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We are going to Lancaster PA this month and are excited because we haven't had a real vacation in over 10 years! We are going to the train station so my son can ride on Thomas at the strain station (he is a huge Thomas and Friends fan). I would also like to hit some outlets. Can anyone suggest some good restaurants and outlets?
Thanks,
Judy
 

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Master Dollar Stretcher aka TraciBob
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Rockvale Outlets are right down the street from Stasburg. There are so many restaurants. I would recommend Good n' Plenty if you want a meal with local flavor. Tanger outlets are right up the street on RT 30 from Rockvale. Also, if you head to Intercourse, there are some cute shops there too. I have never been to the shops at intercourse (lived here my whole life), but I shop at the outlets. When will you be in town? I work at the Target two days a week doing merchandising work. Lately it has been Mondays and Thursdays in the morning, but I have been known to go Tuesday and Friday as well. The Target is right up the street from Rockvale.
 

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I'm jealous --- I've been to Lancaster for the past 2 years, but didn't go this year (my aunt and her family live in Mount Joy PA, but my aunt died this past January, and her kids came here this year to see us). The area is beautiful. We really enjoyed our visits. I agree with eating at Good & Plenty, my aunt took us there and the food was fabulous.
 

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~It's not frugal but The Revere Tavern in Paradise is fabulous! The food is gourmet delicious and the atmosphere is so romantic! The Cacklebury Antique Mall in Paradise is an awesome alternative to the outlets. Strasburg also has some great antique shops. If you like wine stop at the Mount Hope Wine Gallery between Intercourse and Lancaster. Tasting is free. Bottles are about $10. Their Reisling and May Wine are some of the best semi-sweet whites I've ever had. Have fun in Lancaster!~
 

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I live about 1 hour 20 mins from Lancaster and I'm down there ALL the time! You will have a WONDERFUL time!

The outlets are on the main drag (Rt. 30) (Plenty of outlet stores (bring a LOT of $$$ LOL!) You have Rockvale and also Tanger Outlets further down the highway.

Although Good & Plenty, Plain and Fancy and Miller's are good, I feel they are CROWDED (the Buss Loads pull in there ALL the time) EXPENSIVE $$$$ !! and over-rated.

When I go down there (usually once a month LOL!) I usually stop in to "Bird In Hand Family Resturant ( In the town of Bird In Hand. I go so often now I have a Frequent Diner's card LOL!) I think they are a little bit cheaper than the others.

Last summer I tried another "Toursit Trap" resturant in Blue Ball that was called The Shady Maple - We waited OVER 1 HOUR to be seated it cost us approx $24 a person and the food was buffet style, picked over and God Awful!

At The Bird In Hand Family Resturant I think the longest we ever waited was 15 minutes (HINT: Try to get there around 4pm as the word is starting to get out about this place and once 5pm rolls around it is starting to get a little more crowded. But NOTHING like the others that I mentioned LOL!)

As far as shopping for knick-knacks and that type of stuff, try to go down the back roads - a lot of the Amish have small stores on their property and you can get their goods and wears a lot cheaper than the "commercial places" (Like Kitchen Village etc) on the main drags. Nice way to see area too and support the Locals living there.

Have a great time down there......I'm due for a shopping trip in the next couple of weeks down there myself

Oh, One more thing A LOT OF THE PLACES ARE CLOSED ON SUNDAY'S. (Non Amish) The Amish are very Religious and spend most of Sunday in Church Services.
 

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Isn't Zinn's Diner in that area? I ate there a couple of times years ago. The food was awesome and I loved seeing the Amish in the area. My memory is a little foggy though about exact location. Just that it was a few miles off the turnpike near Lancaster.
 

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Master Dollar Stretcher aka TraciBob
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Zinns is on the other side of Ephrata going towards Reading. It also has been bought out by someone else and renamed. Don't know what the new name is.
 

