Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Belsnickle is Coming to Town

"German traditions of yesteryear, folktale of the Belsnickle;
Short in stature, dressed in furs, face blackened weathered, slighlty humped to keep warm;
Afore Christmas the Belsnickle, appeared a few weeks thus;
To toss a handfull of candy, about the floor awaiting the children to tell a Christmas tale;
Of being good for the year, Belsnickle's presence excited, yet feared by the Children to be;
Good for the coming of St. Nicholas"

As we quickly approach the holiday season, Lancaster County will become adorned with lights, trees, poinsettias and all sorts of holiday garland. And the Bed and Breakfasts here in the county will follow suit, adorning hallways, dining rooms and stairways with picture-perfect holiday decor. However, this year, something unique is happening at the Inns. Beyond all the ornaments will lurk the Belsnickle, a crotchety old figure who came from German folklore and is still preserved here in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. 
The Belsnickle

He wears furs and masks and typically looks disheveled. He whips naughty children and throws candy and nuts to those who were nice. These figures will be placed in participating Inns and guests who find the naughty character have a chance to win something nice."This is the first Christmas tour in over 10 years for area bed and breakfasts," says Carl Kosko, innkeeper at Harvest Moon Bed & Breakfast. "We are building the 'Find your Belsnickle Tour' as a new family tradition for visitors during the holidays. Enjoy the warmth of Christmas here at the Authentic Bed and Breakfasts."
Taking place on December 4 and 5, over 20 of the Authentic Bed and Breakfasts will participate in the tour. Each guest will be given a ticket and have the opportunity to find five Belsnickles and win $325. In addition, many local businesses have paired with the Inns during the tour to offer specials and discounts. Tour hours on December 4 are from 2-8 p.m. and on December 5 from 1-6 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Participating innkeepers will have tickets on sale. Included in the price is visiting 20 different Inns and a voucher to the National Christmas Center.
National Christmas Center
The Christmas Center is a world-renowned shop known for its vast array of decorations, antique Santa collections and a re-creation of the F.W. Woolworth's store, among so much more and certainly worth a trip to Lancaster in its own right.
National Christmas Center

Proceeds for the tour will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to little ones with a terminal illness. For more information, visit www.wish.org.
Proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish

During this holiday season, try something a little different, catch that Belsnickle, perhaps win some holiday spending money, all while supporting a great cause. For more information and places to stay, visit www.authenticbandb.com

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Let's Eat!

There are many great places to dine here in Lancaster County. From fine dining to PA Dutch, there is a place to fit everyone’s needs.
What's even better is many of Lancaster's restaurants offer discounts when you stay at one of the Bed and Breakfasts here in the county. So here's a lineup of the places to dine that are also passport partners. Bon Appetite!
Fulton Steamboat Inn
Guests can dine aboard a steamboat during a visit to Huckleberry’s at the Fulton Steamboat Inn. Located on the corner of routes 30 and 896, this destination is a unique find for any meal. The menu offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, including Lancaster favorites like chicken pot pie and meatloaf. They also offer seafood entrees and much more.

Lily’s on Main in Ephrata just introduced a new fall menu for its guests. Enjoy pork and sea scallops, duck cassoulet, pecan-crusted chicken and much more.
Lily's on Main
Lily’s also offers unique appetizers, lighter fare and a full bar. Make it an all-inclusive date and head next door to the Ephrata Main Theatre and catch a movie.
Molly’s Pub, located in downtown Lancaster on East Chestnut Street, is an Irish-themed restaurant offering traditional Irish favorites as well as some great burgers and dinners like crab cakes, filet mignon and vodka penne. Head down the street and check out Lancaster Brewing Company on Plum Street. The rustic décor of the restaurant overlooks the brew works downstairs. Be sure to try a Double Chocolate Milk Stout, Strawberry Wheat, Shoo-fly Pie Porter or Lancaster Lager. The menu does not disappoint either, offering unique eats like cider-braised Berkshire pork shank, ancho and pumpkin seed-crusted salmon and New York steak frites, just to name a few.

