Lancaster Itinerary 5 Days

If you’re planning a trip to Lancaster and looking for the best attractions and things to do, you’ve come to the right place! This comprehensive 5-day itinerary is your ultimate guide to exploring the beautiful city of Lancaster and its must-see destinations. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this travel guide has everything you need to know to make the most of your Lancaster vacation.

From stunning architecture to natural wonders, Lancaster has a lot to offer. With this itinerary, you’ll discover the top attractions, hidden gems, local favorites, and travel tips to help you make the most of your time in the city. Whether you prefer historical landmarks or outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone.

Let’s get started and plan your perfect Lancaster trip with this itinerary!

Day 1: Lancaster City Exploration

Start your Lancaster adventure by exploring the charming city. First, head to the historic Central Market – the oldest continuously running farmers’ market in the US – which is full of local produce, homemade crafts, and delicious treats. While wandering around, don’t miss the chance to try shoofly pie, a classic Lancaster County dessert made with molasses.

Afterward, make your way to the Lancaster County Historical Society, where you can learn about the city’s rich history and culture. Take some time to explore the exhibits and collections, which include over 15 million items related to the region’s past.

Finally, end your day with a delicious Amish meal at one of the local restaurants. Lancaster is famous for its Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, and you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to try some hearty classics like chicken pot pie, sausage and sauerkraut, or apple butter. The Lancaster Central Market offers plenty of tasty options, or you can check out the Good ‘N Plenty Restaurant for a traditional family-style feast.

Lancaster attractions

Here are some other Lancaster attractions you might enjoy:

  • Gallery Row: a stretch of art galleries and boutiques in downtown Lancaster
  • Mennonite Information Center: offers guided tours of Amish farmland and a biblical Tabernacle replica
  • Dutch Wonderland: a family-friendly theme park with rides and attractions for all ages

Day 2: Amish Country Adventure

Looking to experience the rich Amish culture during your Lancaster visit? Day 2 of your itinerary is dedicated to an Amish Country Adventure that will take you on a journey like no other. Get ready to immerse yourself in the Amish way of life and see first-hand what makes Lancaster one of the most popular travel destinations in the United States.

Start your day with a guided tour of an Amish farm and discover how the Amish live and work. You’ll get to see a real-life farm up close and personal, with opportunities to interact with the animals, learn about farming techniques, and experience the Amish way of life.

Next, it’s time to visit the Amish Village, a living museum that showcases the history and culture of the Amish people. You’ll get to walk through a replica of an Amish home and learn about their traditional way of life. Don’t forget to check out the blacksmith shop and the one-room schoolhouse, both of which offer fascinating insight into Amish life.

Lancaster must-see destinations

A trip to Lancaster wouldn’t be complete without a ride on the Strasburg Rail Road, one of the oldest continuously operating railroads in the world. Experience the thrill of steam locomotion as you travel through the scenic Amish countryside and take in the breathtaking views. You’ll also have the opportunity to stop at Groff’s Grove, a beautiful park that’s perfect for a picnic and some relaxation.

Of course, no trip to Amish Country would be complete without sampling some of the homemade Amish treats that Lancaster is famous for. From shoofly pie to whoopie pies, there’s a lot to choose from. Make sure to stop by an Amish bakery or market to pick up some souvenirs and treats to take home with you.

Your Amish Country Adventure is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. Take the time to soak in the culture, history, and unique way of life that define this incredible Lancaster attraction.

Day 3: Outdoor Exploration

On your third day in Lancaster, it’s time to indulge in the beauty of nature. The city is home to many tranquil parks and reserves that will leave you in awe.

Lancaster County Central Park

Start your day with a hike in Lancaster County Central Park, a 544-acre nature reserve. This picturesque park boasts many hiking trails where you can enjoy the fresh air while taking in the stunning scenery.

Lancaster County Central Park

Wolf Sanctuary of PA

Next up, head over to the Wolf Sanctuary of PA, where you can witness the majestic creatures up close. The sanctuary is home to wolves, foxes and bobcats that are free to roam around in their natural habitat. Take a guided tour to learn about these fascinating animals and their behavior in the wild.

Picnic by the Susquehanna River

End your day on a relaxing note with a picnic by the Susquehanna River. This stunning river flows through Lancaster, and is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the scenery while savoring some delicious local snacks.

With so many natural wonders to explore, your trip to Lancaster promises to be an unforgettable experience.


Day 4: Historical Landmarks

On day four of your Lancaster trip, dive into the rich history of the city and explore some of its most iconic landmarks. Start your day by visiting the Landis Valley Museum, where you can travel back in time and experience life in Lancaster County during the 18th and 19th centuries. Learn about traditional trades and crafts, and explore the beautifully preserved buildings that showcase the area’s unique history.

Next, head to the Rock Ford Plantation, a stunning Georgian mansion that was built in the late 18th century for Edward Hand, a close friend of George Washington. Take a tour of the mansion, which features impressive architecture and beautiful furnishings, and learn about life in Lancaster’s early days.

Lancaster attractions

Finally, wrap up your day with a visit to the Wheatland mansion, which was the former home of President James Buchanan. Take a guided tour of the estate, and get a glimpse into the life of one of America’s most controversial presidents. Explore the beautiful grounds and gardens, and learn about the history of the Buchanan family and their impact on the Lancaster area.

