There are so many fun Amish Things to do in Amish Country PA!
We came to Amish Country with the primary goal of visiting the Amish. I really like learning about different cultures and different ways of life, it fascinates me, so when I was last in Washington DC, making the 2.5 hour drive to visit Amish Country PA was an absolute no brainer!
My visit did not disappoint. Lancaster PA has now taken over Ohio with the largest worldwide Amish population with around 30,000 Amish living in the area.
It was amazing to see horse and buggys drive around Amish Country. It gave me a real insight into what living in the 1700s would have been like!
The Amish came to America in the 1700s from Germany to escape religious persecution.
Nowadays, there are over 350,000 Amish living in the United States, Canada and a few other places around the world. They have recently set up an Amish community in Argentina as purchasing farmlands have grown quite expensive for young married Amish couples to afford in the US with the increasing cost of land and housing.
Amish are very clever and have lots of different businesses throughout Amish Country PA which you can visit and learn more about their community.
Visiting the Amish businesses in Amish Country PA was really fun as they have the BEST food which they make themselves on their farm, so it is a true farm to table experience.
This list of activities will focus primarily on Amish activities and Amish things to do but there will be a few non Amish ideas thrown in there!
What to book before you go:
Where is Amish Country in PA & How to get there?
Where is Amish country in Pennsylvania?
The Lancaster PA Amish live in the countryside areas around 10-15 minutes drive from the city of Lancaster PA. We would recommend you base yourself in Lancaster PA and drive or get a tour into the Amish communities. You could also base yourself in the town of York but it is a 30-40 minute drive from there.
There is plenty of accommodation options in the nearby town of Lancaster where you will stay in civilization and won’t be required to go without electricity like the Amish!
Lancaster PA is located an easy 2.5 hour drive from both Washington DC and New York City. Some people even take a day trip to Amish country pa but its a big slog!
The best way to visit the communities on your first day is with an Amish tour as they will show you all the areas where you can see Amish and visit their businesses.
We really liked going on an Amish tour as we got a tonne of really interesting information about the Amish and their way of life.
13 Fun Amish Things to do in Amish Country PA
We have focused our list to Amish things to do in Pennsylvania Amish country.
Aside from experiencing Amish communities, there are plenty of non Amish things to do in Lancaster PA if you get tired of Amish life and we have included a few in our list.
1. Eat Farm to Table Ice Cream at Down on the Farm Creamery (Amish run)
This was seriously some of the very best ice cream I have ever tasted in my life. It was just soooo creamy. Many Amish tours stop in here but you can also just visit on your own.
It is really cool to visit not only for the ice cream but to see a working Amish farm. They have animals to the right of the ice creamery which you can check out. While we were there, there was the cutest baby cow which was so friendly (made me want to become a vegetarian).
If you are stumped for choices with the ice cream flavors, I would highly recommend the Salted Caramel Pretzel Flavour. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was also a winner.
One of the best things to do in Amish Country PA for sure!
Address: 509 May Post Office Rd, Strasburg, PA 17579
2. Grab a Pretzel or Bakery item at Bird in Hand Bake Shop (Amish run)
This is a super cute country store run by Amish with lots of delicious baked items, homemade ice cream, interesting woodwork and other country themed knick-knacks to buy. There are also some practical items for the locals to buy like brooms.
We would highly recommend the Apple Dumpling which was sort of like an apple strudel and very delicious. You can eat anything you buy outside on the adorable porch.
There is also a pretzel van outside of the bake shop which serves some of the best pretzels in the area.
Address: 542 Gibbons Rd, Bird in Hand, PA 17505
3. Eat delicious Amish food at Hometown Kitchen (Amish cooks)
We really loved visiting this amazing Amish restaurant. I honestly think it is the best place to visit in Amish Country pa.
This restaurant I believe has non Amish owners so you will find electricity but all the staff are either Amish or Mennonites. It is also frequently visited by Amish people in the area. There is a place around the back of the restaurant where they can tie up their horse and buggy while they eat.
We visited Hometown Kitchen twice – once on Friday for the “Amish wedding meal” and again on Saturday for the whole rack of ribs. Both meals were very delicious and absolutely huge portion sizes.
If you happen to be in the area on a Friday definitely visit for the Amish wedding meal as it is something very unique and Amish (Homemade Bread Filling with Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Celery, & Pepper Slaw).
If you have ever watched the show “Breaking Amish” you will see the cast complain about the ridiculous high price of food in NYC compared to Amish areas. This is very true. The meals here were very cheap. A whole rack of ribs will only set us back $18 USD which I thought was very reasonable.
