Top 15 Places You Must Visit in Lancaster, PA

Last week was our third time in a year visiting Lancaster, PA and we STILL felt that we didn’t have enough time to do everything we wanted!  Farm-life, city experiences, flavorful foods, hiking trails, amusement parks, shows, and more, there are a plethora of experiences to be had in Lancaster, PA!

In collaboration with Discover Lancaster, I wanted to compile a list of our 15 favorite “must visit” places in Lancaster, counting down to our absolute most favorite Lancaster experience (so make sure to read until the very end to find out!)

Top 15 Places You Must Visit in Lancaster, PA 

15. That Fish Place: We had more fun than I ever would have expected at That Fish Place. The draw for visiting was their sting ray touch tank, however they also have a a bunch of animals to observe including snakes, rats, frogs, bunnies, guinea pigs, and even a tarantula spider!  

14.Turkey Hill Experience: The kids had a ball at the Turkey Hill Experience.  Tickets include all the Turkey Hill drinks and ice cream your little taste buds desire! The kids loved trying different ice cream scoop flavors and learning about how everything is prepared through so many interactive experiences on the second floor of the building! 

13.Lancaster County Central Park: This large park is very near the downtown area with an adorable old-fashioned covered bridge, hiking trails, public pool, and playgrounds. It is definitely worth the visit, especially for a picture at one of the famous Lancaster covered bridges! 

12.Southern Market: Open on the weekends for lunch and dinner, there are so many ethnic food options available!  Some of the stands were: Flavors of Morocco, Latin Cuisine, X Marks, and Pho Life. There is a bar in the center of the market and something for everyone to try from all types of ethnicities! Our family loved eating here last Thanksgiving time and everything was delicious! 

11.North Museum of Nature and Science: This little museum was a big highlight for our family! The museum is reciprocal to other museums in different cities, including The Buffalo Museum of Science so if you have a museum membership, make sure to ask when you go! We were fortunate enough to visit on a Thursday, when they have an animal specialist on site (Thursdays & Saturday’s). The specialist was a wealth of knowledge and we had the opportunity to touch and feed animals- it was a huge highlight of our visit!

10.The Lil' Country Store, Miniature Horse Farm & Old Windmiill Farm: If you want to experience a true Amish farm and buy Amish goods, head here! Everything is all right next to each other; you can park and then get the full experience in one place.  We were in our glory shopping in the country store! We bought Seasonal Sweet & Salty popcorn, salt & vinegar chips, mustard pretzels, homemade ketchup and ice cream cones for the kids! The miniature horses were adorable to see and we also saw goats, a llama, and Charlie’s favorite: a farm car that roamed around the farm grounds. The old windmill was fascinating to see and learn how the Amish used it to pump water instead of using electricity. 

9.Hershey Park & Factory:  Hersey Park is only about 40 minutes from downtown Lancaster downtown and it is a great amusement park for kids of all ages, complete with a kiddie section, and a ton of attractions for older children as well.  The park opens at 11am for non resort and season pass holders. You can download an app to get a map of the park with all the wait times for each ride which is very helpful to plan your day. With your park admission ticket, you can get into the zoo as well and see a lot of unique animals as well as take a little break from all the crowds and ride lines. 😅. Hershey Factory is directly across from the park with a bunch of in door attractions including: a 4D theater, make your own candy bar and their guided historical train ride. Our family watched the Hersey 4D movie, which was cute.  Prices were $8.95 for kids and $9.95 for adults. The family favorite, (and free admission) was the factory tour ride. The whole family sits in a moving car and travels around the factory learning how chocolate is made. 

8.Strasburg Railroad: This 45 minute family friendly train ride is a great way to view all the gorgeous Lancaster countryside and scenery! In the summer months you can book a train ride with the famous Thomas the Train Engine and in the Winter Months, book a train ride with Santa!  There are also a bunch of other train experiences, so make sure to check out their website to learn more!  Afterward, explore the train station’s mini village where you may even get to hear live music, get a bite to eat, shop or play on the train playground! 

7.Amish Village: I personally LOVED this experience as I’ve always been fascinated by the Amish lifestyle.  Tickets are $12 for adults & $7 for children 5 and up and included a very informative 25 minute tour of an actual Amish home & farm with animals, a model Amish school, Amish store and more. The kids enjoyed seeing all the animals and playing on the playground outside the schoolhouse. 

