Monday, July 27, 2015

Lancaster County Summertime Theatre Roundup

When the summer temperatures climb, the Lancaster County theater scene heats up, too.
Theater seats

Check out what a few of my local favorite live theater and music venues have on deck for your entertainment this season:

Ephrata Performing Arts Center at the Sharadin Bigler Theatre – For decades, this center has been putting on top quality performances for folks of all ages. Come enjoy talent just steps away from Broadway, a mere mile from the Historic Smithton Inn.

July 23 – August 8

September 3 – September 19

Fulton Theatre – Take a tour of this beloved, classic location this summer to see where the magic happens. Tours are open every Friday throughout the summer, the final showing on September 4. Tickets are only $5 for adults and $2 for students 18 years of age and under. And it’s all just a half hour from our inn.

Sight & Sound Theatre – Make reservations for a one-of-a-kind experience this season only found at Sight & Sound. With breathtaking performances of Biblical interpretations, there’s something for everyone to learn. And as if the shows aren’t amazing enough, you can even reserve a spot to go behind the scenes and discover the mystery behind the magnificent performances.

Present – October 17

Present – December 31

Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre – A half-hour drive from the inn, enjoy dinner and a show at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre this season. If you’d rather pass on the meal, you and the family can still come for the show.

Present – August 1

August 6 – September 19

Rainbow Dinner Theatre – Another dinner theater experience, Rainbow Dinner Theatre is also half an hour from our inn! They offer comedic performances and delicious dinners, so pay them a visit for a fun evening this summer.

Present – August 8

August 15 – October 24

Hershey TheatreTravel 40 miles west on Route 322 from the Historic Smithton Inn for everything from classic films to concerts to Broadway performances. For a full list of events and to purchase tickets, see their website.

American Music TheatreOnly 20 minutes from our inn, travel to AMT to experience an unforgettable evening. AMT hosts all sorts of performances, from original shows to standup comedy to music of all genres. Below is just a snippet of what’s on stage this summer.

Present – October 9

Monday, August 3

Friday, August 7

Tuesday, August 18

Wednesday, August 19

When you visit Lancaster County this summer, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to enjoy some of the top-notch performances I’ve mentioned here. And remember, book your stay at the Historic Smithton Inn, so we can chat about all the other exciting things to see and do in our area.

Image courtesy of Apple's Eyes Studio at

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Wonderful Wineries of Lancaster County, PA

Whether you’re a novice at wine tasting or an accomplished connoisseur, Lancaster County’s
White wine
wineries will be a treat to your taste buds. White, red, dry, or sweet, I know you’ll find a varietal worth telling your friends and family about.

Here are a few of our favorite Lancaster County wineries:

The Vineyard at Grand View

The first time I visited this winery, I wondered if their vineyard did in fact have a “grand view,” and sure enough, it DOES!  In addition to amazing wine, they have a wonderful deck that overlooks their grape vines and rolling hills & farmland. They often have live music on weekends, too. I recommend the Vineyard at Grand View to all of my guests who enjoy fabulous wine and the scenic beauty of Lancaster County.

Nissley Winery

Located in Bainbridge, the Nissley Winery offers plenty to do. Spend the day enjoying a tour and browsing the wine shop and end it with a beautiful picnic. You can also enjoy lawn concerts on select summer evenings.

Thorn Hill Wine Tasting Store

Just over a 20 minute drive from the inn, off of Fruitville Pike in Lancaster, take a trip down to the Thorn Hill Wine Tasting Room. Here, you can sample and purchase wines from Thorn Hill’s vineyards in California. This location is the only Thorn Hill Wine Tasting Room in the state of Pennsylvania.

Tamanend Winery

Also just over 20 minutes from the inn, the Tamanend Winery is a part of multiple wine trails across Lancaster County. At its Lancaster and Strasburg tasting room locations, you can taste many different samples of wines made at the winery, and you can watch the wine-making process first-hand.

Waltz Vineyards

The Waltz Vineyards in Manheim give you an opportunity to take in the outdoor environs where the wine-making process begins. Be sure to take advantage of their wine tasting room, as well, which features local art in addition to their delicious wine. The vineyards also offer live entertainment on select dates, plus they’re a mere half-hour drive from our inn.

