When we were planning the trip we had a few days spare, and the two options available to us were Amish Country, or to go to Jersey Shore. As, I think you’ll probably be able to see from the title, we chose to head inland and go to Amish Country.
One of my favourite things about driving from place to place on a holiday is the sights we see on the way. We made a decision to not use any of the toll roads, partly because the man at the car hire place said we’d not be able to do the route not taking toll roads and partly because you see so much more when you’re not on the motorways! The drive through the countryside took us about 40minutes longer I’d say but was worth it 100%!
My main job on the road is to supply car snacks and find new radio stations as we went out of signal! And readingqA the map. We took a spare phone with a simcard that had 20gb of data on it, so we used that phone as a hotspot but also a map.
The drive took us past fun fairs and ghost towns and water parks and oddly named fast food joints and drive through cash machines and a thousand fields.
We were only in Amish country for 24hrs, and most of it was spent in the car sightseeing but we achieved our main aim – see people on their horse and carts, just out in the world and visit a farmers market!
We stopped in Lancaster at their market first as the internet told us we should, and quite honestly we were underwhelmed. Lancaster was a bit run down and the market, nothing special, but luckily someone there told us about another, outside market, Green Dragon, which was much more along the lines we were after. An abundance of fruit and veg, quaint little stalls, handmade wooden goods, and tonnes of food – Jim picked us up a pulled pork thing that was part pasty, part giant bao. It was delicious. Jim also tried some of the local version of root beer, Birch beer, which tasted just as much like germaline as root beer does.
It was so interesting to see the mix of Amish and ‘normal’ stalls coexisting – although it did confuse me whilst we were there that the Amish live at home without electricity, but yet they work with fridges and electrics in the day. I know that things like health and safety must mean they have to, but if your work life lets you use them, why make your home life harder? Just my thoughts!
We then found ourselves back on the road looking for the motel we’d booked into. It wasn’t anything fancy, but at $40’s a night, you can’t complain. Plus on a trip where we were staying in Airbnb’s and hotels, throwing a motel in there seemed appropriate! The only problem was NOTHING was near anything, so you had to drive everywhere. Which was fine for me as the passenger, but I did feel a bit sorry for Jim. Having said that I loved being driven around the area, it was so open and vast, interspersed with farm houses and towns.
At dinner time we drove to a BBQ restaurant which was okay – nice – nothing fancy or special, but nice enough, then, because Jim loves a good game of mini golf, we stopped at a crazy golf course that was open until late. Obviously I let him win. I mean I did get a fantastic hole in one but I let him win – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
The next morning, before we prepared for a drive to Long Island, and after a breakfast of what might be the biggest pancakes I’ve ever encountered, I dragged Jim off to look at a historic covered bridge. I know we probably should have gone covered bridge hunting in Vermont but we didn’t, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity here! Full disclosure – Jim sat in an illegally parked car whilst I hopped around taking photos!
And with that, we hightailed it out of there, for a long drive to Long Island, so I could see the sea, the Hamptons and for lobster rolls. I know we didn’t visit the working Amish village, or go to the traditional doll museum and we most certainly didn’t go to the $150 a ticket religious theatre next to our motel, but the aim was to just see the area, and with only 24hrs to do it, I think we did ok!
(Pretzel m&m’s and wild berry skittles were the road trip snack of choice!)
Travel Info – where we stayed, how we got about, that sort of stuff;
Accommodation – We stayed at the Dutch Treat Motel – it was $40 a night whilst we were there. It was cheap, cheerful and easy to get to the attractions in the area!
Getting there – We drove in from Philadelphia on the back roads. This took a bit longer than it would have on the motorways but we saw more of the state that we might have otherwise.
Getting about – You need a car to get round here. You really do. I can’t see how you’d get places without it. Hire a car if you’re off to see the Amish!