5 Winter Ideas for Lancaster PA Bed and Breakfast Guests
January 13, 2021
Wondering if there’s anything to do during the winter months in Lancaster, PA? Here are some fun suggestions from a Lancaster PA Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper, Rebecca Gallagher, owner of the Historic Smithton Inn.
1. Covered Bridges Quest:
Lancaster County is known for having a large concentration of covered bridges scattered throughout our rolling hills and farms of Amish country. There are a few clusters of bridges that are easy to put together as a “loop”. Searching out these historic covered bridges will set you up to see some incredible sights. You’ll see lovely countryside, farmland and forests.. This particular group of four covered bridges in the southern tip of the county is basically my favorite: (bridge descriptions are from Wikipedia)
Southern Lancaster Bridges Tour:
Mercers Mill: The Mercer’s Mill Covered Bridge or Mercer’s Ford Covered Bridge is a covered bridge that spans the East branch of the Octoraro Creek on the border between Lancaster County and Chester County in Pennsylvania, United States. Plug this address into your GPS: 3771 Bailey Crossroads Rd, Atglen, PA
Pine Grove: The Pine Grove Covered Bridge is a covered bridge that spans the East Branch of Octoraro Creek on the border between Lancaster County and Chester County in Pennsylvania, United States. It is the longest covered bridge in Lancaster County. The bridge was built in 1884 by Elias McMellen. Plug this address into Google Maps: Pine Grove Covered Bridge, Nottingham, PA
White Rock: The White Rock Forge Covered Bridge or White Rock Covered Bridge is a covered bridge that spans the West Branch of the Octoraro Creek in southeast Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. A county-owned and maintained bridge, its official designation is the West Octoraro #2 Bridge. Plug this address into GPS: 248 White Rock Rd, Kirkwood, PA
Jackson’s Mill: The Jackson’s Sawmill Covered Bridge or Eichelberger’s Covered Bridge is a covered bridge that spans the West Branch of the Octoraro Creek in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. A county-owned and maintained bridge, its official designation is the West Octoraro #1 Bridge. Plug this address into GPS: 1128-1198 Mt Pleasant Rd, Quarryville, PA
Pro-tip: If you have any difficulty finding any of Lancaster County’s covered bridges, simply open a web browser on your phone. Type in “Covered bridges near me” and you’ll be directed to the bridge closest to you.
If you’d like to read more about these bridges or even include more into your quest, you can purchase this terrific book from the Historic Smithton Inn’s Gift Shop.
2. Ephrata Craft Beverage Pub Crawl:
Lancaster County has a fantastic variety of craft wine, beer and spirits venues. If you’d like to check some out, the best place to focus your efforts is Ephrata, PA. This small town boasts SIX venues within 2 miles of one another. These pubs & bars are all small and privately owned. Odds are, you’ll meet one of the owners when you’re there, they may even be your bartender!
We’re having a pretty mild winter in Lancaster County, so it’s a great time to either bring your own bike or rent. We have a number of rail trails to choose from. Our favorite is the Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail. The trail basically connects downtown Ephrata to downtown Lititz (you’ll have to jig off the end of the trail and ride on the road for the final half mile into downtown Lititz).
No matter where you choose to start, there are rewards at either end. Coffee shops, pubs, restaurants and beautiful streetscapes and parks are in both Ephrata and Lititz. In between you’ll find a trail that cuts through farms and neighborhoods, crosses a creek and even has a gnome village along the way! The trail is well traveled and tended. Only the Ephrata section (2 miles) is paved and lit, the rest is crushed gravel. If you’d like to rent a bike, here’s a great option:
Lititz Rail Trail Experience is available from sunrise to sunset at Warwick Municipal Park, 315 Clay Road, Lititz, PA 17543. There’s ample parking, no reservations, bikes are first come-first-served and rented with a credit card. Bring your own helmet. Pricing is $10 for 2 hours and $15 for 4 hours. There are port-o-potties spaced out along the trail.
4. Take in a Show at Magic & Wonder Theater:
Taking in a magic act is something guests think about doing in Vegas, but Lancaster PA? Heck yes!! Here’s why you shouldn’t miss the Magic & Wonder Show:
It’s new in 2020, Brett Myers and his team opened up their show in what had been the Rainbow Dinner Theater in Paradise, PA.
They’ve been getting rave reviews from the press and public alike, and with good reason, this is family-fun entertainment at it’s best!
You’ll laugh, cheer and be thoroughly “Wow-ed”.
Ticket prices are very reasonable, and the seating is all socially distanced. Address: 3065 Lincoln Highway, Paradise.
5. Shop Small & Unique:
Lancaster County has some wonderful small / unique shops and winter is a great time to check them out. If you’re able to hit all 5 stores in Lancaster from our list below, you be treated to gifts, home furnishings, unique clothing and handcrafted jewelery. In addition you’ll be crisscrossing the county , so you’ll be taking in plenty of sites and even pass an Amish buggy or two! Even more, every one of these shops has restaurants, coffee shops and other sights nearby to boot!
Pebbles & Lace (Lititz) Address: 56 E. Main Street, Lititz
As you can see, there are some great things for Lancaster PA visitors to see and do during a winter getaway. If you’re ready to book your trip, go to the Historic Smithton Inn’s website and book direct for the best rates and availability. The innkeepers can give you even more ideas for things to do while you’re here. Or, you could choose to just stay inside and cuddle in front of our working fireplace, glass of wine in hand, while you binge-watch your favorite series on Netflix! (our WiFi is GREAT!)