Lancaster, PA

3 Historic, Charming Towns Worth Visiting in Lancaster, PA

Melissa Frost

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Photo by Sara Melissa Frost

Lancaster, PA - some also call it Pennsylvania Dutch Country - is home to the rural Amish community, to riverside towns, friendly locals, a diverse downtown, and so much more. There are plenty of small towns, areas and villages making the county the unique place it is.

Here are three of them:

Bird-in-Hand

A village with a rich history, and plenty of adorable small shops, like Creative Home & Shoppe, featured in the photo above. Legend credits the Village of Bird-in-Hand’s name to two men surveying the Colonial highway between the port of Philadelphia and Lancaster. At dusk in 1734, they found themselves at an inn by a Conestoga wagon stop. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” suggested one surveyor, so they agreed to stay there for the night. A crude log hut built by William McNabb, the inn became known as “The Bird-in-Hand,” and the village had a name.

Bird-in-Hand hosts several events and festivals throughout the year, including the Cornfield Harvest Banquet in September. There is also a large Amish population living in and around this village, and if you're looking to get a tour in a horse and buggy, Bird-in-Hand is a good place to start.

Mount Joy

Mount Joy is located in northwestern Lancaster County, along the majestic Susquehanna River.

The name is often shortened to "Mt Joy". That being said, locals often point out that this abbreviation is not correct because the town is not named for a mountain but is named after the ship "Mountjoy" - which famously broke a Catholic siege during the Siege of Derry. So, stick to Mount Joy.

Museums and historic sites include Bube's Brewery and Central Hotel, Donegal Mills Plantation, and Nissly Swiss Chocolate Company. If you enjoy shopping, Mount Joy's Main Street is filled with independent shops and cafes.

Adamstown

Adamstown is well-known to be a collector's paradise.

The small community located just off the PA turnpike is packed with antique shops and flea markets. In fact, Adamstown has been named the Antiques Capital of the United States. You’ll find large complexes that host 500 or more antique dealers each, plus more than a dozen other antique markets, co-ops, and shops.

“Addamsburry”, as the town was originally named, was located on the site of a former Indian Village. The Borough of Adamstown was incorporated as a Borough in 1850. Around that time, about 300 people were calling Adamstown their home. These days, it's closer to 2000.

A fun place to visit if you're looking for an antique bargain.

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