Things To Do In Amish Country – Lancaster, PA


 

In the serene landscape of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Lancaster County offers a fascinating glimpse into the traditional world of the Amish. This pastoral region, with its rolling farmland, covered bridges and horse-drawn buggies, seems lost in time – a place where a simpler way of life still thrives.

On a recent getaway to Lancaster, we had the chance to immerse ourselves in Amish culture, history, and legendary comfort food. What we discovered was an unexpectedly rich and rewarding experience, full of warm hospitality, delicious home-cooking, and a profound sense of peace.

Amish farmers, young and old, work together in Lancaster County fields | Photo: Better Living

From the moment we arrived, it was clear Lancaster moves at a different pace. The landscape is a patchwork of neatly tended farms, whitewashed barns and quaint shops. Along winding country roads, you’ll spot Amish families traveling by horse and buggy, women in bonnets working in gardens, and children riding on kick scooters.

This bucolic scenery alone makes Lancaster worth the trip. But to truly appreciate Amish Country, we found it’s the people, experiences and flavors you encounter that leave the most lasting impression.

Things To Do In Amish Country – Lancaster, PA

Stay at AmishView Inn & Suites: Serene Luxury Surrounded by Farmland

A rural landscape with fields of different crops in various shades of green and brown. In the foreground, two horses are pulling a farm implement across a field. The background shows more fields, hay bales, and a line of trees under a blue sky with wispy clouds.A rural landscape with fields of different crops in various shades of green and brown. In the foreground, two horses are pulling a farm implement across a field. The background shows more fields, hay bales, and a line of trees under a blue sky with wispy clouds.

The view of a working Amish farm from AmishView Inn & Suites | Photo: Better Living

Our immersive Amish Country experience began at the exceptional AmishView Inn & Suites. Situated on a AAA scenic byway with stunning views of surrounding Amish farms, this top-rated Lancaster hotel offers an upscale atmosphere with authentic Amish charm.

We stayed in the adults-only building and were utterly spoiled by our Grand King Suite. This spacious sanctuary featured soaring 10-foot windows framing idyllic farmland views, a kitchenette, a spacious living area, and super comfy king bed. 

And, when they say “AmishView,” they truly mean it. From sunrise to sunset, we could watch the local Amish farming and riding buggies right from the comfort of our room.

A spacious hotel room featuring a large king-sized bed with white bedding in the foreground. Two bedside tables with lamps flank the bed, and a plush, patterned carpet covers the floor. In the background, there’s a seating area with a gray sofa and armchair facing a window that offers an expansive view of green fields under a clear sky. To the right, there’s a wooden desk with another lamp and chair. The room is well-lit by natural light from the window and warm artificial lighting.A spacious hotel room featuring a large king-sized bed with white bedding in the foreground. Two bedside tables with lamps flank the bed, and a plush, patterned carpet covers the floor. In the background, there’s a seating area with a gray sofa and armchair facing a window that offers an expansive view of green fields under a clear sky. To the right, there’s a wooden desk with another lamp and chair. The room is well-lit by natural light from the window and warm artificial lighting.

Elegance meets comfort in the Grand King room at AmishView Inn & Suites | Photo: Better Living

Another standout feature was the large, luxurious bathroom. Each Grand King Suite has a Victoria + Albert clawfoot tub perfect for soaking, placed right in front of its own TV. There’s also a huge shower with frameless glass doors and gentle lighting that sets the mood. The bathroom has top-quality fixtures, a separate water closet, Tarocco shampoo and soaps, a lighted mirror for doing your makeup, and a hair dryer – everything you need to pamper yourself.

A spacious bathroom featuring a freestanding white bathtub with clawfoot detailing. Above the bathtub, there is a wall-mounted towel holder with a white towel hanging on it. To the right of the bathtub, there is a sink with a faucet and what appears to be soap on the counter. Above the sink, there is an oval mirror flanked by wall lights on either side, and to its right, there’s a magnifying mirror with lighting. On the left side of the image, mounted on the wall, is a flat-screen television. The walls are painted in light beige tones, and the flooring appears to be woodenA spacious bathroom featuring a freestanding white bathtub with clawfoot detailing. Above the bathtub, there is a wall-mounted towel holder with a white towel hanging on it. To the right of the bathtub, there is a sink with a faucet and what appears to be soap on the counter. Above the sink, there is an oval mirror flanked by wall lights on either side, and to its right, there’s a magnifying mirror with lighting. On the left side of the image, mounted on the wall, is a flat-screen television. The walls are painted in light beige tones, and the flooring appears to be wooden

