Visit Lancaster, USA
The town of Lancaster, in southeast Pennsylvania, lies at the heart of a thriving Amish and Mennonite community.
This is one of North America's oldest inland cities and the Central Market is still the bustling centre of the town. From the Native Americans and European immigrants, including the Amish, Pennsylvania Deutsche, Scots, Irish and English, Lancaster and its surrounding county is a melting pot of people and cultures.
With traditions dating back centuries, Lancaster County is home to the oldest group of the Old Order Amish, the "Plain People" who settled in the 1720s, fleeing religious persecution. Although called Pennsylvania Dutch, the Amish are not Dutch at all; the word was shortened from the German Deutsch. Even though the strongest bond of the Amish is German heritage, there are also those who have Swiss, French, English, Welsh and Scottish ancestors. Holding traditional values dear, they stress humility, family, community and separation from the world.
The best way to explore the city is on a self-guided walking tour starting at the Discover Lancaster History Museum which features 32 life-size, in-depth exhibits that recreate 400 years of Lancaster’s heritage. You will relive events such as the French, Indian, Revolutionary and Civil wars and explore the variety of cultures represented in central Pennsylvania. You will also find Amish and Mennonite culture interpreted at the People’s Place.
Suggested Lancaster itinerary
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Lancaster, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Lancaster
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Lancaster
- Gettysburg 83 kilometers away
- Baltimore 88 kilometers away
- Philadelphia 98 kilometers away
- Annapolis 119 kilometers away
- St. Michael's 140 kilometers away
- Washington DC 142 kilometers away
- Front Royal 205 kilometers away
- New York 212 kilometers away
- Ithaca 269 kilometers away
- Charlottesville 292 kilometers away
- Richmond 295 kilometers away
- Williamsburg 310 kilometers away
- New York State 326 kilometers away
- Stockbridge 354 kilometers away
- Virginia Beach 356 kilometers away
- Albany 361 kilometers away
- Lenox 362 kilometers away
- Rochester 365 kilometers away
- Buffalo 383 kilometers away
- Saratoga Springs 399 kilometers away
- Niagara Falls 410 kilometers away
- Sturbridge 423 kilometers away
- Lake George 435 kilometers away
- Manchester 440 kilometers away
- Roanoke 442 kilometers away
- Newport, Rhode Island 451 kilometers away
Accommodation choices for Lancaster
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Lancaster. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Ideas for experiencing Lancaster
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Lancaster, and which use the best local guides.