Share This Page

Road Trip Destination: Lancaster, Pa.

| Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, 8:48 p.m.
Lancaster, Pa., is Amish country and horse and buggy scenes like this one are common. padutchcountry.com
Lancaster is a major center of Amish population in Pennsylvania, where the horse and buggy is a common sight. The Amish population is shrinking in Pennsylvania., however, though it is growing rapidly in other parts of the country.
Christiana Underground Railroad Center provides fascinating evidence of the resistance during the Civil War, bibliographies and other artifacts preserved through the collective efforts of local historians. Christiana Underground Railroad Center
Christiana Underground Railroad Center provides fascinating evidence of the resistance during the Civil War, bibliographies and other artifacts preserved through the collective efforts of local historians. Christiana Underground Railroad Center
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is Pennsylvania’s premier museum of railroading features a world-class collection of more than 100 historic locomotives and vintage railroad cars. www.rrmuseumpa.org
The Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre blends the excitement of musicals and live-stage performance with top-flight cuisine. The theatre presented The Unsinkable Molly Brown. www.dutchapple.com
The Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre blends the excitement of musicals and live-stage performance with top-flight cuisine. The theatre presented the Wizard of Oz. www.dutchapple.com
The Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster, Pa., was featured in some behind the scenes shots for a series of Lancaster County Originals videos. Brian T. Evans
Lancaster, Pa., is Amish country. A young boy bails hay. padutchcountry.com
Lancaster Symphony Orchestra presents 24 classic concerts, a “Sounds of the Season” holiday program, a New Year’s Celebration and a patriotic concert yearly. Lancaster Symphony Orchestra
Lancaster Symphony Orchestra presents 24 classic concerts, a “Sounds of the Season” holiday program, a New Year’s Celebration and a patriotic concert yearly. Lancaster Symphony Orchestra
American Music Theatre's annual Christmas extravaganza is a popular show in Lancaster, Pa. This is a scene from the 2011 show. American Music Theatre

Fall is here, and winter's not too far behind, but to hear some in Dutch Country tell the story, this could be a perfect time to head to Lancaster County, Pa.

Yes, tourist foot traffic is heavier in the warmer months; the lion's share of the about 11 million visitors who come to Lancaster County each year to sample roadside stands and take tours that show off the quaintness of Amish country do so between March and September.

But don't think the area shuts down while people are bundling up. This is the time to catch a glimpse of gorgeous landscapes, autumn events and stunning, novel-inspiring covered bridges at their most picturesque.

“People are drawn to the natural beauty of the area,” says Joel Cliff, of the PA Dutch Country Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Sure, we get stronger numbers in the summer. But our fall is a great time to visit. The holiday traditions all around the country started here.”

More than 22,000 people work in the county's $1.8 billion tourism economy, making it the area's second-largest industry behind agriculture. The area known worldwide for its ties to the German and Amish cultures shows in chillier months that it offers much more.

The Fulton Theatre (www.thefulton.org) in downtown Lancaster, marks its 160th anniversary this year. The theater, which hosts a variety of plays and musicals, is just one in a line of indoor cultural venues in Lancaster County that are rolling out welcome mats to kick off their 2012-13 seasons. Its next production is “Singin' in the Rain,” from Nov. 28 to Dec. 29.

Chris Ramirez is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at cramirez@tribweb.com or 412-380-5682.

Christiana Underground Railroad Center

A self-guided museum, at Historic Zercher's Hotel on Green Street, Christiana provides evidence of the resistance during the Civil War, through bibliographies and other artifacts preserved through the collective efforts of local historians.

The museum is recognized by the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Interior's Underground Railroad Network.

Details: 610-593-5340; www.zerchershotel.com

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

At the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, the power of trains, and the steam and coal engines that move them take you to another level of excitement.

Visitors can take the throttle in an authentic freight locomotive cab, explore a caboose, experience a turn-of-the-20th-century passenger station and inspect a 62-ton locomotive from underneath. Pennsylvania's premier museum of railroading features a world-class collection of more than 100 historic locomotives and vintage railroad cars, the innovative and interactive Stewart Junction railway education center, and a working restoration shop.

Special events and exhibits run throughout the year, including Polar Express parties in December.

Details: 717-0687-8628; www.rrmuseumpa.org

American Music Theatre

The 1,600-seat theater hosts more than 300 live performances a year, from Broadway tours to rock legends to famous comedians to today's hottest acts. It opened in 1997, and has hosted acclaimed original shows and one-of-a-kind Christmas extravaganzas in Lancaster.

Details: 800-648-4102; www.amtshows.com

Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

In its 26th year, the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre blends the excitement of musicals and live-stage performances with top-flight cuisine.

Located on Centerville Road in Lancaster, the 380-seat theater hosts 150,000 guests each year, and is set to premiere “The Rat Pack Lounge,” paying homage to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. from December to early February.

Details: 717-898-1900; www.dutchapple.com

Lancaster Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1947 by Frederic S. Klein and John H. Peifer, the orchestra is entering its 64th season. The 70-member professional orchestra has been under the musical direction of Stephen Gunzenhauser since 1979. It presents 24 classic concerts, a “Sounds of the Season” holiday program, a New Year's Celebration and a yearly patriotic concert.

Details: 717-291-6440; www.lancastersymphony.org

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.