Hotel at a Glance: Cork Factory Hotel
The redbrick walls and wood ceilings of Cork Factory Hotel have stood since 1865, when the building first opened as a saw mill. Since then, it's housed a cork factory, a glass manufacturer, and other businesses that were instrumental to the industrial development of Lancaster. Nowadays, the building serves yet another purpose—it's a planned urban community with luxury apartments, shops, and a boutique hotel that's a member of the Historic Hotels of America.
- High-end design: Guest rooms boast granite bathrooms, large windows, and exposed brick walls.
- Eat like a local at Cork & Cap Restaurant, which serves up modern twists on Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine.
- Homemade pastries: Pair freshly made whoopie pies and snicker doodles with a cup of pour-over organic Blue Bottle Coffee at The Baker's Table.
- Romance package: Some options include a bottle of champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a $30 credit to nearby Plum Salon and Spa.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: Crossroads of Amish Culture and German Heritage
Lancaster County sits in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. A number of Amish families—many of them descendants of the German immigrants who settled in the region in the 18th and 19th centuries—still farm the land here, living and working by the same timeless principles and unadorned methods they've been using for generations. On a drive through the area, you'll see covered bridges spanning the Conestoga River and probably share the road with a horse-drawn buggy or two. At stops such as Kitchen Kettle Village, you can watch experts canning jellies, jams, and relishes and sample homemade baked goods.
To tour the countryside in style, take a ride aboard a coal-burning steam locomotive on the Strasburg Rail Road. As the train chugs past farmers tending fields and cattle grazing on hay and strudel, parlor-car attendants serve cocktails and snacks to passengers in the dining car or in first class. Across the street from the station in Strasburg, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania chronicles the history of the track via rotating exhibits and more than 100 locomotives and railcars.