Do you ever wish that you lived a simpler and less complicated life? Sometimes, just taking a break and getting away from everyday stress can help put things in perspective, and the Amish people personify living life simply. We have put together 4 reasons to visit Amish Country in Lancaster, PA.
Why Lancaster? It’s the home of the largest and oldest Amish communities in the United States. Find yourself surrounded by panoramic landscapes, scenic Amish farms, and unique shops! Book your stay at our historic Inn, turn off your phone, and head out to visit life as it’s lived without modern technology.
1. Experience History
Why and when did the Amish community settle in Lancaster? The Amish were a splinter group of European Anabaptists who followed the teachings of Jacob Amman in the late 1600s. The Anabaptists were persecuted throughout Europe and came to the U.S. based on William Penn’s “holy experiment” that promised religious tolerance. They settled in what later became known as Pennsylvania, with the first large group arriving in Lancaster County in the 1720s.
The Amish beliefs include a strict interpretation of the Bible, along with the practices of humility, family, community, and separation from the world. You will notice this with their plain dress, continued use of horse and buggy, farms utilizing windmills, and skilled artisanship in woodworking, cooking, farming, and building. When you visit Amish communities, please respect their beliefs and customs. This includes not taking pictures with recognizable faces unless you ask their permission.
2. Experience Atmosphere
A visit to Lancaster County can feel like you are stepping back in time. Along with cars and bicycles, you will see horse-drawn buggies and people dressed in simple clothing. Be prepared for a laid-back, and relaxing time in a scenic rural farm landscape.
There are many different opportunities to take tours showing you different sides of Amish life. Try an authentic buggy ride, and see the countryside through the windows of an Amish buggy, passing schools, homesteads, and some sites dating back to the 1700s. Visit a farmhouse; some tours have films documenting the everyday life of a typical family.
3. Experience the Food
Many cultures are best illustrated with food, and the Amish are no exception. Plan a meal at an Amish-owned restaurant, or book an immersive experience with a family. You will find homemade food that is hearty, delicious, and certainly not low-calorie! The food is based on locally grown and raised ingredients — and farmwork builds big appetites!
Look for such well-known dishes as Shoofly Pie, Dutch Cabbage Rolls, Chicken Corn Soup, Chow Chow, Glazed Doughnuts, and the much-maligned Scrapple. You will find many bakeries with fruit pies, whoopie pies, and apple dumplings, as well as homemade jams and jellies.
4. Experience the Shopping
The Amish are known for handmade furniture that is solid, well crafted, and reasonably priced. Quilts were originally made for practical purposes (warmth) or as part of a dowry. Now there is an industry for these works of art. Examples can be found at farmer’s markets, and other country stores along with homemade toys, baskets, and other crafts.
You won’t want to leave without an authentic Amish straw hat, hex sign, birdhouse, or quillow (quilted pillow). You may not want to leave!
Your trip to Amish country may send you home calmer, and with thoughts to bring more simplicity to your own life. We hope to bring those same ideals to your stay at 1825 Inn. Come and enjoy our historic building and old-fashioned hospitality.