15 Hidden Gems in Manheim, PA (From a Local)

Planning a trip to Lancaster County or Hershey Park? About 25 minutes from Hershey and in the heart of Lancaster, PA is the small town of Manheim. Although it’s a small town, there are so many great gems in town. I’ll share my 15 favorites below.

#1 – Mill 72

This is a coffee shop and cafe that opened in the last few years. It’s about 1-2 blocks from the square and is always busy, but for good reason. They have coffee and tea as well as breakfast sandwiches, bagels, oatmeal, and fruit parfaits in the morning. For lunch they have sandwiches, soups (seasonal), and salads. And all day they have delicious treats like rice krispies, whoopie pies, and macarons. This is one of my favorite spots to grab coffee or a bit to eat and pull out my laptop and get some work done or bring a book and just hang out and read for a bit. The space inside is so large, there’s plenty of tables and they also have outdoor seating.

#2 Twin Kiss

This is a classic as it’s been around since 1952. You’d probably pass it if you didn’t know what it was but it’s absolutely worth a stop. They have your classic burgers and fries as well as other sandwich options. It’s pretty hard to find dinner these days for 2 people under $20 but not here. Teddy and I love to come here for a quick dinner and ice cream when we don’t feel like cooking. They also have a drive up window where you can call ahead.

#3 – The Shack Restaurant & Mini Golf

The Shack is just outside of town and is a great spot to spend a summer evening. They have a mini golf course and then you can finish your night with a meal or ice cream inside. The property was home to where various Indian tribes would meet in the 1700s and in the 1800s became a grove and park. In the 1990s it became a mini golf course and restaurant. This is another great stop if you are looking for a casual dinner or ice cream.

#4 – Cat’s Meow

This is one of our go-to options when we have someone visiting and want to go out to dinner nearby. The restaurant is in a historic building that used to be a railroad hotel downtown and is 1920s flapper themed. They have great wings and burgers. I’d call it elevated casual meaning you can come in your workout clothes or nicer attire and fit in either way.

#5 – Roots Country Market and Auction

This happens every Tuesday. From breakfast through dinner time year round you can visit this country market that started in 1925. The indoor and outdoor vendors vary so much in what they carry. You can find fruits and veggies, subs, great bbq, lemonade, Chinese food, leather goods, deep fried vegetables, bakeries, pretzels, ice cream, crab cakes, french fries, deli meats, and so much more. We love to go there on a Tuesday after work and pick up Fink’s Fries, either pit beef or a sub at Raub’s, and then flowers and a lemonade. Sometimes we will check out the Sweet Spot for a treat or go to the pretzel stand.

#6 – Manheim Farm Show

This only happens one week during the year, but it’s so special it’s worth mentioning. It’s usually the first week in October and has a variety of food stands, animals, and displays. We go for the milkshakes, fries, chicken corn soup, to see the various craft and food entries, and to see the animals. It’s a highlight of the year.

#7 – Lancaster Junction Recreation Trail

This trail is about 4.5 miles if you go out and back. It goes through wooded area, farms, and navigates along a stream. It’s a flat trail so great for walking, biking, and the occasional horseback riding. There’s a large parking lot at Champ Blvd. for the trail.

#8 – Spooky Nook Greenhouse

It might be odd to put a greenhouse on here, but aside from the flowers, they have chicken bbq every Saturday. Teddy loves this spot and so we go pretty often when we have a free day. The bbq is delicious as are their other baked goods.

#9 – Spooky Nook Sports Complex

In this complex is the Warehouse Hotel, the Forklift and Palate restaurant, sports fields, fitness training, group classes, and event space. This place is packed on a weekend with the various sports tournaments. If you’re looking for exercise classes or fitness training, this is your spot. This place is massive and always has things going on.

#10 – Prussian Street Arcade

This is a boutique shopping experience that has a variety of vendors in a beautifully renovated building. There are soaps, wall decor, clothing, dog items, antiques, food, travel decor, and so much more. This is a great spot to check out before a holiday or birthdays since there’s so much variety. It’s also right next to Mill 72 so an even better excuse to stop at both places.

#11 – PA Renaissance Faire

This is a bit outside of town but a unique experience. I grew up going here every summer. It runs from August through October on weekends. If you’ve never visited a Renaissance Faire before, be prepared for people use use what I’ll call Old English language, be very dressed up, and you may at some point feel like you’ve gone back in time. You can get handheld turkey legs, scotch eggs, kettle corn, italian ice, pretzels, pickles on a stick, mac and cheese, meat pies, sandwiches and fudge as well as beer, cider, whiskey and wine. You can watch jousting, a chess match, mud wrestling, plays, and other old time entertainment.

#12 – Kountry Kitchen

This is a bit north of town but is a little diner that has incredible Lancaster County + Greek food. At breakfast they have Cinnabon pancakes, omelets, egg sandwiches, and eggs benedict. For lunch and dinner they have unique fries, quesadillas, burgers, paninis, subs, sandwiches, and Italian and Greek entres. This is one of my dad’s favorite spots for dinner so most often when I go, it’s with him.

#13 – REO Suites

This is located in the same complex as Mill 72, Artisan Mill, and our next two spots, Twisted Sister Ice Cream, and Artifice Ales & Mead. They have newly remodeled suites that have a king and queen bedroom, a full bath, kitchen, living, room and bonus space. They are beautifully decorated and while I’ve never personally stayed, I would if I was visiting.

#14 – Twisted Sister

This is a new ice cream shop that opened in the complex and has a variety of ice cream options as well as handmade chocolates. They have both traditional and seasonal flavors. There’s seating inside as well outside and there’s as other merchandise you can purchase from local vendors.

#15 – Artifice Ales & Mead

This is a newer restaurant that is a pub with a twist. They have various flights and unique mead as well as different pub foods. Their menu changes over time but always looks delicious. There’s both indoor and outdoor seating.

That’s it! Those are the 15 gems you’ll find when visiting Manheim, PA. I would recommend spending a weekend in the area and staying overnight at the REO suites or the Warehouse Hotel. Spend your morning with coffee at Mill 72 or breakfast at Kountry Kitchen, follow that up with a walk or bike on the trail or a round of mini golf or a group fitness class. Then get ready for a late lunch or dinner with easy burgers and fries at Twin Kiss, a beer flight and wings at Artifice Ales & Mead, or a step back in time with dinner at Cat’s Meow. And don’t forget to check out the shops at Prussian Street.

Happy travels!

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