I can understand that when planning a trip to the USA, Lancaster, Pennsylvania might not be top of your list of Must See Places. Which is a pity, because it’s always top of mine, and there are so many reasons to love it.
I love it because I studied there – at Franklin & Marshall College – and so the very streets are infused with memories. But even if you’ve never set foot inside the college, Lancaster is still a treasure trove, in my humble opinion. Why? Let’s take a look:
- Amish country
Forget those idiot ‘reality TV shows’ – this is real Amish country. Well, at least it’s the city closest to real Amish country. Drive twenty minutes in any direction and you’ll see Amish families on Amish farms, growing the most amazing fresh produce to sell at the weekly market.
- The Central Market
Ah, the Central Market! Every Tuesday and Saturday, a large cavern of a building gets filled with the most delicious fresh fruit and vegetables, homebaked whoopee pies (before they were in fashion), fresh fish and crafted goodies. It’s probably reason number one to visit Lancaster (despite being number two on this list!)
- The surprisingly thriving art scene
I say surprising because at first glance you wouldn’t think Lancaster was particularly artsy. But there’s a whole street full of art galleries, vintage clothing shops and studios, and they have First Thursdays every month where all the galleries stay open late and offer cheese and wine to those walking by – lovely!
- Delicious food
And I mean, really delicious. An authentic Mexican restaurant, a homemade ice-cream spot (with $1 ice creams, be still my beating heart!) and any number of little cafés and coffee shops make any walk around Lancaster a tastebud delight. And then there’s the spaghetti pizza (pictured): a pizza base filled with spaghetti, tomato sauce and cheese, and covered with a pie crust. Enough said.
- Totally walkable
This is a big deal for me – and it was even more so when I was in college and only had a little bike or my two feet to carry me around. The whole city is walker-friendly, one more reason to love the little town of Lancaster, Pennsylvania…