How to experience the Amish near Philadelphia?
I am looking to explore the region near Philadelphia, specifically relating to the Amish. I'm a landscape photographer/world traveler in search of memorable scenary, viewpoints, nature, the outdoors, cuisine, architecture, and anything else unique, mysterious or original to the local area. What are your personal recommendations (that you've experienced & can vouch for)? Please excluse tourist traps, ripoffs, and overrated attractions. Thx!
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Don't know if that it too touristy for you.... I was there a few years ago and enjoyed it.
Lancaster isn't bad for a romantic weekend. There are some nice drives, covered bridges, rolling farms, etc. Some of the smaller towns/villages have some interesting things. I think Lititz has the oldest pretzel shop. There's an old chocolate factory there too. Ther are some similar areas. The city of Lancaster has some intersting areas. I seem to recall there was an Amish market which seemed to cater more to locals. That may have changed in the past few years. There was decent microbrewery there as well. The most interesting part of the microbrewery is the building. (The whole thing is tongue in groove.) If you're looking for a couple of days, you'll be fine. I would suggest staying in a B&B. The owners can give you the scoop.
Oh, take a ride in a horse-drawn buggy. Maybe seen as tourist but when in Rome... Oh, I seem to recall that the Amish don't like to be photographed. However, the Mennonite, from which their beliefs stem, don't mind.
On your way back stop through West Chester. It's a nice enough town.
All you need is a car and you're set. Great towns/villages to visit for a unique Amish experience are Bird In Hand, Strasburg, Paradise, Gap, New Holland, Elizabethtown and Lititz. As a visitor, traveling through Lancaster will be an odd experience. Besides the city and suburban areas, the county hasn't changed a bit since it's inception. I'm interested in photography myself and all of the best scenes are found in the rural areas of Lancaster Co. Just ask any of the locals for tips (especially the mennonites)
I was born and raised here in Lancaster so if you have more specific questions feel free to message me