3 Day Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Travel Guide
I have wanted to go to Lancaster Pennsylvania for many years. It started back in my early twenties when I spent my time creating and selling handcrafted items. I guess I wanted to go see what the Amish, who are expert homemakers, did.
I always said I wanted to go there pulling a trailer and with a bunch of money and so I could come home with some Amish furniture and quilts. Well, I made it to Lancaster County in August,, as part of our 28 day trip to the east coast. and But I didn’t even visit any places that sold furniture and only one place that sold quilts. But I did enjoy myself.
New Holland, Pennsylvania
I arrived in Baltimore, Maryland just about 1:00 pm. I then met my Turo host to get a rental car and began driving to Pennsylvania. It amazed me that all the roads looked like a drive in the mountains with the only thing I could see on the sides of the roads were trees. It was so pretty. I wished I had stopped to photograph the view.
I arrived at my hotel at about 4:00 and got ready to clean up before dinner. I went to open my suitcase and it was then that I realized my key was with Craig – back in Salt Lake City.
I asked my Facebook friends for advice. Someone suggested I drive to Home Depot and ask them to cut off the lock. This was the country, not a city. There was not a Home Depot close. But what about ACE Hardware, I thought. There was one about 20 miles away. So I threw my bag in the car and drove to ACE Hardware. I explained my situation and asked them to cut the lock off. They did. Thank heavens! All my meds were in the suitcase, let alone a change of clothes.
Once I freshened up I headed out to see the countryside. Wow, the Amish farms were incredible. I did not expect to see such larges homes, barns, and acreage. I drove for a good hour, just taking it all in.
Good N Plenty
Our daughter had been to the area twice. She highly recommended we get fried chicken at the family style restaurant the Plain & Fancy farm. I am now generally gluten-free, but I had already determined that I was going to make an exception to my gluten-free diet to partake to try some southern fried chicken. They had turned the restaurant into the Low N’ Slow Smokehouse. So I opted to go to Good N Plenty, one of the most popular restaurants in the area. I knew they served family-style food and I could sample a variety. Because of COVID-19 I did not feel comfortable going to any of the smorgasbord restaurants.
The menu varies by night. Fried chicken is served every night, along with two other main dishes. I picked a good night to go as the other two served that night were roast turnkey and fish with brown butter. I found myself wishing I had some fresh lemon to squeeze on the fish. I didn’t feel that the brown butter imparted enough flavor to infuse a pretty bland fish with flavor.
Each meal comes with either sweet tea or lemonade. I thought the lemonade was quite weak. I love myself a good lemonade. It was not a fresh-squeezed lemonade like I was hoping.
The homemade bread with apple butter was good (yeah – I know – it has gluten). It was a sacrifice I made in the name of blogging. :). Dairy is the thing I do try to completely avoid due to multiple sclerosis. Gluten contributes to leaky gut and other issues that I know I can heal so I am not quite as strict about gluten when I travel.
The turkey was pretty moist and the fried chicken was pretty good, but I had much better later in the trip in Virginia.
Deseret is included as also all you can eat. One can choose from ice cream, fruit pies, shoofly pie, and homemade pudding. I did request a piece of shoofly pie as I had never had one. Shoofly pie is like a molasses crumb pie. I love molasses, but I did not taste anything that resembled molasses to me. I was not impressed with it and won’t be craving it.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience, more than the meal itself. Would I talk the family back? Yes. Will I be craving the food until I do? No
The Smokehouse at Plain n Fancy Farms
Good N Plenty Sides. Also included homemade bread with apple butter.
Turkey with Gravy
Fish with Brown Butter from Good N Plenty
Once I ate breakfast and checked out of my room, I drove the Pennsylvania countryside again. I couldn’t help myself. There were miles upon miles of winding roads. On many of them, I saw more buggies than cars.
I loved passing the buggies and hearing the sounds of the trotting hooves on the pavement. I rolled down my window every time so I could hear those hooves as they hit the pavement.
I wanted to visit an Amish farm. Many of them were selling produce, etc. and I ended up stopping at three of them. I bought some cheese (despite going dairy-free) because the first farm I choose to stop at only sold cheese. I bought a watermelon at another before I remembered we would likely be traveling by train to our next destination and I had no way to carve one in my hotel room. And I bought some fresh peaches from another farm.
Then I stopped at Kitchen Kettle Village, in Intercourse, PA. Yep. You read that right. My daughter had returned home from a hoodie from here which read, “I love Intercourse, PA.” Her 4-H leader was not too happy about that purchase.
You can learn more about the Pennsylvania Dutch inspired shopping village here.
DJ’s Taste of the 50’s
I arrived in Lancaster City at about 3:00. My room would not be ready until 4:00 so a late lunch was in order while I waited.
I opted for DJ’s Taste of the 50’s diner was listed on several sites as having the best burgers in town and it was close to my hotel. It was even listed as having the best burger in the state.
The burger meat was fantastic and was a mixture of several different cuts of meat. I broke my gluten-free rule several times on this trip. This was the first when I opted to get the burger on a bun with mushrooms and was a little soft for me and I ended up eating the patty without it. The flavor was great. Overall a delicious meal.
Lancaster City, Pennsylvania
We planned on going to Gettysburg on Day 3. But our daughter’s medical emergency meant I needed to be back in Baltimore earlier than expected so I could pick Craig up from the airport. So I decided to stick to Lancaster City for a good share of the say. I loved walking the downtown area, photographing things, and strolling through art galleries.
Lancaster’s Architecture and Charm
Many of the old row houses had been restored to a beautiful state. Much better than some I saw on the way home. And there were a couple of wonderful old churches. There was so much to see I dedicated an entire post to the Lancaster architecture and curb appeal.
St. James Cemetery
I wandered among the graves in a plot behind St. James Episcopal Church,
And then I wandered through Central Market. Central Market is the oldest, continuously running public farmers’ market in the country. Take a look inside Central Market and learn about the history.
For lunch, I stopped in On Orange. The highest-rated restaurant on several blog reviews I read. You can read my review here.
ART GALLERY STROLL
I visited a few galleries on Gallery Row in Lancaster.
Liz Hess Gallery
I love the whimsical nature of many of Liz Hess’s paintings. She has over 270 paintings with a red umbrella in them.
140 N Prince St,
Lancaster, PA 17603
Red Raven Art Gallery
Red Raven Art Gallery represents many different artists.
138 N. Prince St.,
Lancaster, PA 17603
Christiane David Gallery
Christiane David is a contemporary impressionist artist.
112 N Prince St,
Lancaster, PA 17603
Drive Back to Baltimore
About 3:00 PM I headed back to Baltimore and meet up with Craig who was flying in from Salt Lake.
I can’t wait to return to Pennsylvania.
- In general, these old towns are not wheelchair friendly at all. I watched someone wheeling his handicapped friend down the street because they couldn’t use the sidewalk. Many of the sidewalks are uneven, due to years worth of settling.
- Kitchen Kettle Village had ramps going into most, if not all shops
- According to the signs, On Orange has a handicapped entrance around back.
- DJ’s Taste of 50’s Diner is wheelchair accessible.
- Central Market is wheelchair-accessible at doors #1 and #2 on the southeast corner of the Market House, closest to Penn Square. While most of our 13 doors require a few steps, the entryways through both of those doors are at street level.
- The Art Galleries all had a couple of steps to navigate. I don’t know if they had handicapped entrances in the back somehow. Many of these older buildings have inherent dimensional, structural or other physical constraints that likely led them to getting a variance.