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A City Rich with History: Historic Lancaster Walking Tour

Did you know that Lancaster was once the capital of the nation?

Or that Lancaster County played a pivotal role in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War?

Were you aware that Mark Twain once attended the Fulton Opera House located on N. Prince Street, or that a famous artist (Charles Demuth) once resided in Lancaster?

Admittedly, prior to taking The Historic Lancaster Walking Tour, I too was oblivious to how thoroughly intertwined Lancaster City is in rich history.

The tour began at the Lancaster Visitor’s Center located on Penn Square, 1-3 W. King Street, adjacent to Central Market. There, our small group was greeted by the witty and upbeat tour guide Jenne Renkin, dressed in 18/19th century attire, who lead our group through the back alleys and hidden streets of Lancaster City.

“I literally know my hometown backwards,” said Renkin as she guided our group through downtown Lancaster all while walking backwards, facing our group.

After a quick stop to admire the Greist building, built in the 1920s, Renkin explained the layout and design of the city.

“The streets in Lancaster City,” Renkin said, “are either named after fruit or royalty, and for some reason,” Renkin paused with a smirk, “we’ve named our alleys after politicians.”

From the Griest’s skyscraper, Renkin lead us into beautiful churches, gardens and courtyards throughout Lancaster City, explaining along the way the significance in every architectural and historical detail.

Each tour is unique and is tailored to one’s own interests and curiosities, which provides a different experience to every tour.

Tours run seven days a week at 1 p.m. and on Market days (Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays), tours run at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Pricing, directions and questions can be directed toward The Historic Lancaster Walking Tour’s website at

Attractions, Family Friendly, Outdoors & Sports