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Nestled in the heart of Lancaster County is the region colloquially known as Amish country, where residents’ lives and work are steeped in deep-rooted traditions and a simple lifestyle that feels both timeless and welcoming.
Appropriately, it’s all possible to visit without using a car.
These photos document a 48-hour journey from Philadelphia to Amish Country, capturing the adventure of enjoying a local inn, trips on a buggy ride through farms, a corn maze shaped like a hot air balloon, local markets, and lots of handmade goodies.
The Amtrak train to Lancaster takes just 55 minutes from Philly’s 30th Street Station, landing you in Lancaster city. There’s plenty of opportunity to shop and dine before a quick 20-minute rideshare to Amish country.
Centrally-located Bird-in-Hand, Pa., is home to around 400 residents, and has almost no stop lights (also, no pedestrian crosswalks). The quaint village is situated on Old Philadelphia Pike (Route 340). It’s just west of Intercourse, Pa., with Paradise, Pa., accessible to the south.
Accommodations at the Bird-in-Hand Village Inn and Suites speak to the rich history of this locale. Legend has it that the village and the inn got their name in 1734 after two men surveying the local highway found a crude log inn near a Conestoga wagon stop and decided “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” since they needed a place to stay for the night.
Built by William McNabb, the inn became known as “The Bird-in-Hand,” and the village had a name. Destroyed by a fire in 1852, the inn was promptly rebuilt and still exudes its original charm with unique details in each of its rooms. Owned by the Smucker family since 1911, Bird-in-Hand Village Inn & Suites stands on the site of the original tavern.
When you visit, this tiny destination has plenty of dining, outdoor activities, rustic shopping, and lots to explore.
Step inside the unique world of “triple houses,” where generations live together, fostering close-knit family bonds. Meet Jake, a former Amish guide, and his trusty steed, Duke, as they effortlessly navigate the haptic Old Philadelphia Pike. Don’t miss indulging in the delectable offerings of the Bird-in-Hand Bakery and Cafe, from “kiddie” sized peach ice cream scoops to hefty, shareable “Long John” donuts, and gluten-free options, too. And discover the dedication of Amish farmers as they cultivate soy and corn on their land, sustaining their self-sufficient lifestyle.
Scroll to view photos that showcase this unique section of Pennsylvania.