Friday, March 13, 2015

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

It's safe to say that we have all earned this spring that is about to bloom. After shoveling snow, skating on patches of ice, and experiencing record-low temperatures, it's time to get out, stroll the streets, and take in the sights Lancaster County has to offer. Let's be honest, we deserve a reward. See, a funny thing started to happen around these parts. The sun started to shine. And it's beginning to do so more and more each day. And what better way to welcome spring than to hit downtown Lancaster and enjoy some of the area's best food and drinks during Lancaster City's Restaurant Week. Lancaster has become a bit of a hub for diverse restaurants and they are popping up one by one in the city. Sure, Lancaster's known for Amish culture, but did you know it's also becoming a hot spot for dynamic eateries? If only there was an opportunity to experience them all. Well, you're in luck. Because it's time for Restaurant Week, when you can dabble in Lancaster's dining without breaking the bank. March 23 through 29 marks the third annual restaurant week, dedicated to satisfying pallets of all tastes. About 30 participating restaurants in the downtown area offer pre-fixed menu items at a reduced rate so that visitors can enjoy all types of cuisine. Your appetite will be satisfied and your wallet will thank you. From a scrumptious sandwich to a petite filet, eatery enthusiasts can sample restaurants' menus ranging in price from $10 to $40.
Lancaster Brewing Company, located at 302 North Plum Street, will offer a two for $24 menu package. It includes two sandwiches, one small plate and one dessert. Small plate choices include hummus, soup of the day or a garden salad. Sandwich choices are grilled vegetable grilled cheese, chicken pita sandwich, honey baked ham and gruyere grinder or a fried codfish po' boy. Dessert to choose from are bread pudding, créme brulee and chocolate cake. It is also important to note that Lancaster Brewing Company also brews some of the area's finest beers. Staying true to form for Lancaster County, they offer signature brews Hop Hog, Hop Buggy, Double Chocolate Milk Stout, Lancaster Lager and Strawberry Wheat.
The Pressroom, located at 26-28 West King Street, will offer a two for $20 dinner menu. It includes choice of soup or salad and choice of entrée: catfish jambalaya, rigatoni bolognese or any 12-inch pizza featured on the menu. There are a handful of bed and breakfasts that are located close to the downtown area and the innkeepers are more than happy to help you navigate through restaurant week.
Be sure to visit Visit to find your perfect fit for a weekend away relaxing and eating in this fine city.

Friday, February 27, 2015


It’s time for a little mudslinging in Lancaster County.
The last weekend in February marks the start of Lancaster County mud sales, a welcome reminder that the ground is thawing and spring is on its way. Local fire departments will auction off some of the area’s best consignments at sales throughout the county, which are growing in popularity, attracting thousands of people each season. Auctioneers’ voices echo out numbers for wares such as antiques, popular handmade Amish quilts, farm equipment, livestock and more. 
Handmade Amish quilts are a popular auction item at Lancaster's mud sales.
Boys help transport goods to visitor's vehicles.

Another big attraction is Lancaster’s finest homemade fare served fresh at auctions. Local volunteers bake and cook some of the county’s favorite staples, including whoopie pies, chicken corn soup, sticky buns, funnel cakes, and pulled pork, just to mention a few.

Mud sales in Lancaster County are not only becoming a popular destination, they also serve as a benefit to the local fire companies as one of their biggest fundraisers of the year. The allure of a Lancaster mud sale is the atmosphere, the food, the benefits it serves the community and Lancaster County’s Amish culture. Oh ... and the food.
Farm equipment is just one of the many items up for bid at auctions.
The auctions are held on the grounds of local fire halls and are a gathering of bidders, buyers and spectators. Residents, the Amish community and travelers visit from near and far to scope out items. For those who are craving some good-old Lancaster county food, it certainly is plentiful at each sale. And if you find you’re too stuffed to carry your treasures to the car, young Amish boys are more than happy to transport your goods for a small monetary donation.
The mud sale season kicks off this weekend with the Strasburg Spring Consignment and Mud Sale, located at the Strasburg Fire Company, 46 West Main Street in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. All sales start at about 8 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Dress accordingly, show up with a hefty appetite and enjoy one of Lancaster County’s most unique and beneficial events. Sales are held through August. Lancaster County offers over 30 bed and breakfast establishments to fit your needs as well. Check out for a place to hang your hat for the night. And don’t worry about the muddy boots, we’re used to it.
Visit Lancaster and experience a growing tradition, get muddy, buy a tractor, or a calf or just enjoy the atmosphere with a funnel cake. Hope to see you this season.
For a complete list of mud sales, visit

