10 Unusual and Offbeat Things to Do

VL-Turkey Hill Unusual & Offbeat (Turkey HillExperience)

If you’re looking for something offbeat or unusual in Lancaster County, you’ve got plenty of choices. Here are a few:

Something’s Brewing

A tour of Lancaster County breweries is ever-changing, as a renaissance of brewpubs is underway. The area has a long history of brewing—with a hiccup in the 20th century triggered by Prohibition—but it’s in full swing once again.

Arts Colony

Mount Gretna, an arts community founded in the late 19th century by the Pennsylvania Chautauqua Community, remains today a wooded haven with lovely cottages, an old-time ice cream store, a massive lake for swimming and a full slate of summer performances.

Mt. Gretna, PA 17042

Get Down on the Farm

Get up with the roosters during a Lancaster County farm stay. There are lots of options, from bed and breakfasts that simply are located on a farm to other options that let you take part, as much as you want, in the daily rhythm of farm life.

Get Lost!

The easiest way to get off the beaten path? Just get out and do it. Say goodbye to the Route 30 east-west corridor and head off on the county’s byways. There are rental locations for scooters, Vespas, motorcycles bikes, canoes and kayaks. Just climb aboard and head out – don’t worry about directions; your phone’s GPS can get you back where you started.

Go on a Ghost Tour

This area has a recorded history that stretches back for centuries before America was established; surely there have to be more than a few good, ghostly tales? Guides will take you on tours in both Lancaster city and Strasburg.

1 E Main St, Strasburg, PA 17579; also in Downtown Lancaster

(717) 687-6687

Go Underground

Learn more about the role Lancaster County residents played in the Underground Railroad, the route that smuggled enslaved African-Americans from the South to Free States in the North. The Christiana Underground Railroad Center at historic Zercher’s Hotel in Christiana marks the spot where The Resistance at Christiana occurred, an event that would help spark the Civil War a decade later.

11 Green St, Christiana, PA 17509

(610) 593-5340

Have a Cow

There’s nothing that says “Where are we, again?” like a cow the size of a house. A mobile promotional tool for Lancaster-based Turkey Hill Dairy, the fleet of cows often can be spotted parked throughout the county, or check out the Turkey Hill Experience interactive attraction to see a behemoth Bessie in person.

Turkey Hill Experience, 301 Linden St, Columbia, PA 17512

(844) 847-4884

Museum of Mysteries

To delve deeply into the paranormal and inexplicable, check out the Museum of Mysteries, the labor of love of Rick Fisher. Open on weekends and hosting monthly events, it’s a growing collection of materials on mythology, ghosts, cryptozoology and more.

301 Locust St, Columbia, PA 17512

(717) 341-7574


The North Museum of Nature and Science in Lancaster recently opened a “revolutionized” planetarium, the SciDome Theater, that’s expanding beyond astronomy to include digital programs on meteorology and earth sciences on its 41-foot dome.

400 College Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603

(717) 291-3941

Take a (High-Tech) Hike

Combine the abilities of a handheld GPS or a smartphone app with your hiking boots, and explore Lancaster County Conservancy’s nearly three dozen geocache sites. The conservancy has a list of hidden “treasure spot” coordinates on its website. Test your navigational skills.

Lancaster, PA 17608

(717) 392-7891

— Jennifer Kopf