Monday, June 29, 2015

Celebrate Independence Day In Lancaster County

This year, celebrate the Fourth of July weekend with a BANG in Lancaster County. Spend the weekend at the Historic Smithton Inn to take part in local events and witness amazing fireworks displays across the county.

Check out this sampling of events that have fun in store for the whole family Friday and Saturday the first weekend in July.

Lititz Fourth of July Celebration
Friday, July 3, 2015 (6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.)
Saturday, July 4, 2015 (12:00 p.m.)

Sponsored by Lititz Springs Park, the Lititz Patriotic Parade is packed with excitement for young and old alike on Friday, July 3, 2015. It starts on Broad Street, near the Wilbur Chocolate Museum and Store. The Fourth of July Celebration—held throughout Friday and Saturday—is one of the oldest continuous celebrations in the country. For more information on exciting entertainment during the 198th Fourth of July at Lititz Springs Park, visit the event website.

Downtown Lancaster: First Friday
Friday, July 3, 2015
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

The arts and entertainment await you on the first Friday of every month, during Lancaster City’s First Friday. From street-side musicians to chich art galleries, downtown Lancaster has it all. Shops stay open late for locals and visitors to enjoy the unique and eclectic treasures Lancaster City has to offer.

Ephrata Firecracker 5 Mile Run
Saturday, July 4, 2015
8:00 a.m.

Join in the fun at the 38th Annual Ephrata Firecracker 5 Mile Run on Saturday, July 4, 2015. The race starts in the Ephrata Playhouse in Grater Park. Be sure to get to the Ephrata War Memorial Field (less than a five-minute drive from the Historic Smithton Inn) before 9:30 p.m. to get a great view of the fireworks display that runs from 9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Lancaster Barnstormers vs. Camden Riversharks
Saturday, July 4, 2015
7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

While you’re in town, watch the Lancaster Barnstormers take on the Camden Riversharks at Clipper Magazine Stadium, less than half an hour’s drive from the Historic Smithton Inn. You certainly won’t want to miss the Red White & BOOM FIREWORKS Extravaganza following the baseball game, either. And visit the Barnstormers website  for more information on upcoming events.

For more excitement, check out some of these fireworks displays throughout Lancaster County to get you in the Fourth of July spirit! So much awaits you during the Fourth of July weekend in Lancaster County, including East Petersburg Movie in the Park (Despicable Me 2), Family Fishing Day, and more.

Enjoy your visit in Lancaster County even more by staying at the Historic Smithton Inn in Ephrata. We’re here to give you a relaxing place to rejuvenate and re-energize, so you can enjoy the Independence Day weekend festivities to their fullest. Reserve your room today!

Image courtesy of satit_srihin at

Monday, June 22, 2015

Experience The Summer Sounds Of Lancaster County

Are you looking to get out and enjoy the summer music scene? Lancaster County has plenty for
electric guitar
everyone to enjoy at various venues throughout our area. Chill out with the sounds of local talent and visiting music artists indoors or outdoors at these great locations this summer.

Concerts By The Creek

Once a month throughout the summer, Grater Park in Ephrata hosts Concerts by the Creek. Each concert is free and brings talented musicians who perform favorites from past and present. Experience funk, classic rock, reggae jazz, and more. Food vendors are also present during the concerts. Concerts are outdoors, rain or shine. Best of all, they’re only five minutes from the Historic Smithton Inn!

Long’s Park Summer Music Series

Just outside of historic downtown Lancaster, relax at Long’s Park on Sundays this summer while experiencing local musical talent. Grab your blankets and lawn chairs, and get a taste of folk, rock, and more—all for free—at Lancaster’s most beloved park. All events are outdoors, rain or shine. See the website for a list of the 2015 performers.