If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, check out Hershey Farms in Ronks. They serve plenty of Lancaster’s staples as well as The Grand Smorgasbord, a seemingly endless offering of appetizers, salads, sides, main dishes and desserts. A great time to check it out is on your birthday, when your meal is free. Good and Plenty in Smoketown also offers authentic PA Dutch cooking, Amish food and baked goods. Instead of a buffet, Good and Plenty offers family-style dining, where servers bring your table all-you-can-eat dishes. There is a traditional menu guests can order from as well.
If culture is what you're in the mood for, try El Serrano on Columbia Avenue in Lancaster. The Peruvian Restaurant is not just visually appealing, it has the food and drinks to match. It is also home to Culturas at Clemetinas, a tapas bar that is Muy Bueno.


El Serrano and Culturas at Clementinas
The Greenfield Restaurant on Greenfield Road has been a family-owned and operated business for 40 years. The restaurant features a handful of dining areas, including a private room-for-two wine cellar. Its menu features grilled fresh Scottish salmon filet, giant diver sea scallops, pork chops, filet mignon and more. Check their website for a list of entertainment and live music that will compliment your dinner perfectly.

Reflections, located in Leola, serves an eclectic menu with items such as barbecue-stuffed yam, hunter’s pie, seared coffee-crusted duck, and calves liver (yes, calves livers). They also offer a great happy hour from 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. daily with a light fare menu and great drink concoctions to pair with it.
The Brasserie is located on Lincoln Highway East and just introduced its fall menu which includes a Chilean sea bass, rack of lamb, grilled steaks and pasta rustica to name a few. The full-bar offers plenty to drink and a bistro menu. If you’re in town on Wednesday, head to the Brasserie for trivia and test your knowledge.

If it’s traditional and classical Italian food you’re craving, visit Lombardo’s on Harrisburg Avenue in downtown Lancaster. The family-owned business has been serving its family recipes since 1946. House favorites include baked lasagna, chicken or veal parmesan, and plenty of pasta selections with a variety of sauces from which to choose.
Speaking of traditional and classic, the Prudhomme family is serving up some of N’Awlins’ finest at Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen in Columbia. It boasts the finest food this side of the Mississippi like the catfish platter, shrimp sunny, swampi and Big Bubba’s combo. And coming soon is live crawfish delivered from Louisiana. Prudhomme’s has live music Friday, Saturday and Sunday or visit every other Tuesday to check out Pete the Magician.
Prudhomme's Lost Cajun Kitchen

The Brickerville House in Brickerville is a quaint restaurant in the northern part of Lancaster county serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. They’ve got a little bit of everything to meet your needs with burgers, sandwiches, steaks and chops, seafood, stir-fry, Italian entrees and more. During your visit, be sure to stroll through the Brickerville Shops featuring Lancaster’s Specialty Market, Vintage Jewelry Design, Wertz Candies and more.

Located in the heart of the city is The Pressroom, where “great food and drink make headlines.” The restaurant is located beside the Lancaster Newspaper building and models its theme after the paper. They offer happy hour specials, live music and a unique menu. Try one of their pizza pies or Mahi tacos, chipotle Alfredo, seafood cioppino or a burger. If you’re visiting in the warmer months, be sure to check out their outdoor courtyard complete with a waterfall.
The Pressroom

Pasquale’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria is located on Old Philadelphia Pike. If it’s light fare Italian food that you’re looking for in a casual atmosphere, this is the place for you. Whether you’re dining in or taking it to go, Pasquale’s has something for everyone – cheesesteaks, pastas, salads, and, of course, pizza. They also deliver if you’re comfy and cozy at one of our B&Bs.
While staying here in Lancaster, enjoy the scenery, our bed and breakfasts and some great eats. For a list of B&Bs, visit www.authenticbandb.com.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Magic Lantern

Nestled in between the small towns of Bird-In-Hand and Intercourse here in Lancaster County, is the pristine 10-acre Plain & Fancy Farm that offers guests a first hand look at the history of Lancaster County. Visitors can enjoy shopping, buggy rides, food and much more. But what might be it's most unique attraction are the Magic Lantern Shows.
Pictured is the triunial lantern used for Magic Lantern shows.

