Top Things To See
In Amish Pennsylvania
Top Things To See In Amish Pennsylvania is an article I wrote after we had just spent nearly two crazy packed weeks near Christmas time in the City of New York. Firstly, let me say that leaving New York was a hard decision to make. We had such an eventful time – but never sleeping as they say New York City does, can take its toll. As luxury travel experts, we advise you make this your next destination when you plan for a family travel experience. Our single parent travel to this place was nothing but magical.
Explorason was ‘over’ seeing things. We had thought about visiting Washington D.C. and had even booked accommodation. However, I noticed as we drove out that he was not remotely interested in ‘looking’, and he needed some downtime so we canceled that accommodation and drove on through. As a single parent, it was time to let go of my desires, and focus on my sons.
The weather was so foggy even as we collected the car; went back to our AirBnB, and collected our luggage and loaded up.
The crazy GPS took us back through the center of Manhattan, New York! My best driving achievement to date was driving through the main part of New York City on a weekday – gosh as crazy as it was, I felt exhilarated.
I could barely see where I was driving, so a wasted scenic route driving through New Jersey.
We selected ‘avoid motorways’ on the GPS, and after a crazy drive through Philadelphia, we land in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Arriving in Pennsylvania feels good!
Here is our list of
Top Things To See In Amish Pennsylvania.
Greystone Mansion and Iron Horse Restaurant
It was getting dark as we drove in that first night, and we tried a couple of hotels that just didn’t sound or feel right. We then drove up and saw Greystone Mansion (now known as Greystone Manor).
We get the Loft 2 bedroom suite with en-suite, a dinner voucher for two to Iron Horse Restaurant (superb!), a fully cooked hot breakfast – complete with Shoo-fly pie and a voucher for an Amish horse-buggy ride the next day.
Even if you do not stay at this gorgeous mansion, then have a meal out at the Ironhorse Restaurant as it is just wonderful and definitely needs to be on your list of top things to see in Amish Pennsylvania.
After dinner, there was an assortment of DVD’s and games and a lovely lounge area, and my young son decided he would do some school work with no arguments which were a change from NYC – yeah!
Next day we drive up and down the Lancaster and surrounding area, looking for the Amish buggy ride. The town is called Intercourse. Seriously! – no comments, please.
Amish Kids and No Photos
The kids ride scooter bikes but they have no pedals because of the moving parts are considered as machinery. Now Amish do not like to have their photographs taken of their faces in particular unless you ask and they agree. They will not look in a mirror. They believe a photo is a graven image. We respect that so we just take their backs.
We enjoy shopping in real Amish stores. The prices are so reasonable, as they believe in being fair, so it is a bargain and we just love it around here. It has a wonderful and relaxed feel and such a change from NYC.
Amish Buggy Ride
We find the Amish buggy ride – after going miles up and down the road 4 times. This guy is real Amish, but progressive so he tells us as he pops his mobile phone in his pocket. He is OK with one picture, but no more – he shies away. He was a lovely guy and we enjoyed being able to tip him too. The Amish buggy ride was fun! The old buggies are unique – yes add this to your list of top things to see in Amish Pennsylvania.
Kitchen Kettle Village
Then we had heard about a place called Kitchen Kettle. So we met some lovely folks inside who allowed us to sample so much – well it was lunch for me! We got some great food items to take for Christmas with our friends. There were lots for kids’ stuff to do, even if it was cold.
I love this display – old sweaters/jumpers dressing wooden dolls!
Kids can decorate a gingerbread man – freshly baked – all for $1. Now be aware, in the USA most places is ‘closed for the season’.
This ranges from stores to motels and attractions so we are fortunate that this area is still open. We are limited in what we find to do, so if you head there for Summer, well, it will be busier and more eventful.
Mini Wagon Fun
All that sugar and my seven-year-old son is bursting with energy even as he decorates. They have wagons to sit and pull the kids around and we enjoyed these. I discovered that he loved little hills and making his own ride.