The luxurious bathroom in the Grand King room at AmishView Inn & Suites | Photo: Better Living

Each morning we looked forward to the famous AmishView hot breakfast buffet, served in the sun-soaked Great Room. This generous and complimentary spread, praised as one of Lancaster’s best, fueled our days with hearty offerings like fluffy waffles, savory sausages, farm-fresh eggs and omelets made to order. Relaxing over coffee while horse-drawn buggies rode by in the distance was a great way to start the day in Amish Country!

A well-balanced breakfast plate featuring scrambled eggs, crispy bacon strips, a sausage link, diced potatoes, and a cinnamon roll. A white mug of coffee completes the meal.A well-balanced breakfast plate featuring scrambled eggs, crispy bacon strips, a sausage link, diced potatoes, and a cinnamon roll. A white mug of coffee completes the meal.

A plate from the legendary AmishView breakfast buffet | Photo: Better Living

Be sure to take advantage of the hotel’s indoor pool, whirlpool and well-equipped fitness center. Feel free to wind down each evening with a soothing swim or soak and view the brilliant sunset over the farmland. 

Interior view of a jacuzzi at Amish View Inn with agitated water. The jacuzzi is surrounded by beige tiles and has steps leading down into it. Large windows offer a view of the outside, showcasing green fields and a fence. A black plaque with white text is visible on the wall.Interior view of a jacuzzi at Amish View Inn with agitated water. The jacuzzi is surrounded by beige tiles and has steps leading down into it. Large windows offer a view of the outside, showcasing green fields and a fence. A black plaque with white text is visible on the wall.

The large whirlpool in the indoor pool area of AmishView Inn & Suites | Photo: Better Living

From check-in to check-out, AmishView Inn & Suites was the perfect home base for our countryside adventure. From breathtaking farm views, to delicious homestyle breakfasts, and its fantastic location – we were completely immersed in local culture. We can’t wait to return!

Savor Local Flavors at Smokehouse BBQ and Brews

Smokehouse BBQ and Brews at AmishView Inn & Suites – Lancaster, PA | Photo: Better Living

As much as we adored AmishView Inn & Suites, one of Lancaster’s biggest draws is undoubtedly the phenomenal Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. Luckily, one of the area’s best restaurants is literally right next door.

The Smokehouse Stacker | Photo: Better Living

Smokehouse BBQ and Brews serves up mouthwatering barbecue and comfort food classics in a relaxed setting just next door. The tantalizing scent of slow-smoked meats hits you the moment you enter and the atmosphere is fun, casual, and inviting. 

Everything here is made from scratch using local ingredients. You can taste the quality, from the succulent Burnt Brisket Ends basted in White Horse sauce to the mammoth Smokehouse Stacker piled high with beef, pulled pork, slaw and fixings. Alongside honey-butter slathered corn muffins and decadent mac n’ cheese, it’s a carnivore’s dream.

The Smokehouse Rib Combo | Photo: Better Living

The Smokehouse Rib Combo with a half-rack and your choice of smoked meat is the best of both worlds. We opted for the pull-apart tender pulled pork and were gleefully covered in barbecue sauce by the last savory bite.

Don’t forget to sample their locally crafted brews, spirits and wines for an authentic taste of Lancaster. After a meal here, you’ll understand why Smokehouse is a pilgrimage-worthy destination for barbecue lovers!

Shop for Handcrafted Treasures at Plain and Fancy Country Store

Plain and Fancy Country Store – Lancaster, PA | Photo: Better Living

Before leaving Smokehouse, be sure to browse the adjacent Plain and Fancy Country Store. This spacious shop carries a carefully curated collection of handcrafted Amish clothing, toys, crafts, decor and foods that showcase the community’s incredible artisanship.

There’s also a mouthwatering array of authentic Pennsylvania Dutch sweets and snacks like whoopie pies, shoofly pie, chow chow and jams made from Amish family recipes. It’s the perfect spot to pick up unique gifts and tasty souvenirs.