6.Central Market: There is something for everyone in your family with so many options and vendors.  From Amish food stands to brick and mortar stores, kiosks, there’s everything you could possibly need.  To name a few: Shady Maple for donuts, Kauffman Orchards at Bird in Hand for produce, pickles, and canned goods, Oola Bowls for açaí bowl, Maplehofe Dairy for milk and natural peanut butter, Lancaster County Coffee for coffee, Miesse Candies for chocolates and Nord, a Nordic stand  that served a Nordic hot dog and salmon. We suggest visiting for lunch as there are a ton of hot lunch selections to choose from!

5.Lancaster Marriott Penn Square: This is the second time we booked this hotel, we love it so much. I have a friend who recently visited Lancaster and stayed at an outdated hotel in the area and it was obvious her whole experience was tainted by the hotel accommodations.  Your hotel experience can totally make or break the trip so it always pays to book a well-known, quality hotel like the Lancaster Marriott Penn Square. The central location, Lancaster cityscape views, updated and modern rooms, are just a few of the reasons why we love this hotel and we highly recommend it!  As a family of 5, we booked adjoining rooms-one room with a big king sized bed for us, and the other room with two queen beds for the kids to share.  We strongly suggest booking separate rooms when traveling with kids.  You would be surprised how much more time you spend in your hotel room and it is so nice to have separate spaces at bedtime, especially when the adults want to stay up later than the kids! We also highly recommend eating a meal at this hotel’s on site restaurant: Plough! The restaurant does a phenomenal job with each entree’s presentation, unique flavors and tastes which make for an excellent meal for all!


4.Drift Spa: Drift Spa, located right on the 5th floor of the Marriott Penn Square, just had to be included in this list because my massage experience at the spa during our trip last week was like no other massage I’ve ever experienced!  I had been stalking their Instagram page and the treatment looked beyond any massage I’ve ever received. Matt will occasionally buy me a massage package for my birthday or Valentine’s Day and I often complain that the massage therapist is just touching me and not actually doing anything.  Throughout the massage the therapist manipulated and moved each body part to better work the muscle and relax each tense area. It felt more like a sports massage and was so effective in releasing the tension. 

3.Chickies Rock County Park: We took two hikes, both had the best views and were kid friendly. This was one our favorite Lancaster experiences, the scenery is just breathtaking, it was one of Matt’s and my favorite spots to visit in all of Lancaster! 

2.Dutch Wonderland: This adorable Dutch themed amusement park is perfect for toddler and elementary aged children. We loved how spread out the park was with a lot of shade cover!  Some of our favorite attractions were the Kingdom Coaster, the Diving Show, Water Splash Pad and Slides, Merlin's Mayhem, Bumper Cars, Monorail, Kite Flight and the Gondola Cruise.  If you go, do not miss the Dive Show, it is absolutely phenomenal and the kids and adults had a wetastic time!! 

1.Sight & Sound Theater: This was the second time our family visited Sight & Sound Theater and it is one of the main reasons why we wanted to return to Lancaster, PA.  We are always blown away by the performance, as the show completely surpasses all expectations and we 100% recommend Sight and Sound Theater.  The kids were mesmerized by the singing, live animals, props; it is absolutely the best performance we’ve ever seen.  The meaningful scripts moves us to tears and the sets, acting, music & choreography, in our opinion, are 10 times better than a Broadway play. 

So there you have it, our top 15 favorite things to do in Lancaster, PA! It took us 3 visits to complete everything on this list, so we highly recommend visiting for more than 3 days (like we normally do) when planning your trip to Lancaster, PA.  You can find more places to visit in the Discover Lancaster website here.  We can guarantee that once you go, you will only want to visit again for more! 

This blog post is sponsored by Discover Lancaster, but as always all opinions are my own 


  1. I had no idea there were so many fun experiences in Lancaster PA! And I didn’t know it was where Turkey Hill ice cream was made…their mint chip is my absolute favorite. Thanks for all these great tips!

  2. Love this list so much! We went to sight and sound too last time we were in Lancaster!

  3. You missed the hidden gem Tiny Town! A little indoor play place with 11 luxury play places!

  4. These all look like so much fun. I would love to visit the Hershey Park and Factory. That looks awesome!

  5. I love Lancaster, PA and the surrounding areas! I loved Hershey, PA especially! This post makes me want to take a trip there again!

  6. Oh yes!!! We LOVE Lancaster!!!


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