Explore Lancaster

F&M's extraordinary home city is an urban oasis. Lancaster, PA offers a rich mixture of arts and culture filled with experiences for every taste and preference — all within safe walking distance of campus.

Lancaster Is One of the Best Places to Live In 2024

Money.com featured F&M's home city of Lancaster, PA as one of the best places to live in the U.S. in 2024. See why they said Lancaster "combines many of the draws of a big city but with the charm (and cost of living) of a small town."

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Video by Andrew Bilindabagabo

CURB: Explore Lancaster

Class of 2028 Pre-Arrival Program

Ready to discover all the wonderful things Lancaster has to offer? The campus-urban-rural-broader (CURB) pre-arrival program takes place August 20-22, prior to new student orientation on August 23. Learn more about this exciting opportunity to arrive on campus early and get to know your home for the next four years.

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Where History and Culture Live Side by Side

Lancaster is a thriving city of nearly 60,000 residents with a rich history. In 1730, Lancaster was designated a market town, or a town in a rural area with a regular market.

Lancaster’s rich history is prevalent everywhere you look. In the heart of the city is Central Market, built in 1730 and the oldest continuously operating farmers markets in the U.S. Here, you can glimpse Amish businesses operating alongside modern-day industries. Less than a mile from F&M is the Fulton Theatre House, built in 1852 and a National Historic Landmark. Some of the brightest stars of theatre, music and film have appeared on the Fulton stage, including Mark Twain, Lionel Barrymore, Louis Armstrong, W.C. Fields, and Lancaster’s own Jonathan Groff. Lancaster is also home to a distinctive collection of historic buildings, with many diverse architectural styles dating back to the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s.

One City; Myriad Cultures

Lancaster is a global village with a vibrant culture. Students in the School District of Lancaster speak more than 30 languages, reflective of the many nationalities represented within city borders alone.

This broad diversity is reflected on F&M’s campus. The College is home to more than 100 student organizations, including ethnic and lifestyle clubs, political advocacy groups, religious organizations, service groups, and other special interest clubs — all of which open their doors to any student interested in learning about new cultures, customs and cuisine.

A Lively Arts Scene

At the heart of Lancaster’s arts scene is Gallery Row, a three-block cluster of art galleries less than two miles from campus. Wander a little farther and you’re sure to bump into one of Lancaster’s public art installations or murals, several of which were created by F&M alumni and staff artists. On the first Friday of every month, step off campus and find a city abuzz as 90-plus art galleries, museums, shops and restaurants extend their hours into the evening.

I love how Lancaster has evolved. It's exciting to see so many murals pop up, more access to the arts, more restaurants and cafes.”

— Salina Almanzar ’13

And We're Just Getting Started

No matter where you turn, Lancaster is full of extraordinary opportunities for your F&M education and is ultimately an incredible place to call home. 

  • Grab a bite from one of Lancaster’s more than 100 restaurants, cafes and eateries featuring food fromaround the world. Many restaurants source from nearby farms to create fresh farm-to-table dishes.
  • Cheer on the Lancaster Stormers at Clipper Magazine Stadium, a 10-minute walk from campus.
  • Catch a show at one of Lancaster’s theatre and music venues.
  • Freshen up your wardrobe with a shopping excursion to Lancaster’s many boutiques and stores.
  • See the latest independent film or blockbuster at one of Lancaster’s nearby movie theaters.

“It is safe to say that my time at F&M would not have been the same without the city of Lancaster.”

"Lancaster has provided me with some incredible opportunities and cultural entertainment. It is so nice to have the city right next to the college." — Lara Gillingham ’23

Living & Learning in Lancaster

From hands-on research to resume-enhancing internships, discover how we offer our students a variety of opportunities to live and learn in this vibrant city.

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Plan Your Visit

Take Your First Look at Campus

Ready to explore F&M? We can’t wait to meet you! From campus tours to virtual interviews, learn more about the variety of options to tailor your F&M visit.

Getting to Campus

Lancaster’s location offers easy access to major metropolitan areas. With an Amtrak train station just two miles from campus, you can ride the rails toward an exciting day in New York City or Philadelphia with your friends. Or, hop on the highway and reach major cities and airports in just a couple of hours.

Explore F&M Students' Favorite Spots in Lancaster

Check out this list of places to visit, curated by our very own students! These suggestions are just the start — all are a short walk off-campus.

F&M in Lancaster

April 15, 2024

Class of 2028 Explores F&M at Admitted Student Weekend

934 visitors attended Franklin & Marshall's annual Admitted Student Weekend, held April 12-13.

April 9, 2024

Campus Celebrates Solar Eclipse

It’s not every day you catch a cosmic phenomenon between classes. F&M students did just that Monday, witnessing the country’s last total solar eclipse until 2044.

April 9, 2024

Visiting F&M? Top 5 Things to See this Spring

Exploring F&M for the first time this spring? Make the most of your visit with this quick list of things to do during a one-day visit to Lancaster.