There is no better way to enjoy the local experience of Lancaster County and PA Dutch Country than to explore its numerous farmers markets. We are not aware of any area of the nation that offers more options for going “market to market,” where you can find the best in fresh homegrown and quality homemade, from such a vast variety of vendors. Whether your purchase was harvested from the field early in the morning or made in the workshop after the chores were done, you can be assured that market shopping promotes a local, sustainable economy and quality of life. Because market days are staggered throughout the week, take time to plan your week’s shopping adventure in advance, allowing yourself to experience the unique character of each market and stand location.
Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market
2710 Old Philadelphia Pike
Bird in Hand, PA 17505
A beloved destination in the middle of PA Dutch Country, Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market is host to 30 standholders that feature a full variety of local favorites…farm-to-table produce, specialty meats & cheeses, jams & jellies, freshly baked goods, homemade sweet treats, health foods, quilts, locally made furniture, and handicrafts of all sorts.
Open 8:30AM -5:30PM…Friday & Saturday, year round; Wednesday, April through November; Thursday, July through October.
The country’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market, Lancaster Central Market occupies a beautiful 120 year old red brick building chock-full of local character. Regional food specialties include Pennsylvania Dutch sausage, scrapple (a breakfast meat of pork scraps and cornmeal), and headcheese (like scrapple, an acquired taste). You’ll also find preserves, including chowchow (pickled vegetables in a spicy mustard sauce), and bread and butter pickles. Open Tuesdays and Fridays, 6:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Saturdays, 6:00 am to 2:00 pm year-round; the market is also a great place to buy souvenirs.
Columbia Market House
15 South 3rd Street
Columbia, PA 17512
The Columbia Market House was constructed in 1869 on the site of an earlier open air market and takes the form of a long, enclosed shed structure. The large interior open space was spanned with arched, Howe trusses, a cross-braced wood truss reinforced with iron tension rods that was popular for railroad bridges. Today, the Columbia Market House holds a Farmer’s Market each Thursday from 9am to 7pm and each Friday from 9am to 6pm. There are great market stands including fresh fruits, vegetables, coffee, smoothies, hot foods, home baked goods, candy, breads, pretzels, and so much more! Throughout the year, there are various weekend shows and other events held inside the Market House.
The Green Dragon
955 North State Street
Ephrata, PA 17522
A destination that needs to be experienced firsthand to really appreciate it, Green Dragon is part state fair midway with lots of goods eats and part discount shopping mall with lots of great deals…it plays host to over 400 local growers, merchants and craftsmen. For many locals, their trek to Green Dragon is a weekly event, knowing that whatever shopping needs they might have, they can find it at this distinctly PA Dutch market. After finding a free spot in the over 20 acre parking lot, visitors can choose to shop outdoors in a flea market atmosphere or they can shop of shop indoors with 7 large market buildings and many other smaller shops. There are also several bargain auctions (including household & small animals) that occur throughout the day. Unless it’s Christmas, open every Friday 9am -9pm (8pm Jan & Feb).
ROOT’S Country Market & Auction, Inc.
705 Graystone Road
Manheim, PA 17545
With it’s origin in 1925, ROOT’S Country Market & Auction began as a poultry auction and has grown to become a landmark destination and gathering event in Lancaster County. Every Tuesday, this piece of Lancaster County’s heritage features its produce auction as well as fresh meats, deli, bakery items, flowers, handmade crafts, antiques, collectibles and household items from over 200 stand-holders. With an emphasis on food, family, and fun…there really is something for everyone at Root’s.