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Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Fun Day Trip to Ephrata in Pennsylvania

Ephrata Cloister
Looking to plan a few day trips around the great state of Pennsylvania? If so, add Ephrata to your day trip bucket list. As a family, we enjoyed our day trip visit to Ephrata and today I'm going to share with you what we did.

We arrived around 10:30 AM in the morning and our first stop was to the Ephrata Cloister which is like a living history museum. The Ephrata Cloister community was established back in 1732. It was a tight-knit religious community when it started out and this place is jam-packed with a lot of history.

The parking is FREE and if you want to take a tour of the buildings on the ground, you'll have to pay an admission fee. Some portions of the tour are self-guided and other portion's are guided. We spent about 1 1/2 hours at this location and finished up by buying the grandchildren a few souvenirs in their on-site gift shop. If you're looking for an in-depth review on Ephrata Cloister, you can find it right here on our blog and it includes a lot of detailed information and photographs.
The Udder Choice Restaurant in Ephrata Pennsylvania

We then headed to The Udder Choice Restaurant on 1812 Main Street in Ephrata for a late lunch.  According to the locals, this restaurant is a hometown favorite. We found that they had great food, a nice menu with kid-friendly choices and their prices were extremely affordable. The restaurant gave us friendly service and we really enjoyed the cozy atmosphere during our visit. All of our choices were from the lunch menu and everything was delicious. They also offer breakfast and dinner too.
Royer Pharmacy in Ephrata Pennsylvania

Next up was some shopping in the downtown district where you'll find some quaint gift shops, boutiques, art galleries, a jewelry store and right on the corner of the town square you'll see the old Royer's Pharmacy building. You can find off-street parking nearby and walk from store to store. This is their "downtown" business and shopping district. I really enjoyed shopping here and spent a little over an hour visiting a few of the stores.
Green Dragon Flea Market in Ephrata Pennsylvania

Our next stop was to the Green Dragon Flea Market that sits just a few miles out of the downtown district area. This Farmer's and Flea Market is ONLY open on Friday's. They get extremely busy & crowded and finding "close" parking can be difficult. With that said, it's one of the BEST flea markets in south central Pennsylvania due to it's size and the variety of items being offered. A lot of the vendors at this farmer's and flea market are there EVERY Friday and have built up a business with very loyal clientele. Some of the other vendors just come for the season or just for the week.

There are a few large buildings where you'll find vendors inside selling their gourmet foods, meats, cheeses, gifts, collectibles and more. Then there are smaller buildings outside that have retail shops and then you'll find row upon row of outdoor vendors selling their wares. We love visiting the Green Dragon because there is definitely something for everyone and every time we go, I come home with several bags of stuff!
Green Dragon Flea Market in Ephrata Pennsylvania

In total, we spent a good 6 hours exploring Ephrata and really had a great time. If you're going to be visiting Harrisburg, Hershey, Mt. Gretna or Lancaster in Pennsylvania, Ephrata is just a short drive away.  Looking for more great day trip ideas? You can find them right here on our blog!

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