Last week we had a predicament. We had one free night at Marriott to use before the end of June and it was the last weekend of the month. It indeed was down to the wire. Sean and I spent last Thursday evening on the Marriott app looking for anything within a 2-2.5 hour radius that was available. (Really I drank wine and got progressively more annoying while he did real research but I digress.) We finally landed on the Lancaster Marriott and decided, last minute, to spend two days in Lancaster County.
Even if you aren’t super familiar with Pennsylvania, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Lancaster County. It’s home to the oldest Amish communities in the country, and it’s a popular tourist destination for travelers far and wide. We’ve lived in the mid-Atlantic on and off since 2012, but this was our first trip to Lancaster. It definitely won’t be our last.
Because this trip was so incredibly last minute, I didn’t have a ton of time to research or even wrap my head around what we were doing and where we were going. I was completely unprepared to visit some of the most famous farmland in the United States. And in the peak of canning season. What a complete travesty on my end.
Once we made the two-hour drive up from Annapolis, we started our time in Lancaster in Intercourse at Kitchen Kettle Village. This adorable little tourist village is home to 40 or so unique shops and cafes. It’s a great starting point after a long drive to park, stretch, grab some food, and allow the little one to get some wiggles out.
After lunch, we spent the majority of the afternoon driving around to different roadside farmstands and attractions. This included fresh-baked soft pretzels, homemade root beer, quilting and furniture stores, markets, and of course, shoo-fly pie from Dutch Haven. Our daughter loved seeing all the farm animals, particularly the goats. She also squealed with delight anytime we saw a horse-drawn buggy, excitedly screaming “HORREY!” repeatedly at the top of her lungs.
After checking into our hotel, we spent the evening wandering around Lancaster. We stayed right in the city center of this adorable town – a perfect jumping-off point to explore. Brick buildings and sidewalks, quaint cafes, lovely tree-lined streets. What’s not to love?
For our second day, we wanted to let the little lady have some fun before another car ride home, so we found an excellent playground in Lititz and spend the majority of the morning swinging, sliding, playing in the sand, and climbing all over. After lunch, we took our sweet time heading home. As we drove, we continually choose the more rural route to soak up our brief time in Lancaster.
I’m clearly enchanted by this place that seems to be frozen in time. I can’t wait to go back soon.
Where We Stayed: Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square
Where We Ate:
- Harvest Cafe: Intercourse, PA
- Max’s Everyday Eating: Lancaster, PA
- Dutch Haven: Ronks, PA
- Tomato Pie Cafe: Lititz, PA