Lancaster, PA is well-known for its outlets and many options when it comes to name-brand shopping. The county also has a handful of unique markets and smaller, independent shops. These can be a little harder to find, but once you've visited some of these markets, each with its own character and charm, it's hard to go back to all things mainstream.
Here are three of my favorite marketplaces in Lancaster, PA.
Prussian Street Arcade, Manheim
Prussian Street Arcade is all about local, small businesses. This arcade, which really is a large indoor marketplace, opened its doors during the fall of 2019, just a few months before the pandemic hit.
The owners Susan and Michael Ferrari, are offering space for small businesses to grow and thrive, together. It is a place where artists and makers, collectors, and traders can show their work in a gorgeous setting.
If you're into interior and decor, Prussian Street Arcade is a must-see.
Address: 49 North Main Street, Manheim, PA 17545
Green Dragon Farmers Market & Auction, Ephrata
Don't let the name deceive you - this place is so much more than a farmers market.
Located a couple of minutes away from Ephrata's Main Street, you'll find Green Dragon Farmers Market & Auction. In addition to produce and baked goods, this 60-acre market is packed with second-hand treasures, sports apparel, and accessories. Most of the items they sell are affordable, too.
Since its humble start in 1932, Green Dragon has become one of the largest flea markets on the East Coast. It's also been voted the second-best farmer's market in America by USA Today.
Address: 955 North State Street, Ephrata PA 17522
Building Character, Lancaster City
Building Character is Lancaster City's largest retail destination and marketplace for vintage, recycled, and handmade goods. Located in a stunning brick warehouse location, you'll find over 70 independent shops.
In our world of fast fashion and changing trends, this place is the opposite of that. You'll find well-kept second-hand clothing, shoes, as well as jewelry and unique accessories. The last time I went, I spotted an old Bergdorf Goodman suit from what looked like was from the 70s. It was gorgeous.
The first entrance to Building Character is through an archway right off the 300-block of North Queen Street. Parking is available at metered street spots, free on Sundays and holidays.
Address: 342 N Queen St, Lancaster, PA 17603