About Lancaster, PA
Lancaster City, PA boasts a vibrant and diverse population, full of professionals, artists, restauranteurs, creatives, and entrepreneurs. The vibrant and charming downtown area is within walking distance of Steeple View Lofts; in fact, Lancaster was recently named Pennsylvania’s most walkable city according to Walk Score, a company that ranks cities on how easy it is to navigate them by foot. Downtown Lancaster, PA is home to a wide array of activities for residents and visitors, including art galleries, restaurants, cafes, historical attractions, night life, unique shops and boutiques, and theaters, all easily within walking distance from Steeple View Lofts.
Most shops and galleries are open during normal business hours, and on the 1st Friday evening of each month (locally known as First Fridays), many stay open until late in the evening.
Art & Culture in Downtown Lancaster
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Right up the block from Steeple View Lofts’ front door is Lancaster’s famous “Gallery Row” district. Gallery Row is home to some of Lancaster’s best fine artists, photographers, boutiques, and cafes. You’ll find the likes of Christiane David, Liz Hess, CityFolk, Fork n Spoon Cafe, Red Raven, Freiman Stoltzfus, and more.
300 Block of North Queen Street
The 300 block of North Queen Street in downtown Lancaster, PA is a hub of unique shopping. From vintage shops like Mommalicious, Hinesite Vintage, the legendary Zap & Co. (set to reopen in the near future), and the miniature vintage mall Building Character, to upscale retail boutiques like Radel & Stauffer, Flowers by Paulette, J.A. Sharp Custom Jeweler, Art & Glassworks, and the Shoppes at 301, there’s a shopping opportunity for every taste. If you work up an appetite, stop in for a bite at The Belvedere Inn, Sa La Thai, and Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie.
Historic Central Market, Penn Square, and City Center
At the center of Lancaster City — at the crossroads of Queen and King Streets — you’ll find Lancaster Central Market, the oldest continuously-operating farmer’s market in the country. Central Market offers fresh and locally-grown fruits and vegetables, sustainably raised meats, gourmet cheeses and baked goods, gifts, flowers, and quick lunch stops.
The area around Penn Square is home to larger businesses such as the Lancaster County Convention Center, the Lancaster Marriott, and branches of banks such as Fulton Bank, Bank of America, and Citizens Bank. As well as these larger corporations, the downtown Penn Square neighborhood boasts unique locally-owned businesses and specialty organizations such as the Pressroom Restaurant, the Penn Square Grille and Rendezvous Lounge, the Spring House Taproom, Isaac’s Restaurant & Deli, Festoon, Strawberry & Co., and the headquarters of LancasterHistory.org.
The Fulton Theatre is the oldest continuously operating theater in the country, and is one of only three theaters considered to be a national historic landmark. Today the Fulton’s roster includes notable productions such as A Chorus Line, Singin’ in the Rain, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and A Christmas Carol.
Downtown Lancaster Events
Downtown Lancaster City is a tight-knit community of many ethnicities, professions, and interests. Over the year, you’ll find ethnic parades, First Friday events on the town, ArtWalks during April and October, the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, Celebrate Lancaster, the Long’s Park Summer Entertainment Series, and the famous Sertoma Chicken Barbeque.
Historical & Educational Attractions
As a point of interest to history buffs, Lancaster is the largest National Historic Register District in the country.
Demuth Museum, the North Museum of Natural History and Science, the Louise Arnold Tanger Arboretum, the Stevens and Smith Historic Site, Rock Ford Plantation, and President James Buchanan’s Wheatland are among points of interest in Lancaster. In addition, the Lancaster Science Factory boasts science-related classes and exhibits for the whole family.