Local Wineries

In addition to the endless summer fun in multiple parks across Lancaster County, many local wineries also provide outdoor entertainment for your enjoyment. Here is just a handful of locations with music performances this season:

The Vineyard at Grandview: 1489 Grandview Rd, Mt Joy, PA  -  (717) 653-4825

Waltz Vineyard: 1599 Old Line Rd, Manheim, PA - (717) 664-9463

Nissley Vineyards & Winery Estate: 140 Vintage Drive, Bainbridge, PA - (717) 426-3514

Mount Hope Estate & Winery: 2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim, PA - (717) 665-7021

The Ware Center

Treat yourself to spectacular entertainment at the Ware Center this summer. With live entertainment ranging from concerts to the Lancaster International Piano Festival, you’ll find an array of performances to please music lovers of all preferences. See the Ware Center website for a full list of summer entertainment—and it’s all just a half hour away from our inn.

American Music Theater

Just 20 minutes from the Historic Smithton Inn, AMT offers a variety of top-notch entertainment options. Visit AMT for musical performances of multiple genres by well-known artists and groups, comedy acts, and more. Check the schedule on their website for a full list of upcoming acts. You’re sure to find something you won’t want to miss!

Ephrata Main Theatre

At Ephrata Main Theatre, see popular, newly released family films at reasonable prices, concerts, and comedy acts throughout the summer. Ephrata Main Theatre always brings excitement in the Brossman Business Complex, with comedians and impressive theatrical performances presented by Community Arts Foundation of Ephrata (CAFÉ).

Ten Thousand Villages

Pick a date to escape the heat and enjoy the music at Ten Thousand Villages this summer. This café and fair trade retailer is within one mile of the Historic Smithton Inn. It hosts all sorts of musicians on a regular basis for your enjoyment. From folk and jazz to pop and rock, the sounds at the café are perfect for times when you want a laid-back experience in an intimate setting.

So if you’re looking to experience the sound of something new this summer, come check out what Lancaster County has to offer, and book a room at the Historic Smithton Inn. I’m looking forward to talking with you!

Image courtesy of moggara12 at

Monday, June 15, 2015

Plan Ahead And Send Summer Out In Style: Visit Lancaster County’s Arts And Crafts Festivals

Lancaster County is bursting with talented artisans and crafters of all varieties who spend all year
Pottery image courtesy of dan at
creating inventories of exceptional works. This summer, plan ahead and schedule some time to take in some of the area’s most popular arts and crafts shows. There’s something for everyone at these events so bring your friends and family with you to experience them.

38th Annual Lititz Rotary Craft Show
Saturday, August 8, 2015
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Rain or shine

The Lititz Rotary Craft Show is one of the most noteworthy craft extravaganzas on the east coast. Held along seven blocks between Main Street and Broad Street and spilling into Lititz Springs Park, you’ll need every second to take in the unique creations from 700 vendors across the United States and even from Canada. And it’s only, at most, a mere 20 minutes from the Historic Smithton Inn. For more information, see the Lititz Rotary Club website.

41st Annual Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show
Saturday, August 15, 2015 (9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Sunday, August 16, 2015 (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Rain or shine
*Paid admission required

Mount Gretna is a quaint slice of the best Lancaster County has to offer. The Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show serves also as a community fundraiser, with all proceeds benefitting projects around the community. Enjoy food and art of all sorts, ranging from photography to sculpting and more by local Lancaster artists as well as talents from across the country, such as New Mexico and Oklahoma. They all come together to create an unforgettable event with approximately 260 vendors. Check out Mount Gretna’s art show website to view participating vendors and examples of what types of original art to expect. Held under the tall oak trees of Chautauqua, the event is located between Route 117 and Pennsylvania Avenue.

37th Annual Long’s Park Art & Craft Festival
Friday and Saturday, September 4 and 5, 2015 (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Sunday, September 6, 2015 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
*Paid admission required

On the outskirts of historic downtown Lancaster, this Labor Day weekend event is always an unforgettable time as one of America’s top 50 fine art and craft shows. Enjoy the beauty of one of the most popular parks in Lancaster County while taking in the talent of more than 200 artists and crafters from over 30 states across the country. All proceeds benefit the annual Long’s Park Summer Music Series, free concerts that take place in the park throughout the season. Long’s Park is only half an hour drive from the Historic Smithton Inn.

Ephrata Merchant’s 42nd Annual Arts, Crafts And Restaurant Fair
Saturday, September 12, 2015 (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Rain or Shine

Experience the deliciousness of locally grown produce and fresh food products made by the vendors themselves, and admire handmade crafts and artwork. With over 200 vendors, this event in Ephrata spans along Downtown Square, East and West Main Streets, and North and South State Streets. It's sure to inspire your inner artist. This annual event is less than five minutes from our inn, so why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to discover our local talent?

