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Only we "insiders" know what happens to visitors after spending just ONE day here. I'll tell you what -- and why.
"A child's dream and a grownup's delight!" they say--and they couldn't have phrased it any better! Lititz, the "other Chocolate Town," has been home to Wilbur Chocolate since 1900. Even before you enter the building, the tantalizing aroma of warm chocolate fills the streets! Inside, however, guests are treated to a museum dedicated to everything chocolate. Insider tip: What many tourists miss is the small ceramic crock over by the fudge counter that holds free samples of Wilbur Buds--help yourself! But be advised that once you taste even ONE Wilbur Bud, you will never want any other type of chocolate again. And for the trip trivia lovers, the Wilbur Bud, although somewhat similar in shape to a Hershey Kiss, was first produced in 1893, while the Hershey Kiss was introduced in 1907. Aha!
Main Street, besides its many and varied shops and eateries, also offers a "must see" stop, bringing in thousands of visitors each year--the Sturgis Pretzel House--America's oldest working pretzel factory. Built in 1784, the building was originally used as a home, then a bakery, as it remains today. Tours run daily except Mondays; $4 for adults, $2 for kids, $3 for seniors. But please note, this is NOT your typical tour! No, no! This is a "hands on" experience where every visitor actually twists his own pretzel while learning the history of the pretzel and the true significance of why the pretzel is twisted in such a distinctive style.
Just a few wooded miles off Route 501, listen closely and hear the mournful howls of more than three dozen various types of wolves, most rescued from folks who had illiegally obtained the animals as pets then failed to care for them. Because these beautiful animals have lost their fear of humans, they cannot be returned to the wild. Instead, they live out their lives on this 25-acre facility where their health and happiness is of utmost importance. One-hour walking tours during which tour guides share "insider" knowledge of these intriguiing animals, are by appointment only - $7, $6 senior citizens, $5 children ages 12 and under. There is a $5 fee per camera if you take photos. Call 717-626-4617 to visit. This particular attraction is one that only a very small percentage of visitors are lucky enough to discover.
Take the kids. Take the canoe (only eletric-powered or un-powered boats allowed). Take a lunch and sit at the picnic tables in the pavilion by the lake as you chow down. And by all means, take the fishing pole and try for largemouth bass, bluegill, common carp, channel catfish or white crappies. Portable restrooms are available seasonally. This gorgeous, 106-acre impoundment is owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsyylvania. A perfect stop-point on your way to the Wolf Sanctuary.
Lititz Springs Park is the sparkling gem in our little village. Seven acres of unspoiled beauty, it is lovingly cared for by volunteers, and managed by a Board of Trustees. It is a place of peace, reflection, and of course, some of the best-fed ducks in the world. The park is the site of the longest continous celebration of the Fourth of July in the U.S., bringing in over 10,000 visitors to watch the illumination of 7,000 candles spaced throughout the park. In August it is home to one of the East Coast's largest craft shows, bringing in approximately 30,000 people who shop through the park and onto the Lititz main streets, which are closed for the occasion. At Christmas, Santa and Mrs. Claus are on site each weekend in the park's caboose to welcome the youngsters of Lititz.The park offers two playgrounds, three covered pavilions, a sand volleyball court, a gazebo, a bandshell, springhead and canal that holds pure limestone water from three underground springs. A replica of the original 1884 train station stands at the front of the park, serving as the Lititz Visitor's Center.
Bart the Bear sits out front of the Teddy Bear Emporium, where over 1,500 bears are just waiting for YOU to adopt them! Bart is a "must" for photo opps. I dare you to go inside and not come out with a new teddy bear friend--impossible!
"The Sutter," lovingly referred to by locals, dates back to 1764 and offers 15 spacious rooms and suites decorated in antique country and Victorian styles. For fine food, this is THE place. Breakfasts are also not to be missed. Beginning in the spring, the courtyard is opened and outside dining is blissful. Inside, the inn also offers a ballroom, conference room, bar, and...let's just say, something you'll find nowhere else in the entire world, guaranteed. Ladies, ask your gentleman to go downstairs and make sure no one else is in the men's room, then go down there and take a look. No, I don't know why it's there but owner to owner over the years, it remains in place.
Don't come to Lititz without a camera as this little town is ripe with photo opps--and Moravian Church Square is a picture postcard, guaranteed. Across from Sturgis Pretzel House, Church Square is breathtaking anytime but even more so in the spring and summer. This is what Lititz is all about--the Moravians, who founded this village in 1756 as an experiment in "utopia." The Moravians were originally from Moravia and Bohemia, eventually found their way to Germany and at last, to the U.S.
The history of Lititz can be found in the Lititz Museum, directly across from Church Square and in the Moravian Archives, on Church Square.
Linden Hall is an independent, college preparatory, boarding and day school for girls in grades 6-12. The school has been continuously educating young girls for over 258 years. Young women from some of the world's most notable families attend this highly regarded school that sits on 47 acres, has a full equestrian program, their own performing arts center, complete with a newly constructed theatre.
Located across from the Moravian Church Square and down from the Sturgis Pretzel House, these two buildings invite visitors to experience life as it was in the 1700's and 1800's in a "closed" society. A timeline in the museum offers an illustrated overview of the history of Lititz and makes guests understand clearly what sets us apart from the surronding Amish and Mennonite communities. The Mueller House is a delightful immersion into the life of a dyer and tanner of the 1800's, with artifacts that can be found in no other museum in the world. Tours are available for one person to large groups, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., May 25-October 26. Call 717-627-4636.
Each year the town of Lititz turns into heaven for chocohlics. Two dozen or so top-ranked chocolatiers from Central Pennsylvania travel to Lititz to display and/or demonstrate their work. Smart people buy their Chocolate Walk buttons far in advance as each year it has been a sell-out crowd of over 2,000 people. The button, which sells for $10 before the Walk, or $15 the day of the Walk (IF there are any left to sell), allows the wearer of the button a free sample at each one of the stops along the route. This year the Lititz Chocolate Walk will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Insider tip: Bring a container and take SOME of it home, it's just TOO much to eat in one day. There's also a chef competition, a People's Choice contest, music, and more! Call 717-626-8141for more information and to order your button NOW!