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Day Trip Lititz - 14 Things to Do in One of America's Coolest Small Towns

Lititz is located 10 miles from Lancaster, 20 miles from Hershey, and only a few hours from many of the East Coast’s biggest cities. But what makes this small town the perfect day trip isn’t just how close Lititz is: it’s how far away it feels. With historic buildings, charming shops, rich traditions, and that famous Lancaster County countryside, it’s easy to forget how short a drive you are from home.

In the Wilbur Chocolate Store, we get a lot of folks asking for advice on where else to go on their day in town. So we thought we’d make a blog with a few of the places and activities we find ourselves recommending again and again.

14. Start With a Stop at the Lititz Welcome Center

Even if you aren’t looking for maps or pamphlets, the Lititz Welcome Center is worth visiting for the building alone. It’s an exact replica of the Lititz Passenger Depot and Express Station, built in 1884 on the railroad that linked Lititz with Reading to the northeast and Columbia to the southwest. Today, the rebuilt station is a great place to start your journey around town: there’s plenty of printed information, and the staff are ready to help you make the most of your time in Lititz.

13. Stroll Through Lititz Springs Park

Just outside of the Lititz Welcome Center, you’ll find the perfectly manicured Lititz Springs Park. This quintessential small town park features centuries-old stonework, a crystal-clear spring creek, and a friendly flock of resident ducks. History buffs will appreciate that back in the 1770s, the Lititz orchestra gave regular concerts in the park for the soldiers of George Washington’s Continental Army. You can find out more about the park’s fascinating story here.

12. Sample America’s Oldest Pretzel at Julius Sturgis

Founded in 1861, Julius Sturgis was the first commercial pretzel bakery to open in the United States. But the history of the building goes back even further: constructed in 1784, it was a private home long before it ever became a pretzel factory. These days, the building is listed by the National Register of Historic Places—and open to the public for tours. Not only will you witness traditional pretzel-making techniques, you’ll be able to try your hand (and test your patience) at twisting your own pretzel the old-fashioned way.

11. Shop on Main and Broad

Dozens of boutiques, antique stores, and specialty shops line Main Street and Broad Street, forming our walkable—but bustling—shopping district. While there are too many to list here, a few of our favorites include Atlas General Store, an upscale, modern general store, Zest! kitchen and home supplies (pictured above), and Cherry Acres, which specializes in furniture crafted from reclaimed barn wood. You can find a comprehensive list of vendors here, at lititzpa.com.

10. Eat

Blackworth Live Fire Grill focuses on local ingredients cooked on an open flame (and they also boast some superbly inventive cocktails). Bulls Head Public House—named Best Beer Bar in America by USA Today—recreates the atmosphere and flavors of an authentic British pub. Rooster Street Butcher is a modern eatery in the tradition of small, family-owned European butcher shops. Their sandwiches, sausages, soups, and salads are all made with local, pasture-raised meat, entirely from scratch. We could go on—there are just so many great places to eat in Lititz. A few more of our favorites include Dosie Dough, Tied House Lititz, Tomato Pie Cafe, Gravie Kitchen and Commons, and Per Diem.

9. Drink and Be Merry

For more than two centuries, Lititz was home to America’s oldest distillery, Bomberger Distillery. Bombeger ceased operations in 1989—but master distiller Dick Stoll helped bring the tradition back to Lititz with Stoll and Wolfe, which now produces some of the most highly awarded rye whiskey in the country.

If whiskey isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other choices. For craft beer lovers, Appalachian Brewing Company, Collusion, and Fetish BrewingCompany are fantastic options. If you’re looking for a different kind of buzz, Lititz has a few fantastic spots for coffee and tea:A Tea Affair tea room, Whiff Roasters (we highly recommend “The Wilbur” latte), Slate Cafe, and Renewal Kombucha, to name a few.

8. Travel Back Through Time

Stop by the Lititz Historical Foundation and Museum, which includes the Johannes Mueller House, built in 1792. You can tour the home with guides dressed in period clothes and hear what daily life was like in 18th-century Lititz. The Lititz Moravian Church, located at historical Church Square, is a great opportunity to view artifacts, explore the town archives, and learn more about the Moravians, a group of early Protestant Christians who played a key role in founding Lititz in the early 1740s.

7. Get Lost in an Enormous Miniature Store

If you like old-fashioned, diecast collectibles and toys, there’s no better place thanOutback Toys. Many aficionados drive hours just to wander the aisles of their 6,000 square foot retail store, one of the largest of its kind in the world. With tens of thousands of farm-themed miniature replicas, memorabilia, gifts, books, clothes, and more—even if you buy nothing at all, you’ll never forget the experience.

6. Stay the Night

At this point, you might be ready to turn your day trip into an overnight stay. Lititz has a wide range of options, whether you prefer a cozy bed and breakfast like The Alden House or the modern energy of Hotel Rock Lititz (pictured above). But our favorite, of course, has to be The Wilbur Lititz. The building served as the Wilbur Chocolate Factory for many decades, but has recently been transformed into a Hilton Tapestry Collection Hotel. Hilton preserved many historical details, like the factory’s original brickwork, which you’ll be able to appreciate in private rooms and common spaces alike.

5. Meet Our Wolves

Located on 80 acres of natural woodland just 10 minutes from downtown, the Wolf Sanctuary of PA is a nonprofit organization providing refuge to dozens of wolves and wolf-dogs without a home in the wild. In addition to the Darlington Family’s original intent of providing the wolves with food, shelter, and veterinary care, the sanctuary has become an educational and experiential facility, offering guided walking tours to view the wolves and learn about their unique nature. Some offerings have changed during the pandemic, so we recommend checking their website first for the latest details.

4. Drive Through a Covered Bridge

Lancaster is famous for its historic covered bridges, and our corner of the county is no exception. Erb’s Mill, Keller’s Mill, and Hunsecker’s Mill covered bridges are all short (but scenic) drives from Lititz. For the truly authentic experience, steal a kiss from your sweetheart as you cross the bridge—locals refer to covered bridges as “kissing bridges” for just this reason. 

3. Experience Second Friday

Just like our neighbors in Lancaster City have First Friday, we have Second Friday. From 5–9 p.m., on the second Friday of every month, downtown Lititz comes to life as stores, galleries, and other local merchants host special events and stay open late, while the sidewalks fill with musicians, dancers, artists, and other entertainers.

2. Hike (or Bike) the Lititz Countryside

Lititz is home to Lancaster County’s favorite trail, the Warwick–Ephrata Rail-Trail. Stroll, jog, or pedal through rolling farmland and shaded forests—while crossing several wetland areas—on this 7.1 mile picturesque path. There’s plenty of parking at the Warwick Township Municipal Park, where you’ll also find a bike rental kiosk that allows you to rent a bike for two or four hours to use on the trail.

1. Stop in for a Visit

Maybe we’re biased, but if you ask us, no trip to Lititz is complete without a trip to Wilbur. Our store is home to our onsite kitchen, where our chocolate confections are mixed, drizzled, and dipped by hand, one small batch at a time. Of course, you’ll want to try our most popular treat: the Wilbur Bud, still made with the same recipe our founder introduced in 1894. But you’ll also find a mouthwatering array of truffles, fudges, caramels, barks, toffees, and all the chocolate-covered delicacies you can imagine.

We hope you enjoy your time in the town we call home—and take the chance to pay us a visit while you’re here.

Wilbur Retail Store