Coming to Lancaster, PA, offers a plethora of things to do and see, from rural and traditional to urban and artsy, and it’s not a coincidence that Lancaster has been named one of the top 10 “coolest places to visit in U.S.” by Forbes!

But many visitors, rather than just becoming typical tourists, like to also feel like a local and be able to explore the area – like a local.

Many of our guests have questions on how to enjoy and get around Lancaster County the way locals do, and once upon a time, guidebooks answered these kinds of questions.

We decided to put together a list of 10 tips to help you enjoy the flavor of local life in this part of the world:

1. Where Do Locals Go Out for Dinner on Fridays? 

While there are many places to dine, here’s a list of most frequented local restaurants in Lancaster, PA, on Fridays:

For daily dining options, visit Arthur’s Terrace and Garfield’s, our restaurants here at the hotel. We have a list of local restaurants we like to recommend that are no more than 15 to 20 minutes off property – and we’ll be happy to share it with you, just stop by the front desk during your stay.

2. Where Do Locals Like to Shop?

Locals like to support local small businesses, and that holds true when it comes to shopping.

For instance, the 300 Block of North Queen Street, home to an authentic, eclectic selection of retro, antique and collectibles shops, art galleries, a glass studio, and brand-name fashions, is where locals like to browse and find interesting pieces for their home décor or wardrobe, as well as unique gifts. You’ll also find casual cafés where you can sit and replenish while you explore Downtown Lancaster’s largest collection of indoor shops.

Photo source: Discover Lancaster

3. Exploring Some Local Arts & Crafts

Local artists can be discovered in galleries across the county, mainly in Gallery Row, located along Prince Street in Lancaster, and also in Julia Swartz Gallery in Intercourse, PA, and Dutchland Galleries.

Creative individuals and families like to go to one of Lancaster’s art-centric activity spots, such as Zole Art Factory, Pottery Works, or Painting with a Twist to create and make a masterpiece of their own.

4. Getting Around

If you’d like to use local Taxi or Limousine, here are your options (we’ll be happy to provide their info for you at the front desk): Friendly Transportation, Lancaster City Cabs, Lancaster Yellow Cab, Premiere #1 Limousine Service, Unique Limousine.

If you like and already use Uber or Lyft, they do run in Lancaster, too, so you’ll always have that option.

You can use our shuttle bus/car during the day from Wednesday through Friday 8:00am to 4:30 pm, and Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Our shuttle bus/car runs within a 10-mile radius and is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and children need to be at least 10 years old.

If you’re coming with your own car or renting a car here, you’ll want to get familiar with the parking situation. Parking is free at the Eden Resort. In the city, street parking is free after 6:00 pm. Otherwise, you register your license plate rather than the parking spot, so if you pay for 2 hours you can move around the city to any spot and be covered in that time frame.

You can find parking garages for Lancaster, PA, right here.

Lititz, another popular small town minutes from the Eden, has its own parking guidelines.

If you’re driving in the area, it’s also good to be aware of the fact that driving in Amish communities means taking down your speed a notch and being more alert. In Lancaster County, hills and curving roads can conceal horse-drawn traffic until it’s too late, and most locals know to pay attention to buggies and other drivers who are not very careful when and how they pass them.

5. What’s the Proper Dress Code for Touring the Area?

 If you’re planning to visit an Amish community, one of the things to keep in mind is the way they dress and show respect for their customs and traditions. So, it may be a good idea to dress a little more formally or modestly, which would mean showing less skin.

It’s not a requirement, but the Amish will appreciate it. Some of the local Amish businesses may actually have a sign that reads: ”modesty appreciated.”

6. Where Can I Go with My Furry Friends? 

The Eden Resort has specific Villas designated as pet-friendly rooms. For this reason, you must contact our reservation specialists directly (866-801-6430) to reserve a pet-friendly Villa. Review our general pet policy:

There are many pet-friendly attractions and spots to eat that will make your visit even more fun and relieve the stress of leaving your furry friends behind. Discover local dog parks and more:

7. Where Do Locals Go to Enjoy Happy Hours in Lancaster, PA?

Check out the top places to have happy hours in Lancaster, PA:

Also, you don’t even have to leave the property – simply go to Garfield’s happy hour, Monday through Thursday 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

8. How About Live Entertainment/Music?

Lancaster County is home to theatres and performing arts venues that are bringing stories to life and to a rich music scene.

For more info on local events and entertainment, check out:

We also have a listing of places that has live entertainment and local bars with live music.

9. Where do locals go to hike and enjoy nature in Lancaster, PA?

Grab lunch at the local farmer’s market, put on your hiking shoes, get a bottle of water, and go out to enjoy the local beauty – here are the top-rated hiking trails and areas:

10. Where Can I Cool Off and Swim?

Cool off at Mt. Gretna Lake, located just above Lancaster County, and enjoy 8 acres of beach, recreation lawn, and a picnic grove.

Or, simply stay at the Eden Resort and enjoy our pool area – you will feel like you’re on an island! Whether you love early morning invigorating swims, aquatic exercise, lounging under the umbrellas, or late night relaxation and refreshment in the sparkly pool, it all awaits you at our outdoor pool and recreation area. We also have an indoor pool and whirlpool. Discover more about our pools and recreation areas.

The Eden Resort’s splendid accommodations, modern amenities, efficient and friendly service, and convenient location make us the perfect lodging choice for your vacation.

We are here to help you create fun and lasting memories in beautiful Lancaster, PA, and to provide you with all the local info you’ll need to make your visit extra special.

Call us today at 1-866-801-6430 or book your stay with us online.