lancaster in a day

To Lancaster from Philadelphia it takes between 1 and 2 hours, and being that we’d had our first taste of freedom and had another week before I went back to work to teach, we decided to plan another, slightly spur-of-the-moment trip.

It can be difficult to find somewhere to stay within Lancaster that is not an older, flower-patterned room with little updates and little story to be had.

I got lucky while searching, and found a hotel within Lancaster City – our preferred area when in Lancaster – that was exactly what we’d hoped for.

The Cork Factory Hotel was once the home of Armstrong Cork and Kerr Glass companies. Dating back to the late 1800s, this building has a history that travelers long for when finding an interesting, comfortable space to stay.

We stayed for one night, and loved the interior of the entire hotel.

I don’t imagine I’ve ever taken a photo of a hotel ceiling before, but here is the ceiling of our room! There was exposed brick along the windowed wall, two comfortable beds, and the ceiling topped it off. (Ha.) Even the hallways boasted a unique ceiling.

After an easy check-in to our hotel, we started our night off by eating at Lancaster Brewing Company. We enjoyed their outdoor seating, and after headed over to Lancaster Sweet Shoppe, where we bought a pack of stroopwafels and ice cream to stifle the heat. This little shop holds the best stroopwafels we’ve had in the US (called Stroopies at this particular spot!), using the same recipe as Holland! We go there whenever we are in Lancaster in order to stock up; they’re amazing!

Lancaster Brewing Company to Lancaster Sweet Shoppe!
I wish I had taken a photo in Lancaster, but here are stroopwafels from Amsterdam!

We tried to go back to Lancaster Brewing Company for a drink, but ended up buying a 6-pack since they had the rule that an entree must be bought with a beverage. Even after showing them our receipt from earlier to prove we’d bought entrees, they explained that drinks and food must be on the same receipt. Not sure if that is still going on, but we didn’t feel the need for a second dinner so we lounged in our hotel with beer that was almost as good out of a bottle.

The next day, we were again determined to eat outside, and came across one of the best memories of Lancaster we’ve made so far – The Red Caboose Motel & Restaurant! This place has been around forever – my mom reminded me that I had been there years ago, but had forgotten! We ate outside with a gorgeous view of the country.

Between the relief from humidity, and the beautiful view (and delicious food and coffee), we decided we would be back again at some point. I highly recommend! There is a great store and model train area on the inside.

From breakfast we tried to go to the Book Barn, but as you can see it was closed. Stopping was no waste of time though, because the facade of the Book Barn is beautiful!

After, we decided to go for a drive to find some views…

…and came across this beautiful spot!

These were taken at Pinnacle Scenic Overlook Nature Preserve, providing a beautiful drive and very short hikes to these views!

By the time we finished exploring these hidden areas, we decided we were hungry for lunch and visited Victory Brewing Company!

They were only offering indoor seating, and their space was so large that we felt comfortable going inside!

It felt good to feel normal. We ate and drank, enjoying their beer but mostly the chance to feel okay about being out! From here, we headed home.

Lancaster does not have the reputation for being the most exciting destination in PA. But, there are so many beautiful spaces, and a lot to be offered as far as relaxing days away from the city go. We will be back!

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