Lancaster may be America's oldest inland city, but nothing about this meeting destination is outdated. Touting northeast metropolitan convenience (as it's located just 90 minutes outside of Philadelphia and Baltimore and 45 minutes outside of Harrisburg), Lancaster is known for its unique blend of urban sophistication and scenic rural surroundings. Lancaster's historic revival and preservation movement began in the early 1970s and, today, there are not only hundreds of historic landmarks, but also more than 90 galleries, theaters, museums, fine dining restaurants, unique shops and other amazing venues in Lancaster. It's no wonder that more than 11 million people visit Lancaster each year, making travel and tourism one of the city's foremost industries.
Meeting and conference groups flock to the new $170-million, integrated Lancaster County Convention Center and Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square. Located in the Lancaster's historic district, these are the first purpose-built convention venues in Lancaster, and they offer a total combined 90,000 square feet of space for conventions and events. Meeting spaces include a 45,000-square-foot exhibit hall and 9,000-square-foot ballroom, while meeting amenities include 300 on-site guest rooms, gourmet banquet facilities, on-site audio-visual and catering services, as well as two business centers. Groups can utilize the facility's restaurant, spa, indoor pool and fitness center, as well as explore historic Lancaster's many fine-dining, shopping, cultural and entertainment venues, most of which in walking distance of the center.
The Lancaster County Convention Center is located approximately 30 miles southeast of the Harrisburg International Airport. Serving 150,000 flight operations every year, Harrisburg International provides daily nonstop service to 14 destinations, including Toronto, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston and Chicago. Meeting groups can also fly in via the Lancaster Airport; located just six miles north of downtown Lancaster, the airport services both charter flights and daily commercial flights connecting to Baltimore via Cape Air. Additionally, Amtrak services the area with the Keystone and Regional lines east and west bound routes. New York City is only a 3 hour train ride to downtown Lancaster City.
Lancaster is bursting with meeting-ready unique venues and exciting rural adventures perfect for group outings and events; as well as with group tour opportunities. Many of these are focused on interest in Lancaster's Amish population, as Lancaster is home to the first, oldest and second largest community of Old Order Amish in the U.S. Unique venues include such Lancaster landmarks as the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, home to one of the most significant collections of historic railroad artifacts in the world. The museum welcomes guests to sit in an engineer's seat, explore a caboose and view more than 100 locomotives and cars from the mid 19th and 20th centuries, as well as features private rental spaces throughout the museum. Meeting participants can also gather at private suites within the city's Clipper Magazine Stadium, home to the minor-league Lancaster Barnstormers baseball team. Looking to hold an event in a historical, educational – and exciting – setting? Lancaster's Landis Valley Museum, a living history village and farm that interprets the history and culture of a rural Pennsylvania German community, features private event capabilities in its beautiful Yellow Barn and Courtyard, Firehouse, Visitor Center and Landis Valley House Hotel.