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Must-See Sights in Historic Downtown Lancaster

Downtown Lancaster PA at night

As the world attempts to get back to some semblance of normalcy after COVID-19, you may be looking to finally get out of the house. If you’re not ready for a big vacation and you find yourself looking to Lancaster, PA for a quick getaway, we’ve got you covered with activities and sights in historic downtown Lancaster!

There are so many things to do in Lancaster City, and it would be difficult to list everything. So we wanted to put together some of our favorite “must-see” places that we think any out-of-towner should visit at least once.

Lancaster Central Market

When you want a taste of history, you’ll want to stop by America’s oldest, continuously running public farmer’s market. Established in 1730, the Lancaster Central Market is a great way to experience local flavors without breaking the bank. Central Market has over 60 vendors that sell locally grown produce, freshly prepared food, delicious desserts (don’t forget to grab a few whoopee pies), flowers, locally sourced meats and cheese, and much more.

Central Market is open three days a week on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The earlier you get there, the better selection of food you’ll have to choose from.

Fulton Theatre

Once you’ve eaten your fill at Central Market, head over to Prince Street (less than a block away) and consider checking out a show at the Fulton Theatre! With a rich history in the Lancaster community, the Fulton has been around in some form since 1737. It started as a pre-Revolutionary jail, evolved into a community hall in 1852, and eventually opened as a performance venue in 1873.

While the season is currently postponed until the fall, you can still purchase tickets for one (or more) shows in advance. You can also take tours of the theater and learn about its rich history. Check out the schedule for tours or shows on the Fulton’s website.

Lancaster Museum of Art

If there’s one thing you need to know about Lancaster City, it’s that it is a very art-forward and positive community. We previously wrote about First Fridays in the city, but if you’re looking to soak up some of the local art scene before that, we suggest heading to the Lancaster Museum of Art.

The museum is a great place to see local art in various forms of media, listen to an artist lecture, participate in a panel discussion, or join in on an educational workshop (for adults and children!). You can visit the Lancaster Museum of Art Tuesday – Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Just make sure you call ahead to confirm that they’re open since they tend to close between exhibitions!

Gallery Row

Sometimes museum hours may not align with your schedule, or you just want to walk around the city some more. If you’re in the vicinity of the 100 block of North Prince Street, you can check out what we call “Gallery Row.” There’s a variety of shops, restaurants, and of course—art galleries! When you’re looking to stretch your legs and experience local art at the same time, this is the route we recommend for you.

Tellus 360

Ask any local where the best place is to grab food and some entertainment, and they’ll likely tell you to head to Tellus 360. With a 10,000-square-foot rooftop bar, a great stage area for bands, lounge areas, food, and an Irish pub, this is one of our favorite places to hang out in downtown Lancaster. So when you’re done looking at all the sights in historic downtown Lancaster, rest your feet and relax with a beverage and locally-sourced meals.

Due to COVID-19, the hours at Tellus 360 are slightly altered, and they’re only offering rooftop service. Check the website for more information and updates.

Need a Place to Stay When Visiting Lancaster City?

We’ve got you covered! The Lancaster Arts Hotel offers deluxe accommodations right in the heart of downtown Lancaster City. We’re within walking distance of plenty of local restaurants, art galleries, shops, entertainment, and more! Just give us a call or contact us online to learn more about how we can make your stay in our city as comfortable as possible.