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Old 11-18-2013, 01:29 PM
3 posts, read 25,050 times
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[SIZE=3]I am looking to get some objective opinions on the towns surrounding Lancaster and especially Lititz, PA to see if it is a good match for my living preferences. I may potentially be moving there for none other reason than a higher paying job opportunity that came up. I currently live in the suburbs of Philadelphia in Princeton, NJ and I love it. It is a city with a small town feel. Lots of restaurants, shopping, and activities available. I tend to avoid chain restaurants and walmart type department stores although I can't live without starbucks and Target stores. I also used to live on the Main Line near Philadelphia and enjoyed it there very much there. It was a little over the top but a good experience none the less. I need to be close to my job, thus the need for info on Lancaster/Lititz, PA specifically. Taxes, schools, and home prices are also not a concern. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I am looking to live in a more liberal town with like-minded citizens; where it is more of a suburban feel than rural living. I would prefer a community with suburban singles, young couples, and new families. Living in NJ, I am accustomed to the convenience of having shopping and stores very close by. Are there any higher end stores in the area and how far are they? Grocery stores like Wegmans or Whole Foods (wishful thinking)? I also love the country and would like a quiet neighborhood with lots of areas for walking/running/hiking. Are there any affluent communities surrounding Lancaster, PA with all of the items listed above? Is Lititz, PA one of them? Any information you can give would be a great help![/SIZE]
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:06 PM
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Lancaster County is not noted for liberalism. Even the Lancaster Arts Hotel in Lancaster City (a den of iniquity compared to the suburbs and rural areas) has Fox News on in the breakfast nook, not the more usual travelers' oriented CNN. Lititz is a beautiful community with locally owned shops but not liberal. We used to have a frequent poster on here who relocated to Lititz and soured on it even as a churchgoing type.

There is also no Wegmans, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe's. There is the oldest farmers' market (indoor) in the USA though: Lancaster Central Market

Some higher end stores are in and around Park City Center - Premier Shopping, Dining, Entertainment in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the west suburbs but that tops out at an Apple Store (which Harrisburg doesn't have). King of Prussia is the next closest shopping hub, it sounds like you would be familiar with it. The east end of Lancaster has outlet stores near the Amish tourist traps, I suspect you've seen this area too.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:53 AM
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Thank you for the info ki0h. I do enjoy a good farmer's market so that is hopeful. I am not too concerned about needing outspoken liberals as neighbors. I am just looking to get a perspective on what it's like living out there and if it is really different from where I am coming from. I will look into Park City too!
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:56 AM
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I never lived in Lancaster county but I grew up my whole life in Lebanon County just 20 min or so north. Lititz is a cute little town with alot of mom and pop shops around. Most of Lancaster County outside the actual city is very conservative/religious/more family oriented. I worked a few jobs around that area and everyone over 20 was married, with kids, a house etc. Church is a normal part of everyday conversation. So if a more liberal atmosphere is what you're looking for, anything outside the city of lancaster will disappoint you. I did notice a pretty balanced mix between older and younger people but the thing with most of this part of Pennsylvania is that the vast majority of people here are FROM here. Some have lived here for generations and generations. You may not find a whole lot of transplants there.

Around the Park City area which is not that far from Lititz though, will have plenty of more modern shopping options (restaurant chains, shopping etc).

Farmers markets there are plenty around Lancaster I'm sure but get on Route 283 west towards harrisburg/middletown and go to Saturdays market. I always used to go there and they have tons of really really cheap stuff.

Coming from NJ/Philly area, you'll definately experience a slower, simpler, quieter life in central/south central PA. Lititz may suit your needs if you can put up with the more conservative atmosphere.
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:28 PM
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Default Lititz, PA


I have lived in Brownstown, PA(5 minute drive from downtown Lititz at most) for my entire life and know Lititz, and most of Lancaster county, like the back of my hand.

As far as what you are looking for (shopping, quiet town but not too rural, etc.) I would say Lititz and the immediate surrounding area fits the bill well. I know Lititz is full of small shops but as a 20-something none of them have really been of any interest to me so i dont know too much about the shopping in Lititz per se.

As far as groceries go, there are no Wegmans or Whole Foods, but places like Oregon Dairy and Stauffers of Kissel Hill are small, family-owned grocery stores dedicated to the same type of quality you will find at Wegmans or Whole Foods. Having worked in the produce department of Stauffers of Kissel Hill (in Lititz) I can tell you first hand that they pride themselves in quality in everything they do. Oregon Dairy, which is right down the road from me (and about 4 minutes from Lititz) has the best deli food I have ever eaten. I love food and can be quite picky when it comes to quality, but Oregon Dairy and Stauffers (often referred to as SKH) are all high quality; not only with regard to the food, but their employees too, they all know what they are talking about and are friendly.

In the Lititz area (as well as Manheim Township which is very very close to Lititz) you will find a variety of living situations. There are plenty of nice, upper middle to upper class neighborhoods but also plenty of standalone houses settled on more rural roads. As far as nicer neighborhoods go, all you have to do is look at Owl Hill Road in Lititz. it is just outside the Lititz city-proper and has a slew of neighborhoods with nicer houses. Apart from Lititz there are plenty of other areas in Lancaster County which more or less fit the description above; nice neighborhoods, affluent families, outside the city but not quite rural. Some examples are Manheim Township, Hempfield, and parts of the Penn Manor School District, to name a few. Ephrata is also a nice town, but is in Northern Lancaster and a bit further away from the city of Lancaster(15 minutes or so so not that bad) than Lititz is

Outside Lancaster City and the immediate suburbs you would be hard-pressed to find a neighborhood that isn't described as quiet and safe. (though downtown isnt what i would call loud at all). Long's Park is more or less Lancaster County/City's central park and is no more than 10 minutes away from lititz. There is plenty of walking and running able to be done there. Lititz Springs Park is obviously in Lititz and is a lot like Longs Park. Seeing as Lancaster is a very green area, you will have no problem finding places to walk run or hike. In addition, the Lititz Rec Center is a nice fitness facility that seems to grow each and every year (there are countless other gyms and fitness facilities in and around Lititz/Lancaster).