Serving sizes are also very generous and the staff are more than happy to provide you with take away containers so you can take home anything you can’t finish.
Tip: Make sure you try the homemade bread rolls with the delicious Amish jam on the table. It’s a winner!
Address: 18 Furnace Road, Quarryville, PA 17566
4. Take a Tour of the Amish Farm & House (Non Amish run)
If you want to learn more about Amish culture, visit the Amish Farm & House. The Farm and House is no longer Amish. The English (as the Amish call us) run a former Amish Farm & House set up how Amish live.
I asked the staff if the Amish sold it to them after a Target moved in next door and apparently, no they didn’t as the last Amish family who were living in the house were only leasing it.
The Amish Farm & House is a great first activity when you arrive in Amish country as it is a great introduction to the Amish and an awesome way to get information on what it is like to live in an Amish community.
You can do an Amish house tour only or a tour which includes a bus ride through the Amish countryside and stops at many Amish businesses. We would recommend the later.
While it is not a true Amish experience with Amish people running the tours (so you can get first hand information) I still thought a visit was worthwhile for the education it provides on Amish life.
You can book your tour here.
Address: 2395 Covered Bridge Dr, Lancaster, PA 17602
5. Go on a Horse and Buggy Ride (Both Amish and English run)
Still wondering what to do in Amish Country PA? Take a buggy ride of course!
I believe that AAA Buggy Rides is non Amish owned but sometimes has Amish drivers and Aaron and Jessica’s Amish Buggy Rides is owned by an Amish father and daughter but also has non Amish buggy drivers.
If it is important for you to have an Amish driver for a more authentic experience, I would suggest you enquire in advance. Both companies are not open on Sundays which is the Amish day of rest.
Buggy rides are very affordable at only around $20 depending on which tour you select. If you want a private tour it is a bit more.
Aaron and Jessica’s Amish Buggy Rides address – 3121A Old Philadelphia Pike Bird in Hand, PA 17505
AAA Buggy Rides address – 3461 Old Philadelphia Pike Ronks, PA 17572
6. Riehl’s Quilts and Crafts (Amish run)
Riehl’s Quilts and Crafts is one of the most popular Amish businesses and farm to visit in Amish country. The large Quilts and Crafts store is full of beautiful quilts and craft (as the name suggests). If you were looking for a unique gift or Christmas present you are sure to find it here.
The store had Amish dolls to buy for the littles but unfortunately no traditional faceless Amish dolls. If you want to try your hand at being an Amish, there were Amish dresses that you could buy in the store for only $20! My husband said he thought the dresses were actually quite beautiful.
Riehl’s Quilts and Crafts has expanded to include a really epic woodworking store with very impressive charcuterie boards. You can also check out a buggy that Amish use up close and personal and have a good look inside which is fun.
7. Try Amish Pretzels in Intercourse at Immergut Pretzels (Amish run)
8. Eat more Amish ice cream at Lapp Valley Farm Homemade Ice Cream (Amish run)
Being that the ice cream at Down on the Farm Creamery was soooo good, we simply had to try the other homemade Amish ice cream farm in the area: Lapp Valley Farm Homemade Ice Cream.
We tried the Cookies and Cream flavor and the Buterscotch flavor.
The ice cream was delicious and very creamy but I would say if you just want to try one ice creamery, the ice cream at Down on the Farm Creamery had the slight edge.It may have just been because they had a Salted Caramel Flavour which I am really partial to. The waffle cone at Lapp Valley Farm Homemade Ice Cream was better.
Lapp Valley Farm Homemade Ice Cream & Cafe is a big indoors store which is better for a cold day as they have lots of indoor seating which Down on the Farm Creamery doesn’t have. There is also a burger store inside and various dairy made on the farm to buy like fresh milk and yogurt.
Note: Lapp Valley Farm Homemade Ice Cream are at a few locations.They have a smaller pop up store at Kitchen Kettle Village.
Address: 4040 Old Philadelphia Pike, Gordonville PA
9. Pick up some Relish or Jam at Jam & Relish Kitchen (Both Amish & English workers)
This is a really cool place to visit especially if you love delicious jam and chutneys. Inside you can see Amish workers hard at work making jams and chutneys.
Aside from chutneys, there was lots of interesting and fun things to buy inside the store including Dutch Liquorice and Amish Whoopie Pies which are very popular in the area.
This was one of the few places where I witnessed Amish and non Amish people working side by side.
