Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series. This is your one-stop travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best the city has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Lancaster?”
While the majority of tourists drawn to Lancaster, Penn., want an inside look at the Amish lifestyle, there also exists a quaint downtown community overflowing with cultural foods, chic cocktail bars, elaborate theater productions and hipster thrift shops. Rather than misjudging the location based on what you might have seen in an expertly produced “Breaking Amish” story arc, discover its idiosyncratic charm fusing together its German roots, diverse community and trendy atmosphere. This is a hot take, but Lancaster is well on its way to rivaling the likes of Brooklyn.
Sure, you’ll likely still spot a horse-drawn carriage or two transporting a family to a good old-fashioned Amish volleyball match or community gathering, but the heart of Lancaster itself lies within the multicultural presence and downtown. Below is your curated guide to experiencing Lancaster as the locals do.