Lancaster Bucket List

Whether you're visiting Franklin & Marshall as a prospective student, parent or alumnus, these are some unique Lancaster and Central Pennsylvania experiences to add to your agenda. (This board is for informative purposes only and does not express an endorsement from the College.)
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Balloon Ride by United States Hot Air Balloon Team • Plan on spending 2.5 to 3 hours for your hot air balloon ride from start to finish. Flight time is approximately one hour. Your balloon ride begins on the ground, where you’ll help the crew assemble the balloon and take some time for pictures. After your flight, you’ll return to your launch point to be treated to a light snack and champagne toast. You’ll also receive an official flight certificate suitable for framing.

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Sickman's Mill Creek Tubing • Experience Lancaster County in a whole new way! Enter the creek with a canvas covered tubes at the Sickman's Mill property, and spend approximately an hour and 15 minutes drifting along a 2 mile stretch of this beautiful tree lined waterway. For a longer experience in nature you can do the kayak tube trip that lasts anywhere from 3-5 hours and winds through approximately 7 miles of scenic Lancaster County.

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AvalancheXpress Snow Tubing at Heritage Hills Resort • With multiple downhill runs, including "Xtreme" lanes for experienced tubers and two new lanes for little ones, tubers enjoy fast moving lines and even faster tube rides. The engineering of the hill is in fact widely recognized as being the best along the East coast making for the most thrilling snow tubing experience around.

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Strasburg Rail Road • Image the thrill of riding through the scenic Amish countryside of Lancaster County pulled by a historic steam locomotive! Enjoy 45 minutes aboard a real, authentic steam train. You can even dine aboard the train. And you can visit other fun shops and things for the kids at the station. They also have a Day Out With Thomas and Christmas events.

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The Amish Experience at Plain & Fancy Farm • For over 50 years the Amish Experience has remained the definitive interpretive center for guided tours of the Amish Farmlands. Tours of Lancaster County’s only officially designated “Heritage Site” Amish House & One-Room School, and the spectacular Amish Experience Theater, Farmlands, buggy rides, VIP tours and more

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Zip Line Canopy Tours at Refreshing Mountain • Looking for high adventure? Take a ride on one of our Canopy Tours! Guides will accompany you as you "fly" through the trees and enjoy a "bird's eye" view of the beautiful woodscape.

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Stroopies • Inside Tip: Not a place, but a must-have treat produced locally. Look for them at the Prince Street Café and other local coffee shops.

Getting to the Gooey Center of Stroopies

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Spooky Nook Sports • Insider Tip: A valid college ID will get you half-off day passes and equipment rentals at this indoor climbing center and gymnasium. Great arcade too!

Have some fun at Lancaster's Spooky Nook

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Lancaster Cupcake • Insider Tip: While this bakery now has a shop down town, Fummers can often find the cupcake truck on Harrisburg Avenue on Thursday afternoons!

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La Dolce Vita Courthouse Bakery • Insider Tip: Step into this shop and you'll swear you're in Naples, or at least Little Italy. Cannoli filled on order and cronuts!

La Dolce Vita Courthouse Bakery in Lancaster will mesmerize with its confections

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The Fridge • Insider Tip: A short walk from campus, the Fridge features an always changing menu of "farm to face" food and a wide selection of craft beers. Known for their artisanal pizzas, but be sure to check out the unique hot dog toppings too!

Great Pizza and Craft Beer in Amish Country: The Fridge! - HHG #222.

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Insider Tip: Of course, come here for the eclectic variety of top-notch musical acts, but also keep an eye out for more unusual events, like the monthly story slam, adult spelling bee and paint nights.

1 week at Tellus360

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Rachael's Cafe & Creperie • Insider Tip: Not sure if you like crepes? From butter and cinnamon sugar to cheeseburger to veggie Santa Fe, trust us, there is something here to suit all palettes.

Turkey Crepe at Rachel's Creperie

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Holiday lights at Conestoga House • Insider Tip: Lots of beautiful light displays to be seen in the School Lane Hills neighborhood north of Marietta Avenue.

Lancaster - 1608 Marietta Ave.

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Northwest Lancaster County River Trail • Insider Tip: Park at Koser Park in Bainbridge and walk or bike this paved trail south for 1.5 miles to visit Lancaster's "white cliffs," which were formed from the slag of a nearby rock quarry.

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Mennonite Information Center • Insider Tip: Learn about Lancaster County's Plain population with a knowledgeable, personal tour guide who will travel with you in your own car to show you the area's truly hidden treasures.

Mennonite Information Center

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Dienner's Country Restaurant • Insider Tip: This is where the locals go for PA Dutch food; be prepared for a short wait on weekends and be aware that they close at 6 p.m. most days.

Dienner’s Country Restaurant

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Landis Valley Museum • Insider Tip: If you enjoy Colonial Williamsburg, you will appreciate seeing how 19th-century Pennsylvania Germans lived at this living history site. Very little food is available, so pack a lunch or start your trip with breakfast at the nearby Oregon Dairy restaurant.

Cattails & Cobwebs: Landis Valley Farm and Museum

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Hersheypark • Insider Tip: If you're not able to go in the summer, most rides are open during select weekends in the spring and fall. Don't miss Chocolate World (free!) and Zoo America (separately or with admission to park). Also, look for preview deals that give you an extra evening of fun with the price of one ticket.

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Lancaster County Park • Insider Tip: Be sure to visit the Garden of the Five Senses and check out the Parks & Recreation calendar for events for all ages, covering topics from astronomy to maple sugaring.

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Fenz Restaurant & Latenight • Insider Tip: Get a burger and draft beer for $10 after 10 p.m. on Friday.

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Miesse Candies • Insider Tip: The name of this Lancaster candy company—which was established in 1875—is pronounced Mee-see, and you can sometimes pick up reduced-price, factory seconds at their retail location downtown (the new address is 118 N. Water St.).

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Hole in the Wall Puppet Theatre • Insider Tip: Arrive early for your show to explore the John Durang Puppet Museum and possibly get a backstage tour.

Sleeping Beauty

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Pennsylvania Farm Show • Insider Tip: OK, we admit the Pennsylvania Farm Show is a bit of a stretch for a "Lancaster" bucket list, but this showcase of PA agriculture is a one-of-a-kind event and well worth the 45-minute drive, if only for the Food Court alone. Take cash and know that walking around the outside of the complex is a great way to beat the crowds (and study the Depression-era architecture).

PA Farm Show: Six sensational foods to try at the food court

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Building Character • Insider Tip: If you're a fan of Etsy, you'll enjoy the selection of hand-made and vintage items featured in this collection of shops all under one roof.

My Paisley World: Building Character – Lancaster, PA

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