While Lancaster County is easy to navigate on your own, tours can be very helpful, particularly if you're interested in learning about the Amish and Mennonite ways of life. Quality guides can bring cultural context you simply can't get from reading placards.

Tour Contacts

Amish Country Tours. At Plain & Fancy Farm, Amish Country Tours has large bus or minivan excursions. Most popular is the ninety-minute Amish farmlands trip, with a visit to a farmhouse. 3121 Old Philadelphia Pike, Rte. 340, Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, 17505. 717/768–3600;

Brunswick Tours. Brunswick Tours has private guides who accompany you in your car. The company also has a self-guided audio tour with 28 stops that begins at the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau and takes three to four hours. 120 Ridgeview Road North, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, 17022. 717/361–7541; 800/979–8687;

Smoketown Aviation. Smoketown Aviation offers 18-minute flights in a four-seater plane (pilot plus three) that gives you a splendid aerial view of rolling farmlands.Helicopter tours are also available. Tours range from $25-$188 based on length and aircraft. 311 Airport Dr., off Rte. 340, Smoketown, Pennsylvania, 17557. 717/394–6476; Mon.-Sat. 9-5, Sun. 1-5.

Mennonite Information Center. The Mennonite Information Center has local Mennonite guides who join you in your car. These knowledgeable escorts lead you to country roads, produce stands, and Amish crafts shops and also acquaint you with their religion. 2209 Millstream Rd., Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 17602. 717/299–0954; 800/858–8320;

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