Kitchen Kettle Village is a rather unique destination spot. Located deep in the 'Amish Country' of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this village is a little retreat away from the everyday hustle and bustle.
I have visited Kitchen Kettle Village many times as a child growing up, since I lived fairly close. The "village" is actually a group of small shops and restaurants, but they have also now added lodging, right in the middle of the village. I have loved visiting here since I can remember....when you come here, it is like stepping into a whole different time period. Everything just seems to run at a slower pace, and the food is AMAZING! I am talking good, old-fashioned, home-cooked Pennsylvania Dutch food...it just doesn't get any better! All of the shops just have a feel of homemade, and most of them actually are- they are mostly crafty type shops, and eateries.
My favorite shops are the fudge shop- (they pour the fudge out on marble slabs and work the fudge as they explain what they are doing- delicious!), the smoke shop, which has lots of meats, cheeses, crackers and other deli items to sample and buy, and the quilt shop, which is full of the most beautiful hand-stitched quilts I have ever seen. There is also a kids section to the village, where they can drive little John Deere tractors, and even visit a petting zoo. My son also loves the homemade kettle corn they make there.
The store that ranks the highest on my entire families list is the main store to the village; the Canning Kitchen. Inside you will see an open kitchen where workers are actually making all sorts of delicious preserves right there! There are tons of different kinds of jams, jellies, preserves, sauces, salsas, and pickled veggies to choose from, and all of them can be sampled right there- you can practically eat an entire meal just moving from one sample to the next. My son loves this store, because it is so much fun to sample unusual items, such as garlic jelly, "chow chow", pineapple salsa, and their famous "peanut butter schmeir." You can purchase any of the preserves at the store, and they also have little souveniers like cookie cutters, etc. Don't miss out on the bakery here too; the cookies are awesome!
Last year, my husband and I visited the Kitchen Kettle Village on a weekend away, and stayed at the village. What a wonderful experience! Such a quaint little place, and it was so peaceful- after the stores were all closed for the day, it was neat to walk through the quiet village all by ourselves. We stayed in a "room" that was actually more like a mini-apartment. It was decorated with more of the handmade quilts- just beautiful. We had a microwave and fridge in our room, which was convenient to keep our meats and cheeses that we purchased at the smoke shop. When we checked into our room, the staff was extremely friendly and welcoming- we were given insulated travel mugs for staying there, and we were told that any guest staying overnight gets a free breakfast at one of the on-site restaurants. Since we were staying on a Saturday, however, the restaurant was closed the next morning (the village is not open on Sundays at all.) So instead, we got a dozen cookies from the bakery- yum! When we went upstairs and saw our room, we found yet another surprise- a tray filled with lots of goodies to sample that were all made at the Village. It is those kinds of personal touches that made our weekend getaway so pleasant. We will surely be visiting here again and again!
Here is a website for the Kitchen Kettle Village: