October 13, 2021
When you stay at the Historic Smithton Inn, you will be entering the true heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. Lancaster County features a variety of prominent Amish Towns in PA that are strongly influenced by Amish culture and lifestyle. You’ll encounter peaceful countryside, rolling farmlands, and many small, neighborly villages. And, you might even run across a few horse and buggies! You will also experience some delicious homemade Amish cooking and plenty of local, mom-and-pop shops for finding those one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts. Here are a few Amish Country towns in PA that are worth visiting during your stay at the Historic Smithton Inn!
Come visit Lancaster County, Amish Country, and discover all the wonderful things to do here in our free Vacation Guide! At The Historic Smithton Inn, we want you to have the best visit possible. That’s why we offer our guide completely free to you! Check it out today!
Why not explore the very town that you will be staying in during your Amish Country vacation at the Historic Smithton Inn? Ephrata, PA, offers some beautiful Amish countryside as well as historic attractions. Make a visit to the Ephrata Cloister to read about its rich history and educational programs. Or, go see a play at the Ephrata Performing Arts Center, which has been producing quality plays for well over 25 years. Do a bit of shopping at Reiff’s Farm Market. At this Amish-owned market, you can buy some tasty fruit, vegetables, or baked goods while you’re in town. You will also see some Amish and historic landmarks, such as the Bitzers Mill Covered Bridge.
Lititz, PA, is known as “America’s coolest small town” among Amish towns in PA. Attractions, shopping, and dining are all available in Lititz, including the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery on Main Street. Tour the original pretzel bakery and get a soft pretzel twisting lesson before enjoying some salty treats. For some sweet to balance the salty, visit the Wilbur Chocolate Shop, Sugar Whipped Cupcake Shop and Sweet Legacy. The Lititz Springs Park is another favorite location, with beautiful water features, outdoor concerts, art shows, and some friendly ducks.
For some tastes of the Amish experience, a trip to Lancaster is in order. Lancaster is one of the most well-known Amish towns in PA. Many Amish communities live outside of the main downtown and continue to make a living by farming the Amish Country lands that their ancestors inherited. Learn about Amish life and take a tour of actual homes and farmlands with The Amish Experience. You will board a shuttle that will take you down country lanes to operating Amish communities. Then, you will soak up some history while engaging with Amish culture and people. To wrap up the tour, dine on Pennsylvania Dutch / Amish Country homestyle cooking from farm to table at Miller’s Smorgasbord.
Another of the Amish towns in PA worth visiting is Strasburg. Here, you can step back in time and experience the life and history of the Amish community at The Amish Village. You can also visit the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania or Strasburg Rail Road to learn about another type of history in the area. Ed’s Buggy Rides is another authentic area attraction. Take a three-mile tour through historic Amish farmlands in an open or closed carriage.
The list of Amish towns in PA wouldn’t be complete without Intercourse, PA. This is one of the top tourism destinations for visitors to Amish Country. This hub of Amish activity includes the Kitchen Kettle Village. This area showcases what the heart of Lancaster County has to offer. This includes homemade baked goods, jams and relishes, and delicious Amish food! Explore pottery, quilts, jewelry, and local art among other goodies!
In some ways, Bird in Hand is the Bulls Eye of Amish Country in Lancaster PA. Straddling the Philadelphia Pike (PA 340), Shops, bakeries and restaurants are along the main road and one block behind are ‘wall to wall’ Amish Farms. There’s a good reason that Lancaster Hot Air Balloons chose Bird in Hand as the launching spot for their scenic hot air balloon tours!! You’ll need to be a patient driver in this Amish town, because odds are you’ll find yourself behind lots of buggies along the way!
Manheim is another historic Amish country town with rich history, a charming downtown district, great restaurants and quaint shops. While it’s surrounded by rolling hills and Amish farms, Manheim is probably best known for being home to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. Every weekend in fall (August – October), the Mount Hope Estate transforms into an Elizabethan village with bawdy entertainment, food and drink!
A: Amish Country is basically all of Lancaster County, PA. This area was dubbed Amish Country because it has one of the largest and oldest populations of Amish and Mennonite residents.
