There's perhaps no greater or well-known community in the eastern region of the U.S. than Amish Country. Traditionally known as the Pennsylvania Dutch communities, Lancaster County is undeniably beautiful, remote, and simplistic in its own charming way. Many times, people end up visiting Amish Country because they're passing through on their way to or from other destinations. As a stand-alone destination, though, is this traditional Pennsylvania region worth visiting?
In short, the answer is yes. However, a more detailed answer includes what travelers are looking for during their authentic Pennsylvania Dutch experience.
Why Most People Visit Amish Country
As awkward as it might seem, many people are drawn to Amish communities simply due to the fact that they're often so different than the daily, modern lives of others. The Amish live by means of tradition, and their communities are also shaped by such.
Visiting Lancaster County, specifically, offers a glimpse into a life that's far simpler, without many of the luxuries (often seen as distractions or just plain unnecessary) that most people have grown to depend on. The way of life in Lancaster County is simple and without the want for many modern means of technology. The result? A trip that's relaxing, laid-back, and, and many find out, unintentionally peaceful.
What Can You Do In Amish Country?
With that being said, some travelers might associate 'simple' with 'boring' - and this is certainly not the case. Of course, those visiting Lancaster County in search of theme parks and club lounges will be sorely disappointed. However, those with realistic expectations of the Amish way of life and how bountiful it can be in its simplicity will be happy with their decision to visit. From the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch food to the sights and sounds of the Amish community, visitors will walk away having grown an appreciation for a different walk of life.
The first thing on the list for those visiting Lancaster County is to simply spend time exploring (and learning about) this beautiful land. Rolling hills and farms as far as the eye can see are all part of the landscape, and it's worth taking some extra time to take it all in. Visitors can take authentic buggy rides (which is still a mode of transportation in town), go with a more modern scooter ride on a countryside tour, and visit traditional Amish landmarks to learn more about this way of life.
Aaron and Jessica's Buggy Rides
Tours on private Amish roads past popular landmarks with several tour types available. Private tours are also available by reservation only. Hours for buggy rides are from Monday to Saturday 9 AM - 6 PM, and Sundays from 10 AM - 4:30 PM.
- The Amish Town Tour: About 35 - 40 minutes long, includes popular Amish landmarks from the last century such as the blacksmith shop, buggy factories, furniture-making, wood stove sales, machinery repair, and harness shops. Adults are $15, children aged 12 and under are $8.
- The Cookie Run: About 25 minutes long and includes a stop at an Amish farm stand to purchase homemade cookies, pretzels, root beer, and lemonade. Adults are $12, children aged 12 and under are $7.
- The Amish Farm Tour: Drivers take passengers to their own home farms for a taste of what life is really like on an Amish farm. Adults are $24, children aged 12 and under are $12.
- The Amish Journey Tour: These tours are private and range from an hour and 45 minutes to two hours and 15 minutes. Check availability for rates.
- The Sunday Ride: About 40 minutes, and includes routes past Amish farms with several different scenic routes. Adults are $16 and children aged 12 and under are $8.
- Ultimate Amish Scooter Tour: Tours start at 11 AM and take three and a half to four hours to complete. Rates vary, visitors can check the website for further details.
Amish Farm & House
The Amish Farm & House offers a unique glimpse into Amish life from a first-hand account. Those visiting will learn about how the Amish lived centuries ago and how things differ today, all while on tour through a historic Amish farmhouse. Guests have the chance to explore the farm (and feed animals!) before walking through town meeting local artisans.
- Length: 40-minute van tours
- Cost for the Classic Tour: $24.95 for adults, $23.95 for seniors, $17.95 for children, $6.95 for toddlers
The Amish Village tour is a great value for the price of a ticket, and visitors will have access to all the greatest parts of Lancaster County. Included in the Amish Village tour are a 25-minute Amish farmhouse tour, a 90-minute narrated bus tour, and self-guided tours of the schoolhouse, grounds, and outbuildings.
- Length: Visitors usually spend about three hours touring the village
- Cost: $30 for adults, $20 for youths, $17 for children aged four and under
The Amish Experience
The Amish Experience can be found at Plain & Fancy Farm and includes a theater experience, as well as interactions with the Amish community to learn more about their way of life. The Amish County Homestead and one-room schoolhouse are also on-site and open for tours.
- Length: 4 hours
- Cost: $40.95 for adults, $23.95 for children, $18.95 for infants aged three and under