Baltimore Sun reporter
March 6, 2009
Go here: A trip to Lancaster, Pa., is a trip back in time. Amish buggies pass along on the highways, farmers work their fields with mule teams, restaurants offer all-you-can eat smorgasbords and family dining. Markets feature handmade quilts and homemade shoo-fly pie. You can take tours to learn about the Amish, drive over covered bridges and visit working farms. A few miles away, downtown Lancaster caters to arts lovers with museums, galleries, performance venues and boutique shops.
Stay here: Lancaster County offers a wide range of accommodations, from campgrounds and budget motels to bed and breakfast inns, farmhouses to luxury hotels.
If you're looking for luxury, Inn at Leola Village, 38 Deborah Drive Route 23, Leola, features 63 rooms and suites housed in six restored Dutch Country homes and workplaces. Each offers unique decorative touches as well as modern amenities. A hair studio and day spa are on one site as well as an outdoor pool and putting green. Rates start at $190. 877-669-5094. If you are looking for something a bit more affordable, the Best Western Eden Resort and Suites, 222 Eden Road, Lancaster, Pa. has rooms starting at about $100. 866-801-6430.
If you want to stay closer to the downtown district, the Lancaster Arts Hotel, 300 Harrisburg Ave., offers boutique-style lodging in a former tobacco warehouse and a fully organic restaurant, John J. Jeffries, serving foods from farmers within a 25-mile radius. Rates start at about $169. 717-299-3000.
Eat here: Plain & Fancy Farm Restaurant, 3121 Old Philadelphia Pike Route 340, Bird-in-Hand, Pa., 800-669-3568. This restaurant has been serving Pennsylvania Dutch food family-style for 50 years. You'll get a full-course dinner including desserts and beverages for $18.95. A la carte dining is also an option.
Don't miss this: Strasburg Railroad, Route 741 East, Strasburg. Hop aboard a train pulled by a steam locomotive to ride the oldest short line railroad in the country. There are wine and cheese excursions, holiday excursions and trips with Thomas the Tank Engine. Tickets start at $13. 717-687-7522.
Get here: Lancaster is about 1½ hours from Baltimore. Take Interstate 83 North to 30 East.
More information: Pennsylvania Dutch Visitors Center, 501 Greenfield Road, Lancaster, 800-723-8824.