As part of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Lancaster is known for its scenic beauty, quaint charm, and large Amish community. The area is a great place for a quiet weekend getaway or a tranquil retirement. Visitors and locals alike enjoy farm-fresh dining, diverse shops, and regional attractions. The area also offers active adult communities that combine small-town charm with resort-style amenities.
Location & Climate
Lancaster is set in South Central Pennsylvania, about 70 miles west of Philadelphia, 55 miles north of Baltimore, Maryland, and 87 miles northeast of Washington D.C. Lancaster is also just 34 miles southeast of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Other nearby towns include Ephrata, Lititz and Mount Joy.
The Lancaster area experiences all four seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. During the summer months, average daytime temperatures are in the mid 80s. In the winters, days are more often in the high 30s or low 40s. Winters are also snowy, with most snowfall occurring in January and February.
Lancaster is home to America's oldest Amish settlement, which includes over 25 different Amish, Mennonite, and Brethern church groups. While the Amish are private people, their finely crafted furniture, quilts, and other products are popular items in many Lancaster area stores. Lancaster County also features several Amish attractions such as tours of Amish farms and homesteads, and even an Amish buggy ride.
Shopping & Attractions
Beyond Amish-made products, Lancaster County is also known for its antique shops and premium outlets. Just 30 minutes from Lancaster, Adamstown has so many antique shops and dealers that it has been called the Antiques Capital of the U.S. Bargain hunters can stay right in Lancaster to find great deals at outlet shopping centers including Tanger Outlet Center, Interior Furnitures & Design, and Calico Corners Outlet.
Visitors of all ages can enjoy a wide range of additional attractions throughout Lancaster County. Just a few include Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, American Music Theatre, Amish Village, and Cherry-Cast Adventure Farm. Throughout the year, the area hosts a variety of local festivals, arts and crafts shows, and musical events. In late winter and early spring, there are also auctions, known as Mud Sales, that benefit the volunteer fire companies.
Retirees who want to settle in the Lancaster area can find affordable homes in several lovely, age-restricted communities. These neighborhoods are generally small, including up to 300 homes, and typically include simple amenities like inviting clubhouses and outdoor swimming pools. A few charming communities to consider include Village Grande at Millers Run, in Lancaster; Home Towne Square, in Ephrata; and the new Traditions of America at Lititz, in Lititz.
Whether looking for a quaint vacation spot or a quiet retirement destination, Lancaster offers scenic charm in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.