Strasburg, Pennsylvania is famous for its Pennsylvania Dutch culture and its historic railroad. Ironically, many people are not aware that Strasburg was first inhabited by French Huguenots. Strasburg was named after the town of Strasbourg in Alsace, France. However, the area was soon populated by people of Pennsylvania German decent. By the late 1700s, the town prospered as a trade route. Conestoga Road, what is now considered Main Street, was the primary passage inland from Philadelphia. At one point, the small town had ten hotels to serve the burgeoning trade route.
Strasburg’s prosperity was interrupted when the Lancaster Turnpike passed four miles north and diverted traffic away from the town. Looking to strengthen its economic position, the town sought to establish a railway connection to the Philadelphia-Columbia Railroad which came through nearby Paradise. The Strasburg Rail Road was put into service in 1832 and is the oldest continuously running railroad in the United States. Ironically, the railroad was never a financial success. In 1957, the railroad was purchased and converted into a “heritage railroad” to preserve the integral role that railroads played in United States history.
Today the Strasburg Rail Road has helped make Strasburg one of Pennsylvania’s top visitor destinations. The nearby Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania features more than 100 historic trains. The National Toy Train Museum and The Choo Choo Barn’s 1700 square foot display of miniature trains appeal to kids of all ages.
Other Strasburg attractions include the Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, Sight and Sound Theatre and the Amish Village. The whole family can learn about agriculture at the Cherry Crest Adventure Farm. The farm features 50 family friendly adventures including a five acre corn maze. Sight and Sound Theatre is the largest Christian theater in the United States featuring a 300 foot wraparound stage. The Amish Village offers an authentic Amish experience with an Old Order Amish farm house, a one-room school house and a blacksmiths shop.