Lancaster, PA, is probably best known for its Amish community, but it is also a city with industry and opportunity to satisfy modern life. Located just 70 miles west from Philadelphia and 55 miles north of Baltimore, this small city has a cost of living and unemployment rate that is lower than the national average. Cabbage Hill and Chestnut Hill are on the edge of the city center and showcase the city’s historic architecture with single-family and row houses. For people who prefer new construction, neighborhoods such as Woods of Eden and Hartman Station offer a variety of single family houses.
Even with its proximity to the Amish, Lancaster has a surprisingly diverse population and is also home to the annual Puerto Rican Festival honoring its large Puerto Rican community. As some manufacturing industries have slowed down, the city is expEriencing a rebirth in growing its arts and cultural districts. People flock to the long-standing Central Market for locally grown and organic foods as well as Amish handcrafts and goods. Gallery Row has brought a renewed interest in the arts, and with nearby vintage shops and restaurants, it serves as a centerpiece for those who enjoy strolling along the historic center. Lancaster is also home to Park City Center, Southcentral Pennsylvania’s largest enclosed mall. Local families are serviced by both public and private schools, and for people who want to continue their education, several community colleges and university branches are in the area.
The city’s largest employer is Lancaster General Hospital, followed by a Fortune 500 company, RR Donnelly, which is the largest commercial printer in the world. Lancaster also enjoys an economic boost from tourism associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch. While they live quite separate lifestyles, the Amish community influences traditional values and old world charm in this friendly city. For some people, even a long commute to nearby larger cities is a small price to pay for the peaceful life they enjoy in Lancaster