Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beat The Heat in Lancaster County

The north east is experiencing some serious heat these days... which got me thinking about strategies for experiencing Lancaster County while avoiding the whole 'baking in the summer sun' thing! Here are my thoughts:

1. I love exploring the Amish farms and learning about Amish culture by buggy, and while all the buggies around here are air conditioned (by opening windows that is!!), there are other great ways to see the area. The Amish Farm and House has a terrific bus tour with nice big windows, knowledgeable drivers, comfy seats and serious AC. Or, go to Old Order Amish Tours on Eastbrook Road in Ronks and have an old order Mennonite guide ride along with you in your own car to show you the area.

2. I scream, you scream.... Yep, this is dairy farming country so I highly recommend grabbing an ice cream cone somewhere, and my favorite place is Lapp Valley Farm. You can go right to the farm where the cows were milked to make your ice cream, or if you prefer, you can go to their retail location at Kitchen Kettle Village to get a little shopping in while you're at it.

3. Which brings me to shopping, and Lancaster County has terrific shopping! There are plenty of bargains at the Rockvale and Tanger outlets. Or you could do some antiquing in Adamstown, check out the quaint shops in Lititz or take advantage of unique shops in Ephrata, including Ten Thousand Villages!

4. There are certain advantages to living in the "bread basket of the US"... While we're avoiding the heat, our local farmers are harvesting wonderful crops of berries, peaches, corn, spinach, peppers... the list goes on... and our local restaurants take advantage of this. Ben Ash, chef at the Black Horse Tavern recently posted photos of himself picking berries at one of our local 'pick your own' farms... gotta love it! There are a host of restaurants to choose from who 'buy fresh, buy local'... where you can eat in the splendidly cool indoors!

5. And finally, what better way to top off a day of exploring than catching a concert or theater performance! American Music Theater, Sight and Sound, Dutch Apple Dinner Theater, Stitches Comedy Club, Fulton Opera House, Ephrata Performing Arts Center, Mt. Gretna Theater, Hershey Theater... the list goes on. No matter what your taste, we've got a show for you. They don't call us the "Little Apple" for nothing!!!

So come and beat the heat in Lancaster County... you won't be disappointed.

Submitted by Rebecca Gallagher, Historic Smithton Inn.

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