The only place approaching an urban scale in this part of Pennsylvania, Lancaster (pop. 59,322) is the region’s commercial center, a bustling city that, for a single day during the Revolutionary War, served as capital of the rebellious United States. Though most visitors view it as little more than a handy base for exploring nearby Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Lancaster does have a couple of attractions in its own right, such as the redbrick pseudo-Romanesque Central Market (23 N. Market St.) near King and Queen Streets in the center of town. It hosts the nation’s oldest publicly owned, continuously operating farmers market, currently held all day Tuesday and Friday as well as Saturday mornings and early afternoons.
Two miles northeast of Lancaster, the state-run and well-signed Landis Valley Museum (Tues.-Sun. mid-Mar.-Dec., Wed.-Sun. Jan.-mid-Mar., $12 adults) is a popular living history park of more than 100 acres preserving and interpreting traditional rural lifeways of eastern Pennsylvania.