Lancaster, PA: A Jewel Rich with Amish History Is One of the Most Awesome Places to Visit
Located only 3 hours away from New York City and a little more than an hour’s drive from Philadelphia, Lancaster is a combination of Amish and PA Dutch influences – and it certainly shows. Named the capital of the nation in 1777, when the Continental Congress met there, the city only held that title for a single day.
As the country’s oldest inland city, Lancaster received its name from Lancashire in the United Kingdom, which is why, even today, the city’s symbol is the blood red rose of the original House of Lancashire. Lancaster’s Amish population has been traced back in time to the beginning of the 18th century, and even though the number of Amish residents dwindled at the start of the 20th century, they have more than doubled since the 1990s.
While many people relate Hershey’s chocolate with the Pennsylvania town of the same name, one little-known fact is that Milton Hershey opened his first shop in Lancaster in 1866. It was originally known as the Lancaster Caramel Company, a name it retained until 1894 when it was turned into the Hershey Chocolate Company. The shop was originally established on South Duke Street but later moved to Church Street, where it remained until the 1900s.
Lancaster is also known for its famous “Kissing Bridges”, which is a collection of 29 traditional covered bridges that are part of the city’s popular sight-seeing driving tours. It is not uncommon to also find cyclists, hikers, and joggers in the area of the bridges, because they offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.
Many people around the country love the flavor of Washington Boro tomatoes, which is why people from neighboring states flock to Lancaster during the summer to visit the local markets in search of these delicious red delicacies.
President James Buchanan, who lived in Lancaster and died there years later, is buried in Woodward Hill Cemetery. Buchanan, who was the 15th President of the United States, moved to Lancaster in 1809 when he finished college. He retired in 1861 and lived there until his death.
Lancaster is also home to the country’s first pretzel bakery, the Sturgis Pretzel House, which was established in 1861 and is still operating today in its original Main Street location.