Friday, May 8, 2015

Ode to Mothers

She's a housekeeper, a dishwasher, a chef, a plumber, a mechanic, a nurse, a landscaper. She has one of the toughest jobs in the world. She also has the most rewarding job in the world. She's selfless, loving and has dedicated her life to you.
She's your mom.
And she really needs a massage.
One day a year, we celebrate our mothers and all they've done for us. And we should make that one day count. Lancaster is full of great restaurants, wineries and spas to help mom feel the appreciation she deserves. And the relaxation she needs. Here are just a few suggestions to treat your mom to this Mother's Day here in Lancaster County.
Shady Maple Smorgasbord serves 200-feet of delicious food. 
Let's start with a bite to eat. Or rather in the case of Shady Maple Smorgasbord, a lot to eat. The restaurant, located in East Earl, boasts 200 feet of authentic Pennsylvania Dutch foods, an omelette station, carving stations and desserts galore, just to name a few. Shady Maple will feature New York Strip, grilled salmon and chocolate fountain on May 9 for Mother's Day. All moms will get a potted plant and there will be hourly drawings for prizes. Check out their website for more details.
Treat mom to a facial at Bernard's at Brighten.
Now that mom's satisfied her appetite, treat her to an afternoon at the spa. Bernard's at Brighten, located in Lititz, offers both salon and spa services. Moms can indulge in a facial, massages, body treatments and more. Packages and gift cards are also available. Better Life Massage, located on Lincoln Highway in Lancaster, offers relaxation or therapeutic massages, deep-tissue, hot stone and more. They also offer mobile massages and will come to your home.
Better Life Massage offers hot stone massages.
After all that eating and relaxing,
 mom might need a drink. Visit Twin Brook Winery 
Enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting at Twin Brook Winery
in Gap for a refreshing beverage. Not only does the winery offer award-winning wines, it overlooks beautiful Lancaster County and hosts events and concerts for the whole family. Waltz Vineyard in Manheim features a European-inspired tasting room with wine, cheeses and chocolate pairing. You can also pack a picnic and relax on the grounds or check out their tasting room in Lititz.
Nothing says "I love you" like a bottle of wine.
Enjoy hand-dipped chocolates from Miesse Candies.
Finally, if mom has a sweet tooth that needs to be satisfied, swing by Miesse Candies in downtown Lancaster or another one of its locations for a box of decadent chocolates. The chocolate shop, established in 1875, features assorted boxes of candies, hand-dipped pretzels, strawberries and many other confections.
Food, relaxation, wine and candy. What better way to say thanks to your mother for all she's done for you. To compliment her day, find the perfect bed and breakfast at for her to enjoy some more pampering and relaxing.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Walk, bike, scooter and play ball!

As the sun continues to shine, special events are sprouting up all throughout Lancaster County. Blossoms are blooming and colorful foliage fills the landscapes of the farms and city. A great way to enjoy the weather and explore the area, is to take part in one of the many events held this spring, some of which are interactive ways for visitors to frolic through the county.
Nothing says spring quite like a baseball game and on April 30, Lancaster Barnstormers will celebrate their opening night. Located in downtown Lancaster, the Lancaster Barnstormers was welcomed to Lancaster in 2005.
Visit Lancaster Barnstormers for opening night on April 30.
The 6,000-seat stadium is home to Lancaster's Atlantic League baseball team. The Barnstormers will play the York Revolution with a special appearance by Charlie Manuel, former manager of the Philadelphia Phillies with fireworks after the game. There are plenty of vendors and other activities for the entire family at the stadium as well, including a carousel, climbing wall, playground, arcade and more. Some of Lancaster's finest serve as vendors, such as Turkey Hill Ice Cream, Kunzler's Hot Dogs and Lancaster Brewing Company beer.
On May 2, The Kiwanis Club of Lititz will host the fourth annual Lititz Pretzel Fest. Enjoy creative pretzel samples, a pretzel-twisting contest, live entertainment and a dunk tank with some of Lititz's finest getting dunked. Guests can also visit some of the town's shops and boutiques. To purchase tickets, visit
Enjoy downtown shopping, entertainment and culinary samples during Lititz Pretzel Fest.
On May 1, you can enjoy a guided scooter tour followed by beer tasting with Strasburg Scooters. The tour winds through Amish country and explores the covered bridges of Lancaster County. Afterwards, guests can continue the tour on the Brewery Bus to Lancaster Brewing Company. Enjoy a five-course small plate paired with one of the brewing company's tasty beverages.
Check out a scooter tour and Beer Sampling on May 1.
Explore downtown Lancaster during the Riddle Quest.
Another interactive and challenging way to get to know downtown Lancaster is to participate in a Riddle Quest. The fundraiser is held in historic downtown Lancaster on May 2. Using treasure maps and "passports," individuals or teams must solve riddles and earn stamps. Prizes will be given away for those who complete the scavenger hunt. Proceeds benefit Compass Mark's Future Generations Youth Leadership Program.
Cool off with Lapp Valley Farm's Ice Cream after a bike ride.
For those who would enjoy a bicycle trip through farmlands of Lancaster County, consider a seven-mile bike ride with Lapp Valley Farms in New Holland. Riders will explore the farm, its animals and more and enjoy some of Lancaster's finest ice cream. Reservations are required and include bike, helmet and ice cream.These events take you to all corners of scenic Lancaster. Visit for the place that best suits your adventure.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Trip to Strasburg, Pennnsylvania