Address: 3529 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, PA 17534
10. Visit and Shop at Kitchen Kettle Village (Mix of Amish & non Amish business but mostly non Amish)
Kitchen Kettle Village is a really fun place to visit in Amish Country year round with over 30 small shops to explore.
It is especially fun if you find yourself in Amish Country in the holiday season as it really gets into the Christmas festivities. There is even a full shop dedicated to Christmas at the village!
Other shops to check out include Waltz Vineyards Wine shop (where you can do some wine tasting), Jackpot Ceramics for lovely gifts, Pepper Lane Fudge for some of the tastiest fudge in town and Country Life for the cutest country inspired homewares and organic soaps and lotions.
Address: 3529 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, PA 17534
11. Eat delicious popcorn at Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn (Amish)
Right next door to Lapp Valley Farm Homemade Ice Cream you will find one of the most popular shops in Amish Country: Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn.
Like most Amish businesses run by women, Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn is run out of the families home as women are only allowed to work from home after they are married.
They have a huge range of flavors of popcorn to try with some of the most popular being the Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Popcorn and the Sweet Cheddar Popcorn.
Address: 4038 Old Philadelphia Pike, Gordonville, PA 17557
12. Visit an Root Country Market & Auction on a Tuesday (Mostly Amish & Mennonite run)
Root Country Market & Auction is on all day Tuesday. We would highly recommend a visit if you are in the area on a Tuesday as it is very interesting.
The Amish auction off lots of different things from livestock to fruit, vegetables and canned goods, all at bargain basement prices I might add. We were surprised that they were auctioning off goods for only a few dollars!
There is also a really cool market next door to the auction house where you can buy lots of fresh produce, fresh bakery items and knick-knacks without participating in an auction.
We bought the most delicious raspberries from the market next to the auction house. A man bidding at the auction told us that he won a bid for a few bags of fairy floss flavored grapes for a few dollars.
Note: This market and auction is only on Tuesdays.
Address: 705 Graystone Rd, Manheim, PA 17545
13. Stay or dine on a Steamboat at Fulton Steamboat Inn (Non Amish)
Fulton Steamboat Inn is a full place to stay or even dine at their award winning restaurant Huckleberry’s Restaurant and Tavern.
The reason why you will see a steamboat in Lancaster is that it is the birthplace of Robert Fulton, who is credited as the inventor of the steamboat.
We noticed what we thought was an alligator in the pond near the steamboat. Turns out it was indeed an alligator but I believe a fake. We couldn’t believe an alligator would be in Lancaster and had to take a closer look.
You can book your stay here or simply visit for dinner! They are open for dining on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas with special menus available however, if you wish to dine on those dates make sure you book well in advance as they do book out!
Address: 1 Hartman Bridge Rd, Lancaster, PA 17602
Where to stay to visit Amish Country PA?
The best place to stay in Amish Country PA is Lancaster which is a town 10-15 minutes from the countryside where the Amish live. Lancaster is a city with all the modern amenities like Walmart, Starbucks etc and of course electricity 😉
You can book your hotel during your dates in Lancaster here.
The Holiday Inn I would say had the slight edge, just because it was newer however, the staff at Tru by Hilton were much nicer (even giving us free popcorn, water and a good room at check in) plus it was much closer to Amish Country, being a 10 minute drive to the countryside rather than a 20 minute drive.
Note: If you like to heat up something in a microwave in your room, I will note that the Holiday Inn has in room microwaves whereas the Tru by Hilton doesn’t. Tru by Hilton Lancaster PA does have in room fridges for your Amish goodies however.
Other hotel options?
If you have kids, a cool and affordable place to stay is the Cartoon Network Hotel which is located right next door to the Dutch Wonderland Theme Park.
Best time to Visit Amish Country PA?
Like most places, the best time to visit Amish Country, PA is in Spring or Fall, when the weather is more mild and there are less crowds. We have written a full guide to when to visit Amish Country if you want some more detailed information.
Amish Country PA is a popular weekend destination from both Washington DC and New York and tends to be busy year round. If you do intend to visit, it is always best to book in advance, especially if you wish to visit on a weekend.
Note: Amish have a day of rest on a Sunday so it is always best to visit during the week or Friday/Saturday if you want to make a weekend trip. No Amish businesses are open on a Sunday as they consider Sunday a holy day where they attend church and rest.
The best place to stay to explore Amish Country PA is Lancaster PA, which (depending on where you stay in Lancaster) is only a 10-20 minute drive to Amish Country, where you can visit Amish and their businesses.
See here for the best rates during your dates.
A visit to Amish Country always brings the question: Could you live as an Amish?
While the grass is always greener on the other side, in this case I don’t think I could go without my technology!