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Shirley talks Lancaster charm

DSCN1173Over the 32 years Shirley has been an Anderson tour director, she’s lost count of how many times she’s been to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

One of the oldest inland towns in the United States, Lancaster is home to a large number of Pennsylvania Dutch and attracts tourists looking for a glimpse at a simpler life.

“I’ve always admired the Amish and the Mennonite for their beliefs,” Shirley said.

As mainstream Americans become seemingly more and more connected and reliant on technology, the Amish freedom from such ties is just one of the things that charms travelers from all over the world.

Another is the allure of the countryside.

“It’s a very, very beautiful area,” Shirley said. “When you go to Lancaster you just relax because it’s rolling hills, beautiful farms, flowers…”

While the Amish culture is a big draw for people, Shirley noted that there is a wide variety of things to do and see.

PA_AmishBuggyFarmscape_CREDIT_DiscoverLancasterTerry Ross
Photo by Terry Ross courtesy of Discover Lancaster


“There’s so many different things the area offers,” she said. From shopping and restaurants to activities and entertainment, there’s something for everyone.

One thing Anderson tours always try to include is a show – particularly a show at the fabulous Sight & Sound Theatre.

DSCN1176“The experience in this theater is just phenomenal!” Shirley said. And she should know, as she’s seen most every production at least once since the theater opened in 1991.

Sight & Sound’s motto is “We bring the Bible to life” and Shirley said many people that go on the tours are Christian. But people of any faith will be impressed by the productions.

Along with the powerful message, Shirley said the music, the actors, the singing, the staging – everything – is top notch. Nothing compares to the scope at Sight & Sound. They even incorporate live animals. And all the sets and props are designed and built in house.

“You sit there and wonder ‘how did they do that?’” Shirley said.

During Noah, you sit there in the dark theater and watch as they start building the ark on stage. Then, all of a sudden in the second act the curtains go back and you’re sitting in the ark. In the production of Joseph, when the main character has a dream about flying you witness the actor literally flying over your head.

Shirley said she’s looking forward to seeing next year’s brand new show: Jesus. During the holidays, Anderson will also be taking a group to see the Miracle of Christmas, which Shirley said is “truly inspiring.”

Lancaster Theater (3)On her most recent tour with Anderson, Shirley and her guests also took in a concert by The Spinners and Little Anthony & The Imperials. They also visited Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, another Anderson tour favorite, and saw the musical My Fair Lady.

Shirley noted that another great place for shows in Lancaster in American Music Theater. And the area provides a variety of entertainment options including back roads tours, amusement parks, farmers markets, outlet malls and much more.

“If you go, bring an extra bag and extra money,” Shirley laughed.

There’s also a lot of history to see in the community and stops for train enthusiasts.

“There’s lots to do. It’s just beautiful country,” said Shirley.

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Anderson Coach & Travel has been providing Superior Travel Experiences since 1937. In celebration of our 80th Anniversary, college student McKenzie Caldwell will be traveling with Anderson. McKenzie, our tour directors and guests will share their stories from on the road here!

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