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Travel Guide: Lancaster PA for Time Travelers

Lancaster, PA

Just a couple hours from New York City, and Washington DC and about 80 miles outside of Philadelphia sits a little city with big weekend wanderlust potential. Although mentioning Lancaster Pennsylvania in a bigger city often conjures up images of horse drawn buggies and open farm lands, The City of Lancaster reaps the benefits of a rich agriculture, thriving arts scene, and has experienced a boom in culture, music, restaurants, and small businesses. 

Video Travel Guide

For this Lancaster Itinerary, we’ll meet you downtown at the intersection of the past and the future. We’ll take in some of the historic downtown, and appreciate a vintage vibe and throwback aesthetic in a forward moving community. 

So start up the car, hop on a train or a plane…or, if you’re local like we are, this adventure is waiting right outside your front door. 

Timeless Eats

For your first stop, we suggest grabbing brunch in the coolest throwback diner around- Max’s Eatery.

Brunch: Max’s Eatery

Comfort food and throwback favorites with a distinctively new feel results in food you can sink your teeth into and a truly welcoming vibe celebrating a New Americana. If you’re lucky enough to have Christina as a server or Austin behind the bar…you’re lucky enough! They’re the greatest!

For us, the milkshakes are a must. All varieties come in junior varsity (no alcohol) and Varsity. The boozy dirty chai shake with cinnamon toast crunch topping was a winner for the grownups! The maple bourbon bacon was a close second, and the kids thought the PB shake was banging.

As for food, the tater tots are a must, be sure to keep your ears perked in case your server tells you about a secret menu item of the day and if you’ve never had Chicken and Waffles, welcome to Lancaster! 

Time travel Adventure

Uncharted Lancaster Sons Of Liberty Tour

One of the many things we love about Lancaster is the historic downtown. Like most cities, Lancaster has a rich heritage some of which we are really proud of and other parts that are worth recognizing and learning from.  There are so many places in the city that have been preserved throughout history that might go unnoticed if you’re rushing off to work or running to market.

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I love looking into historic tours when I visit someplace new but when it comes to exploring the history of home, our go to is Uncharted Lancaster and his many historic adventures that send explorers traveling back in time to learn about the history of this area through mini adventures and treasure hunts. You can request your start to the Sons of Liberty Tour at the Takeout window for Max’s. $17.50 buys your adventure pack. You’ll get a code to begin the online tour, a map, and a free ice cream 🙂

Vintage Shopping

After History and brunch, we’re ready for some treasure hunting of another kind. Lancaster is full of vintage and retro shopping options and …. I love that it’s a new experience every time and you never know what you’ll find!

Some of our suggestions for Vintage Vibe shopping:

Thoughtfully curated objects for the curious collector.

A Day In The Life Records prides itself on offering a well curated inventory of new and used Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Books and many other music related items for sale.  When you visit our shop you’ll discover an impressive and ever-changing catalog of releases and formats, covering many styles of music and sound.  From standard titles that should grace any collection, to the most rare and obscure, and everything in-between.  

Handmade . Vintage . Happy

Offering a little bit of everything, our selection includes a variety of vintage clothing, accessories, home decor, and much more.

Lancaster’s Most Irreverent Store!

Curated vintage for the modern world from The DeVoe’s.

We are suppliers of heritage inspired goods & timeless artifacts that promote intentional living for today’s gentlemen.

BUiLDiNG CHARACTER is Downtown Lancaster’s largest retail destination and our mission is simple: offer vintage, recycled and handmade goods at great prices. Inventory at our 70+ independent shops changes quickly, so it’s best to stop in often.

Where to Stay

The Hideaway AirBnB

If you’re coming from out of town for this adventure, or looking to really embrace the Vintage Vibes of the little city, we suggest booking The HideAway through airbnb. The hideaway is located within walking distance of all our itinerary stops in the heart of the city. This place takes vintage vibes to new levels of class and sophistication AND, our favorite part is the mystery to solve and hidden features on the lower level that fits this vintage vibe itinerary brilliantly . 

This fun, unique, stylish city home was built in 1890 and features original wood floors, vintage accent furniture from London, a 4K Smart TV, internet access, a completely remodeled kitchen with new appliances.The Hideaway features custom murals, private balcony with incredible view of the city, two master bedrooms, a loft hammock, spa like bathroom, a bonus secret Hideaway room, solve the riddles to get the entry code.

Speakeasy For Dinner & Drinks

Our last recommended stop is an all time favorite – Lancaster’s own speakeasy hidden in plain sight on King Street…

Conway Social Club

Make sure you decode the secret message in this blog post for the secret knock to gain entrance (just kidding, any knock will get you access..but we do like to tell friends and strangers we meet outside that there’s a secret knock..it’s just more fun that way!) Once you’re inside, the dreamiest cocktail and dinner experience is yours for the taking. The golden canary is a showstopper, but trust us that the Peas and Thank You and Nightstick are not to be missed! Every inch of Conway Social Club is swoon-worthy! At the time of this post, the winter menu was newly released and our standout favorites were the French Toast (pan brioche, whipped ricotta, pears, honey) Farinata, Spicy Fish, and tiramisu for dessert. 

Into the Future

In a city that is always moving forward, it’s fun to slow time a bit and celebrate the timeless charm and new additions to one of the oldest inland towns in the United States- Lancaster, PA. 

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