Higher end shopping does exist as Lancaster has both Tanger and Rockvale outlets along Route 30 (Lincoln Highway). I'm not sure of your definition of higher-end but these shopping centers have stores like Coach, Polo, Banana Republic, etc etc. From Lititz, I would say it takes no more than 15-20 minutes to get to the outlets depending on day of week and time of day. "The Mall" as you will hear it referred to is Park City and is quite nice when compared to malls in surrounding cities (Reading, York, Harrisburg malls all suck when compared to Park City imo). More recently the mall has taken on more of an upscale feel with higher end shops such as Black House White Market and others showing up. All in all though, Park City is what i would call a fairly normal mall (footlockers, abercrombie, FYE, Pac Sun etc etc.). The mall is also surrounded by loads of restaurants, but i most of them fit the chain restaurant description pretty accurately (Longhorn, Olive Garden, TGI Fridays, Outback, Macaroni Grill, etc).

I love the food in Lancaster. There are loads of non-chain restaurants for you to try all over Lancaster County (as well as the chain restaurants you will find just about anywhere else.) El Serrano (Latin American), Reflections (Bar and Grille), Pieros(Italian)/Carusos(Italian and basically in Lititz), and White Swan (awesome bar and grille right outside Lititz) are just a few of the many restaurants you will find around Lancaster/Lititz. If you are a fan of quicker, less healthy food, Lancaster also has you covered. Places like Neato Burrito, Spyro Gyro, and Two Cousins are all great for those friday and saturday night delivery meals (if you are into that). Do't worry about missing Starbucks and target as there are plenty of Starbucks in the county and a Target near the outlets.

If you like going out for a drink, Downtown Lancaster is a pretty cool place to do so. There are plenty of bars and most are in close proximity to one another making it easier to bar hop on Fridays and Saturdays. Another cool thing about Downtown is the "First Friday" celebration held every first friday of the month. Basically, First Friday is a reason to come out and go out downtown, but I think its actual purpose is to show off the many art galleries and musicians that populate the city. My sister (30 and recently engaged, works as a Physicians assistant) also grew up with me in Brownstown and now lives in Manheim (town very close to Lititz.) She and her fiance pretty much fit in that "young couples" category and with plans of having kids/starting a family soon they envision Lancaster County as the perfect place to live, raise a family, etc. I would describe her and her fiance as more well-off, upper class and same too with their friends, so if my small sample is an indication of the larger picture, there are plenty of young single/couples in the area.

I was born and raised in Lancaster but as a college student I have gotten to live and visit many other places around the state, the country, and the world. I currently go to school in Pittsburgh and relish each and every time i get to come back home to Lancaster. Some people have described us Lancastrians as snobby, but I honestly don't know where that comes from. Of course there are bad apples, but in my experience the people from Lancaster are very nice, accommodating, and friendly. Lancaster City has some bad areas, but in comparison to Philly, Reading, and Harrisburg, these "bad areas" hardly seem all that dangerous. Regardless, unless you live there you will have no reason to ever be in the more seedy parts of the city.

Lititz was recently voted the "Coolest small town in America" by some travel magazine and though I personally think there are "cooler" parts of Lancaster, I do agree that Lititz is really nice. I hope this information helped and if you have any other questions feel free to shoot them my way.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:25 PM
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Thank you KJW1888 and JRittle for the info! Very helpful.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:07 PM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
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My partner is from Lancaster County (Penn-Manor Area), went to the University of Pittsburgh, and now lives here in the Steel City with me. Whenever I go back to Lancaster County to visit his family I always feel much more relaxed and at ease---almost enough to make me consider moving there to open my business. On our most recent excursion we enjoyed dinner at a great local restaurant called Molly's Pub, which is right across from Musser Park in Downtown Lancaster. We did some Black Friday shopping at Park City. It was packed, and it impressed me in terms of the depth and breadth of retail offerings considering the size of the area. Lancaster County is indeed a very "family-friendly" and "family-oriented" sort of area. Liberal? Not so much. As with most of America you'll tend to find the greatest nexus of left-leaning folks in the most densely-populated areas, in this case Lancaster city proper, surrounded by a sea of right-leaning subdivisions. If you're looking for a place that would rival Portland, Boulder, Austin, Ithaca, Hoboken, etc. in terms of being a haven for the crunchy/granola/vegan/Prius/yoga/NPR/fair trade/Whole Foods/HRC types then there's really nothing close in Lancaster County, from what I've been able to tell.

There are a lot of educated younger professionals living in the city proper of Lancaster, so that's where I'd set my sights upon if it's important to be near to people who share your ideological values, influenced by the presence of the college. Lititz, while a gorgeous small town, is definitely on the conservative side. I'm not talking the "look, it's a gay---let's hang him!" types but definitely right of center. Another nice small town is Millersville. It, too, may be more centrist politically for Lancaster County due to the presence of the university there, and it's not a far drive from either Lancaster or Lititz.
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