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Most Unique Visit

Whenever it comes time to write this blog, I find myself amazed at the variety of things to do in Lancaster County. When I finally think I may have run out of unique and interesting things, a local business immediately announces something out of left field, and yet they are always intriguing events that would make any vacation to Lancaster County memorable.

For instance, Cobalt Dance Company is putting on an original ballet, hosted by The Trust Performing Arts Center in Downtown Lancaster, called “Dances with Jane Austen.” It is easy to be confused at first, considering the fact that Jane Austen was a legendary novelist, not so much a ballerina. Yet the pure emotion of Jane Austen’s novels actually seem like the perfect muse to inspire a ballet.

It is described as “highlighting important themes and language from beloved Jane Austen novels.” The ballet will run from Thursday, May 15 to Sunday, May 18, and tickets range from $15 to $20. It is indeed a unique event, and a must see for anyone who has experienced a novel by Jane Austen.

Kitchen Kettle Village is also hosting an event that would be hard to find outside of Lancaster County: the Rhubarb Festival. The festival is on May 16 and May 17, and it includes activities that can only be found at the Rhubarb Festival. 

For instance, it features the world’s only rhubarb race-car derby, along with the Rhubarb Stroll, a mini parade featuring costumed characters, musicians, pink ladies, and more. It is an absolutely fascinating event that helps shape the wondrous world of Lancaster County.

For those who may not enjoy a ballet or rhubarb (but really, why wouldn’t you?), there is always the guided tours at the Wolf Sanctuary of PA. The tours are typically an hour or more in length and feature introductions to the different wolf packs in their sanctuary. 

There are also the Full Moon Tours, which allow visitors to experience the tour by the light of the moon. As the name implies, these tours are only once a month on a full moon, and May 17 happens to have that honor this month. Tickets for the tour are $20 and there are no reservations needed, only the ability to arrive at 7:30 for the tour.

As you can see, Lancaster County is constantly changing and evolving to provide visitors with an experience that they can only have here. Hotels never do the County justice, leaving the visitor with a detached feeling every time they rest their head to sleep. To fully submerge yourself in Lancaster County, there is only one way to stay: with an Authentic Bed & Breakfast of Lancaster County.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Other Side of Lancaster County

Lancaster County is known throughout the United States as one of the largest homes to the Amish, as well a historically rich area of Pennsylvania. What many people do not realize is the ever changing, constantly expanding art scene, as well as Lancaster’s great focus on the health of both body and mind.

For instance, there are multiple yoga studios in downtown Lancaster, as well as weekly yoga classes at Tellus360, an almost impossible to classify venue that does a bit of everything...with beer of course.

Lindsey Smith
On April 30, Tellus360 will host Body Love Yoga + You!, a collaborative effort by the Food Mood Girl, Lindsey Smith, and yoga instructor Sarah Yukie Gingrich from Pop-Up Yoga Lancaster. The event will cost $20 before April 24 and $25 after, but it is a 3 hour event that includes everything from local health vendors to a full Slow Flow Vinyasa class. The three hours center around loving and accepting your body, and it will finish with body love meditation, a shot of green juice, dark chocolate, and a musical performance. It is a perfect introduction to the world of yoga and natural living.

Lancaster is indeed a historically rich area, but that history does not only center around the Amish. Art exhibits are incredibly common in downtown Lancaster and beyond, and Demuth Museum is a great example of this.

