Saturday, March 22, 2014

Handcrafted Lancaster County Heirlooms

One of the many reasons that visitors flock to Lancaster County is to shop the furniture stores owned, operated and supplied by local craftsmen. The local wares are made with care, attention to detail, and with decades of usefulness to future generations in mind. Most of the local stores feature handcrafted furniture that is made right here in Pennsylvania, some by Lancaster County’s own Amish and Mennonite woodworkers.
Shopping for quality handmade furniture in Lancaster County presents buyers with many options for every style, wood, and finish under the sun, and stores often have a signature characteristic or type of craftsmanship that sets them apart.
Some of the most unique and high-quality stores are deserving of a special mention.
  1. Cherry Acres: Each piece of reclaimed barn wood furniture is unique, as is the selection of bright, fun pottery that is brought in from Mexico. The shop is located on Main Street in Lititz, right in the heart of Lancaster County. In addition to furniture and pottery, Cherry Acres carries a selection of ironwork, lighting, oriental rugs and more eye-catching and decorative pieces.
  2. Blue Ridge Furniture: Set in the unincorporated village of Narvon, Blue Ridge offers a selection of solid hardwood furniture that will fit any style. From the classic to the contemporary, Blue Ridge furniture is built to last through the generations with warmth and character that is handcrafted right here in Lancaster County.
  3. George’s Furniture: Superior craftsmanship of their solid hardwood pieces is the watchword of George’s Furniture. Each piece is painstakingly made by skilled craftsmen who sign and date their completed work. When you visit their shop in Marietta, also ask about their free wood shop tours to see the craftsmen at work.
  4. Country Creations: Located in historic Strasburg, Country Creations offers many Amish made pieces of furniture along with other d├ęcor and home accents. The building, which was once a working barn, comprises 8,500 square feet of shopping space on three levels. Country Creations prides itself on offering something for everyone, and on providing products that will last to become heirlooms.

Don’t think you can get all your shopping done in one day? Visit the Lancaster County Bed and Breakfast Inns Association for a short list of great places to stay all across the county. From Strasburg to Adamstown, the Lancaster County Bed and Breakfast Inns Association offers quality accommodations at a range of prices and styles so that you are sure to find a place that makes you feel at home while you are here!  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Small-Town Spotlight: Paradise in Lancaster County, PA

Welcome to Paradise!
Welcome to Paradise, Pennsylvania. Located along Route 30, just east of the Rockvale Outlets and three miles from Strasburg and Intercourse, Paradise is home to many Amish and Mennonite shops and restaurants, a shopping and entertainment destination for many visitors. For those who call Lancaster County home, it may truly be a paradise.
Come and Stay
As much as there is to see and do in Paradise, it is impossible to do everything in one day, so plan to spend the night, the weekend, or even a few days exploring Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
Central to outlet shopping and all of Paradise’s other attractions, After Eight Bed and Breakfast, located at 2942 Lincoln Highway East, features 8 guest rooms, including two private cottages, with rates ranging from $99-$300. After Eight Bed and Breakfast is one of the 14 B&B's in our Lancaster County Bed and Breakfast Inns Association. After Eight Bed and Breakfast is family friendly, too, so feel free to bring the kids for a family vacation. In a tastefully decorated building dating from 1809, the rooms are comfortable and elegant, and full breakfasts are served daily.

Eat, Play, Shop
  • The Gordonville Spring Mud Sale and Auction will take place on March 8th, 2014 just off of Route 30 between Paradise and Intercourse. The sale, run by the Gordonville Fire Department, features many items from antiques, to livestock, to quilts and furniture. A necessary part of the Lancaster County experience, a mud sale is a must-visit event for tourists and locals alike.
  • Miller’s Smorgasbord, located along Route 30 just east of Route 896, offers great Pennsylvania Dutch-style cooking and three menu options. Customers may select the full smorgasbord option, the soup and salad option, or the option of ordering off of the ala carte menu. Miller’s utilizes locally grown fruits and vegetables in most of their dishes. When visiting Miller’s guests should keep in mind that they offer special group rates for large groups of diners.
  • Rainbow Dinner Theater, a Lancaster tradition, combines the best of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking with a local theater production that changes from season to season but always solicits a laugh or two. Tickets are available at their website
  • The National Christmas Center  is located at 3427 Lincoln Highway East. Featuring displays from different eras and areas of the world, the center is open weekends in the spring from 10-6., offering thousands of square feet of displays and shopping.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Quilting in Lancaster, PA

