Pennsylvania Amish country offers some of the most charming experiences to visitors of this state. The Amish community in this area is often referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch, derived from the origin of their ancestors, with "Dutch" being an Anglicization of the word "Deutsch" and referring not to the Netherlands, but to Germany. Visitors can take advantage of various attractions, events, and unique accommodations featured in Lancaster County, including Amish Country tours, First Fridays, and Farm Stays. Whether you require luxury or a simple life experience during your visit, the Amish Country in Lancaster offers a host of opportunities for everyone to enjoy their vacation in Pennsylvania.
Beginning with the sixteenth century Reformation in Europe, many immigrants, from what was then known as ‘Deutsch’ countries, made the long journey over the sea to Pennsylvania, where they could enjoy the promises of religious freedom, offered by William Penn. A very well known individual who traveled from Eberbach am Neckar, a small town in Germany, established the Ephrata Cloister, which invites travelers to visit the original structures that formed one of the first Amish communities in Lancaster.
Among the many attractions of the area, many visitors prefer the up-close experience with the locals and heritage of the area, and this is possible in every season; however, because of the extreme chill during the winter months, much of the outdoor experiences will be missed during this time of year, so it may be wise to choose a time of year when indoor and outdoor activities will be available. Depending on your own interests, any number of attractions can create a perfect vacation, including buggy rides, farm experiences, and a variety of tours. For a complete picture of Pennsylvania Amish country, taking one of the tours is probably the best bet at some point amid the excitement of shopping and sightseeing, and with regards to personal interests, there are several options, including a horse and buggy tour of an Amish community, a covered bridges driving tour, and a romantic route itinerary.
The covered bridges tour is something that can be done without a guide—just grab a map, plot out the bridges featured in your preferred part of the Pennsylvania Amish country, and start driving. These bridges can be found on the Pennsylvania Dutch Country web site. A number of buggy tours are offered by local experts; these can easily consist of four hours traipsing through town and the local countryside, so be prepared to set aside a substantial amount of time for these, as well as any other tour. Another itinerary consists of three days spent enjoying the romantic possibilities of the area, including spa treatments, a covered bridge drive, wine tasting, and accommodations at a local bed and breakfast.
Other Amish Country tours include ghost tours, walking by candlelight through the area once trudged by Civil War soldiers; Amish Neighbors Tours, where you ride through the various back roads of the Amish Country in Lancaster; and Brunswick Tours, offering full service tour packages in the surrounding areas of Lancaster. With a host of sights, activities, and accommodations, Pennsylvania Amish Country is an excellent place to plan a vacation in this northeastern state.