Demuth Museum is hosting a very unique exhibit until July 6 called James Warhola: Visiting A Pop Icon. The exhibit centers around the original watercolor illustrations by James Warhola from his children’s book, “Uncle Andy’s.” The book describes Warhola’s childhood visits to his uncle, Andy Warhol, in his New York City townhouse. The exhibit will not only feature artwork from James Warhola, but pages from Andy Warhol’s sketchbooks will also be on display.

An illustration by James Warhola
This event is great way to understand the genius of Andy Warhol from a family member’s perspective, and a great stop on any trip to Lancaster. The event requires no tickets, only admission by donation.

Whether you appreciate the simple living of the Amish and their farms, or you wish to experience something even more unique and unexpected, Lancaster County is always brimming with new and interesting things. As always, it is one thing to experience all that Lancaster County has to offer, but you will only receive luxurious treatment while doing it if you stay at an Authentic Bed & Breakfast of Lancaster County.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lancaster County in the Spring

The weather is finally getting warm and sunny here in Lancaster County! Take advantage of everything the county has to offer, and get some fresh air with these perfect for springtime activities!

Village Greens Miniature Golf of Strasburg, the top rated miniature golf course in the county, has recently opened for the season. Village Greens has two courses, the Gold course and the Orange course. The Orange course provides a more traditional mini golf experience, including a walk through a covered bridge and a cave. The Gold course was built using the hillside landscape to create a course beautiful enough to compete with any garden.

 The foliage along the courses is part of what makes Village Greens so special. The head gardener, Jim Fairchild, will be conducting National Arbor Day Tours of the grounds on Arbor Day, April 25. Tours start at 10 AM, 2 PM, and 6 PM and cover over 50 varieties of trees and shrubs. You can preregister for a tour by emailing or by calling (717) 687-6933. Remember to ask for a punch ticket to receive a free game after playing 10!

If you are interested in seeing how the Plain people of Lancaster County live, and want to enjoy the fresh air, try a Buggy Ride. Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy Rides take you on a tour of privately owned working farms in the heart of Amish country. Enjoy some homemade pretzels, cookies, lemonade, or root beer. On the road, see Amish businesses such as a butcher, a grocer, quilt shop, saddle and harness shop, buggy factory, blacksmith, horse dealer, and six one room schools. If you have any questions about the Amish lifestyle, your buggy driver will gladly answer.

Enjoy one of Aaron and Jessica’s routes, or make a reservation for a private tour in your own buggy. Choose “The Cookie Run” for a three-mile ride through an Amish farm with a stop for drinks and cookies. “The Amish Town Tour” includes a four-mile ride through an Amish village, see the Amish-run businesses and enjoy a brief stop for refreshments. “The Amish Farm Tour” provides an intimate look at the life of the Amish, the driver will take you to their own farm home to tour the barn and meet the cows and the Clydesdale working horses.

Book your stay at one of the Authentic Bed & Breakfasts and enjoy the outdoors in Lancaster County!

Submitted by: Theodore R. Griffiths for Authentic Bed & Breakfasts of Lancaster County

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mud Sales and Fine Dining...The Perfect Odd Couple

Fine dining is something that Lancaster specializes in, but on April 9 fine dining will be turned on its head and brought to Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom with special guest Chef Rafael. Chef Rafael is known for his modern French menu at Citronnelle in downtown Lancaster, but for one day he will join Seasons to highlight the versatility of their products.

Seasons is known for its large collection of fresh extra virgin olive oils and traditional balsamic vinegars, each of which are on tap for customers to try before they buy. According to the Seasons website, their “stainless steel Italian ‘fustis’ keep each product as fresh and cool as possible while preserving the highest level of quality, flavor and antioxidants.”