These types of shows were a form of entertainment over 100 years ago before movies and other forms of entertainment existed. The shows were made up by stories, songs and poetry. The visuals were cast through hand-painted glass and projected with a large lantern onto the screen with music, "special effects" and a live showman.
"The shows are entertaining, with wonderful works of art most Americans have never seen, and audience interaction, as was done in the old days," says Brad Igou of The Amish Experience at Plain & Fancy. "Expect to laugh with some of the stories, to be moved by others, and some surprises."
"The Spirit of 1776"
According to Igou, what makes this show so unique is that very few large Magic Lantern "projectors" remain or are operating. The painted slides are also rare. "Our shows are a collaboration with the American Magic Lantern Theater," he explains. "Which has given us access to a rare 'triunial' lantern and the images from over 100 years ago. This makes the Plain & Fancy Theater the only permanent Magic Lantern Theater in the world in the last 130 years!"
"A Christmas Journey," a Victorian Christmas show.
The Magic Lantern will feature "Jacob's Choice," a story about an Old Order Amish Family, through November. “A Christmas Journey," a Victorian Christmas show, will be shown November 27 and 28; December 5, 12, and 19; and daily December 21-24, 26, and 28-31.  (No evening shows Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.) Tickets for shows are available online, in person at the box office, or by phone at 717-768-8400 ext. 211. Adult admission is $16.95 and children ages 4 to 12 is $11.95.
Plain & Fancy, opening in 1959, was the first family-style restaurant in Lancaster County, opening in 1959. Today, both the traditional Amish farm feast as well as a la carte dining are offered. Amish Country Farmlands and exclusive Amish tours are also available. The Heritage Site Amish Country Homestead and One-Room School are open for tours. Buggy rides are also available, as well as shopping in the Country Store. As always, find a great spot to stay overnight at www.authenticbandb.com.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Keep Calm and Scooter On

There are many different ways to explore scenic Lancaster. May I suggest a unique and exciting way to do it – by scooter.
Strasburg Scooters, located in Strasburg, PA, offers scooter tours for one or two riders. Hop on a one-seater and ride solo or take a passenger on a two-seater. They also rent the Scoot Coupe, a three- wheeled bike where balance is not an issue. But rest assured, if you can ride a bike, you can handle a scooter.
The Scoot Coupe

“They're like riding a bike with a motor,” says Marc Crusemire, who co-owns Strasburg Scooters with his fiancée and also serves as a tour guide. “The most important things are to relax and pay attention.”
Farms of Strasburg
I took my 8-year-old son on our first scooter tour. Having practically no experience on a two-wheeled motorized vehicle, but after an encouraging and brief tutorial, I was buzzing down the block with full confidence. After all riders were comfortable, we headed off in a scooter convoy, beeping our horns, buzzing along with smiles all around.
Smiles all around
I’m pretty sure I had bugs in my teeth from giggling and grinning from ear-to-ear during the entire ride. My son held tight with the exception of fist pumps in the air and tooting the horn as we passed children playing. I could see the rider in front of me giggling and smiling in her rearview mirror, too. It’s seriously that cool.
We took the roads less traveled of Southern Lancaster County, where there was virtually no traffic. It was like we had the place to ourselves. We were on the Amish farm and covered bridge tour, which winded through the charming farmlands and rolling hills of Strasburg. Marc, who was our tour guide for the day, encouraged us to beep our horns at Amish farms where youngsters came skipping out to the road to greet us and wave.
Marc Crusemire, owner and tour guide
We toured an authentic Amish dairy farm and a young  Amish girl brought us homemade whoopie pies and meadow tea. We also stopped at three covered bridges, learned the history of each one and took a few minutes to relax and take in the fresh air and views. In between were the amazing and serene views that surrounded us.
“We are able to get our customers up close and personal with the area,” says Marc. “How cool is it when you're driving 20 mph on a back road and little Amish kids stand on the side of the road and hold their hands out to high-five you?”
So, for a new and exciting way to tour our beautiful county, try doing it on a scooter. You will love it, I promise. The tour guides are sure to make you feel comfortable and confident when you hop on your scooter for the first time. They are fun-loving, amusing, entertaining and well-educated about the history of Strasburg, the covered bridges and the Amish culture. 
Our convoy of scooter

