Historical & Educational Sites in Lancaster, PA

Civil War Reenactors At Landis Valley Museum - Lancaster, Pa

Come Explore Lancaster’s History & Heritage

Lancaster, Pennsylvania has an interesting history dating back to the 1700’s. Educational opportunities await students and adults alike who want to learn more about the history and culture of early American life.

Amish, Mennonite, Brethren, and other religious groups sought freedom from persecution in Europe and came to this country. Many settled in what would eventually become Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. To this day, Lancaster County is still known as the Amish Country. The oldest surviving homestead in Lancaster County dates back to 1719.

During colonial times Lancaster was the largest inland city in America. Lancaster even served as the nation’s capital for one day during the Revolutionary War when British forces threatened the colonial capital of Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania Long Rifle, later known as the Kentucky Rifle, was first produced here in Lancaster County in the early 1700’s. The Conestoga Wagon Was also first developed in Lancaster County to haul cargo eastward to Philadelphia and often in wagon trains across the Appalachian Mountains to Pittsburgh and Ohio. Prominent Lancastrians included Robert Fulton, the developer of the steamboat, Thaddeus Stevens, a prominent member of Congress during the Civil War, and and former President James Buchanan.

  • Amish Attractions – Lancaster County includes the largest Amish settlement in the world. Come explore the fascinating history, faith, and culture of our Amish neighbors.
  • Covered Bridges – once popular across rural America, there are still 28 covered bridges in Lancaster County, more than anywhere else.
  • Factory Tours – You can enjoy some fascinating factory tours here from food manufacturers, furniture and motorcycle manufacturing, and full-size railroad engine repairs.
  • Farmers Markets – Enjoy fresh baked goods, farm-fresh produce, cheese and meats, and unique gifts from a number of local farmers markets, including the oldest continually operating farmers market in the country.
  • Field Trips – A number of local destinations offer unique field trip opportunities to young people.
  • Historic Sites – Tour fascinating historic sites and historic homes, some dating back to the 1700’s.
  • Museums – Numerous museums are located here as well as a couple children’s museums which are loved by kids.
  • Railroad Attractions – Lancaster is home to intricate model train museums and an historic train museum. You can even climb aboard a train pulled by a historic steam engine or by a replica of Thomas the Tank.
  • Tours – Enjoy fascinating guided tours of this peaceful, beautiful countryside. You can even take a tour aboard an  Amish buggy or take a walking tour of historic downtown Lancaster.

Educational Opportunities Await You in Lancaster, PA

Learn About Lancaster’s Fascinating Heritage 

Harrisburg, Lincoln, & Lancaster Railroad

Harrisburg, Lincoln, & Lancaster Railroad

Enjoy a nostalgic train ride on our 1800’s era steam train which is the only replica of the Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train that traversed through Stone Gables Estate in 1865. Featuring an ALL NEW Engine House and Lincoln Museum Experience! Also visit the historic Star Barn Village and the Ironstone Ranch.

Visit Website

Historic Rock Ford

Historic Rock Ford

Historic Rock Ford is the 33 acre estate of Revolutionary War General Edward Hand. It offers guided tours of the circa 1794 Hand Mansion as well as the opportunity to visit the John J. Snyder, Jr. Gallery of Early Lancaster County Decorative Arts located in a re-constructed 18th century barn.

Visit Website

Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery

Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery

The Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, founded in 1861, is the first commercial pretzel bakery in America; and the Sturgis Family is the oldest pretzel baking family in America. Register online for a tour and learn how Sturgis’ old fashioned recipes and methods were established and how they’re still used today!

Visit Website

Lancaster Museum of Art

Lancaster Museum of Art

The Lancaster Museum of Art supports local and regional artists with community-focused exhibitions and provides a facility for national traveling exhibitions. Established in 1965 by a group of artists and community leaders, the museum works to serve a diverse community and inspire a new generation of creatives. 

Visit Website

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum is a nationally significant living history museum that collects, conserves, exhibits and interprets Pennsylvania German material culture and heritage between 1750-1940. Learn authentic traditional farming, village and industrial life, skilled craft demonstrations, and historical animals and plants. Museum promotes education, research, programs, and events.