To show off their diverse selection of products, Chef Rafael will be teaching attendees how to prepare three courses using Seasons’ products. The first course is a Brandade de Morue using Seasons Meyer Lemon EVOO, Cayenne EVOO, and Champagne Vinegar. The second course, Pork Loin Provençal with French Lentils and Braised Fennel will use Seasons Herbs de Provence EVOO and Juniper Berry Dark Aged Balsamic. Chef Rafael’s third course, the dessert, is a Dark Chocolate Mousse Napoleon using Seasons Black Cherry or Raspberry Dark Balsamic Vinegar.

The event is located at 36 W King St, Lancaster, PA on April 9 from 6 PM to 7 PM. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at Eventbrite.

Obviously, Lancaster County has much more to offer than just food, and now Mud Sale season is in full effect here. For those of you that have never attended a Mud Sale, it is a term used to describe an annual auction or sale at a specific local fire company. The events are described by, stating, “The sales, appropriately named for the condition of the thawing ground, attract thousands of people looking for bargains on anything from Amish quilts and antiques to lumber, buggies, and lawn equipment.”

There are two Mud Sales in the month of April that many guests of the Authentic Bed & Breakfasts would be wise to attend. The first, later this week on April 5, is the Robert Fulton Sale at the Robert Fulton Volunteer Fire Company, located at 2271 Robert Fulton Highway, Peach Bottom, PA. The second, on April 12, is the Rawlinsville Mud Sale at the Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Company, located at 33 Martic Heights Drive, Holtwood, PA. 

Whether you come to Lancaster County to enjoy the wonderful food or the bargains at our unique Mud Sales, there is no better way to enjoy your stay than with one of the members of Authentic Bed & Breakfasts of Lancaster County. The innkeepers are dedicated to creating a comfortable, welcoming, and warm environment, providing each guest with an experience they won’t soon forget.

Submitted by: Theodore R. Griffiths for Authentic Bed & Breakfasts of Lancaster County

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unique Museums of Lancaster County

The unpredictable winter weather across the east coast has continued into spring, and some may call that a reason to put off travel and vacation. In Lancaster County, the opposite couldn’t be any more true. Not only does Lancaster County offer enough Amish history and outdoor farmland for multiple trips, but it includes a variety of indoor museums for a fun, interesting, and weatherproof vacation.

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania may come across as an exhibit aimed directly at train-enthusiasts, but in reality it is an easily digested, yet mind-boggling experiment in scale and excitement. Having experienced the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania myself (and still waiting to go back), I can confirm that literally anyone will instantly appreciate the impressive restoration of more modern trains, along with many from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

A 1875 Tahoe. Photo courtesy of
The standard amount of time it takes to view the 100,000 square foot exhibit is about two hours, but if you’re anything like myself then you may be inside for up to four hours. The National Museum of Pennsylvania is open from 9 AM to 5 PM on Monday through Saturday and 12 PM to 5 PM on Sundays. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $8 for children (up to age 11). It is located at 300 Gap Road, Ronks, PA.

If trains don’t pique your interest, then the National Watch & Clock Museum has exhibits surrounding a concept that involve everyone: time. Located at 514 Poplar Street, Columbia, PA, the National Watch & Clock Museum began as a modest establishment in 1977 with less than 1000 items, but today it has a massive collection of over 12,000 items within its expanded exhibit space. 

Not only does the museum tell the story of timekeeping, from ancient timepieces to the modern wristwatch, but it includes some very familiar pop-culture exhibits like “James Bond Watches: A 50-Year History.” This exhibit includes the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming’s, Rolex Explorer, the same watch worn by Bond himself. The National Watch & Clock Museum is closed every Monday and Sunday until March 31, but April 1 will resume Sunday hours. They are open from 10 AM to 5 PM on Tuesday through Saturday, and 12 PM to 4 PM on Sundays beginning April 1. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $4 for children up to age 16.

Lancaster County is an area with seemingly unlimited options for entertainment, and these local museums are no exception. Pair these historic exhibits with the luxurious, welcoming, and equally historical inns of Authentic Bed & Breakfasts of Lancaster County and you have the recipe for a perfect weekend. 

Submitted by: Theodore R. Griffiths for Authentic Bed & Breakfasts of Lancaster County