Historical Landmarks Overview

Name Description Admission Fee Opening Hours
Landis Valley Museum A living history museum that showcases Lancaster County’s unique traditions and culture during the 18th and 19th centuries. Features traditional trades, crafts, and beautifully-preserved buildings. $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for children 6-17 years old, free for children under 6 years Open Tues-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 12pm-5pm, closed on Mondays
Rook Ford Plantation A Georgian mansion that was built in the late 18th century for Edward Hand, a close friend of George Washington. Features impressive architecture, beautiful furnishings, and a glimpse into life in Lancaster’s early days. $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, $5 for children 6-12 years old, free for children under 6 years Open April-Oct, Mon-Sat 10am-3pm, Sun 12pm-3pm
Wheatland mansion The former home of President James Buchanan, featuring guided tours of the estate and its beautiful grounds and gardens. Get a glimpse into the life of one of America’s most controversial presidents. $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $8 for children 6-17 years old, free for children under 6 years Open Tues-Sat 10am-3pm, Sun 12pm-3pm, closed on Mondays

Immerse yourself in Lancaster’s rich history and discover some of its most iconic landmarks on day four of your trip. From living history museums to presidential estates, there’s something for everyone in Lancaster’s fascinating past.

Day 5: Shopping and Entertainment

As your Lancaster trip comes to an end, spend your last day indulging in some retail therapy and entertainment.

First, head to the Tanger Outlets to shop for discounted brand-name items. Browse through stores like Nike, Calvin Klein, and Coach to score some great deals on clothing, accessories, and more.

Next, visit the Lancaster Science Factory, a hands-on science center that offers interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages. Discover the wonders of science through experiments, games, and activities that will challenge and inspire you.

Finally, catch a show at the Fulton Theatre, one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the United States. Enjoy a variety of performances, from classic plays to modern musicals, in a historic venue with stunning architecture and top-notch production values.

Make sure to also check out some locally-made crafts and products before ending your trip. Lancaster is known for its high-quality Amish goods, such as handmade quilts, furniture, and baked goods. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste these delicacies and take some home as souvenirs.

Lancaster Shopping and Entertainment

End your Lancaster vacation itinerary on a high note with this exciting day of shopping and entertainment. Don’t forget to add these Lancaster must-see destinations to your trip planner!

Accommodation and Dining Options

When planning your Lancaster trip, finding the right accommodation and dining options are crucial. Luckily, Lancaster offers a wide range of choices from cozy bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels.

Tip: Check out Discover Lancaster for an extensive list of options when it comes to accommodations.

The local dining scene is also something to look forward to. Indulge in authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, from traditional Amish dishes to modern twists. Some recommended restaurants include Shady Maple Smorgasbord, Miller’s Smorgasbord, and Good ‘N Plenty. Don’t miss out on trying some locally-made crafts and products, which are perfect for souvenirs or gifts for loved ones back home.

Tip: Check out Discover Lancaster for a comprehensive guide to the local dining scene.

Lancaster cuisine

Accommodation Options in Lancaster

Name Location Price Range Rating
The Inn at Leola Village 38 Deborah Drive, Leola, PA 17540 $200-$400 per night 4.5/5
The E. J. Bowman House Bed & Breakfast 2672 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601 $150-$250 per night 5/5
Lancaster Arts Hotel 300 Harrisburg Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603 $150-$300 per night 4.5/5

Recommended Restaurants in Lancaster

  • Shady Maple Smorgasbord
  • Miller’s Smorgasbord
  • Good ‘N Plenty
  • Dienner’s Country Restaurant
  • Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord

Transportation in Lancaster

Getting around Lancaster is easy with a variety of transportation options available:

  • Public Transportation: There are several bus routes that cover Lancaster and its surrounding areas. Check out the Lancaster County Transportation Authority for schedules and fares.
  • Rental Cars: If you prefer to have your own transportation, rental cars are available for your convenience. Popular rental car companies include Enterprise and Hertz.
  • Guided Tour Services: To make your travel stress-free, consider booking guided tours that provide transportation between attractions. Companies like Amish Experience and Intercourse Bike Works offer various tour options.

Plan your travel between attractions using your preferred method of transportation, and make the most of your time in Lancaster.

Lancaster travel tips

Tips for a Memorable Trip

Visiting Lancaster is a memorable experience, but proper planning and preparation can make it even better. Follow these tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip:

Pack Accordingly

While packing for your Lancaster trip, keep in mind the weather conditions and the activities you have planned.

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Layers for possible temperature changes
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Cameras or smartphones for photos

Respect Local Culture & Etiquette

Lancaster has a rich history and culture that locals take pride in. To show your respect:

  • Pay attention to dress codes in religious places
  • Ask for permission before taking photos of the Amish and Mennonite people
  • Be mindful of noise levels in residential areas
  • Use “please” and “thank you” in most social interactions

Use a Lancaster Travel Guide or Trip Planner

A comprehensive Lancaster travel guide or trip planner can help you plan your vacation and ensure you don’t miss any must-see destinations. You can find some great guides online or at the Lancaster Visitor Center.

Try Local Specialties

No trip to Lancaster would be complete without trying some Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. Some must-try dishes include shoofly pie, chicken pot pie, and whoopie pies. You can find these dishes at local restaurants and bakeries.

Lancaster travel tips

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta


There you have it! With this 5-day itinerary, you can easily explore and enjoy the best Lancaster has to offer. From city exploration to outdoor adventures, historical landmarks to shopping and entertainment, this guide has something for everyone.

Make sure to book your accommodation and plan your transportation in advance to ensure a seamless trip. Don’t forget to try some authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine and take home some locally-made crafts and products.

With these helpful tips and suggestions, you’re sure to have a memorable and enjoyable trip to Lancaster. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this charming Pennsylvania city!