As summer time approaches many families are beginning to make travel plans. I have gotten a large amount of inquiries about our favorite place to travel to time and time again…Lancaster, Pennsylvania!

In this article I will share all about the best places to stay, attractions to visit and dining experiences you won’t want to miss. The best part is they are all tot tested and altruistic momma approved. These are a few of my favorite things:

Hotels

We’ve stayed at a few hotels but my favorite two hotels are the Best Western Premier Eden Resort and Suites and the Lancaster DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel.

Let’s start with Eden Resort which features luxurious suites and villas at an affordable price. The rooms are spacious and clean with luxurious and trendy decor. High end features include marble vanities, dimmer lighting features and large flat screen televisions. All rooms conveniently have a microwave and mini fridge.

This hotel has so much to offer guests; with an indoor heated pool as well as an outdoor pool with an additional kids spray ground area there is plenty to keep everyone busy. Accommodations also include a nautical pirate ship playground, basketball court, bocce ball, shuffle board, pool tables, ping pong and golf putting par area.

Eden is constantly spoiling its guests with complementary chocolate at check in and free ice cream social hour by the pool in the afternoons. The hospitality at Eden is remarkable! From reservations to check in and room service to concierge you will feel treated like royalty. I have called the guest services to request things like early check in or to inform them we were celebrating a birthday or anniversary and they have always made special accommodations.

Another excellent hotel to stay at is the Double Tree Hilton Hotel. What I love about the Double tree is that it feels like home away from home. The staff are friendly and accommodating. We were traveling with friends and they made sure we were close to each other even though the hotel was booked. When you check in you are welcomed with a warm smile and fresh chocolate chip cookies.

The rooms are modern, classy and comfy. Housekeeping and customer service are first class. The rooms are kept spot less and room services was extra helpful in making me a special dessert allergy free.

My kids love staying at this hotel because of the awesome indoor pool, it’s like staying at a hotel with a water park. There are two pools in the spa area; one large lap pool and then a children’s pool with a no drop entry. The children’s pool has an awesome water slide and other water features that the little ones go completely crazy over. There are changing rooms in the fitness center which are very convenient. Kids also enjoy the Arcade and outdoor play ground. The hotel also offers scheduled activities like family movie night and crafts for kids. Double Tree is dedicated to making sure your vacation is entertaining.

Another perk is that both these hotels are centrally located to restaurants and attractions. For more information about the hotels please visit:
www.edenresort.com
www.doubletreelancaster.com

Food

We are big fans of The Specked Hen, it’s a small gem that not too many people know about. It is a cute little mom and pop café that while is charming and trendy is also family friendly. The owners pay such close attention to detail. The food they offer is fresh and local. The display of the food is decadent, when I got my coffee I was impressed with the beautiful swirl of cream shaped like a heart. Even more appealing is a side room they have with comfortable tables, high chairs (never seen highchairs at Starbucks…just saying!) and yes a little table setup for the kids to play with trains, puzzles or books on. The Speckled Hen is pure genius! I can’t tell you how nice it was to sit back and enjoy my coffee and conversation with hubby while the kids played!
http://www.speckledhencoffee.com

Attractions
Whether visiting Strasburg railroad to attend a Day Out with Thomas or to enjoy a scenic train ride; this station offers lots of fun events for all ages. We have attended a few special activities here and my boys have enjoyed every one. Our favorites have been the vintage baseball game in the fall and Day out with Thomas in the spring. I prefer attending Day Out with Thomas at this location because the ride in the country is beautiful anytime of year, the station is kept very clean and there is always lots to do in addition to the train ride. I want to talk a bit about the Day Out with Thomas. This special event at the Strasburg Rail Road features train rides with Thomas and now Percy! There is so much to do with storytelling, coloring table, temporary tattoo tent, live music, Mega Blocks station, two stores one that sells Thomas items that I’ve never seen before in the stores, a gift shop. In addition to riding the train; you get to meet and greet Sir Topham hat and get a photo with Thomas/Percy himself. Some more attractions unique to Strasburg include pedal trains, mini train rides and more.

I highly suggest that you also visit the Rail Road Museum of Pennsylvania that is right across the street from the rail road. This museum displays vintage trains and is rich in history. It is also extremely hands on and kid friendly. There is a huge section just for kids to explore and play with trains both wooden rail road, electric and Lego! I couldn’t believe how much there was to do. You can also climb on to some of the trains and their displays throughout the museum for kids to interact with. My son’s favorite was the display wear he got to shove pretend coal.

www.strasburgrailroad.com

Last but not least! You won’t want to miss Cherry Crest Farm. This is hands down the coolest farm I have ever been to. There is much to do! There are over 50+ Farm Fun activities; our favorites are the  A-maze-ing corn maze, farm tour wagon ride, pedal carts, petting zoo, giant chute slide and trampoline

www.cherrycrestfarm.com