Masonic Village at Elizabethtown is located in between three of the top five best places to retire in the United State: Lancaster (first) Harrisburg (second) and York (fifth). According to U.S. News & World Report, these areas are so desirable due to their centralized locations which make it easy to travel to larger cities for a day or weekend trip and proximity to high quality health care.
U.S. News & World Report developed its list based on public data and survey results. Factors for determination included health care quality, happiness (based on crimes rates, air quality and well-being as scored by Sharecare) and housing affordability.
Lancaster County is home to high quality health care, including Lancaster General Health – Penn Medicine Lancaster. It’s also centrally located with easy Amtrak access to New York City and Philadelphia (about 2.5 hours and 1.5 hours away by car, respectively. It’s also just a little over two hours to Washington, D.C. Masonic Village at Elizabethtown residents appreciate these perks, especially the travel piece, with the Amtrak station right across from the campus entrance.
Keeping It Fun
Lancaster city features plenty of cultural events, theaters and a monthly First Friday art walk. The city is rich in history and includes antiques, arts and crafts and a variety of shops and boutiques.
Referred to as E-Town by most locals, Elizabethtown is situated in northwestern Lancaster County. With more than 11,600 residents, it is in the heart of Central Pennsylvania and offers easy access to Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Hershey, and Lebanon.
In 1830, the railroad was built running through the town. The town was primarily agricultural until the early 1900s, when the Klein Chocolate Company, now part of Mars, Inc., and several shoe factories opened.
Winters Heritage House Museum preserves two of Elizabethtown’s earliest structures. Erected in 1760, the colonial log buildings exhibit the styles of Scots-Irish and German settlers.
Slated for demolition in the late 1980s, the historic structures were rescued and preserved by Elizabethtown Preservation Associates.
A non-profit educational entity, the museum is dedicated to research, preservation, and education of Elizabethtown’s history. It includes the Seibert Genealogy Library and Resource Center. Members and guests can research and enjoy all aspects of Elizabethtown’s rich past.
Elizabethtown offers great options for outdoor enthusiasts. One favorite is the White Cliffs of Conoy with its large white mountains up to 30 feet tall with spectacular views of the Susquehanna River. For bicyclists, the Northwest River Trail provides breathtaking views of the river and plenty of shade.
The fertile Lancaster County soil makes farmer’s markets popular in the area. The Masonic Village Farm Market is open all year. Sweet cherries, tart cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, pears and more than 60 varieties of apples are grown on-site. Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins are available each fall.
Pies, apple dumplings and cookies are baked fresh. Award-winning apple cider is available year-round. Made from Farmer Tad’s secret blend of sweet, ripe apples, this unfiltered juice is great served hot or cold. The farm market also sells Masonic Village’s home-grown premium dry-aged beef.
Located at the farm market, the Orchard View Café is open May to October and offers hand-dipped ice cream and specialty sandwiches while visitors take in the 20-mile view of orchards, farms, fields, cattle, woodlands, rolling hills, mountains and more.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023, the Elizabethtown Fair is one of 109 Pennsylvania State Fairs. Slated for the last week in August, the fair includes animal, agricultural, competitive and commercial exhibits. It provides an opportunity to showcase agriculture in Lancaster County and surrounding counties.
Many local civic organizations and church groups use the fair as their principal fundraiser for the year, and local businesses and organizations promote themselves. The fair also features a free petting zoo, free nightly entertainment, contests for all ages, rides and great food.
A unique event venue and tourist destination, the 175-acre Stone Gables Estates includes the historic Star Barn; the Harrisburg, Lincoln & Lancaster Railroad; and the National Christmas Center Museum, as well as horseback riding.
The Star Barn is a majestic Gothic Revival-style barn built in 1877. After being transported from Middletown and fully restored, it now serves as an event venue. Take a nostalgic train ride through the property on the Pumpkin Patch Express, Santa Express or Winter Train Excursion, offered seasonally.
The National Christmas Center Museum has more than 18,000 square feet of vintage Christmas décor, lights, trees, stores and more. It features more than 1,250 nativities from around the world; storefronts representing the town of Columbia, PA; and sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas.
Elizabethtown College was established in 1899. In addition to its full catalog of undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and self-study micro-credentials, the college hosts world-renowned speakers and lifelong learning programs. The Blue Jays also compete in a full range of intercollegiate athletics with events open to the public.
Elizabethtown has a robust downtown area with unique small businesses and restaurants. Discover Lancaster has a full list of shopping, places to stay, attractions and eateries, ranging from quirky boutiques to breweries, as well as outdoor recreation.
The LIV E-Town project organizes events for downtown, ranging from Halloween-themed festivities to Christmas in July to an annual Strawberry Social to a Star Wars event on May 4.
Their events are listed on Facebook and Instagram. The Elizabethtown Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors events, which are listed on its website, for businesses and the community, including a holiday parade and annual Christmas tree lighting.
Elizabethtown is a small community with a big heart. The town provides an ideal environment to raise a family, start a business or retire. It is an ideal spot to embrace the beauty of Lancaster County while enjoying unique and memorable opportunities. Contact us today to make the “best place to retire” your new home.