By Kevin Williams
It’s impossible to distill Lancaster County, Pennsylvania into a single post. It’s a place full of 21st century fun that lives alongside farms scarcely changed for 200 years. You have buggies clip-clopping on the road, an Amish businesses equipped with the latest computer technology. There are some real juxtopositions in Amish country and you find them plentiful in Lancaster. All-you-can-eat buffets serving heaping helpings of Amish style food compete with McDonalds for diners.
I visited Lancaster County for the first time back in the summer of 1991. I brought my bike and just biked through the beautiful countryside, a countryside that is now under much more attack by suburban sprawl. I doubt I’d want to go biking today amid all the car-clogged, tourist-bus filled roads.
But I can better describe it all in photos, so join me below:
The sprawling Amish View Inn on Old Philadelphia Pike east of Lancaster. Now, I am sure it is a wonderful place to stay. But it’s not, personally, my style. Too big….if I am going to Amish Country, I want quaint and cozy.
You can partake in the “Amish Experience” at the Amish View Inn. Here you can watch “Jacob’s Choice” is an entertaining and educational way to understand and experience what it means to “grow up Amish.” This one-of-a-kind “experiential” theater takes you into the lives of the Fisher family, and re-creates dramatic scenes from Amish history relevant to today through five screens and exciting special effects.. It probably is a good production and I’d probably enjoy it, but sometimes it all just seems like too much touristy stuff….
And you can fill your belly at the Smokehouse at the AmishView Inn..
And if the AmishView Inn is not enough for you, you can explore Amish country by going for a buggy ride here at Jessica’s or at Abe’s Buggy Rides down the road (I’ve taken a ride from Abe’s before)
The beastly buses are all over Amish Country, ferrying tourists to huge all-you-can-establishments.
Kauffman’s is a favorite stop along Old Philadelphia Pike
I imagine the Amish enjoy off-peak tourist times like February because they can travel down the roads and they aren’t quite as bumper-to-bumper as other times of year, like spring, summer, and peak fall times.
This is farther south in Ronks and perhaps there is no greater illustration – that I have seen – that shows just how much suburbia is butting up against traditional Amish areas…here you have Target right next to an old Amish attraction.