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Lancaster Bucket List

Whether you're visiting Franklin & Marshall as a prospective student, parent or alumnus, these are some unique 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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Lancaster Bucket List

  • 47 Pins

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.).

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.

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

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

Downtown Lancaster Mayor's Tree Lighting and Tuba Christmas • Insider Tip: Be sure to check out the free model train display on the second floor of Citizens Bank, located off Penn Square opposite the tree.

DogStar Books • Insider Tip: A great place to browse gently-used books, DogStar also offers arts events throughout the year.

Lancaster Art Walk • Insider Tip: Like an extended First Friday, Lancaster's semi-annual Art Walks are a wonderful opportunity to explore downtown's galleries. Look for some of the work being done by local school students!

Annie Bailey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant • Insider Tip: The small store front belies a beautiful interior space and an even larger outdoor deck at this Lancaster favorite.

Annie Bailey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant: Great Food and Culture

Hong Kong Garden • Insider Tip: It may not look like much on the outside, but this strip mall gem has been one of Lancaster's most popular Chinese restaurants for decades. Be prepared to bring home leftovers!

'Poe Evermore' at Mount Hope Estate & Winery • Insider Tip: A more 'academic' dose of spooky fun, this show has in the past featured a character very loosely based on F & M's first president.

Poe Evermore opens at Mount Hope Mansion on Oct. 31

PA Renaissance Faire • Insider Tip: Brings cash and consider going in the evening for half-price admission.

Field of Screams Haunted Attraction • Insider Tip: Buy your tickets online to save time in line.

REVIEW: Field of Screams

Cherry Crest Farm/Amazing Maize Maze • Insider Tip: A great outdoor activity for a group of friends, especially at night.

Lancaster Liederkranz Oktoberfest • Insider Tip: Make sure you bring cash to this end-of-September festival celebrating German food and culture.

Whoopie Pie Festival at Hershey Farm Restaurant • Insider Tip: Explore 100 flavors of whoopie pies at this annual event! Come back to Hershey Farm on your birthday and enjoy a free meal at their smorgasbord.

The Lancaster Dispensing Company • Insider Tip: A favorite among F students over the past three decades, downtown Lancaster's DipCo offers great food and is a key venue in the local music scene.

The Traveling Food Critic: I LOVE the Dipco!!

Jennie's Diner • Insider Tip: Drive past the outlets on Route 30 east, make sure to bring some quarters for the tabletop juke box and keep in mind that one of the plate-sized pancakes may be plenty.

Jennie’s Diner Ronks PA Open 24 hours | Retro Roadmap
  • Terry Davidson
    Terry Davidson

    The original Jennie's has moved. Same great food, but not the same diner experience. You now have to drive a bit further East, to Gap. It is called Aunt Jennie's 41 and is on route 41.

  • Mod Betty RetroRoadmap
    Mod Betty RetroRoadmap

    But the vintage diner is still there on 30!

Dutch Haven Shoo-Fly Pie Bakery • Insider Tip: This icon from the kitschy era of Pennsylvania Dutch tourism is still a great spot for a photo opp, not too mention a free taste of one of Lancaster's signature desserts.

Wilbur Chocolate Factory • Insider Tip: Wilbur chocolate is known locally as having a richer texture than Hershey's and their Kiss-like Wilbur Buds can be found in many local shops.

Shupp's Grove Antique Market • Insider Tip: Check out the theme weekend schedule for this shaded outdoor market, located in Adamstown, Pa.—which bills itself as "Antiques Capital, U.S.A."

"Living the Experience" • Insider Tip: This spiritual performance of the Underground Railroad experience includes a traditional meal.

Hiking the Pinnacle and Tucquan Glen • Insider Tip: Be prepared to get your shoes wet!

Rosa Rosa Pizzeria (a.k.a. My Place) • Insider Tip: The Spaghetti Pizza is almost universally loved, at least among those not watching their carbs!

Long's Park Summer Music Series • Insider Tip: Great tips on this pin (even though it's a post about a 2010 concert), but we can second the one suggesting you park at Park City Center.

Chestnut Hill Cafe • Insider Tip: Located just a few blocks from campus, this cafe is a favorite haunt for F&M students and employees seeking caffeinated beverages. Service can be slow, but the food (and ice cream!) is worth the wait.

North Museum of Natural History & Science • Insider Tip: Established with collections related to studies at F & M, the North Museum is now an independent organization located on the southeast corner of our historic campus. Admission is free for those with an F & M I.D.—see if you can find the collection of two-headed specimens in the basement!

Choo-Choo Barn • Insider Tip: Not just for kids, this model train display is 1700 square feet of miniature wonder. You can typically get free admission on several Fridays in December by bringing along a non-perishable food item.

Camp Martin Travels : Choo-Choo Barn / Traintown

El Serrano • Insider Tip: The already-enchanting ambiance of this long-time local favorite for Latin-American cuisine is greatly enhanced on weekend evenings by Dante, a guitarist who plays both festive hits and romantic boleros.

Mud Sales • Insider Tip: Even if you're not looking to buy, look for one of these local fire company fundraisers to experience a bit of Amish culture...and food!

Carmen & David's Creamery • Insider Tip: Can't decide among the 30 flavors? Opt for three or six mini-scoops in a sampler.

It's never too cold for some really good ice cream!

Chickies Rock Park • Insider Tip: This park, about twenty minutes from campus traveling west on Rt. 30, offers several hiking trails and an unparalleled view of the Susquehanna River, the largest river on the East Coast.

Chickies Rock Park in Lancaster County, PA

Wheatland, home to President James Buchanan • Insider Tip: Within walking distance of F & M, be sure to also visit the adjacent museum/library of the Lancaster County Historical Society.

Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant • Insider Tip: Those over 21 can take advantage of a daily takeout special offering two pizzas and a growler of beer for 25 bucks.

Fulton Opera House • Insider Tip: Some performances in this National Historic Landmark Theatre offer 10-dollar tickets that are available an hour before showtime for those with a student I.D.

First Fridays in downtown Lancaster • Insider Tip: The College's Phillips Museum often schedules gallery talks that provide a great way to start your First Friday evening.

Clipper Magazine Stadium • Insider Tip: Many home games for the Lancaster Barnstormers baseball team end with a fireworks show that can also be viewed from the parking lot behind College Row.

Lancaster Barnstormers at Clipper Magazine Stadium

Lancaster Central Market • Insider Tip: Find your way to the mezzanine for an enchanting view of this 120-year-old building.


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