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oh, do stop at green dragon if you in Ephrata on friday, I do love that Farmer's market, oh and on tuesday there's one called Roots, or Ruts, now I'm not sure of the town's names, but their all close to one another. I always try and hit one of these on my way out of town, and load the van with goodies to bring home. Such beautiful veggies and fruits. Have a lovely,safe trip!
 

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If you have the time get on line and contact the visitors center and do the Meal in an Amish home thing. If your gonna go all the way there and spend the money on the food have it in a home. The experinece is WELL worth it. We spent 3 monthes in the area working on a Cracker Barrel and ate at many of the roadside resturants. After one in home meal I was spoiled for life. The resturants just don't match up. Take time to drive the back roads (slowly for buggies) and stop at roadside stands and family in barn businesses. Like was mentioned before not on Sunday but during the week you'll met many wonderful people and find great items. The shops on many of the main streets are full of items made in China the family shops on the farms carry real items. Most have small white and black signs hanging from their mailboxes adverstising what they sell.
Enjoy yourselves we love the area.

Laurie in Bradenton
 

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Just as side note Please remember not to try and take their pictures. Also straying is rude to whomever you do it. We have first hand knowledge of what its like to be on the other end of that stick, very very uncomfortable.
Went to an Amish wedding and we were the only English there among 500 Amish folks. What a table turning event.lol

Laurie in Bradenton
 

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The sight and sound theater in Strasburg
is absolutly wonderful. I do believe you usually have to have reservations though-it is unforgetable. There is a mockup of the Jewish temple that is great too. Then there is the auto tour that we also enjoyed. Lot's of little things to do.
 

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Master Dollar Stretcher aka TraciBob
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Roots Market is right outside of Manheim. It is located between East Petersburg and Manheim. It is every Tuesday.
 

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My all time favorite restaurant out there is the Plain and Fancy, but I haven't been there in years. When we travel out there now with the kids, we always end up at the Shady Maple buffet- it is the the biggest buffet I have ever seen and my kids just love it. So we go there.

We learned the hard way that everything closes early around there! A couple of years ago my husband and I took a weekend trip to Lancaster and didn't arrive until maybe 8pm or so- we wanted to go to dinner and all of the restaurants were already closed for the evening. We ended up eating at a bar that night, and made sure to eat early for the rest of our trip!
 

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Oh my, this is my most favorite place on the earth. We usually go to Lancaster twice a year. My husband calls it my Homeland. There is a restaurant on Rt. 30 that is called Dienners. I think I have it close to the right spelling. It is next door to a Big Yellow Windmill that sells Shoofly pie. It is delicious and everyone is so friendly. If you can make it to the Green Dragon Flea Market in Ephrata you won't regret it but it is open only on Friday. We usually stay away from most of the tourist attractions since we have been going down there since the 1980's. The back roads have alot of marvelous things to discover. Drive slow on the back roads and you will find many Amish stores plus at a slow pace you can soak it all in. I am going down in a couple of weeks and I can't wait. I figure I must be reincarnated from my 6th great grandparents since we discovered they came over from Switzerland and settled in Lancaster and York counties. What you find when you dig back into a family tree. Enjoy every minute of your vacation and be sure to explore. I almost forgot if you are into crafts and such in Blueball there is the Flower and Craft Warehouse and they have a huge room designated just for scrapbooking but also anything and everything you can think of is in this store and it is two levels with an elevator. It is open from 9am to 8pm Monday thru Saturday and noon to 5 on Sunday. It is 196 Broad St. Blueball,PA. You can look it up on the computer at www.flowerandcraft.com
 

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FV Buddy aka Kellie Bob
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No additional advice on the area, just the Thomas railroad, wear comfortable clothes and sneakers, long lines and a dusty area. Also, bring lunch and waters etc. to leave in the car, we had a great time, but extras were super pricy and agqain with the lines we took a break 1/2 way through the day, went to the car, picnic lunch break,then went back in. We had a great time though.
 
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