Pennsylvania Dutch country is not only home to beautiful forests and farmland, but also to the Amish community. When you want a day away from the campground, this is the place to go to learn about a way of life very different from your own.
The Amish came to Lancaster County in the 1720s, after leaving Europe to escape religious persecution. They have a conservative Christian faith, and because of this, they prohibit habits that feed individualism and greed. As a result, they wear plain clothing, forbid taking personal photographs, and ride in dark buggies to blend in. They also avoid using electricity, using gas lanterns and hydraulic powered motors instead. They value a lifestyle that is modest, simple and obedient.
To get an idea of the true Amish experience, travel to Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, and take a buggy ride through the town with Aaron and Jessica’s Amish Buggy Rides. As you trot through town in a horse-drawn carriage, you and your family can get a glimpse of what life was like before modern technology.
Your buggy driver will take you on a personalized tour, where your family can see the working Amish farms, one-room schoolhouses, and everyday Amish shops, such as their grocery store, butcher and quilt shop.
Photo Credit: Li’l Country Store and Miniature Horse Farm
Not far from Bird-in-Hand, in a town called Ronks, you’ll find the Li’l Country Store and Miniature Horse Farm. Much like the name suggests, this is a quaint shop where you’ll find assorted jams and hand-crafted wood decorations and furniture, and miniature horses. Located on the property of an Amish family’s house, it was only opened to the public in 2009. Since then, families can reserve a private workshop where people of all ages can feed, brush, ride, and learn about horses.
There’s no better way to learn than to experience, so make sure to come experience the Amish culture in Ronks and Bird-in-Hand during your next family camping trip!
Helpful Tips and Facts:
– Be careful when touring the Amish community – it’s considered disrespectful to take pictures of the Amish or their property without asking first.
– Lancaster County has the second largest Amish settlement in the United States!
– Lancaster County has the oldest Amish settlement in the United States.