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Adventures in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Adventures in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Adventures in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Note: If you go to Lancaster County, PA, please be considerate & share the road with the horses & Amish buggies. Also, the Amish do not believe in having photographs taken of them, so please be mindful of that.

Wilkum! We wanted to share our adventures in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. This post may be a bit biased, since I was born & raised in PA… & we both LOVE the Keystone state. Trust me, our adventures … & all the delicious Penna. Dutch food, will make you want to plan a trip to Lancaster County, Penna. You seriously can’t get this delicious Dutch food anywhere else. 

what to do in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania {aka Amish Country}

Lancaster in Penna. is pronounced “lAEnk-AEs-ter” & most definitely not pronounced the same as the town in Cali.”

I really wanted to take Jonathan to Lancaster County, for show-and-tell, since he grew up in Michigan. I was raised in Penna. & regularly went to Lancaster County with my grandparents for day trips. My husband never got to meet either of my grandmothers, as they passed away before we started dating. My Dutch granny made the absolute BEST food that I’ve ever tasted & it’s a tragedy that Jonathan didn’t get to taste her cooking. Taking him to Lancaster County to eat a style of cooking similar to hers, was the next best thing… & the food did NOT disappoint. 

BUT FIRST, DUTCH BREAKFAST…

We left our home in Northern Virginia super early on a Friday morning, headed towards Lancaster County. Our bellies were starving by the time we crossed the PA state line. We stopped at this tiny diner for breakfast… & oh my god… it was delicious! The best part? Each of our breakfast platters, including our coffee, was only $5.00!!!

The breakfast platter included a meat ‘n cheese omelet, home fries {lightly fried potatoes}, 2 slices of toast {I omitted this} & a cup of bottomless coffee. I know I’m in my home state when everything is NOT grossly overpriced like it is in Virginia. 

 

cheap & delicious dutch breakfast

$5.00 Dutch Breakfast…oh so yummy!

GREEN DRAGON

955 North State Street, Ephrata, PA 17522 {Ephrata is pronounced “F- er- tah”}

 

Green Dragon Farmer's Market & Auction in Ephrata, Pa

Green Dragon in Ephrata, PA

If you’ve never been to Green Dragon, you should experience it at least once. It’s a market for both the modern-world & the old-world {the Amish}. Parking & admission are free, so you have nothing to lose!

What the hell is Green Dragon?…

What it isn’t would be a shorter answer. 🙂  It’s a cross between a farmer’s market, Penna. Dutch meat market, flea market, mud sale {auction}, Dutch bakery, handmade vendors, wood shop, tool shop, old stock boot market & tons more!

When in Green Dragon… Dress in Green?…

We didn’t realize it until we were on the road… but we matched… & were dressed in green! No one told us that once you get married, you just instinctively coordinate your outfits. Haha! {#sorrynotsorry I can’t resist making fun of us.}

 

when in Rome...dress as the Romans?

When in the land of the green dragon… dress in green?

Random Green Dragon purchases…

The Dutch saying is that if you can’t find what you’re looking for at the market, chances are it doesn’t exist.

 

hotel coffee, gluten-free pumpkin whoopie pie & apple schnitz

Breakfast of Champs!

  • Chow chow {if you don’t know what this is, keep reading!}
  • Apple Schnitz {dried apples}
  • G-F pumpkin whoopee pies
  • Dutch Birch Beer
  • Sweet meat sticks
  • Crochet dish scrubbers
  • Beeswax candles
  • Lavender aromatherapy spray
  • Natural bug spray
  • The most gorgeous & shiny necklace EVER {my favorite one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces were bought from this market}
gorgeous blingy necklace from a vendor at Green Dragon in Ephrata, PA

The bling doesn’t stop…

GOOD ‘N PLENTY RESTAURANT

Address: 150 Eastbrook Road, Smoketown, PA 17526

Good ‘n Plenty is by far, hands-down, the BEST Penna. Dutch-style food! It was sooo good that we ate there twice! This place attracts a ton of tour buses & is busy all the time. This place is huge with an upstairs for family-style dining {all you can eat}, downstairs for menu dining & a basement with a bakery & Dutch tchotchke shop.

where to eat in Lancaster County, PA

Photos of menus that you can’t read are called artsy… right? Hahaha!

