively, check out the many antique shops in Lancaster County. At one antique mall in the northeast part of the county, in (dubbed "Antiques Capital, USA"), you can search through treasures from more than 3,000 antique dealers. Locals know that you can find the best deals early, and typically get started on their shopping before the sun even rises, according to tourism site . Now that's dedication.
(And if your taste is more retail, rest assured that a is opening in spring 2018.)
Where To Stay: Cork Factory Hotel
If you'd care to lodge amongst history — which, if you're visiting Lancaster, is good thinking — visit the , which true to its name, used to be a 19th-century cork factory, reports the Post. Located in Lancaster's downtown, the 93-room property starts at about $200 per night and features original brick walls and wood ceilings that echo their industrial age.
Where To Pass Time: The Watch Museum
Literally pass time as you roam the halls of the , which officially opened in 1977 with nearly 1,000 items, and has since grown to more than 12,000 items that, from tools to clocks, all relate to timekeeping.
Though its largest collection is its impressive array of 19th-century American clocks and watches, you can also spot other collections such as Asian timepieces and timekeeping devices from Europe.