Lancaster played a pivotal role in American history. Today, the former homes and hangouts of those who shaped the nation exist alongside contemporary shops and restaurants that are breathing new life into one of the United States’ oldest cities.
On a warm and wet Sunday evening in downtown Lancaster, as fresh rain begins to evaporate from the stone sidewalks, a woman wearing dark denim cutoffs and a white midriff stomps down King Street, toward one of the only pubs still open. It’s early, barely even 8 p.m., but most of the shops and restaurants in town have already closed. Many have been closed all day. This corner of southeastern Pennsylvania is perhaps best known for its Amish population, which observes a strict no-work, no-shopping policy on Sundays. In a hurry, the woman checks for oncoming traffic — there isn’t much — and crosses the street, eyeing a small group on a haunted history walking tour. She glances at her Smartphone and flicks her long, blonde hair away from her face, revealing black eyeliner and multiple piercings, a stark contrast to the town’s reputation for tradition.
Signs of downtown Lancaster’s conventional heritage are everywhere, from the architecture and the monuments to the shape and configuration of the streets. Incorporated during the American Revolutionary War, the town was frequented by various dignitaries, including men who would eventually become presidents. But interspersed in this history are also signs of a generational shift. Vegan joints nestle between locations named after famous former residents, like James Buchanan and Thaddeus Stevens. Horse-drawn buggies still make their way down these roads and alleyways, alongside hybrid cars and Uber drivers.
Here in Lancaster, multiple worlds converge. Yet, there seems to be room for everyone.
Read more from this article by Travel Mag, including coverage on Lancaster’s unique Shopping, Food, and History.