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  • Lititz, Pennsylvania
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    Lititz,

    Pennsylvania

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    Lititz is a borough in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States, 9 miles (14 km) north of the city of Lancaster. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 9,369.
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    Lititz Articles

    Budget Travel Lists

    Meet America's Coolest Small Town!

    How would you feel if your town was named Coolest in America? I recently spoke with Kelly Withum of Lititz, PA, winner of Budget Travel's 2013 Coolest Small Town in America, and couldn't help asking that very question. "Fantastic," says Withum, the executive director of the Lititz Farmers Market and Venture Lititz. "It's wonderful to be recognized. So many of the organizations within the Lititz community work very hard to make this a special place to live." So, what's so cool about Lititz? After all, we had thousands of nominations to consider, then after we chose 15 finalists the real action began—with thousands more readers casting the votes that led to this inviting Pennsylvania hamlet of more than 9,000, founded as a Moravian community in the 18th century, being named the coolest of the cool. What makes Lititz a standout among standouts? First off, its location, in rural Lancaster County, is the kind of setting a film scout might choose—and one actually did. Rolling farmland and the traditional Amish communities made famous by the Harrison Ford thriller Witness have turned this corner of Pennsylvania into one of America's favorite long-weekend destinations. Lititz wears its colonial-era heritage on its sleeve, but that doesn't mean it forgoes contemporary pleasures. Next time you're in the area (Lititz is a 90-minute drive west of Philadelphia), these are some of the delights you'll find in America's Coolest Small Town: Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery was the first commercial pretzel bakery in the U.S., founded in 1861. Take a bakery tour, including learning hands-on pretzel-making, and visit the bakery shop to take home treats with a twist. Wilbur Chocolate Company runs an old-fashioned candy store on the ground floor of its factory. Watch them make their own fudge, and pick up a package of distinctive Wilbur Buds, little chocolates sold by the pound. Historical sites abound in this town that was founded in 1756 by Moravians from Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic); must-sees include the Lititz Historical Foundation, the Johannes Mueller House (a re-creation of a Moravian home), the Moravian Church, and a historical cemetery known by locals as God's Acre. Restaurants dominate Lititz's downtown, and while some burghs may seek "revitalization," Lititz has instead campaigned for downtown "vibrancy," and it shows. Eating establishments and watering holes are too numerous to list here, but favorites include Tomato Pie Café, Café Chocolate, Bulls Head Public House, Appalachian Brewing Company, Savory Gourmet, Olio, and Zest. General Sutter Inn is a comfy B&B with a decidedly un-quaint angle: Six of its rooms have been decorated with rock-n-roll stage equipment courtesy of a Lititz entertainment cluster that is responsible for the staging, lighting, and sound for major rock acts. Lititz Springs Park, in the middle of downtown, is ideal for the little ones, who will have a chance to feed the ducks and maybe even see a family of quackers cross busy Route 501, as in the classic picture book Make Way for Ducklings. We're psyched to have Lititz join the ranks of Budget Travel's Coolest Small Towns, and Withum suggests that just participating in the competition—let alone winning it—has been good for the town. "This contest has been a remarkable community builder," she says. "Our online campaign went viral, and we had people who had visited Lititz from all over the world voting. Our sign company put up a banner on Route 501! We thank Budget Travel for this great honor."

    Budget Travel Lists

    Is YOUR Town the Coolest in America?

    What does cool mean to you? Miles Davis? Scarlett Johansson? Lititz, Pennsylvania? I'm serious. For hundreds of thousands of Budget Travel readers, Lititz—the winner of our 2013 Coolest Small Towns contest—is that perfect blend of edge and heart that we consider cool. The town's journey to Coolest began last fall when thousands of supporters—residents, fans, and folks from all over the world who'd visited the Lancaster County gem and loved it—nominated the town right here. Well, it's that time of year again! Nominations are now open for our 2014 Coolest Small Towns contest. Visit early, visit often, and nominate your pick for coolest town ever. We're looking for American towns with fewer than 10,000 people and a certain something that no place else has—a world-class food scene, jaw-dropping locale, great music, innovative art, and the kind of community spirit that motivates supporters to take to Facebook, Twitter (use the hashtag #AmericasCoolestTowns to help spread the word from Budget Travel's Twitter feed!), Pinterest, and Instagram to propel their cool town to the top of the list. And please, keep it cool. Sure, everybody's got a "favorite" town or an opinion about which town is "best"—those phrases are hopelessly vague when it comes to actually planning your vacation. But tell us why your town is coolest? We're on our way!