Explore The Quilt Shop at Miller’s: Amish Quilting at Its Finest

The Quilt Shop at Miller's - Lancaster, PAThe Quilt Shop at Miller's - Lancaster, PA

The Quilt Shop at Miller’s – Lancaster, PA | Photo: Better Living

Amish Country is legendary for its stunningly intricate handmade quilts. At The Quilt Shop at Miller’s, you can witness the fascinating tradition of Amish quilting in its full glory.

Established in 1998, this specialized store boasts over 1000 gorgeous hand-stitched quilts, wall-hangings, pillows and textiles made by local Amish and Mennonite artisans. Displayed in a bright 3500 sq ft showroom, the craftsmanship and artistry on display is jaw-dropping.

Vibrant and iconic patterns burst from each quilt in a kaleidoscope of color and detail. The stitching is impossibly precise, with thousands of tiny uniform stitches creating a supple yet substantial texture. The amount of time required to complete this process can vary depending on factors such as the size of the fabric and the complexity of the design, with some quilts taking up to 1000 hours to finish! 

Whether you’re a serious collector or simply an admirer of handmade beauty, The Quilt Shop at Miller’s provides an incredible opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind, future heirloom that can be cherished for generations. With a range of sizes and designs for every taste and budget, you’re sure to find an amazing quilt to take home.

Stock Up on The Flavors of Amish Country at Locally Made Food Shop

Locally Made Food Shop – Lancaster, PA | Photo: Better Living

Speaking of take-home treats, no visit to Lancaster is complete without stocking up on authentic Pennsylvania Dutch foods and baked goods. And there’s no better place to get your fix than Locally Made Food Shop.

Located next to The Quilt Shop, this delightful store features a vast selection of Amish-made sweet and savory delicacies prepared using traditional recipes and local ingredients. Shelves are lined with jars of chow chow, pepper jam, bacon dressing, fruit butters and pickled everything alongside fresh-baked shoofly pies, gooey whoopie pies, sticky buns and signature breads.

With its abundant variety of locally made delicacies you can’t find elsewhere, Locally Made is an absolute must-stop for foodies. Just leave extra room in your vehicle – you’ll need it for all the mouthwatering goodies you’ll want to bring back!

Dine at Miller’s Smorgasbord: Serving Amish Feasts for Nearly a Century!

A plate loaded with various foods from Miller's, including fried chicken, roast beef with horseradish, mashed potatoes, corn, candied yams, and salad. A plate loaded with various foods from Miller's, including fried chicken, roast beef with horseradish, mashed potatoes, corn, candied yams, and salad.

A hearty and satisfying plate from Miller’s Smorgasbord – Lancaster, PA | Photo: Better Living

No visit to Lancaster County is complete without indulging in an authentic Pennsylvania Dutch smorgasbord. And for almost 100 years, Miller’s Smorgasbord has been the go-to spot for experiencing this delectable Amish tradition.

Miller’s story began in 1929 when Anna Miller started serving her famous chicken & waffles to hungry truckers while her husband repaired their rigs. Word of her delicious down-home cooking quickly spread, and soon Anna’s humble truck-stop diner evolved into Miller’s Smorgasbord, a Lancaster institution now in its fourth generation of family ownership.

Interior view of Miller's Smorgasbord showing multiple food stations, including a "Soups & Breads" area. The space has carpeted floors and pendant lighting. Interior view of Miller's Smorgasbord showing multiple food stations, including a "Soups & Breads" area. The space has carpeted floors and pendant lighting.

You’ll find over 1000 delicious items at Miller’s Smorgasbord – Lancaster, PA | Photo: Better Living

Today, the restaurant serves a massive smorgasbord menu featuring over 100 items, all made from scratch using Anna’s time-honored recipes and fresh local ingredients. But while the menu has expanded, the warm hospitality and commitment to homestyle cooking remains unchanged.

Dinner at Miller’s is a belly-busting affair, so arrive hungry and wear your stretchy pants. 

Endless rows of Pennsylvania Dutch comfort foods span as far as the eye can see – succulent slow-roasted beef, crispy fried chicken, savory chicken pot pie with homemade noodles, creamy baked cabbage, and so much more.

A bowl of chicken pot pie with chunks of chicken, carrots, and potatoes visible in a creamy broth. A spoonful is being lifted from the bowl.A bowl of chicken pot pie with chunks of chicken, carrots, and potatoes visible in a creamy broth. A spoonful is being lifted from the bowl.

