Many times guests ask for our ideas of suggested itineraries for what to do during their visit.  Lancaster County has always been a destination with a plethora of choices to make every traveler’s head spin when trying to decide what to do.  The first thing that might pop into your mind when mention is made of Lancaster is the Amish community.  This is true; there is a wealth of Amish attractions in this region of Pennsylvania.  However, many times, folks are under the impression that this is the “only” activity available.   What an understatement.  There are choices in every category:   Nature and Outdoors, Historical, Amusement, Theater, Shopping, Dining/Foodie, Education, Wineries & Breweries, and Antiques.  We have an extensive list when you visit our Local Attractions page on our website .

It is challenging to have any thoughts or conversation during this time without considering the pandemic crisis facing us every day.  When composing this communication it was a struggle to avoid the topic and present a stress-free letter offering visitors space to forget about the world and just escape.  We ARE very aware and very prepared to welcome guests with precautions and measures in place to help you breathe a little easier and getaway to relax (see previous BLOG – UPDATES and REMINDER).  We will continue with our newly implemented procedures every day and moving into the future.  Some of the changes have been very well accepted and a pleasure to expedite.  An example of a welcome change is the new private and outdoor breakfast dining options.  Yes, we do still offer community dining in the dining room (socially distanced, of course) for folks who prefer to meet new people and exchange stories and ideas.   With that said and out of the way, take a deep breath and let us share some of our suggested itineraries for when you are ready to get back on the road and explore our beautiful region.  Please keep in mind you can book direct from our website,, by selecting the Schedule Your Stay icon in the top right corner of any page. 

Spontaneity is great…live for the moment…take a shot in the dark…run with the wind BUT when you need a plan to fit the most into a couple of days, we are here to help.  These are just a few examples of suggested itineraries folks have enjoyed and shared with us or we have experienced personally in order to pass along information for guest to make informed decisions. 


  • Arrive early in the day on a Tuesday, Friday or Saturday and set your sites on Downtown Lancaster. Central Market is America’s oldest continually operating indoor market, established 1730.  (several parking options available) the selection of vendors is more than just a few farm stands, that is for sure.  There are a variety of small shoppes surrounding market with a brick paver sidewalk for you to walk your way around.  Downtown is also home to Gallery Row  (Check specific venues for hours)
  • Pick up a bite to eat at Central Market or venture on over to one of Lancaster’s many ethnic based restaurants. Lancaster has exploded into a foodie town so there is quite a selection.  A few of our regular stops are:  Old San Juan (Latin fare) or Himalayan Grill (Nepalese & Indian) (temporarily take-out only, consider a picnic at nearby Lancaster County Park), just a stone’s throw from the Inn or Silantra Asian Street Kitchen  ( temporarily take-out only, consider a picnic at nearby Musser Park) 
  • Check-In at the Apple Bin Inn, relax in your room or walk our labyrinth, then freshen up before dinner (please let us know your arrival time in advance)
  • There are many fabulous restaurants to choose with anything from casual to fine dining. Consider one of our all time favorites, John J. Jeffries (farm to table) where the menu is based on local, seasonal, sustainable and organic agriculture and delicious recipes.  The atmosphere is relaxing and the food is always delicious.
  • When you return to the Inn you may be interested in enjoying a bottle of wine from a Lancaster County Vineyard and perhaps one of our specially designed local cheese platters. When you are making your reservation simply select one of the add-on packages available or mention it to us if reserving via telephone.  (Advance orders are required.) 

FOR THE KIDS AND YOUNG AT HEART  ITINERARY the Apple Bin Inn welcomes families with children in both our Braeburn Cottage (comfortably sleeps 5 adults) and the McIntosh Room (queen size room with loveseat sofa bed)   

Day One

  • Arrive early in the day to Lancaster County. The park opens most days at 10AM.  Dutch Wonderland  is a Pennsylvania theme park designed for families with young children in mind.  They have dining options on site and the food is pretty good.  You can plan to arrive in town early and stay the day.  Bring your swim suits, you can cool off in Duke’s Lagoon.  They have a water park too!
  • Check-In at the Apple Bin Inn and freshen up before dinner (please let us know your arrival time in advance)
  • Treehouse Dining at Loxley’s Restaurant  t this is lovely restaurant with the unique experience to dine outdoors and even on the second floor in a tree. 