    Budget Travel Lists

    How to Win Budget Travel's Coolest Small Towns Contest!

    What does it feel like to live in America's Coolest Small Town? Over the years, a bunch of folks have been lucky enough—and cool enough—to find out by winning Budget Travel's annual Coolest Small Town in America contest. Ask the residents of recent winning towns like Lititz, PA, Hammondsport, NY, and Beaufort, NC (pictured above), how good that feels! If you think your hometown—or your favorite small-town getaway!—has that awesome combination of edge and heart that we consider cool, we invite you to join in the thousands of nominations that are happening over at our Coolest Small Towns 2014 Nominations page! We're thrilled to see so many enthusiastic readers from every corner of America stepping up to crow about their cool towns. At the moment, we've noticed that some regions of the U.S. are especially well represented—congrats, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Utah for getting out the word! For those of you who live in other (equally cool!) parts of the country, we invite you to start throwing elbows as our nominations enter their final weeks. Type in the name of your town and tell us a little bit about what makes it cool! And please remember, we're looking for American towns with fewer than 10,000 people (sorry, if your nomination exceeds that population we'll have to bump you from the list) and a certain something that no place else has—a world-class food scene, jaw-dropping locale, great music, innovative art, and the kind of community spirit that motivates supporters to take to Facebook, Twitter (use the hashtag #AmericasCoolestTowns to help spread the word from Budget Travel's Twitter feed!), Pinterest, and Instagram to propel their cool town to the top of the list. Visit early, visit often, and, as always, keep it cool!

    Budget Travel Lists

    Berlin, MD, Leads Our Coolest Small Town Voting!

    Congrats to the folks in Berlin, MD, who have organized a great early turnout in our Coolest Small Town 2014 voting! After Buckhannon, WV, shot to the top in the early days of voting last weekend, Berlin steadily built a lead. While we consider every one of our 15 contenders cool towns, the final results are now in the hands of folks like you all over the U.S. (and, really, all over the world) who visit us each day to cast a vote for their Coolest pick. In past years, we've seen incredibly devoted boosters organize worldwide campaigns to propel towns like Lititz, PA; Beaufort, NC; and Hammondsport, NY, to the toppermost of the list. Voting continues till 12:00 a.m. on Tuesday February 25 (that's more than four weeks away), and you're allowed to vote once each day. Got a fave town on the list? Vote early, vote often! And check back here at This Just In for regular updates. As of Sunday night, here's how our 15 contenders stood: 1. Berlin, MD 2. Buckhannon, WV 3. Mathews, VA 4. Travelers Rest, SC 5. Cazenovia, NY 6. Rockport, TX 7. Kelleys Island, OH 8. Galena, IL 9. Nevada City, CA 10. Elkin, NC 11. Estes Park, CO 12. Deadwood, SD 13. Pahoa, HI 14. Huntington Woods, MI 15. Everglades City, FL

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    DESTINATION IN Pennsylvania

    Reading

    Reading ( RED-ing; Pennsylvania German: Reddin) is a city in and the county seat of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. With a population of 95,112 as of the 2020 census, it is the fourth-largest city in Pennsylvania. Located in the southeastern part of the state, it is the principal city of the Greater Reading Area, home to 420,152 residents, and is furthermore included in the greater Delaware Valley. The city, which is approximately halfway between the state's most populous city, Philadelphia, and the state capital, Harrisburg, is strategically situated along a major transportation route from Central to Eastern Pennsylvania, and lent its name to the now-defunct Reading Railroad, which transported anthracite coal from the Pennsylvania Coal Region to the eastern United States via the Port of Philadelphia. Reading Railroad is one of the four railroad properties in the classic United States version of the Monopoly board game. Reading was one of the first localities where outlet shopping became a tourist industry. It has been known as "The Pretzel City", because of numerous local pretzel bakeries; currently, Bachman, Dieffenbach, Tom Sturgis, and Unique Pretzel bakeries call the Reading area home. In recent years, the Reading area has become a destination for cyclists. With more than 125 miles of trails in five major preserves, it is an International Mountain Bicycling Association Ride Center.According to 2010 Census Bureau data, Reading had the highest share of citizens living in poverty in the nation for cities with populations of more than 65,000. Reading's poverty rate fell over the next decade. Reading's poverty rate in the 2018 five-year American Community Survey showed that 35.4% of the city's residents were below the poverty line, or less "than the infamous 41.3% from 2011, when Reading was declared the poorest small city in the nation."