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Pennsylvania Dutch Country, PA

Introduction

Named for the German (Deutsch) immigrants who settled here in the 18th century, this picturesque farmland is home to the Plain People of the Amish, Mennonite and Brethren faiths. Known for their minimalist lifestyle and old-fashioned ways, the Plain People of Pennsylvania Dutch Country separate themselves from “The English” by wearing simple, modest clothing and shunning such modern conveniences as electricity and motor vehicles, preferring hard work and devotion to God, family and community.

You'll find a slower pace in Lancaster County, where horse-drawn buggies clop down country lanes past weathered barns and covered bridges. Historic sites and museums nod to the past—railroad trains, antique toys, old clocks—and working farms allow a glimpse into the austere life of past centuries. In small towns with charming names like Bird-in-Hand, Mount Joy and Paradise, you can browse through antique shops and farmers' markets (where the sweet corn comes straight from the field) and sample German comfort foods like shoofly pie and schnitzel. Local arts and crafts are highly prized, so look for hand-stitched quilts, hardwood furniture and redware pottery as reminders of your travels among the Pennsylvania Dutch.

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Pennsylvania Dutch Country, PA

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