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5 free things to do in Pa. Amish country

Associated Press Published: October 4, 2012

There are 25 covered bridges in the area, and one of several tours starts in the town of Ephrata, which is also home to the Ephrata Cloister, an early communal society. Another tour goes through the town of Christina, which played a major role in the history of the Underground Railroad. You can visit the Pool Forge Covered Bridge, where President James Buchanan supposedly met his fiancee, and Bitzer's Mill Bridge, built in 1846 at a reported cost of $1115. Along the way you'll see one-room schoolhouses, sweet shops, and plenty of beautiful countryside. Details:


This archive and museum features diaries, ledgers, textiles, clothing and furniture of the early Lititz community, which was organized in 1749. There is also a large collection of early musical instruments. During the Revolutionary War, one stone building was commandeered by General George Washington as a hospital. Located nine miles (14.5 kilometers) north of Lancaster. Open Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by advance appointment. Details:


This small museum features a short film about the faith and life of the Mennonites and Amish, an exhibit, and a bookstore. Also features a list of Mennonite Bed & Breakfasts in the area, and working farms that accept visitors. They also offer guided tours of the area. Located in Lancaster. Details: