I often hear this question from my readers who are eager to experience Amish country for themselves. But since this tourism-centric area offers such a wide variety of lodging options, it’s sometimes hard to choose between them. That’s why I always say you should start by defining the type of experience you have in mind for your trip.
For example, if your visit is all about going and doing—dining, shopping, checking out tourists sites and activities, taking in the gorgeous scenery, buying Amish-made goods, seeing real Amish farms, and more—then perhaps location should be your priority. Choose a nice hotel, motel, B&B, or campground in a central area such as Strasburg or Bird-in-Hand, priced to fit your budget.
If your trip will be focused more on relaxation and retreat—experiencing the peace and quiet of the countryside, enjoying massages or spa treatments, taking in a show, playing golf or tennis—your choice should probably be more about the facility itself and its amenities. Consider a resort, such as Willow Valley, or a luxury bed and breakfast, like the Inn & Spa at Intercourse Village.
Seeking a more hands-on experience? You won’t be disappointed as there are about 25 different options for farm stays in Lancaster County. Though most are Englisch owned, there are a few Amish ones as well.
Thus, if you’re looking for a trip that’s truly Amish-centric, consider staying on an Amish farm, such as the Pond View in Strasburg. Not to fear, guest accommodations on Amish farms usually do come with electricity—though don’t expect to find in-room telephones, televisions, or internet.
An Amish farm stay was the option we chose when my co-author of The Men of Lancaster County series, Susan Meissner, came out recently for a research trip. Staying on an Amish farm allowed us to enjoy the ambiance and atmosphere of the “real thing” while also giving us the opportunity to tour the entire place with the owners and get answers to our many questions.
If you still want a real Amish experience, but that feels a little too up close and personal, another option would be to stay in a regular B&B, but be sure to choose one where the owner can arrange for you to dine in a local Amish home—a wonderful experience you won’t soon forget. Many locally-owned inns offer this service; just make sure to inquire before you lock in your reservation.
Bottom line, whatever your travel goals, there’s somewhere perfect for you to stay in Lancaster County.
Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of the inspirational Million Dollar Mysteries, the Smart Chick Mysteries, and three standalone mysteries, as well as the nonfiction books The House That Cleans Itself and A Pocket Guide to Amish Life. Her latest book is The Amish Groom, written with Susan Meissner. It is the first installment in The Men of Lancaster County series.
Mindy is also the author of numerous plays and musicals which have been performed all over the United States. She has written textbooks, articles, short stories, and more than 75 computer software manuals.
A former singer and stand-up comedian, Mindy lives with her husband and two teenage daughters near Valley Forge, PA. She enjoys speaking to churches, civic groups, and libraries across the country. Her unique blend of humor and insight make her an audience favorite.
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Purchase Mindy’s books here.