Day Two

  • Cherry Crest Adventure Farm    Cherry Crest is what we like to refer to as the non-mechanical amusement park nestled in the Amish countryside.  Kids get to explore and experience self powered activities on a countryside location.  A genuine railroad actually runs through the middle of the venue and the Strasburg Rail Road™ has daily steam train excursions that pass through daily.  There are dining options on site if you choose to stay through lunch.
  • Lunch at nearby Isaac’s. Link for kids menu:  This is a nice soup and sandwich shop nearby with a great selection for the kiddos.  If you want to grab and go, there are picnic tables nearby for outdoor seating.
  • Time for to relax on a 45 minute Train Ride through Amish countryside. Strasburg Rail Road™ is America’s oldest operating railroad with a charter dating back to June 9, 1832. 
  • Return to Apple Bin Inn to freshen up before dinner.
  • More fun to come with a converted armory…now with amusement and fare. Decades is another one of our favorites.  Located 10 minutes from the Inn, a straight shot North on Queen Street, and convenient parking.  They even have vegan options for non-carnivorous folks.  This restaurant is most definitely an experience with an in-house arcade and bowling alley. 
  • If you have planned your visit to include a Saturday night stay over and the weather is favorable, the Apple Bin Inn has a fire pit for you to complete your day and relax before turning in for the night. We even have smores!


 Day One

  • Arrive at the Apple Bin Inn for Check-In at your specified time between 3:00PM and 7:00PM. Please be sure to let us know when to expect you.  Self check-in is available for return visitors.  We will show you around and you can get comfortable with your surroundings.   Please let us know if you will be planning to dine out on your first night, have a cuisine in mind and we can make some local suggestions; even make a reservation for you if you like. 

Day Two

  • Breakfast at the Apple Bin Inn is served at 8:00AM. This time has been scheduled for the convenience of all of our guests who would like to begin exploring early.  We have a few breakfast options to choose from; community dining in our dining room with social distancing, private in-room dining where we deliver breakfast to your room, or the skip breakfast option (discount applies if we are notified with your reservation) for folks who are just not breakfast people.  Plan on approximately 30 minutes to an hour for breakfast from start to finish. 
  • Less than 5 miles from the Inn, you can be viewing one of the most serene vistas in Lancaster County. Panoramic views of the Susquehanna River can be seen from the 380 feet high overlooks of the Susquehannock State Park  Down river from Hawk Point Overlook visitors can see Mount Johnson Island, the world’s first bald eagle sanctuary.  GPS DD: Lat. 39.80607  Long. -76.28341
  • The Apple Bin Inn has individual refrigerators in all of our guest rooms. If you would like to pack a lunch the night before and have it ready for your adventure, your room has a space to keep it cool.  With your lunch in hand, you are all ready for a hike on one of the many trails at Susquehannock.  From the Urey Overlook you might want to gear up for a trail that is on the 193-mile Mason-Dixon Trail, a blue-blazed foot path which connects the Appalachian Trail to the Brandywine Trail.  GPS DD: 39.88760, -76.38729 
  • Return to a refreshing shower at the Apple Bin Inn. Take a few moments to relax and then get ready to experience one of the best breweries around at Lancaster Brewing Company .  There are two locations close by with their Taproom only 12 minutes away near outlet shopping or their downtown location on the outskirts of Lancaster City; the corner of Walnut and Plum Streets.  Their seasonal menu does not disappoint.  Since they are located in the heart of Lancaster County, among some of the world’s best farmland, they are committed to fresh, local and sustainably grown products.

Day Three

  • Dietary restrictions are not an issue when planning your breakfast. Just let us know in advance if you have any food allergies or special diet requests and we are happy to accommodate.  We alternate breakfast entrees daily to be sure you have a taste of both sweet and savory recipes when staying multiple nights. 
  • If this is your last morning at Apple Bin Inn and you will be checking out after breakfast, be sure to include a few stops before departing Lancaster County. We try to suggest venues on your return home route for your convenience.  For this reason, here are a few of our winery favorites:

Just South of us and traveling Route 222 South, in neighboring Quarryville, Britain Hill Venue & Vineyard offers wine tastings and special events.  Sangria Slushies are a treat for sure.  (Closed on Mondays). 

To the North, a stop at the sixth generation farm where Waltz Vineyards Estate Winery  is situated offers a truly unique tasting experience with their European inspired tasting room. (Closed Sundays).

 West of the Apple Bin Inn and a short drive from the Susquehanna River Bridge that crosses from Columbia to Wrightsville, you will find Moon Dancer Vineyards and Winery offering beautiful views of the valley below.  Moon Dancer has quite the selection as a winery, cider house, and taproom…they even have a wood-fired pizza oven.  (Closed Mondays & Tuesday).

East bound, heading toward Philadelphia from the Inn, you will pass close by Stargazer Vineyard & Winery overlooking Brandywine Creek in Coatesville, PA.  This location has historical significance in the establishment of the Pennsylvania and Maryland border. You will find Stargazer both tranquil and unique in character, just like their wine.  (Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, & Wednesdays)

We hope these suggested itineraries have encouraged you to visit and explore the opportunities of what there is to see and do while staying with the Apple Bin Inn and traveling around Lancaster County.  We have many more ideas for your adventure in every category.  Let us know and we can advise of the possibilities.  Can’t wait to see you!