Welcome to the Village of Intercourse, Pennsylvania
Many people consider Intercourse, PA the heart of the Amish Country. Intercourse is a hub where many Amish and local folks do their business. It is also one of the top tourism destinations for visitors to Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
Beautiful Amish farms surround the village, which is located along Old Philadelphia Pike (Route 340) in Eastern Lancaster County. Intercourse is just east of Bird-in-Hand and north of Paradise, and is close to many Lancaster County attractions. The village is a reminder of our traditional American heritage and of a simpler way of life.
Take a walk around this small country town and you’ll discover intriguing specialty shops, museums, art galleries, and local restaurants. And there are many more shops and attractions just outside of town. (See below.)
- Things To Do in Intercourse
- Intercourse Restaurants
- Shops in Intercourse
- Where to Stay in Intercourse
Intercourse PA is a Center of Amish Activity
One of the biggest attractions of Intercourse is the Amish people themselves. Intercourse is a center where many Amish come to shop, bank, and conduct their business. And many of the shops in town sell Amish quilts, furniture, and other Amish products that have been handmade by their Amish neighbors.
Some of the scenes from the Paramount motion picture “Witness”, starring Harrison Ford, were filmed right here in Intercourse.
How Intercourse Got Its Name
Formerly known as “Cross Keys”, this village was founded in 1754. The name was changed to Intercourse in 1814. There are several explanations concerning the origin of the name of Intercourse, but none can be fully substantiated. The first centers on an old race track which existed just east of town along the Old Philadelphia Pike. The entrance to the race course was known as “Entercourse”. Some suggest that “Entercourse” gradually evolved into “Intercourse”.
Another theory is based on the fact that two major roads crossed here: Old King’s Highway, which ran from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh (now called the Old Philadelphia Pike, route 340), and the road from Wilmington, Delaware to Erie, Pennsylvania. The intersection of these roads was thought to be the basis for calling the town “Cross Keys”, or, eventually, “Intercourse”.
A final idea comes from English used in the early 1800’s. The word “intercourse” would have been a reference to the fellowship, social interaction and friendship that was so much a part of the culture in an agricultural village. These roots mark the community of faith to this day, still experienced by those who care to dig a bit more deeply while visiting the area.
Come & Enjoy Your Visit to Intercourse
Intercourse is a fascinating village full of delightful treasures, friendly shopkeepers, and quality food and merchandise, nestled in the scenic Amish Country. For visitors of any age, there’s plenty to do here. Enjoy your visit!