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New Bern, North...
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Please help!

My husband and I are traveling back to NC from Rochester, NY. We are planning to stop Friday evening to stay in Lancaster, PA, and then travel on Sat. evening to meet my parents in Baltimore, MD. Our stay will be brief in Lancaster, but we would like to make the most of our short visit. We are staying at the Hampton Inn in Lancaster (we have Hilton Points). We have been offered an upgrade to a "Taste of Lancaster" package, which includes dinner at Miller's Smorgasboard, a two hour "Amish Farm" tour on Saturday morning and an Amish "goodie basket". This upgrade is an additional $70! Can we stick with using our points for a free stay and just tour/eat cheaper on our own?

If so do you have a suggestion on a good true Amish place to eat? The only place I have ever heard of in the area is the Good and Plenty, which my grandmother used to talk about.

Any info you can provide, would be much appreciated.

NY
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1. Re: Please help!

Save your money. Millers is not the place you want to go. Go for lunch at dienners, much cheaper, much better food, true home cooking run by local mennonites. The buffet will be much smaller , but will be of quality. You can also order off the menu. This will give you a taste of the local area. Go to rt. 340, Intercourse and Bird in Hand. check out the really cute shops in those areas, (Kitchen Kettle Village), and then just meander up and down the back roads along the farmlands. That will give you the most bang for your buck. It's really pretty, relaxing and just plain nice. If you want to learn about the amish, on Rt. 340, on the grounds of the amish view and inn, and the plain and fancy restaurant (not good), there is a tour of what an amish home is like, and it is pretty informative. We enjoyed it. Baltimore is not that far away, maybe no more than 2 hrs, so you will have almost all day in Lancaster, and you could do all of the above if you wanted to. Enjoy.

Central Maine
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for Maine
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2. Re: Please help!

Guess I would have to agree that there are better ways to spend $70.00 and still get a true feel for the area.

We've vacationed off-and-on in the Lancaster area for the past 20 years. Have come to the conclusion that neither Good and Plenty nor Plain and Fancy, the two most-hyped "family style" restaurants in the area are as good as they used to be -- seem to be living off their reputations these days -- at least in our experiences. Same can be said for Miller's.

We haven't dined at Dienner's, so won't comment about it. But if you want a sampling of the local cuisine in a down-to-earth, simple, family-friendly place, we'd suggest The Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant on Rt 340. But rather than their buffet, just order off the menu. You'll still get plenty to eat with a chance to sample several traditional dishes at a price that's much lower than the better-advertised buffets or family-style places.

Would also second the suggestion to check out Kitchen Kettle in the village of Intercourse. Local crafts intermixed withsome "imported" stuff -- but also a kitchen with some of the best jams, jellies, relishes you'll ever eat -- and they always have free samples of most of their items available, so you can "taste before you buy." Last time we were there, we came home with almost two dozen jars of various items -- can taste the watermelon rinds and corn relish now!!

NY
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3. Re: Please help!

I've eaten at Bird in Hand family restaurant. They are okay. Nothing wrong with the place, but dienners is better. However, Bird in Hand has the best red velvet cake.

Manassas, Virginia
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4. Re: Please help!

I also recommend Dienner's. We were just there on the 23rd for breakfast. Of course over did it alittle,but for the price,quality AND quantity of food, it's worth it. If you want to do a little shopping there is a store next to Dienner's called King's Impressions. Furniture,primative and gifts Right across the driveway from Dienner's there is Dutch Haven for your Shoo-fly pies. What ever you do enjoy it, we only pass this way once.

God Bless and have a Safe Trip,

popc

Rehoboth Beach...
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for Myrtle Beach
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5. Re: Please help!

I agree with the previous suggestions.

Just wanted to add that Saturday morning is a great time to visit historic downtown Lancaster...Central Market will be open, and you could take in a museum, art gallery or two, Fulton theatre, etc. Perhaps consider a walking tour if the weather is nice. Plenty of ready-to-eat foods are sold at Market, but also many great choices for a nice sit-down meal.

If you get there early (for best selection at Market), you could do all this and still have the afternoon to tour farmland, eat at a smorgasbord, and do the "touristy" stuff.

6. Re: Please help!

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