Visit Website

Lil’ Country Store & Miniature Horse Farm

Lil’ Country Store & Miniature Horse Farm

Stop in and say Hello to the miniature horses at our Old Order Amish farm just outside Strasburg. They are gentle, friendly, and waiting to be petted. Saddle rides and cart rides are available. Our Lil' Country Store features many Amish hand-crafted products, including framed prints, quillows, birdhouses, and food products.

Visit Website

National Watch & Clock Museum

National Watch & Clock Museum

Learn what makes a clock tick and how watches moved from pockets to wrists. Special exhibits highlight the watchmaking history of Lancaster, from small start-ups to the world-renowned Hamilton Watch Co. Discover the history, art, and technology of timekeeping as told by the largest collection in North America.

Visit Website

Old Windmill Farm – Amish Farm Tours

Old Windmill Farm – Amish Farm Tours

Come experience life on an Amish farm. Milk a cow, feed a calf and the pygmy goats, miniature bull, and miniature chickens. Watch the pot-bellied pigs perform. All ages will enjoy this! Then tour their big garden and sample the fresh produce. Groups are welcome. Learn about Amish life from the Amish.

Visit Website

Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assoc., Inc.

Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assoc., Inc.

The most complete steam and gas shows around. See in operation and display antique tractor pulls, threshing, steam traction and stationary steam engines, large gas engines and hit and miss engines, tractors, construction equipment, our blacksmith shop and sawmill. Visit our model shop, antique car display, ride 2 steam railroads.

Visit Website

Strasburg Rail Road

Strasburg Rail Road

Go sightseeing by train. At America’s oldest short-line railroad, enjoy a 45-minute ride aboard an authentic steam train. Travel through 2,500 acres of breathtaking farmland in beautifully restored first-class, open-air, or coach cars. Plus, dine at the new Café 1832 or enjoy lunch onboard the train, featuring seasonal scratch-made fare from the staff at Café 1832. 

Visit Website

Wolf Sanctuary of PA

Wolf Sanctuary of PA

Wolf Sanctuary of PA offers a lifelong safe haven for displaced wolves and wolf-dogs.  The sanctuary provides quality care and enrichment for the wolves, and has grown into an educational facility, offering guided tours to provide education about wolf conservation and biology.  Visit their website for more information.

Visit Website

Amish Country Homestead & One-Room School

Amish Country Homestead & One-Room School

Tour the only officially designated “Heritage Site” Amish house. Explore the nine rooms as your certified guide unravels the riddles of Amish clothing and life without electricity. Sit at authentic Amish desks in the Fisher One-Room School and learn how eight grades are taught in one room.

Visit Website

Amish Farm and House

Amish Farm and House

Learn about the Amish at our educational farm museum! We offer guided house tours through an old Amish farmhouse and bus tours through beautiful Amish country. Visit our Amish schoolhouse, pet our animals and ride on Amish scooters all on our 15-acre farm.

Visit Website

Amish Village: Tour an Amish House and Village

Amish Village: Tour an Amish House and Village

Experience Lancaster County’s Amish community with 3 tour options at The Amish Village. Enjoy the Farm House & 12-acre Village Tour, 90-min Backroads Bus Tour, or the Premium Package with both tour options. Plus, picnic on our grounds, see a one-room schoolhouse and play with our barnyard animals.

Visit Website

Choo Choo Barn – Traintown U.S.A.

Choo Choo Barn – Traintown U.S.A.

Gigantic model train layout! Our 1,700 square foot train display is home to over 150 hand-created, animated figures and 22 operating model trains. Family-owned since 1961, this work of art is fun for all ages! We are much more than “just trains”! Open daily, Mid-March - December.

Visit Website

Demuth Museum

Demuth Museum

Located in his former home and studio, the Demuth Museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of modernist painter Charles Demuth (1883-1935) and his groundbreaking art through unique exhibitions and educational programs. The museum‘s permanent collection contains over 55 Demuth artworks from throughout the artist‘s career, which rotates on display. 

Visit Website

Come explore the fascinating heritage of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as well as the many interesting museums, historic sites, children’s museums, and more that await you here:

Top
LancasterPA.com