It’s Always A Good Time to Visit Lancaster

What's So Special About Lancaster, PA?

Lancaster, PA has gained notoriety in the last few years. Even national publications like the New York Times and Forbes have noticed there’s something special about the city. While Lancaster is a great place to live, it’s an even better place to retire. Lancaster, PA has ranked in the top three Best Places to Retire in the United States for three years in a row, and it’s easy to see why. Among diverse entertainment, cultures, and landscapes, there’s something for everyone to find in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Let us show you.


Lancaster’s downtown area is an exciting fusion of history and modern living. From arts and culture to eclectic restaurants and boutiques, visitors can discover just how special Lancaster is. Indulge at our local breweries and distilleries, shop on Gallery Row, or attend one of Lancaster’s many festivals or performances.

On the first Friday of every month, shops and restaurants remain open later than regular hours for customers to peruse and listen to live music. Lancaster has dozens of restaurants that cater to unique tastes – from ethnic cuisines to vegetarian- and vegan-friendly menus. The variety of shops and galleries span many interests, too.

Interested in taking in a show? Visit the Fulton Theatre for Broadway-caliber musicals and plays, or check out the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra. Willow Valley Communities also hosts performance groups like the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra or Prima Theatre at our Cultural Center.

In addition to restaurants, shops, and the arts, Lancaster’s downtown is also home America’s oldest continually-operating farmer’s market: the Lancaster Central Market. Find locally sourced fruits and vegetables, baked treats, freshly cut flowers, homemade Amish goods, and more as you peruse the many aisles of Central Market. Lancaster County is also home to President James Buchanan’s mansion, Wheatland.

Only three miles from downtown Lancaster, Willow Valley Communities offers complimentary shuttle service for residents to take advantage of all that Lancaster has to experience. If you’re interested in experiencing downtown Lancaster for yourself while visiting Willow Valley Communities, ask your sales counselor about the Be Our Guest program for even more time to explore the gem that Lancaster City is.

Rural Lancaster

It’s virtually impossible to drive through the rural parts of Lancaster County in the summer without seeing at least one roadside fruit and vegetable stand. In the fall months, visit farms and orchards with your grandchildren to pick produce, sample cider, and to find your way out of a corn or hay maze.

From the rolling hills of farmland to forests and winding rivers, parts of Lancaster are meant to be experienced outdoors. Amish country offers horse and buggy rides, while dozens of trails along the Susquehanna River afford picturesque views of the county and a great way to exercise.

Willow Valley Communities’ fitness team organizing dozens of hikes in the area for interested residents; and our Cycling Club regularly bikes through trails and the surrounding areas together. If you’re looking for active senior living, you’ll find it in Lancaster.

One of the Best Places to Retire

We’re not the only ones who think Lancaster, PA is a great place to retire and live. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Lancaster, PA among the top three in its annual Best Place to Retire in the U.S. ranking for the past few years. Many factors play into the ranking, including overall happiness, costs of living, diverse activities, and more. There are 18+ senior living communities in Lancaster, including Willow Valley Communities, the only exclusively Lifecare community in the county.

Not only has Lancaster, PA been voted top three of the Best Place to Retire, but locals have voted and chosen Willow Valley Communities as their Favorite Senior Living Community, Favorite Apartment Community, and more. We’re honored that our residents believe they live in the best place to retire in PA. These awards, for both Willow Valley Communities and Lancaster as a whole, simply reinforce our mission and vision: inspiring each person to embrace the possibilities of a Life Lived Forward and positively transforming the way aging is viewed and experienced in our world.

Lancaster, PA is a hub for travel as well. Willow Valley Communities is only a few minutes from the Lancaster Amtrak station, meaning if you’re looking for a retirement community near Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, D.C.,  you’re just a train ride away from those locations, or other metropolitan areas on the East Cost,

Always a Good Time to Visit

It’s always a great time to visit Lancaster, no matter the time or seasons. Check out a small sampling of happenings and activities each season of the year:


Summer is a wonderful time in Lancaster, PA to enjoy the balmy temperatures with family and friends. Visit a winery, attend an outdoor music festival, or camp at one of the local campgrounds. Summer is a great time to experience First Fridays, too. Listen to live music float through the air as you stroll through shops and restaurants on a pleasant summer evening in Lancaster.


Lancaster’s family-owned farms and orchards take center-stage in autumn; the perfect apple- and pumpkin-picking season. With more than 5,000 farms in Lancaster County, great-tasting and locally-sourced produce is never far away. In addition to orchards and fall-themed mazes, other events such as a candlelight ghost tour, Oktoberfest, and the Renaissance Faire also take place in the fall months in Lancaster.


Just because the weather turns cold doesn’t mean Lancaster shuts down. Winter in Lancaster, PA is a great time to take advantage of the indoor tours offered, like brewery and distillery tours, LancasterHistory’s Yuletide at Wheatland, and tours of the Strasburg Railroad. Close-by towns of Lititz and Hershey offer the Fire & Ice Festival (live ice sculpture carvings followed by a chili cook-off) and Sweet Lights (elaborate drive- or walk-through holiday light spectacular).


Spring is the perfect time to catch a baseball game. Good thing Lancaster has its own team-the Lancaster Barnstormers. Take yourself (or friends and family) to the ballgame at Clipper Stadium in downtown Lancaster and root for the home team.  Get your green-thumb on in spring, too, by attending the Herb & Garden Faire or popping by a local market to pick up beautiful, newly-bloomed flowers and plants for your home.

Experience Willow Valley Communities

Among the more than 18 Lancaster PA retirement communities, only one is an exclusively Type A Lifecare community: Willow Valley Communities, and there’s always an open invitation for you to visit. If you’ve ever been just a bit curious about what our campus has to offer, we invite you to stop by and experience Willow Valley Communities for yourself.


Willow Valley Communities holds dozens of informational events every year, from tours perfect for first-time visitors to orient themselves to our campus, to seminars on the newest trends in real estate and senior living. Twice a year, we hold large open house events for prospective residents to tour a variety of residence styles and talk with sales counselors. View current event offerings.

Personal Appointment

Our knowledgeable and friendly sales counselors will help you decide if Willow Valley Communities is right for you. With 90+ floor plans, a 210-acre meticulously maintained campus, and countless amenities, our sales counselors personalize your tour to your wants, needs, and interests. A personal appointment is also a great time to discuss retirement community pricing in Lancaster and how Willow Valley Communities is different. Lifecare adds value to our senior living fees & services, replacing many of the costs you’re already paying. Book a complimentary personal tour.

Visit Lancaster Soon and See All We Have to Offer

We’re proud to have been part of the Lancaster community since 1984. As you can see, Lancaster County, PA is a unique place in which to live, play, and explore. The city’s mayor, Danene Sorace, says this about Lancaster:

Lancaster is just easy. We are a small city. It’s not complicated to come here. You can get on a train and there are multiple ways you can get from the train station to downtown in less than ten minutes. It’s affordable and you can have the experience of exploring on foot or on a bike. This is a very walkable city.

But, at the same time, Lancaster also meets all the things that people look for in a city environment. For example, Lancaster’s unique arts scene and the many cultural opportunities are reasons why Lancaster receives the attention that it gets. There is a recent heightened curiosity about urban environments and that’s why a little bit of buzz around the city has increased. I think people are surprised.

So come visit; be surprised. We welcome you and look forward to being a part of your discovery of Lancaster and the wonderful place it is to live.

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