A: The Amish culture is intriguing to many, and if you’re one of those people, then a visit to Amish Country is definitely worth it. What better way to learn about the Amish way of life than by seeing it in person. Plus, the countryside here in Lancaster County, PA is stunningly beautiful!
A: Yes and No. The Amish aren’t specifically prohibited from drinking alcohol, but it’s not something they typically do often, in public or to excess. There’s no such thing as an “Amish Bar”. If an Amish person is eating dinner at Applebee’s in Ephrata, you might spot him drinking a beer with dinner. Mennonites are far more likely to be prohibited from drinking alcohol, but this differs from church to church.
A: The traditional jobs that Amish men have are related to farming / agriculture and the building trades. Dairy farming is the largest group, but there are goat farms, dairy farms, tobacco farms and even a camel farm (selling camel milk) in Lancaster County. Amish Country is also know for Amish furniture makers, home builders, deck builders, roofers, stone masons, tree trimmers and more. Women of course maintain the household, help out with chores around the property, make & sell things like flowers, vegetables, soaps, candles, quilts etc (either in their own shop or on a cart in the yard). You’ll also find unmarried women working in restaurants, cleaning houses, making pretzels and other foods, etc.
A: The typical way Amish families get around is in a horse & buggy. They can also be passengers in cars (neighbors with a mini-van can act as an “Amish Taxi” to take women to Costco for instance), ride busses, trains or airplanes. One fun-fact is that you don’t actually become Amish until adulthood when you CHOOSE to join the community. This makes it possible for a teenager to buy and drive a car if they want to… they just have to give it up when they officially become Amish (these teens are also probably hiding the car in the middle of their corn field or parking it at a neighbor’s house. Even though they CAN, it’s still frowned upon.
A: The Amish have lots of ways to entertain themselves. The sing, play sports like softball, volleyball or kickball, and go for a run. Drive around the backroads of Amish Country on a Sunday and you’re sure to see the Amish out playing something! What you won’t see them doing is playing x-box! The Amish also like to read and many are artistic in their spare time.
A: Yes & no. The Amish never have TVs in their own house, but they may have neighbors or co-workers with TVs and it wouldn’t be unusual to plan a trip to one of those homes just in time to catch the Philly’s play!
A: Yes! While the Amish typically don’t get actively involved in politics themselves, they do vote. As you might expect, they have conservative values and vote accordingly.
A: Mostly. At its heart, Amish is a Christian faith and so any Christian holidays are celebrated. In fact, there are a few Christian holidays that are MORE celebrated in the Amish faith such as Ascension Day (40 days after Easter is celebrated – the day Jesus rose up into heaven) and Assumption Day (August 15th, celebrating Mary rising up to heaven). Secular holidays like the 4th of July, Veterans Day, and Labor Day are less likely to be observed.
Any of these Amish towns in PA make great destinations during your Amish Country stay in Lancaster County. You will enjoy some time touring the Amish countryside and exploring these small towns and what they have to offer. Then, come settle back at the Historic Smithton Inn in Ephrata, PA, at the end of the day!
The Historic Smithton Inn was built in 1763! You’ll be staying in a B&B that was built before the United States was a COUNTRY! We joke that George Washington did NOT stay here, but he COULD have! The building has been lovingly restore so rest assured you won’t feel like you’re staying in a stodgy museum. Every guest room has the charm of a historic building, but guest comfort is paramount. We combine hand-crafted furniture, working fireplaces and 18 inch thick walls with modern amenities like private bathrooms, flat screen TVs, reliable WiFi and luxurious linens to make every guest’s visit with us a special one.
Breakfast is included with your stay each morning. It’s a full, plated breakfast served in our dining room from 8 – 10 am. Each guest has their own private table, no sharing (unless you WANT to!). The innkeeper is also available to give you ideas and advice for planning your day.
Another treat at the Historic Smithton Inn is the on-site wine bar! The cozy bar is open to the public on weekends (Friday – Sunday), serving wine, beer, mixed drinks and a Mediterranean Bistro Menu. Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 – 8 pm there’s live acoustic music. Wine tastings or purchases can be scheduled by guests when the bar is closed mid-week.
We hope you choose to stay at the Historic Smithton Inn as you explore the Amish Towns of Lancaster County!!