Last week I shared our experience at the Lancaster DoubleTree Resort with you. In addition to the usual amenities (pool, fitness room, etc), this hotel offers a unique (FREE) bus tour of Amish Country. Available each Saturday at 9 am and 12 pm on a first-come-first-served basis, this 3 hour bus tour will not only make stops at several notable tourist attractions, but the bus driver provide travelers with an amazing amount of history and factual information regarding the Amish and their way of life.
We hopped on the noon tour during our stay at the DoubleTree. Living within a couple hours of Lancaster, we really didn’t know what to expect. We have visited Lancaster plenty of times. We have see the horse and buggies, we have passed the farms that clearly have NO electricity. We have even watched the Amish tend to their fields using a horse and plow in place of a John Deere. But when it comes to basic Amish knowledge, we were at a loss. How did their philosophies form? What is daily life like? WHY do they refrain from internet, smartphones and all things I shudder to think of living without? (Don’t you love it when my inner history geek comes out?)
We learned all of that and more during our tour.
We also had the chance to stop at some really neat places.
Stop #1 was to Kitchen Kettle Village – lots of shops, yummy treats and even a petting zoo. Lily Bean was thrilled to take a spin around the paddock on a cute pony.
Stop #2 was to Hayloft Candles. We enjoyed a quick poke around their huge gift shop/candle factory (noting that there were way too many breakable items for Lily Bean to enjoy any freedom around!). Then it was outside for a wander – there was a nice pond with some animals (petting zoo) you could look at… Lily preferred to ham it up on the bridge instead of looking at the animals.
Our third and final stop was to Kauffman’s Fruit Farm and Market. They had a great little gift shop that, among other things, sold authentic Amish Quilts and fresh-baked treats. We were sure to try some of their homemade soft pretzels – they were warm and absolutely DELICIOUS!
I just realized that I did not take any pictures at Kauffman’s. Forgive me. This is clearly because we were too busy stuffing our faces with fresh pretzels.
Bus tour – well worth it. We learned so much, saw some great sites and walked away feeling like we had an amazing lesson in Amish history and tradition.
We were able to take this free tour thanks to our stay at the DoubleTree Resort. The DoubleTree Resort provided us with complimentary lodging in exchange for a candid review of their facilities. We were not required to share any of our soft pretzels or kettle corn with anyone. ANYONE.