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  • Experience the simpler side of life and the area's abundant natural beauty with a journey through Amish Country by horse and buggy or a self-guided tour. Pennsylvania's Lancaster County is home to the country's oldest and largest Amish community, where tens of thousands continue to follow a centuries-old "Plain" way of life. There are countless ways to learn about Pennsylvania Dutch culture and witness their lifestyle firsthand, like The Amish Village, Amish Farm and House, and The Amish Experience, authentic homesteads with Plain community staples like a schoolhouse and windmill. However, the best way to experience Amish Country is by heading off the beaten path and down the backroads of Lancaster County, stopping at roadside stands along the way. Here, the honor system shopping experience awaits—make selections, write them down, and pay in cash. For even more shopping opportunities, try to stop by one of the region's massive "mud sales." Traditionally held in late winter and early spring when the ground is starting to thaw (though now held throughout most of the year), mud sales serve as fundraisers for Amish communities' volunteer fire companies and feature deep discounts on everything from produce and baked goods to furniture, antiques, livestock, and hand-stitched quilts.

  • Journey through 2,500 acres of picturesque Amish countryside and into a piece of Pennsylvania history with a ride on the Strasburg Rail Road. From the comfort of a restored vintage train car, part of the largest fleet of wooden passenger rail cars in the country, travelers roll down the oldest continuously operating railroad in the United States, dating back to June 1832. Each roundtrip ride lasts 45 minutes, with steam-powered speeds appropriate for the early 20th century, and includes an audio commentary with interesting facts and railroad and regional history. Along with regular rides, guests can also choose from themed excursions like dining experiences, kid-friendly trips with Thomas the Tank Engine, seasonal jaunts starring Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, immersive stories inspired by the Civil War or Bonnie and Clyde, murder mysteries, and more. Tours of the mechanical shop and an escape room set in a stationary caboose are also available.

  • Search for a souvenir or a tasty snack at Lancaster Central Market. Established in 1730, Lancaster Central Market is the country's oldest publicly owned continuously running farmer's market. Over 65 local vendors set up shop in the historic, circa-1889 Market House on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, serving up the best that Lancaster County has to offer. Goods up for purchase range from fresh flowers and produce to home-baked bread and ready-made meals. A dazzling array of gifts and travel mementos are also available, many of which are crafted in the local Amish and Mennonite traditions, including jarred goods like jams, salsas, and pickled vegetables, bottles of sauces and spreads like mustard and dressing, mixes for soups and cookies, and much more. Non-edible items are also on offer, such as hand-poured candles, natural body products, metal signs, t-shirts, mugs, and paper goods designed by local illustrators.

  • Take in a live show at the Fulton Theatre. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964, the Fulton Theatre is touted as the oldest working theatre in the United States. (Stage actor John Wilkes Booth, the infamous assassin of Abraham Lincoln, once took to the stage during the structure's early days as a venue for traveling theatrical groups.) Today, the regional theatre plays host to Broadway-caliber musicals, comedies, and dramas, as well as kid-friendly productions.

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