Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Sat April 16 2016

Top Ways To Experience Amish Life In Lancaster County

Destination & Tourism | Shannon Ullman | April 16, 2016

Top Ways To Experience Amish Life In Lancaster County

Living without electricity, taking a horse and buggy for transport and living off the land is still a way of life for Pennsylvania’s Amish. While Philadelphia is thriving on arts and culture in the east and Pittsburgh has become an edgy college town on the west, Lancaster County lies in between, holding on to its Puritan values and traditions. For travelers who want to see what they are all about, here are some of the top ways to experience the Amish lifestyle in Lancaster.

A Horse And Buggy Ride

You’ll see them riding down the street, among the cars on highways, old-fashioned buggies pulled by horse with a couple of Amish farmers riding along. You too can have this quintessential Amish experience by booking a horse and buggy ride with one of these well known companies:

• Abe’s Buggy Rides

• AAA Buggy Rides

• A Is For Amish Buggy Rides

READ MORE: Just Plain Fun: How To Vacation Like the Amish

A Tour Of An Amish House & Farm

The Amish Farm and House has been in operation for more than 60 years, introducing visitors to this distinctive culture. The tour takes you through each room, across the farm grounds and to an animal encounter. You will see how they handle life with no electricity and how they use handcrafted items to decorate their homes. And if you are lucky, you will get to see some of the artisans at work as well.

A Visit To The Markets

Market culture is still alive and well in Lancaster County, and they are the best places to witness Amish culture at its most authentic. Handmade crafts and food is what they specialize in and by wandering through the markets, you can see how they make a living and take home some souvenirs for yourself. Quilt work, wooden furniture, wagons, fresh produce and candies are some of the best purchases. There are quite a few markets to choose from:

Lancaster Country Dutch Market: Thursday from 10 a.m.-6p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Bird-in-Hand Farmer’s Market: Friday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and on Wednesdays and Thursdays during select months.

Root’s County Country Market & Auction: Tuesdays from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., but subject to change.

Lancaster Central Market: Tuesdays from 6 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday 6 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday, 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

Green Dragon Farmers Market And Auction: Fridays from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Tasting Of Traditional Foods

Food is a favored way into any culture and in Amish country, it’s no different. For a real foodie adventure, head to one of the markets and try Shoe Fly Pie, handmade fudge and fresh cheese and honey from the farms. If you want a more catered experience, try a dinner tour through the Amish Farm and House or the Plain and Fancy restaurant, which serves up traditional dishes like chicken pot pie and meatloaf.

READ MORE: 5 Unique Hotels For The Quirky Traveler

Watch A Film At The Amish Experience Theater

For a little entertainment and insight into the Amish life in the evening, visit the Plain and Fancy Farm again for a show at their Amish Experience Theater. Watch the tale of “Jacob’s Choice” to see a more intimate example of how life for the Amish is really lived. There will be special effects and a three-dimensional set that will give you an educational and entertaining 40-minute show. 

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