By: Liz Froment

One of the most beautiful, yet perhaps forgotten, areas of the Northeast has to be the Amish Country of rural Pennsylvania. While you might think of farms and horses and buggies when you think of the Amish, it turns out this area actually has some beautiful countryside and a lot of very interesting sights to see and activities to take part in.

The heart of Amish Country is surrounding a town called Lancaster. Easily accessible by car from local major cities, only an hour and a half from Philadelphia and the same distance from Baltimore, it is a great roadtrip to spend a few hours.

If you are interested in taking in a bit of nature, and learning a little bit about history, then the Lancaster area is a perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring. Here are just a sampling of some of the things to do in and around Lancaster.

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society:This is a great spot to bring the kids, as there are a bunch of hands on activities for them to explore and learn from. Plus, it gives a great bit of insight on the lifestyle and history of Mennonites.

Intercourse Pretzel Factory: For anyone who loves pretzels Lancaster County is the place to be. Tour the famous Intercourse Pretzel Factory and you will even be taught how to make and twist your own pretzel. Of course the samples are well worth the trip.

Yoder’s Family Restaurant: You can’t leave any trip to Amish Country without trying some of the traditional foods in the Lancaster area. One of the most famous has to be Yoder’s which serves heaping quantities of very traditional German Amish style food.

Plain and Fancy Farm: If you really want to see and experience what life is like as an Amish person, a trip to the Plain and Fancy Farm has to be in order. Here you’ll be able to take tours of the farms and really learn about the work that goes into the land. As an added fun fact, this is where the movie Witness with Kelly McGillis and Harrison Ford was filmed.