We find a store with my name ‘Ruthie’s” and head on in. We buy Ruthie’s cookbook which eventually makes its way back to Australia. We also buy a lot of trinkets in this store and the lady helps my son purchase a Christmas gift for me.
Burn That Energy
More energy to burn, so I chased him around the car and buggy park (see the horse behind). This was great, and he needed to release his energy and it is pretty well empty. I’m sure passers-by should they be watching might think I’m punishing my son, but he is having a ball as I chase him with the car and laughing away.
Intercourse Pretzel Factory
We then went down to the junction to Intercourse Pretzel Factory. Being quiet, they were not making fresh pretzels. BUT, I did meet the most delightful lady and she gave me a hug and was just lovely and we talked about our faith in God.
Driving the Back Roads
We drive around the back roads, looking for a hotel as we want to stay longer and our hotel is only for 2 nights. We find the Amish kids happily playing at their school and I wonder if they do feel like they are in another world. I envy them in a way – away from social media and a lot of the world’s garbage. We sit and talk about how they would feel. How simple life is for them but what they miss out on, and what they have. That alone was educational!
Continuous Market in Lancaster
We then get told that Lancaster has the oldest continuous market in the USA. So we drive for that. Food, food and more food.
We find an Amish stand and buy some yummy snacks. This includes ‘Dirt Pie‘, or some homemade creamy potato salad, and a few other goodies.
Quiet Haven Motel and Revere Tavern
We discover the lanes of the area as we drive once more and find The Quiet Haven Motel which is a family and country-style traditional Motel Look at the view below as we are set in fields – this is a hidden treasure. It is super clean, and the owner is a lovely lady and she tells us to go to Revere Tavern an old Inn for dinner – we enjoy the whole night as again, this has a wonderful country feel to it.
Next day we get lost in the lanes as we drive around (but we love this) and talk to the Amish. We see corn drying on the cob in wirehouses. As these are unusual, I’d add them in the Things To See In Amish Pennsylvania.
Washing on a Line
We see the Amish washing drying – it is all so neat and plain but it is color and size coordinated. Now you might ask why this is a tourist attraction, but if you have just come from NYC let me tell you that you will not see this there.
We find (after getting lost) 3 covered bridges. Be aware – some you will get to and they are now closed as they are not safe to drive on.
Things To See In Amish Pennsylvania continues
Julius Sturgis Pretzel
We have been told to go to Julius Sturgis Pretzel as it is the oldest (and best place) to learn pretzel history, and we can learn how to make them too.
We booked in for the pretzel tour. It is quiet and we get our own tour which is just fabulous so Explorason gets to learn so much about the history of pretzels and he takes it all in. This is often a part of our world schooling.
We then learn more about measuring and making the pretzel designs. We learn tradition and why the pretzels are that shape and it has to do with prayer. Ask me if you ever meet me and we will give you a demonstration as arms cross over your heart.
We complete the pretzel-making lesson and get our certificates. We then go and eat a freshly made soft pretzel, and its oh so yummy! We both find them filling and way nicer than the ones off the New York street vendors. We are also given samples of different hard pretzels to try. Prices are great, and we buy a few snacks and gifts. Can I tell you, that months later we told people OVER and OVER about why pretzels are the shape they are – it is definitely one of the Things To See In Amish Pennsylvania.
Wilbur Chocolate Factory
Ending the day tour, we head to Wilbur Chocolate Factory. We see the ladies at work – reminds me of Haigh’s in Adelaide back home. The free samples are nice. We are heading to Hershey so we only buy minimally here.
Pennsylvania is a relaxing and great place to take a child. It is the best way to learn about culture and history so grab this list of things to see in Amish Pennsylvania and look around when you get here.
I really loved the people here. So gentle in spirit to talk to and you can tell their faith has made them this beautiful from the inside out. It opened up a different level of conversation and made us question why our world is so complex, what is good, and what is not. I’m still pondering on some things to be sure.
Have you ever been to Amish areas and what did you think?
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Questions and Comments
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