Mount Hope Estate & Winery

The Mount Hope Estate, home to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and a local favorite here in Lancaster County, is only about 25 minutes from the Historic Smithton Inn. At the winery, you can build your wine tasting resume with complimentary wine tasting offered daily. See their website for more information about their wine series and trails.

Moon Dancer Winery & Cider House

You’re sure to please your pallet at Moon Dancer Winery & Cider House. With music festivals and wine tasting, what's not to love? This winery also serves as a great wedding venue if you’re looking for an ideal location in Lancaster County. It’s also less than 30 miles from our inn!

I hope you’ll make it a point to explore what these fine wineries offer during your visit with us. Haven’t booked your stay with us yet? Contact us today to reserve a room!

Photo courtesy of Dawn Mentzer

Monday, July 13, 2015

Save Some Time For Summer Adventures In Lancaster County’s Great Outdoors

If you’re yearning for some outdoor adventure, Lancaster County offers plenty of opportunity to get

out in the fresh air and sunshine.

Here are a few favorite outdoor activities you'll want to put on your to do list during your visit to PA Dutch Country:

Refreshing Mountain Zip Line Canopy Tours

Just six miles from the Historic Smithton Inn, Refreshing Mountain offers thrill and exhilaration as you zip through the scenic woodland of the resort. You can take two different tours: The Challenge Adventure Tour (over 1,400 feet in length) lasts one to two hours and consists of five zip lines and nine challenge elements. The Aerial Excursion Tour consists of seven zip lines and is over 3500 feet long, taking on average between two and two and a half hours to complete.

For more information about these tours, check out the Refreshing Mountain website. You can also call (717) 738-1490 or make reservations online for your one-of-a-kind zip line experience at 455 Camp Road in Stevens, PA.

Kayak And Paddleboard At Shank's Mare Outfitters in Wrightsville

If you’re not keen on the idea of sailing high through the tree tops, you can go kayaking or paddleboarding at Shank's Mare Outfitters instead. Shank's Mare offers various paddle tours throughout the summer, some focusing on birdwatching, others on Native American art on the rocks in the area, and others allow you to simply take in the beauty of the Susquehanna River and its surroundings.

Kayak rentals during tour days are $40 for a single kayak and $45 for a double kayak. If you decide not to participate in the tours but still wish to rent a kayak or stand up paddleboard, single kayaks and stand up paddleboards are $28 for up to two hours and $8 an hour for each additional hour. The Rental Shack is located at the John Wright Restaurant on the Susquehanna. For more information including tour details, pricing, and directions, see the Shank's Mare website or contact them by phone at (717) 252-1616.

Climb Chickies Rock

One of the largest climbing locations in Central PA, Chickies Rock has six different areas where you can go rock climbing. The location was turned into a county park and is now one of the most beloved attractions in Lancaster County for climbers of all skill levels. The park also has various overlooks where you can enjoy the view below and beyond. If you’re staying at the Historic Smithton Inn, Chickies Rock County Park is just under half an hour drive away.

These are only a few of the many outdoor activities you can participate in during your stay in Lancaster County. For even more ideas, visit Things To Do Lancaster and Discover Lancaster websites; and be sure to reserve your room at the Historic Smithton Inn to experience the ultimate rest and relaxation in between activities!

Image courtesy of franky242 at

Monday, July 6, 2015

Historic Smithton Inn All-Time Favorite Recipes: Lemon Poppy Seed Sweet Bread

After trying our vanilla poppy seed bread during her stay at the Historic Smithton Inn, a guest sent us
this recipe for lemon poppy seed sweet bread. It’s now one of our own favorites, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it, too!

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

How To Make It:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together flour, poppy seeds, salt, and baking soda.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and softened butter. Beat in eggs, sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well blended.
  3. Stir in flour mixture until well mixed.
  4. Spoon into greased muffin tin.
  5. Bake at 400F for 15 to 20 minutes.

These muffin-shaped sweet bread treats will make the perfect addition to a holiday picnic or family get-together this summer. 

Getting together in Lancaster County and need a place to stay? We’re happy to help here at the Historic Smithton Inn. Give us a call to reserve a room today!

Image courtesy of Suat Eman at