Sometimes we need a break from the everyday hustle and bustle of life - a quiet spot to regroup, relax and enjoy the view. Whether it's just the two of you or the family, the small town of Strasburg, Pennsylvania is the perfect place to do just that. Take an open-air train ride, breath in the fresh air and enjoy the sounds of silence, the wide-open Amish countrysides and many other destinations in this quaint town. Train enthusiasts will also enjoy Strasburg's many train attractions such as the Strasburg Railroad, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and National Toy Train Museum. Strasburg Railroad, located in the rolling hills of Strasburg, takes passengers on a 45-minute train ride through the countryside.
Visitors can choose from many different options, such as The President's car, open air car or dining car. Pack a picnic and opt to stop at one of the grove's overlooking endless acres of farmland and catch a train ride back to the station. The station also features events like the Steampunk Unlimited and Day Out with Thomas. Steampunk reenacts the early '20s with entertainment, music, food and '20s-era actors. Day Out with Thomas is a popular event for fans of the show and attracts thousands of younger train enthusiasts to its event. Thomas will debut at Strasburg on June 20-28 and will visit again in September and November. Visit www.strasburg for tickets and more information. The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is home to more than 100 full-size restored train cars and engines. Visitors can get a close-up look of the historic and vintage trains, tour the cars and even sit in the engineer's seat.
The National Toy Train Museum features toy train collections and exhibits dating back to the 1800s. It boasts one of the most extensive toy train collections in the world with interactive exhibits, photos, special events and much more.
Another picturesque destination is Village Greens Miniature Golf Course. Surrounded by lush gardens and prestine landscaping, the golf course covers over 13 acres of beautiful countryside. The Orange Course features traditional Lancaster obstacles such as a covered bridge and tobacoo shed while the Gold Course offers nature's beauties like water falls and gardens as its obstacles.
A trip to Lancaster County wouldn't be complete without some good ol' PA Dutch cooking. Visit the restaurant at Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn and enjoy the Grand Smorgasbord, which features classic PA Dutch foods as well as modern dishes. Be sure to save room for dessert and swing by the bakery for shoo fly pie, whoopie pies, sticky buns, cookies and much more.
As always, you can find a bed and breakfast to accomodate your needs while visiting Strasburg. Visit for the perfect place to compliment your stay.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friday at its Finest

Once a month, downtown Lancaster hosts First Fridays, a collaboration of the many galleries, boutiques, restaurants and musical talents the city has to offer.
Held on the first Friday of each month, it is a four-hour event presented by the Mayor's office of special events. It's an opportunity to check out the many local artisans, galleries and restaurants in the downtown area. Shops stay open later and gallery row is beckoning visitors to check out their space, perhaps enjoy a complimentary bite to eat or a drink, appreciate what they have to offer and set out on foot and check out the next place. The city comes alive and each stop is new and innovative and different. Whether it's a corner gallery, a restaurant, or a trio of musicians picking and drumming your favorite tune in center city, I promise you, you will enjoy your evening downtown celebrating culture. And perhaps during your travels find the perfect painting to compliment your home. Lancaster and its surrounding towns are growing in culture, arts, theatre and music and the time to catch it all is when the city is alive and celebrating. From 5 to 9 p.m., the city streets bustle with residents and visitors. Many of Lancaster City's galleries can be found on Prince and Water Streets but there are also plenty of shops and galleries throughout the city. Lancaster Museum of Art has many different mediums featured in its museum on Lime Street, and will feature award-winning student art work for this month's First Friday. If you find yourself needing a drink or a bite to eat, stop by Molly's Pub on East Chestnut Street.
A complete list of events for this coming First Friday, April 3, can be found at If you find you're in one of Lancaster's surrounding towns on a different Friday, check out Lititz's Second Fridays, held on April 11 from 5 to 9 p.m. Known as one of America's Coolest Small Towns, Historic Lititz's downtown streets offer lots of boutiques, galleries and restaurants. For more information, visit www.lititzpacom. While visiting Second Fridays, be sure to check out one of Lititz's sweetest's landmark's Wilbur Chocolate's Museum and Candy Store. After a tour, be sure to pick up some delectable Wilbur Buds. For more information, visit
Another tour opportunity in Lititz is the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery. Guests can check out how to twist a pretzel, enjoy one of Lititz's finest snacks or shop in the gift store. For more information, visit
Mount Joy has Fourth Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring a different theme for each month. The Susquehanna river towns, Columbia, Marietta and Wrightsville, get together to celebrate their towns during its Fourth Fridays. There are plenty of local bed and breakfasts to stay at while you check out the county's art scene. Visit to find a place that best accommodates you.

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.