Miller’s authentic, Amish chicken pot pie | Photo: Better Living

Be sure to try Anna’s original chicken and waffles, an Amish Country classic featuring tender, juicy fried chicken atop a golden malted waffle – a heavenly pairing of sweet and savory. Other must-try dishes include the mouthwatering Swedish meatballs, beef burgundy, and an endless supply of fresh, peel-and-eat shrimp.

Just when you think you can’t possibly eat another bite, the dessert bar offers a decadent selection of baked pies, cakes, and more.

Miller’s Gourmet Apple Pie and Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Pie are local legends, while the Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake and Warm Chocolate Pecan Pie are decadent delights sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Pace yourself and save room for a slice (or two).

A slice of chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate cookie crust and chocolate whipped cream topping on a white plate. A slice of chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate cookie crust and chocolate whipped cream topping on a white plate.

The decadent chocolate mousse cheesecake at Miller’s Smorgasbord | Photo: Better Living

Nearly a century after Anna Miller served her first chicken and waffle, her legacy of fabulous food and gracious service continues to draw locals and visitors alike. Making the pilgrimage to Miller’s Smorgasbord is a cherished Lancaster County tradition that offers an authentic taste of Amish culture, where everyone leaves stuffed and smiling.

Take a Scenic Drive Through Amish Countryside 

A picturesque landscape of Lancaster County, showcasing vast golden wheat fields, a traditional white barn with a black roof, and a distant view of more farmland and silos under a clear blue sky.A picturesque landscape of Lancaster County, showcasing vast golden wheat fields, a traditional white barn with a black roof, and a distant view of more farmland and silos under a clear blue sky.

Expansive farmlands and iconic Amish barns in Lancaster County. | Photo: Better Living

One of the most memorable parts of our trip was simply driving around Amish Country. As we meandered through the picturesque backroads of Lancaster, we were treated to stunning views of emerald fields, charming farms, and classic red barns. The scenery was dotted with quaint roadside shops, where we found unique handmade goods and delicious local treats.

a large, speckled white and brown longhorn cow standing in a field with vibrant green grass and wildflowers. The cow’s prominent horns curve outward and slightly upward. In the background, there is a serene landscape of farmland with rows of crops under a soft pink and orange sky at sunset. a large, speckled white and brown longhorn cow standing in a field with vibrant green grass and wildflowers. The cow’s prominent horns curve outward and slightly upward. In the background, there is a serene landscape of farmland with rows of crops under a soft pink and orange sky at sunset.

A longhorn cow grazes at sunset in Amish Country – Lancaster, PA | Photo: Better Living

We often encountered horse-drawn buggies, adding to the timeless feel of the landscape. The abundance of farm animals was also a delight—longhorns, horses, sheep, and lots of adorable baby animals greeted us at nearly every turn. It was pure joy to see them grazing peacefully in their fields.

A close-up portrait of a baby brown Jersey cow. The cow's face fills most of the frame, with its large eyes, wet nose, and fuzzy ears clearly visible. The background shows a grassy field and some farm buildings in the distance under an overcast sky.A close-up portrait of a baby brown Jersey cow. The cow's face fills most of the frame, with its large eyes, wet nose, and fuzzy ears clearly visible. The background shows a grassy field and some farm buildings in the distance under an overcast sky.

A curious bay cow greets visitors on an Amish farm in Lancaster, PA | Photo: Better Living

As we passed by the local farms, we observed Amish families working together to tend their crops. It was heartwarming to see generations of farmers, even young children, all contributing to the labor with a sense of purpose and community. This simple yet profound way of life was a beautiful reminder of the value of hard work and togetherness.

 an aerial view of an Amish family engaged in farming activities. Two adults are tending to a horse-drawn plow, which moves through a field with distinct rows of soil. Several children sit on a flatbed attached to the plow, surrounded by fresh produce or plants. This scene reflects traditional farming methods without modern machinery, characteristic of Amish communities. an aerial view of an Amish family engaged in farming activities. Two adults are tending to a horse-drawn plow, which moves through a field with distinct rows of soil. Several children sit on a flatbed attached to the plow, surrounded by fresh produce or plants. This scene reflects traditional farming methods without modern machinery, characteristic of Amish communities.

An Amish family tending to their fields in Lancaster, PA | Photo: Better Living

Driving these backroads provides an intimate glimpse into the Amish way of life and an invitation to slow down and embrace the simple pleasures we so often overlook. 