If that wasn’t enough, they also have an outside petting zoo… & great backdrops for photos. 🙂

Bird-In-Hand Farmer's Market in Lancaster, PA

Advertisement for the Bird-in-Hand Farmer’s Market, outside the Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant.

 

Please don’t be turned-off by how busy they are! If you do the menu dining, which we always do, there’s literally no wait for a table. This may sound weird, but I LOVE the smell of the dining areas, it has a comforting farmhouse aroma, minus the manure-covered Muck boots. 🙂 {bonus points if you know what Muck boots are 😉 } If you’ve been in a farmhouse before, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. 

As soon as you sit down, you’re greeted with freshly baked bread, homemade apple butter & fresh butter. I’ve had this bread many, many times before I was gluten-free & it’s the best bread I’ve ever had. Hubby fell in love with the pre-dinner appetizer. 

 

fresh, homemade bread, fresh whipped butter & homemade apple butter from Good 'N Plenty

Complimentary pre-dinner appetizers… yum!

The hubster ordered an open-faced roast beef sandwich with homemade whipped potatoes & brown buttered noodles, a Penna. Dutch tradition. His entrée & 2 sides were $10.95… a hell of a steal for REAL, homemade food. You won’t find gross instant potatoes here. 

 

what to eat in Lancaster County, PA

In NoVa , this same meal would be close to $30.00… & probably taste like crap.

My meal that I got both times is hands-down, my favorite meal ever. If I had to choose my last meal before I died, it would be this… & I’d totally eat the hell out of that bread too…with a Blue Moon… {obviously, if I’m dying, gluten wouldn’t be a concern.}

I cheated & ordered an extra side with my dinner, since I can’t get Dutch food in Virginia. You’ve gotta order their roast beef, it’s so damn tender that you don’t even need teeth to eat it. 🙂 By the way, I experimented in the kitchen & figured out the “secret” ingredient that makes their roast so tender… I’ll share the recipe soon!

My sides were the whipped potatoes, red eggs with beets & chow chow. Chow chow is the odd amounts of fresh veggies leftover from canning that wasn’t enough to fill a jar on its own. It’s made with 2 Dutch staples – Vinegar & Celery Seed. 

authentic Pennsylvania Dutch food at Good 'n Plenty

Literally the BEST meal I’ve ever had!

The red eggs get their color from marinating for several days in a jar with red beets. This is one of the few ways that I’ll actually eat the yolk. The Dutch way to enjoy them is with mustard… & pepper if you’re feeling wild & crazy. 

up-close picture of red eggs with mustard & black pepper

Oh so delicious!

HORSE ‘N BUGGY RIDE

A is For Amish Buggy Rides {at the Red Caboose Motel}

Address: 312 Paradise Lane, Ronks, PA 17572

If you’re looking to experience how the Amish live, you should go on an Amish buggy ride & experience a farm tour.

what to experience in Lancaster County, Penna

A is for Amish Buggy Rides {at the Red Caboose}

the best horse 'n buggy ride in Lancaster County, PA

Red Caboose Motel – location of one of the many buggy ride locations.

There are tons of buggy rides that you could go, but I think this one is the best for several reasons…

#1. This location has bathrooms on-site. {Not all buggy ride locations have restrooms available.} 

#2. Park once & enjoy the ice cream shop, gift shop, restaurant, buggy rides, beautiful scenery & plenty of awesome photo opportunities… all in one place! 

gorgeous scenery in Lancaster County, PA

Gorgeous Penna. Countryside at the Red Caboose Motel

#3. After the farm tour on the buggy ride, you can buy goodies from an Amish road-side stand. If you go, get the homemade root beer pop & smoked cheddar cheese cubes. I don’t drink pop, but I do make an exception for homemade Amish root beer. Instead of being filled with sugar & preservatives, it’s packed with a very strong bite. It is the best pop ever! 

no parking at anytime! horses only!

Horse parking

 

 

The Amish buggy ride & farm tour…

amish farm field

So gorgeous, it doesn’t even look real… looks more like a beautiful painting.

