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I’ve lived in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania much of my life. I rarely give the names of our towns here much thought until someone new to the area calls my attention to it. I recently heard a conversation between a local and a tourist about Lancaster County’s town names. It inspired me to make a short list of the ones that usually spark conversation. All of these towns are very small, Amish Country towns, located within a short drive east of Lancaster City.

Original photo and copyright info can be found here
BIRD-IN-HAND – Population 1,790 – Bird-in-Hand is a small town, but a popular destination for tourists wanting to see the Amish of Lancaster County. Most of its attractions are located on a short stretch of route 340, about six miles east of Lancaster City. There are hot air balloon rides, a restaurant and smorgasbord, a few hotels, a campground, an Amish market, a mini golf course, an antique market, and lots more all within walking distance of each other.
Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market
Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market
Amish buggy in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania
Amish buggy in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania
The Old Village Store in Bird-in-Hand, PA
The Old Village Store in Bird-in-Hand, PA

BLUE BALL – Pop. 1,031 – This town is located at the crossroads of route 322 and route 23 about fifteen miles northeast of Lancaster City. The town was named for the inn and hotel that stood at the intersection from around 1800 until 1997. The inn got it’s name when the owner hung a blue ball out front as a sign.

INTERCOURSE – Pop, 1,558 – Originally called “Cross-Keys”, the town was given the name “Intercourse” in 1814. No sources can agree on why the name was changed or what it means. Four miles east of Bird-in-Hand, Intercourse is also a popular tourist spot. There are over 100 shops in Intercourse, many of them selling Amish goods such as quilts, candles, food, and pottery. You can find a map and a complete list of merchants at intercoursevillage.com

Original photo and copyright info can be found here
Wagons and birdhouses at the Coach Shop in Intercourse, PA
Coach Shop in Intercourse, PA
Cheese sign and farm on route 340 near Intercourse, PA
Route 340 near Intercourse, PA
Farm along Rt. 340 between Intercourse and Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania
Along Rt. 340 between Intercourse and Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania
Between Smoketown and Intercourse, PA
Between Smoketown and Intercourse, PA
Open Amish buggy near Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania
Open Amish buggy near Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania

PARADISE – Pop. 1,028 – The town is located along the busy Lincoln Highway (route 30), about ten miles east of Lancaster. Paradise is known for its windmill topped craft store that sells Amish shoofly and whoopie pies. There are a few hotels and restaurants, the most popular being the Miller Smorgasbord.

SMOKETOWN – Pop. 129 – A small town along route 23 between Lancaster City and Bird-in-Hand. Smoketown has a small airport.

motorcycle behind an airplane at the Smoketown , PA airport
The busy Smoketown, PA airport

FERTILITY – Pop. approx. 20 – Fertility is a small town I drove through every day for years and never knew it was a town. That should give you an idea of what there is to do there. Not much – nothing. It’s located on Strasburg Pike just east of Lancaster and is residential only.

BAREVILLE – Bareville, Leacock, Leola area Population 6,625 – Bareville is located on route 23, nine miles northeast of Lancaster City. It’s not a big tourist destination, but the Achenbach’s Bakery is well known in the area and worth stopping by to grab a shoofly or whoopie pie.

– If you liked this, you may also be interested in checking out Mount Hope Wine Gallery and Rumspringa Brewery.

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