Let's Explore Lancaster!

"What would you do if you had 36 hours to spend in Lancaster?"

That's the question we asked the staff of our Admission and Financial Aid offices, and they were more than happy to answer.

If you and your family find yourself with a little extra time to explore the area after you visit campus, here are some culinary and cultural suggestions. Happy visiting!

  • Definitely drop by Lancaster Central Market, a historic farmers market in downtown Lancaster. It is the oldest, continuously operating farmers market in the United States and features 70 purveyors of specialty foods, meats, produce and baked goods. Note: the market is open Tuesday and Friday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Travel Route 340, also known as Old Philadelphia Pike. You will see many rural farms, farm stands and simply beautiful scenery on your way to Kitchen Kettle Village, home to an array of quaint shops, good food and live entertainment.

  • Take a tour of the historic Demuth Museum, the original home of renowned American modernist painter Charles Demuth. Demuth was a Lancaster native and a graduate of Franklin & Marshall. The museum features many of Demuth’s original works, including his famous self portrait and other paintings inspired by his own gardens. Admission is free! Tip: Take a walk around the back of the museum to explore Demuth’s enchanting secret garden!
  • You absolutely must visit the charming Chestnut Hill Cafe on a Sunday and enjoy the best tomato bisque soup/grilled cheese combo out there while groovin' to some live music by local artists.
  • Gallery Row on a First Friday in downtown Lancaster Gallery Row on a First Friday in downtown Lancaster
  • If you're an art lover, be sure to stroll Gallery Row, a four-block stretch of art galleries along Prince Street in downtown Lancaster. If you're lucky enough to be in town on the First Friday of the month, the artisans and shopkeepers throw their doors open late, and live music abounds.

  • Try the fun and challenging corn maze at Cherry Crest Farm. Find your way to the end by tracking clues. If you get stuck, you can always wave the white flag and get "rescued" by a maze ranger.
  • Check out an eatery truly unique to Lancaster County: Good 'N Plenty Restaurant (3470 Old Eastbrook Road) in Smoketown. Enjoy home cooking while sitting at long tables with other people from all over the United States. The meals are served family style and feature staples such as fresh-baked bread with apple  butter, fried chicken and homemade ice cream.
  • The hidden gems of southern Lancaster County include many beautiful meandering trails of varying degrees of distance and difficulty. A favorite spot is Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve, where you can leisurely walk a quiet trail that follows the gentle Tucquan Creek to the Susquehanna River. 
  • Take the scenic drive to Tucquan Glen, walk the trail, and on your way back to town, stop for fresh veggies at the Corn Wagon, where you won’t find a better taste of Lancaster.
  • The Lancaster Barnstormers at Clipper Magazine Stadium The Lancaster Barnstormers at Clipper Magazine Stadium
  • Love America’s favorite pastime?  Check out the Lancaster Barnstormers at Clipper Magazine Stadium (650 N. Prince St., about 3 blocks northeast of campus). The Barnstormers compete in the independent Atlantic League against teams such as the Bridgeport Bluefish and Long Island Ducks. Clipper Magazine Stadium is a beautiful ballpark with fun for the whole family.  There's even a playground.
  • Visit the Lancaster Historical Society (at nearby 230 N. President Ave.) and tour Wheatland, home of President James Buchanan, our country’s 15th president. When you are finished with the tour, visit the Museum Store and grab a souvenir.
  • For a flavor of Lancaster, be sure to visit Olde Heritage Homemade Rootbeer and Gift Shop off Route 340 in Ronks.  Look for the hand-painted sign at the end of the dirt driveway and follow the road to the back kitchen entrance of an Amish family farm. You don't even need to get out of the car. The staff will bring out the root beer in a glass jug, the kind with the thumb loop that you operate by slinging it back over your forearm. As a bonus, you get to keep the jug.
  • Strasburg Railroad Museum Strasburg Railroad Museum
  • A family favorite is the Strasburg Railroad. The train ride cuts through the heart of Amish country. For anyone who would like to get off the highway and and see Lancaster County from a more scenic perspective, this is a must. And no trip to Strasburg would be complete without a stop for ice cream at the Strasburg Creamery. You can also get chocolate, fudge, popcorn and locally produced jams, jellies and canned goods there.  
  • Drive North on Route 501 about 10 miles to the throwback town of Lititz, the Coolest Small Town in America. Park your car and take a stroll down beautiful Main Street. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery (the oldest in the U.S. where you can twist your own pretzel) and Wilbur Chocolate Museum & Factory Store, where you can sample the famous Wilbur Buds.
  • Looking to do a little shopping, hear some music or check out the art scene? Tellus 360 is a live music venue, pub and art gallery all wrapped into one. Located at 24 E. King St. in the heart of the city, Tellus 360 is one of Downtown Lancaster’s most unique spots. Sit down at one of Tellus 360’s family-style tables, enjoy some Irish pub-style food and enjoy the show. 

Lancaster Bucket List on Pinterest

Whatever your reason for visiting Franklin & Marshall College, these are some unique Central Pennsylvania experiences to add to your agenda.   

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Discover Lancaster, Pa.

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