I was so excited for this! I worked on a farm for several years as a teen & couldn’t wait to share this experience with Jonathan. 

horse 'n buggy at an Amish farm in Lancaster County, PA

Horse ‘n Buggy at the Amish Farm.

Hubby is a dog lover, but I was surprised at how much the animals LOVED him! Even the cows! That’s super impressive since cows are extremely skittish & non-social.  

Amish farm tour in Lancaster County, PA

My animal whisperer. 🙂

I’m totally not kidding… the animals couldn’t get enough of Sweet J. The horse fell in love with Jonathan & bit the calf in the next stall out of jealously.

horse biting a calf out of jealously

Instead of “bitches be jealous”… “horses be jealous” ???

 

Amish farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Paradise!

 

DUTCH HAVEN

Address: 2857A Lincoln Highway, East {Rt. 30}, Ronks, PA 17572

If you didn’t get enough Dutch tchotchkes, this place has got you covered. If gluten isn’t an issue for you, you can enjoy a free sample of Shoo-Fly Pie, a Penna. Dutch favorite. I was never a fan of the Shoo-Fly Pie, even when my Dutch granny made it. This pie’s deadly sweetness is how it earned its name – flies were attracted to the sweetness, making you say “Shoo-Fly!”

We loved the Amish pop so much, from the day before, that we bought 2 glass jugs to take home. It is 1,000% better than pop from the store… BUT… the ones that you get from the Amish roadside stands have a much stronger bite. Just a word of caution: never open a warm jug of homemade pop, as it could explode!

what to drink in Lancaster

Grab an Amish pop to go with your Shoo-Fly Pie.

RE-FUEL WITH COFFEE @ CORNER COFFEE SHOP

Address: 3526 Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, PA 17534

If you’re a coffee lover, you’re in for a treat! There are tons of cute cafes & coffee shops in Lancaster County.

Corner Coffee Shop in Intercourse, PA

I recommend the Americano @ Corner Coffee Shop in Intercouse!

The Corner Coffee Shop in Intercourse is so cute! It’s connected to an Amish furniture shop & has many Amish-made pieces in the café. 

coffee shop and amish furniture shop in PA

This part is the coffee shop & right through those glass doors {to the right} is the Amish furniture shop.

IF YOU’RE THIRSTY FOR WINE…

ALLEGRO WINERY

Address: 11 West Main Street, Strasburg, PA 

If you’re thirsty for some adult beverages, check out this winery shop, in downtown Strasburg, for a wine tasting! The wine glasses are included with the cost of the tasting. 🙂 It was so good, we bought a bottle to enjoy in our hotel room. {Did I mention we only had to pay for 1 hotel night out of 3?… that’s the power of making your $ work for you!}

winery to go to in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Can you see how cool those wine glasses are? They’re included with the price of your wine tasting… which is a bit rare these days!

Don’t worry, you won’t be driving for awhile, because you’ll want to check out the awesome Strasburg Creamery, a few feet away, on the corner! There’s tons of flavors to choose from… I’m boring & always get the same flavor… coffee. If you’re not a fan of deadly sweet ice cream, you’ll definitely want to give this creamery a try!

LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA ADVENTURES … IN A NUTSHELL

If I mentioned every awesome thing to do or place to check-out while you’re visiting Lancaster County, Penna., this blog post would turn into a novel! Surprisingly, although it is a tourist destination, it’s the perfect destination for peace & quiet… & amazing food! We can’t wait to go back to Lancaster County, Penna. to get away from the city & re-charge again! Until next time, 

HUG A KEYSTONER!

{P.S. Lancaster County is a short drive away to the happiest place on earth – Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. P.P.S. -Lancaster has a smaller version of Hershey Park – Dutch Wonderland, right off of Rt. 30}

LOVE, PEACE & HAPPINESS, 

HIPPIE & SPARKY

 

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2 Comments

  1. August 19, 2017 / 5:57 pm

    Wow what a fun day or weekend! I DO know what chow chow is (yummy, great memories from childhood) but sweet meat sticks….not so appetizing to vegan me! Love the pictures!

  2. Sabrina
    August 19, 2017 / 1:32 pm

    I love little trips to small towns like this 🙂 looks like you guys had a lot of fun!

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