Amish Country in Pennsylvania is an easy day trip from home. It’s about a two-hour drive from my house. The trip out there can be done in a day trip or small weekend getaway. The Amish settlement in Lancaster County is the oldest in America. The Amish embody a simpler, old-fashioned way of life. Seeing how approximately 40,000 people live without modern advances including electricity, cars, air conditioning, etc. is truly fascinating and it makes you more appreciative of everything we have. Old school horse and buggies are the Amish people’s primary form of transportation and it’s truly like stepping back in time.
Some attractions/stores are still closed or limited due to COVID so plan ahead. The Amish are also very religious and all tourism related to or on their property is restricted on Sundays.
Amish Farm and House
Visiting the Amish Farm and House is a must do to become acquainted with the Amish culture. You wouldn’t think much of it pulling into the parking lot shared with Target, but it’s actually a great site. The historic farmhouse is from 1805 and was once occupied by an Amish family, today it is furnished as a “modern” Amish home. Ticket prices include a short tour led by a knowledgeable guide who explains the history, customs, culture, and more.
After the tour you are able to walk around and explore the 15-acre farm. This area was part of a land grant to the early settlers from William Penn in 1715. Also, on the property is a model of a traditional Amish schoolhouse.
In addition, you can add a 90-minute bus tour. The mini buses take you around the picturesque Lancaster County countryside and are interactive. All three areas cost around $20 or you can do combos that best meet your needs. We just did the house and farm tours.
Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy Rides
Take a ride in a real buggy! After seeing buggies driving around you have the opportunity to take a ride yourself. There are two options – a larger wagon tour or private buggy ride. The company is owned by Plain people (Amish, Brethren, and Mennonites) and your ride is lead by someone from the local community. You ride through the countryside and then travel and tour a non-commercial, working Amish farm.
Take a historic ride on a steam locomotive. After 100+ years and with extensive restoration the trains are still operational. Although, not a practical mode of travel anymore these trains have informational rides through the local area that last about 45 minutes.
The Inn at Leola Village
There are so many motel and Bed & Breakfast options in this area. I’m sure each has it’s own quirks and special offerings. On this most recent trip we stayed at the Inn at Leola Village. The property has a historic charm. The furnishings are very antique with lots of carpet everywhere. What the designs lack in modernity they make up for in other comforts. There’s an onsite pool, spa, and on-site restaurants.
If you are looking to experience a slower pace of life take a day or two to explore the simplicity of Amish country. Make sure to have an old fashioned soft pretzel before heading home.