As beautiful and as fun as winter can be, being warm and cozy while watching the snow coming down outside is often something we fantasize about. When the weather is as cold as it has been lately here in Lancaster County, and when the snow keeps coming down, the thought of wrapping up in a thick quilt and sitting by a fire with a cup of something hot creeps into many people’s minds.
           In Lancaster County, no winter hibernation is complete without a warm quilt. There are many places in the area that sell handmade quilts in colorful modern patterns and more traditional, muted designs.
           The Innkeepers who are members of the Lancaster County Bed and Breakfast Inns Association are familiar with many of the quilt shops in Lancaster County, and often have suggestions for guests who are interested in shopping for a quilt that will keep them warm now and last for many years to become an heirloom passed down for several generations. Many visitor’s guides and websites, including, also have suggestions from all over the county.
            Country Lane Quilts, a small quilt shop, has many colorful patterns to choose from. It is located in Leola at 221 South Groffdale Road. The shop can be contacted at (717) 656-8476 for hours.
           Village Quilts, located next to Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, sits at the crossroads of Routes 772 and 340. They are known for celebrating the art of quilting by producing heirloom quality work. They display dozens of full-size quilts and other quilted products like throw pillows and table runners. Contemporary and traditional, Village Quilts has it all.
           Fisher’s Handmade Quilts is located near the Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market on Old Philadelphia Pike (Route 340). They offer a quality selection of wall-hangings, quilts and other crafts made by local Amish and Mennonite craftsmen. They are open daily 9:00-5:00, closed Sundays.
           These and many other shops can often be found simply by driving through the countryside of Lancaster County. Many little roadsides stands that do not advertise can also be found this way. If you are in the mood for an adventure, a short drive to visit some of these local crafter's is always worth it.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mud Sales in Lancaster County

Spring Mud Sales
So, what is a mud sale? They are talked about and recommended by those who have been to one, but many people don’t even know what a mud sale is.
Most towns and villages in Lancaster County, like much of Pennsylvania, are protected by volunteer fire companies who are often in need of funds. These country auctions and consignment sales are one way that the fire companies raise the funds to keep operating. Many mud sales take place in the spring during the season when the snow is melting and the ground is muddy, thus the nickname ‘mud sales.’
Mud sales are famous for selling quality goods and quality food. These mud sales are great places to find local crafts and antiques, but many people visit the mud sales just for the good food and a chance to get out in the early spring sunshine. The innkeepers with the Lancaster County Bed and Breakfast Inns Association are always happy to provide directions and information about local mud sales and other events.  

A relatively complete and current list of mud sales can be found at, and a few of the early mud sales of the spring are listed here.
Benefiting the Strasburg Fire Company, the items to be sold include furniture, quilts, crafts and much more. The sale starts at 8:30 in the morning and will include lots of good food and hot drinks.
To benefit the Bart Township and Quarryville area firefighters, the sale will feature food items like hamburgers, hot chicken corn soup, fresh pie and much more in addition to the auction items ranging from quilts, crafts and small goods all the way up to farm equipment.
To benefit the Gordonville Volunteer Fire Company. The mud sale will take place just off of Route 30 between Paradise and Intercourse along Leacock Road. The items to be sold include antiques, furniture, livestock, quilts and many more items.
Located in Manheim, the mud sale benefits the Penryn Fire Company. Items include produce and crafts, as well as farm equipment and other farm-related items. The food here is also exceptional and completely homemade. The food will be served all day after the sale starts at 8:00.