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Pennsylvania Dutch Country Visitors Center       501 Greenfield Road, Lancaster, PA 17601       717-299-8901       www.padutchcountry.com

Towns & Heritage

Downtown Lancaster

A hub of art, culture, shopping and dining, historic Downtown Lancaster is a vibrant city packed with activities for locals and visitors alike - the heart of Lancaster County's creative side. The city is situated in the center of Lancaster County, and its seven square miles are packed with art, museums, historical attractions, restaurants and cafes, theatres, shops and boutiques.

Downtown Lancaster in Lancaster County Pennsylvania


Strolling the city's streets is the best way to experience its flavor. You'll find the impressive work of local artists at dozens of galleries, such as those along Prince Street, affectionately dubbed "Gallery Row." In fact, meet the artists during the "First Fridays" of the month, when many galleries extend their hours and host special receptions. The 300 block of North Queen Street, a restored shopping district, is home to a quirky, eclectic selection of antique stores, retro and collectible shops, glass studios and casual cafes. Art can also be found on many downtown buildings via a variety of hand-painted murals; check them out on the Downtown Lancaster Murals Trail.

The unique historical landmarks of Central Market and Fulton Theatre promise special experiences for visitors. Lancaster Central Market, the country's oldest continuously-operating farmers' market, offers fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, flowers, craft and much more. Likewise, Fulton Theatre is the oldest continuously-operating theatre in the country and one of only three national historic landmark theatres. Lancaster has its fair share of haunted history as well which you can explore on a guided Lancaster Ghost Tour.  Museums and historical attractions run the gamut in downtown Lancaster and offer a taste of local culture, art, science and the stories that shaped Lancaster's past. See a sample of cultural spots at right.

It's quite evident that downtown Lancaster's charm is rooted in rich history. Established in 1730, the city began as a trading post in the wilderness, which also served as a frontier checkpoint for pioneers. During the 1800s, the city developed into an industrial powerhouse, feuled by accessible railroad transportation and the title of the second-largest tobacco seed leaf market in the United States. As a convenient location for east-west travel, Lancaster City served as Pennsylvania's capital from 1799-1812 and at one time was considered for the nation's capital. Today, it still maintains hundreds of historical landmarks, which contribute to it being the largest National Historic Register District in the country.


 Downtown Lancaster Events

  • First Fridays, first Friday of every month
  • Lancaster Art Walks, April and October
  • Lancaster Symphony Orchestra performances, mid-April and mid-October
  • Back to the Past Block Party along the 300 block of N. Queen Street, early June
  • Long's Park Summer Entertainment Series, June through August
  • Celebrate Lancaster and Old Fashioned 4th of July
  • Long's Park Arts and Crafts Festival, Labor Day Weekend
  • Mayor's Tree Lighting, early December
  • Downtown for the Holidays, first three weekends in December
  • Countdown Lancaster, New Year's Eve
  • Cultural events at Franklin & Marshall College throughout the year

Details about these events and many more can be found at www.cityoflancasterpa.com.


Popular Destinations

Resources

Downtown Visitors Center
717-735-0823
www.padutchcountry.com

LancasterARTS / First Fridays
717-509-ARTS
www.lancasterarts.com

Lancaster Downtown Investment Dist.
717-399-7977
www.downtownlancaster.com

Mayor's Office of Special Events
717-291-4758
www.cityoflancasterpa.com

Moxie House
717-394-7737
www.moxiehouse.com