Strasburg Scooters offers other tours, like date night (which is currently on my to-do list), and pairs your ride with other attractions in Lancaster, or a wine and cheese ride on one of Strasburg Railroad’s first-class lounge cars; an Amish Country Mystery tour or the bridges and beer tour, where riders are taken to Lancaster Brewing Company for a five-course meal paired with its signature beer (that should probably be on my to-do list as well). Tours last approximately three hours and cover 40 miles of Strasburg.
Make a day or weekend of it and stay at one of our bed and breakfasts in the area. Visit www.authenticbandb.com for the perfect place to stay. What better way to re-energize, relax and have some good-old fun? Now if you'll excuse me, I have to start saving up for my very own scooter.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Josiah for President"

"Josiah for President" is on stage now through November 28.

One of the most appealing attractions to visitors of Lancaster is the Amish community and culture. The rolling farmlands, horse and buggies, way of life, faith and work ethic of the Amish here is fascinating. There are many attractions throughout the county for visitors to get an inside glimpse at the Amish. At Bird-in-Hand’s Family Restaurant and Stage, they’ve introduced a musical, “Josiah for President,” being performed now through November 28. Guests can enjoy lunch or dinner featuring some of Lancaster’s finest foods in the banquet area followed by an entertaining musical about the Amish, which sends a powerful message.
An Amish man runs for president.
The broadway-style musical centers around Mark Steadman, a former congressman who throws the towel in on his presidential campaign and Josiah Stoltzfus, an Amish farmer. Steadman is enthralled by Josiah’s way of life and decides to secretly nominate Josiah as a new candidate. The musical couples drama and comedy in a telling of a truly unique friendship. It also allows those who aren’t too familiar with the Amish get an inside glimpse of their lifestyle.
“Naturally, you can expect both drama and comedy, but the clashing of cultures and the formation of friendships really drives home the message that we are not so different,” says Kenn Bennett, marketing specialist at the Bird-in-Hand corporation about the musical. “The Amish are hard-working, practical and grounded in their love of God, family and community,” adds Bennett. “The character of Josiah Stoltzfus brings a common-sense practicality to the campaign trail that I believe we would all like to see in the real presidential elections.”
Josiah campaigning for President of the United States.

Ticket prices vary and are available with lunch or dinner or for the show only. Meal packages include a lunch or dinner smorgasbord at the Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant. Guests purchasing meal packages who wish to eat before the performance should arrive an hour and a half before the show to allow plenty of time to relax and enjoy their meals. For tickets and meals packages call 800-790-4069.
To get an inside look and appreciation of the Amish culture here in Lancaster, be sure to catch “Josiah for President.” And find a nearby bed and breakfast to suit your needs during your stay at www.authenticbandb.com.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Lancaster Hits a Hole in One

There’s something very exciting happening this week in Lancaster. The Lancaster Country Club welcomed the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open to its course with the world's best women golfers playing for the coveted 2015 championship title. And it's happening in our backyard.
Lancaster Country Clubs hosts the 2015 U.S. Women's Open.
Lancaster Country Club, a world-class course, boasts pristine greens since its extensive renovations that began in 2007. And all the hard work and effort paid off when the club was chosen to host the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament.
The seven-day event, lasting until July 12, welcomes over 100,000 people to Lancaster and area venues and restaurants are celebrating their arrival. The event is expected to give the community an economic boost of about $25 million. Fox Sports will be broadcasting the event and people from all over the world get to experience what we all love about this town - the culture, the sites, the food, the music, the drinks and the friendly people that call Lancaster home. We're also hoping to meet some famous golfers!

