Lancaster County, well known for its inherent beauty and old-world charm, is also a thriving East Coast shopping destination. From large retail outlet malls to quaint small-town shops and unique, seasonal sales – all are widely regarded throughout the area as favorite stops among enthused shoppers. Whether you are an art enthusiast, antique hunter, collector of handmade wares, or are looking for a bargain on brand name clothing and household items, Lancaster County has something for everyone.
Located along the historic Lincoln Highway, or Route 30 as locals refer to it, shoppers will find Rockvale and Tanger Outlet Malls. Offering a huge selection of brand name and designer clothes, shoes, handbags and other products, there are more than 100 stores to choose from. Rockvale Outlets feature over 60 different stores while you can browse in over 70 stores at Tanger Outlets. Savings and deals of up to 70% off retail prices on merchandise are a huge draw for people visiting the Lancaster area.
If you prefer something a little more unique, the small towns of Lancaster County boast a variety of boutique shopping selections. Traveling through Strasburg, Lititz, Intercourse and Downtown Lancaster, you will find independently owned mom-and-pop shops, farmers markets, consignment boutiques and other unique retail businesses.
If you are searching for antiques, Adamstown, PA has earned the reputation as the “antiques capital of the United States”. The Adamstown Antique Mile is located along route 272 between Lancaster and Reading in Northeastern Lancaster Country. Here, thousands of collectors from across the country visit thousands of antique dealers offering treasures in the markets, co-ops, and shops along the 7-mile long stretch of highway. Three times throughout the year – in April, June and September – Adamstown hosts an Antiques Extravaganza event with extended hours and more bargains, making it the best time for antique shopping in the country. While the quaint town of Columbia, nestled along the Susquehanna River, boasts several antique markets. Burning Bridge Antiques Market is home to over 200 dealers and consignors and you are always greeted with a smile.
The ever-popular Lancaster County “mud sale” is a seasonal shopping delight. Shoppers come from miles and intermix with Lancaster locals to peruse hundreds of vendors set up on Lancaster’s fertile farmland itself. A staple in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, the mud sale is a one-of-akind event, happening on weekends throughout the late Winter and Spring. Named for the newly thawed farm fields that often lead to muddy conditions where they take place, mud sales bring together two cultures - Amish and English - as they gather to partake in large auctions that offer a wide array of items up for bid including livestock, produce, handmade quilts, clothing and housewares.
For a showcase of all Lancaster County has to offer, look no further than Kitchen Kettle Village, with over 40 shops and restaurants offering locally made pottery, Pennsylvania Dutch quilts, and name brand favorites like Brighton, Pandora, UGG and Minnetonka moccasins. Kitchen Kettle offers a fun shopping experience for the whole family. Finished with your shopping? Take a buggy ride through the scenic Lancaster County countryside, grab a cup of coffee, or take part in some of the family-friendly events hosted year-round. Kids of all ages will enjoy visiting with Yummie, the Kitchen Kettle Village mascot, a giant overstuffed gingerbread cookie.
If an authentic Lancaster County quilt is on your list, check out Riehl’s Quilts and Crafts, while Burkholder Fabrics offers a wide selection of fabrics and notions to choose from. Stop by family owned Kauffman’s Clocks and marvel at the mantle, wall and grandfather clocks meticulously handcrafted by Isaac Kauffman.
Art enthusiasts will delight in a multitude of arts and craft festivals throughout the county. The Lititz Rotary Club’s Annual Craft Show, known as “the big one” boasts over 750 vendors and is always held the second Saturday in August, drawing over 50,000 people to Lititz. If fine arts is what you seek, you won’t want to miss the Long’s Park Arts Festival over Labor Day Weekend. This beautiful 80-acre park sits on the northwest corner of Lancaster City at the intersection of Harrisburg Pike and Route 30. Recognized as one of the top 50 arts festivals in the country and among the top 5 on the East Coast, this fine art festival showcases the works of over 200 juried exhibitors from across the country, in over a dozen artistic mediums. Launched as a fund raiser to support the Long’s Park Summer Music Series in 1979, the Arts Festival will be celebrating its 41st anniversary this year and has become a nationally acclaimed arts event in its own right. Thousands of arts lovers from throughout the mid-Atlantic region are drawn to this beautiful setting every year to enjoy the outdoor gallery and shop for jewelry, mixed media, sculpture, and textiles. The festival continues to support the Long’s Park Amphitheater Foundation and their continued efforts to bring art, culture, and music to the Lancaster community and its visitors. Each year, the park is home to a host of activities including the free Summer Music Series held on Sundays from June to August.
Head to downtown Lancaster for a quirky selection of retro, antique and collectibles shops, and clothing boutiques in historic sites like the Keppel building. Across from the Keppel building follow the signs through a narrow passageway to the rear warehouses and you will stumble upon Building Character, a marketplace of vintage, recycled and handmade goods. Within walking distance you’ll find Lancaster’s Central Market. Open since 1730, the nation’s oldest continuously operated farmers’ market offers fresh meat, seafood, produce, souvenirs and so much more. It is a hot destination for tourists and locals alike on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Another favorite is the Green Dragon Farmers Market and Auction in Ephrata. This Lancaster County tradition, situated on 30 scenic acres in Pennsylvania Dutch County, is a must-do on Fridays with its carnival-like atmosphere.
Traveling north on Route 501, approximately 8 miles outside of the city, you will find the town of Lititz, named “America’s Coolest Small Town” in 2013 by Budget Travel as well as awarded the Distinctive Destination/National Trust of Historic Preservation award. Main and Broad streets are lined with a variety of small boutiques offering trendsetting clothing, old barn wood furniture, gifts, books, jewelry, antiques, and candies and confections to tempt your sweet tooth. Do some shopping at Heavenly Soaps and Scents after making your very own hand twisted pretzel at Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery.
Whether you are looking for trendy, quirky, old-fashioned, handcrafted, modern, or upscale, with so many options to choose from, shoppers young and old can shop ‘til they drop.