Hotel at a Glance: Lancaster Arts Hotel
Housed inside a turn-of-the-century tobacco warehouse, the Lancaster Arts Hotel has rustic exposed-brick walls and rough wooden beams throughout. A member of the Historic Hotels of America, the building features an art gallery on the first floor, displaying work by Pennsylvania artists and others. Guests will find original artwork in each of the rooms and suites, too, along with locally handcrafted furniture.
- Press shout-outs: HarrisburgPA.com praised the hotel for drawing out guests’ inner artists by giving them sketchbooks and pencils and then uploading the drawings onto the hotel’s Facebook page.
- Onsite dining: Chefs at John J. Jeffries buy organic fruits and veggies, artisanal cheeses, and hormone-free meats from farms within a 25-mile radius of the hotel to craft the restaurant’s seasonal menus.
- Interesting cocktails: Try the Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby!, a blend of Bulleit bourbon, organic grapefruit juice, grapefruit bitters, and local honey and rosemary.
- Work up a sweat in the onsite fitness center or across the street at the YMCA.
- In-room amenities: wine refrigerators and iPod docking stations
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. The Lancaster Quilt & Textile Museum houses more than 3,700 artifacts, including a number of antique Amish quilts. The building itself is a Beaux Arts gem previously used as a bank.
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.