Packed with assets both natural and historic, Columbia in Lancaster County is a town in transition, rebounding after decades of struggle. Local residents and organizations have put a fresh focus on recreation and infrastructure, revamping downtown, luring a brewpub, launching a new river trail, and spotlighting the town's inherent charm. The key to Columbia's future is also the source of its past prosperity: the Susquehanna River.
For generations, folks have traveled to this pastoral county to witness Amish life, drive over the rolling hills, and fill their cars with handmade furniture and jars of chow-chow. You can -- and should -- still do all that, but add to your itinerary creative restaurants, local breweries and wineries, a scenic bike tour, a deep dive into Lancaster City, an afternoon on the river and much more. If you get off the beaten path, this Pennsylvania county will never stop surprising you.
A new generation of locals, transplants and repatriates are transforming Lancaster City, shifting the reputation of a metropolis that's long been in its famous county's bucolic shadow. Whether you're looking for a night out, a historic home to renovate or fertile ground for your fledgling startup, this compact burg has you covered.
It's time to rethink this iconic Pennsylvania county. Sure, there are still soft pretzels and bucolic landscapes, but there are also cutting-edge companies, an amazing farm-to-table food scene, resurgent towns and a thriving urban center.