Michelle Wie, winner of the 2014 title, competes for the 2015 title.
Henrietta Heisler Interiors on West Walnut Street in Lancaster is hosting an event July 10 for guests to watch the tournament from its establishment. Visitors can enjoy complimentary cocktails from 5-7 p.m. For more information, call 717-295-0324. On July 12, Black Forest Brewery in Ephrata is hosting a U.S. Women’s Open special. Guests can enjoy a five-course meal with beer pairings from 2-7 p.m. Cost is $70 per person and includes food, beer, tax and gratuity. The Brewery will also feature a special for those who present their golf tickets. Beers are buy one, get one 50 percent off.

Many of our local shops and restaurants are offering discounts during the week of the tournament. Present your tickets to receive discounts. Some of the local bed and breakfasts are also offering specials and packages.
Black Forest Brewery will have specials for the U.S. Women's Open.
Hosting such a distinguished event in our community is a great honor. It's a historical event that will bring visitors from all over the world to see all the great things our county has to offer.
For more information on the U.S. Women’s Open, events in the area, coupons and discount details, and changes in traffic or detours, visit www.discoverlancaster.com. And be sure to visit www.authenticbandb.com for a place to stay.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lancaster is Booming

Fourth of July is right around the corner and Lancaster will be booming. There are many events surrounding the holiday and most of the small towns host their own firework display and accompanying events. In fact, there are almost too many to mention, so we compiled a quick list of a few places here in Lancaster known to throw a killer Fourth of July celebration and display. If you find you are staying at one of the B&Bs over the holiday, be sure to venture and catch one of these shows.
Attracting thousands of visitors each year, Long’s Park Ampitheatre is host to the area’s most popular Fourth of July celebration. Held on July 5 and beginning at 7:30 p.m., the park welcomes The U.S. Army Band, Pershing's Own, to the stage for a patriotic concert. The 65-piece traditional concert band plays a variety of classical and popular music.
The U.S. Army Band, Pershing's Own, will play at Long's Park on July 5.
The Cannon Brigade and firework display at Long's Park.
Bring a picnic or enjoy something from a food vendor and find the perfect spot on the hillside to watch Lancaster’s biggest firework display after the sun sets. Loud booms echo with the start of the display with the Cannon Brigade and finishes with an impressive finale.
Lititz Springs Park celebrates its 198th year of Fourth of July celebrations with a Red, White and Cool theme on July 4. Located in downtown Lititz, the park gates open at noon with a patriotic parade, a baby parade, kid zone, a magic and juggling show, the Queen of Candles pageant and much more. There will ]be over 35 food vendors and trucks at the event with live music from bands including Mama Tried and Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods.
Over 400 candles illuminate the park’s stream and before the fireworks, guests can enjoy a DJ dance party. The fireworks display will also be synchronized to music. Now that’s a celebration!
Lititz Springs Park celebrates 198 years of Fourth of July celebrations this year.

Marietta, the quaint rivertown just west of the city, will host a carnival followed by fireworks on July 11. The celebration takes place at War Memorial Park and begin at 5 p.m. with food vendors, games and live music, followed by fireworks at 10:30 p.m.
Ephrata’s party kicks off with its annual Firecracker five-mile run through the town in the morning. Other festivities for the whole family start around 6 p.m. at 201 Crescent Avenue, including juggling acts, pony rides, games and more. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.
Ephrata hosts an impressive display of fireworks.

So that’s just a taste of all the Fourth of July celebrations Lancaster has to offer. Celebrate Independence Day here and you won’t be disappointed. There are also plenty of B&Bs scattered throughout the county to accommodate your needs. For more information, visit www.authenticbandb.com.