We recently spent a week in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, at one of our all-time favorite campgrounds— Beacon Hill Campground. This is a small campground, just north of Route 340, that accommodates rigs of all sizes. With views of Amish farmland and the town of Intercourse, it is a great place to relax and unwind. While it doesn’t have a pool, it does have nice laundry facilities. There is no cable and the WiFi isn’t the strongest, but that just makes for the perfect place to go if you want to unplug! The sounds of the clip-clopping of horses pulling buggies; chickens, cows, and horses making their presence known; and the occasional hot air balloon floating above, are so relaxing. This is, however, a campground for guests age 16 years and older, so it’s not a place to come with the kiddos.
When we come here, we always frequent the same locations (which I’ve listed below.) So, for this trip, we decided to try something new.
Since our 34th anniversary, we checked out the Bird-in-Hand Restaurant, as well as the stage production of Stolen, The Musical, on stage at the Bird-in-Hand Theater. Our buffet dinner was delicious, and as with most buffets, we ate more than we should have! From the salad bar to the Amish meats, sides, and of course, desserts, everything was delicious.
The theater was set up in one of the large conference rooms on the lower level, with seating for over 100 people. Based on the Daughters of Lancaster County book series by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Stolen tells the story of how an Amish baby was literally stolen from the park, and how the original detective on the case botched the initial investigation. Years later, he is given the chance to redeem himself and find the missing child. Though the description may not sound like it, it was a comedy! If you ever get a chance to see a small-town production wherever you are, please do. There are great actors all over the country, not just in New York and LA!
Sunday, we drove to Strasburg, where the Pennsylvania Train Museum is located. We were there with our children years ago and highly recommend it. Since our goal was to go where we hadn’t gone before, we went down the street to the Choo Choo Barn Traintown U.S.A. We had absolutely no idea what this was, other than knowing it was something about model trains. After paying $8.50/person, we went behind the curtain and were surprised at the vast model train display in front of us!
As we walked around the perimeter of the room, we saw Lancaster County laid out before us in miniature form. For over 70 years, the Groff family has been operating the Choo Choo Barn. Second-generation owner, Tom Groff, designs and adds new scenes every year.
From local landmarks like Dutch Wonderland, The Strasburg Rail Road, and even a Turkey Hill Minit Market, to the fire scene with real squirting water, an Amish barn-raising, and a 3-ring circus under the big top, we couldn’t possibly see everything in one visit. Believe me, we tried! This is truly a must-do when in Lancaster County!
One of the great things about traveling the country in an RV is meeting up with people from our past. Monday evening, we met one of Mike’s co-workers from a few years ago at another one of our favorite places, The Lyndon City Diner, in Lancaster. It was a pleasure catching up with Ruth, and we’ll try to meet up with her again the next time we’re in the area.
The rest of our time was been spent working (with me finishing my 4th manuscript!) and visiting our other favorite locations. Here they are, with links to their websites:
Places we recommend:
- Kitchen Kettle Village – The Jam and Relish Kitchen is the place to go to sample the enormous amount of jams, jellies, salsas, and relishes made on the premises. Our favorite is the peach salsa.
- Intercourse Bike Works – Buy a bike from them or rent one to ride around the countryside. They also do bike tours through the Amish countryside.
- Sweet Shenanigans Cupcakery – Located right down the sidewalk from BikeWorks, Meghan uses fresh ingredients and unique flavors to create cupcakes with names like Fireball, Strawberry Shortcake, Shoo-fly, and many others that are listed on her website.
- Stoltzfus Meats – Excellent meat shop and deli. We stock up on prepackaged sausage links, marinated chicken and pork.
- Lapp Dairy Farm – Ride your bike here for delicious ice cream made from farm-fresh milk. They also sell milk, butter, and other dairy items.
Quilting Fabric Shops (I have found these are all great shops and in close proximity to each other)
I know there are others, but these are the ones I particularly like, and they all have websites for on-line ordering.
If you’re still not convinced that you need to make a trip to Lancaster County, I assure you, I’ve only covered a portion of what’s here! Here’s a link to my blog from last year’s visit Riding Along in Lancaster County.
Jennifer Skinnell is the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon. Check out her Amazon Page for all the details.