Visit the Charming Village of Bird-in-Hand

The Old Village Store in Bird-in-Hand, PA | Photo: Better Living

During your stay, definitely plan to visit the charming village of Bird-in-Hand, just a 5 minute drive from AmishView Inn & Suites. Seemingly frozen in time, this little hamlet looks like it was plucked from a pastoral painting.

The story goes that in 1734, two road surveyors debated whether to stop for the night, noting “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” The name stuck, and today Bird-in-Hand retains the same folksy appeal that convinced those colonial surveyors to stay.

Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market | Photo: Better Living

At the heart of town is the Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market, a sprawling bazaar packed with fresh produce, local crafts, smoked meats, jams and Amish staples. Nibble your way through the stalls enjoying PA Dutch pretzels, funnel cake, fudge and endless samples. The baked goods are particularly divine – don’t miss the sticky buns or raspberry cream cheese pie.

Beyond the market, you’ll find plenty of quaint shops, buggy ride tours and restaurants serving authentic fare. We loved poking into the country stores brimming with handcrafted items, antiques and souvenirs. 

Modish at Bird-in-Hand | Photo: Better Living

Visiting Bird-in-Hand feels like stepping into a Norman Rockwell scene, a nostalgic vision of small-town America that time forgot. Spending an afternoon here provides a captivating glimpse into a simpler era, brimming with authentic country charm and nostalgic appeal.

Embrace Simplicity and Tradition

A scenic countryside view at sunset. An Amish horse-drawn buggy is traveling on a road in the foreground. To the left, cows are grazing in a field. The sky is filled with dramatic orange and pink clouds, creating a colorful sunset backdrop. Modern houses are visible in the distance.A scenic countryside view at sunset. An Amish horse-drawn buggy is traveling on a road in the foreground. To the left, cows are grazing in a field. The sky is filled with dramatic orange and pink clouds, creating a colorful sunset backdrop. Modern houses are visible in the distance.

A horse-drawn buggy at sunset in Amish Country – Lancaster, PA | Photo: Better Living

Lancaster and Amish Country offer a chance to escape modern life’s fast pace and reconnect with simpler living. Here, the focus is on faith, family, community, and living harmoniously with the land. Every moment, from shared food to crafted goods, feels intentional and meaningful.

Amish Country is not just a quaint look at the past; it’s a reminder to value our roots, cherish communities, and make time for life’s simple pleasures.

When modern life becomes overwhelming, treat yourself to a peaceful getaway in Lancaster. Let this countryside rejuvenate you, and return home with a newfound appreciation for simplicity.

Ready to explore this unique corner of Pennsylvania?

Book your stay at AmishView Inn & Suites and start planning your trip now!

FAQ on the Amish

Amish farmers working in a green field, baling hay with horse-drawn equipment. Several horses are hitched to the machinery, while one farmer stacks hay bales on a trailer.Amish farmers working in a green field, baling hay with horse-drawn equipment. Several horses are hitched to the machinery, while one farmer stacks hay bales on a trailer.

Amish farmers bale hay using horse-drawn equipment | Photo: Better Living

What is the origin of the Amish? 

The Amish trace their roots back to the Anabaptist movement in 1525 Switzerland, which emphasized adult baptism and separation of church and state. In 1693, a group led by Jakob Ammann broke off to form their own sect, which became known as the Amish.

What language do the Amish speak? 

The Amish speak several languages. Pennsylvania German, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch, is the primary language used at home and in church. This is a dialect of German with some English influence. Most Amish learn English at school, making it their second language. A few communities, especially in Indiana, speak a form of Swiss German.

Where are Amish communities located? 

Amish communities exist in 31 U.S. states and several Canadian provinces, with the largest populations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. Lancaster County, PA has both the oldest and largest Amish settlement. In total, there are approximately 2,200 local church districts, each typically consisting of 20-40 families.

What is the Amish population? 

As of 2023, experts estimate there are roughly 308,000 Amish in North America, including adults and children. Because their communities tend to have high birth rates and low attrition, the Amish population is rapidly growing, with numbers doubling about every 20 years.

Are there different types of Amish groups? 

Yes, there are many distinct affiliations within the Amish, each with their own specific practices, lifestyles and beliefs. Customs like dress, technology use, occupations and even buggy styles can vary significantly between different Amish orders. When talking about “the Amish” it’s important to recognize this diversity between subgroups.





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