Leave the modern world behind Pennsylvania Dutch Country
To the north, the town of Lititz was founded by Moravians in the late 1700s as a closed religious community, only opening to outsiders nearly 100 years later. Today, its quaint Main Street boasts colonial houses, antiques shops and the Sturgis Pretzel House, the oldest commercial pretzel bakery in the U.S. Just outside town, the lakeside Swiss Woods B&B offers seven rooms decorated in modern country style, and can arrange for guests to have dinner in an Amish home.
The Ephrata Cloister was founded by Conrad Beissel and his followers, who, between 1735 and 1746, built homes, meeting houses, bakeries, mills and a printing office, all while practising their own distinct blend of proto-mysticism, Anabaptism and celibacy. A dozen of the cloister’s original buildings have been restored and are open for tours. Little more than a quarter-mile from the cloister, the Historic Smithton Inn has been welcoming guests since 1763, when it was built as a stagecoach stop. About 12 miles east, Churchtown offers another great choice: the Inn at Twin Linden, with bucolic grounds and country-style guest rooms with whirlpool tubs and fireplaces.
Further north, in Berks County, Kutztown hosts the country’s oldest ongoing folklife festival every July. You can pick up a hex sign here—one of those colourful bits of folk art that is a trademark of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.