Enjoy the closing of your summer at one or more of these exciting and unique festivals across Lancaster County. There’s sure to be something to please everyone, and at the Historic Smithton Inn, we’re more than happy to accommodate your overnight needs.

Image courtesy of dan at

Monday, June 8, 2015

Apple Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Salad: A Sweet Summer Treat

Strawberries and Apples
The perfect addition to any summer picnic, this fruit salad is simple to make and great to enjoy on a hot summer day. It is one of my favorites for this time of year at the Historic Smithton Inn.

You’ll notice some interesting ingredients below. I add orange juice to keep the apples from turning brown, and I use brown sugar and strawberry jam to give the salad a unique, sweet touch without overwhelming the fruits.

Apple Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Salad

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 to 3 firm, tart apples (I typically use Fuji apples)
  • 2 to 3 kiwis
  • 2 c. strawberries (hulled)
  • ¼ c. orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. strawberry jam

How To Make It:

  1. Peel and core the apples. Cut all fruit into bite-sized pieces and put the pieces in a medium bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the orange juice, brown sugar, and strawberry jam.
  3. Pour the mixture over the medium bowl of fruit and gently toss to coat.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Bring this healthful treat to a cookout or enjoy it with your kids during lunch. No matter where you serve it, this recipe is sure win accolades from your family and friends.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Scenic Summer Hiking Trails In Lancaster County

Hiking boot
There’s nothing like feeling the sun beaming through the treetops as you’re taking in all that nature has to offer. Lancaster County has plenty of parks and trails to help you get a healthful dose of nature’s beauty—and many of them are an easy drive from the Historic Smithton Inn.

Explore Lancaster County Rail Trails

Major Richard D. Winters Memorial Trail (formerly known as Ephrata Linear Park) is a mere half
mile away from our inn. If you’re looking for a short stroll to get your day started, this mile-long trail may be just what you’re looking for. If you’d like to add an extra mile to your morning exercise, consider beginning your walk at the Smithton. Round trip is equal to three miles.

The Lebanon Valley Rail Trail is 14.5 miles long and leads you along the old Cornwall-Lebanon Railroad. While biking or hiking this trail, you can take in both the Pennsylvania Dutch Country farmland and the forestry. Lebanon Valley Rail Trail stretches from Colebrook and through Mt. Gretna, Cornwall, and Lebanon.

Close to three miles long, the Lititz-Warwick Trailway was built along an abandoned corridor of the Reading Railroad. Whether you’re walking, jogging, or biking, this trail is perfect for taking in both the rural and urban areas of Lititz. History buffs may be particularly interested in the two 18th Century homes along the trail, as well.

Journey Along Lancaster County’s Rugged Hiking Terrain

Split into four sections, the Conestoga Trail covers a gorgeous wooded area Lancaster County. Section A of the trail is closest to the Historic Smithton Inn and has a beautiful overlook that will make you appreciate the stillness of nature.

The Mason-Dixon Shuttle is a five-mile long shuttle hike where you can connect with some of the most beautiful scenic views and streams with bits of American history scattered throughout. The full Mason Dixon Trail stretches from the Brandywine Trail in Chester County into Havre de Grace, Maryland, and back through Pennsylvania along the River Hills of the west shore along the Susquehanna River.

Susquehannock State Park is just south of Columbia and overlooks the Susquehanna River. This park offers over five miles of various terrains, from flat trails to inclined hikes that are sure to prove a challenge. If you’re an avid bird watcher, bring your binoculars to Susquehannock State Park because you never know what you might find. Visitors have even been known to witness bald eagle sightings. Located in Drumore Township, this park is ideal for nature lovers of all ages.

If you want a getaway within reach of beautiful outdoor destinations in Lancaster County, book your room at the Historic Smithton Inn now. I’ll be happy to share more about my favorite hiking locations and start you off with a hearty breakfast before you embark on your adventure.

Hiking Boot Image courtesy of marcolm at