Lititz: One of the Best Small Towns in Pennsylvania

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Explore the laidback charm of Lititz, voted America’s coolest small town. Relax in Lititz Springs Park, savor delicious meals in downtown restaurants, and more. Read on for what to do when you visit Lititz, one of the best small towns in Pennsylvania.

When people ask me what the best small town to visit in Pennsylvania is, Lititz is my answer. The town was founded in 1745 by members of the Moravian Church seeking religious freedom. From what I can tell, these fine church folk set out to create what they thought was a paradise in Pennsylvania. The problem is, their version forbade beer tapping, dancing, children playing in the street, or anything else fun. The Moravians controlled home ownership, and Moravian church members were the only ones allowed to live in the community.

After 99 years of this No-Fun Zone, Lititz embraced new town members, and the good times began. In 2013, the poll voted Lititz the coolest small town in America, and the traveling public took notice.

What I love about Lititz is the laidback vibe, and it’s only a 90-minute drive from my home in Perry Hall, MD. Whether hanging out in Lititz Springs Park or grabbing a bite to eat at a downtown restaurant, it’s always a fun and relaxing visit.

A California Connection

One of the more interesting stories in Lititz is about John Sutter, the founder of Sutter’s Mill in California. Mr. Sutter is synonymous with the California Gold Rush, and he moved to Lititz in 1871 and then purchased the Lititz Springs Inn. After losing most of his fortune in California, Sutter came to Lititz to be close to Washington, DC, to pursue restitution for his land losses in California. While Sutter only lived in Lititz for nine years, his hotel is a lasting part of his legacy.

The lobby of the Lititz Springs Inn has a portrait of John Sutter above the fireplace. Photo by Kurt Jacobson


The quality of mom-and-pop shops is a big part of Lititz’s popularity. Wilbur Chocolate and Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery are at the top of most visitors’ lists. Julius Sturgis claims to be the first commercial pretzel bakery in the US. They started making pretzels in 1861. Visitors can take a 25-minute pretzel-making tour and try their hand at twisting pretzels. Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery is a historical site and a functioning bakery specializing in fresh, hot, soft pretzels. You can schedule tours on their website if you plan on going.

An up-close look at a soft pretzel from Julius Sturgis. Photo by Scott Allen

Wilbur Chocolate has been around since 1895 and has undergone different name changes and owners. Wilbur’s Chocolate Company invented the Bud, a treat similar to Hershey’s Kisses. I love their chocolate-covered peanut butter crackers and buy a couple of packages each time I visit.

There’s a whole lot of tasty chocolate behind these doors. Photo by Kurt Jacobson

Cherry Acres is the place to see gorgeous handmade wooden furniture. They have many live-edge slab table tops and other wooden furniture. Bunyaad Marketplace sells fair trade goods, including handmade rugs, jewelry, toys, books, baby items, and artsy greeting cards. Bunyaad is in the former home of John Sutter and is across the street from the Lititz Springs Inn.

The Bunyaad Store has fun gifts, rugs, toys, and greeting cards. Photo by Kurt Jacobson

The Experience Lititz website lists about two dozen other shops in town, and I encourage you to check it out.


The Bull’s Head Public House is a good lunch choice and a popular watering hole.  I’ve had the vegetarian tikka masala and found it quite good, considering this isn’t an Indian restaurant, but Bull’s Head is mostly known for pub fare. My favorite dish is the shepherd’s pie, which is made with ground lamb the way it was meant to be.

Bull’s Head Public House and the Lititz Springs Inn have welcomed guests for years. Photo by Kurt Jacobson

We have stopped in for coffee and tea at Café Arabella, a craft coffee shop that serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday. My wife and I have had breakfast at the Tomato Pie Café and found it excellent. For lunch, try their namesake tomato pie, seasonal features, handhelds, salads, or bowls. The Tomato Pie has an ample breakfast menu, with some standouts being maple and spice French toast, house-made quiche, and Philly cheesesteak hash.

Blackworth Live Fire Grill is a newer restaurant inside the Wilbur Lititz Tapestry Collection by Hilton. I recently had a great meal there that included a trio of sides. The oven-roasted carrots, arugula salad, and cornbread paired well with a glass of Italian white wine. Steaks are the star of the dinner menu, and for the big spender, you can get a 36-oz Wagyu porterhouse for $190! Blackworth also serves lunch Monday through Saturday and Sunday brunch.

I had a great meal at Blackworth Live Fire Grill. Photo by Kurt Jacobson

Several other restaurants round out the dining options in Lititz. I recommend walking downtown and letting your eyes and nose help you find a place to eat.

Lodging Choices

The Lititz Springs Inn is a historic lodging establishment with seven cozy guest rooms and six luxury suites. These guest rooms and suites are decorated in period fashion, but the Inn also has a third floor with more contemporary rooms. Six rooms are pet-friendly but must be booked by phone (717-626-2115). The pet fee is a reasonable $25 one-time charge. Lititz Springs Inn has an arrangement with the spa next door to provide onsite in-room treatments.

The Wilbur Lititz, Tapestry Collection by Hilton is an excellent addition to lodging in town, and I covered the hotel in detail in my article featuring Historic Inns of Pennsylvania. This exciting chocolate factory re-do makes for a great hotel. I love the attention to historical detail in decorations in the public spaces and guest rooms using Wilbur Chocolate Company memorabilia.

I stayed at the Wilbur Hotel in late March 2024 and got this photo walking the town after sunset. Photo by Kurt Jacobson

If you prefer a B&B in a historic home, consider The Alden House, an 1850s Federal-style home on Main Street, in business since 1987.

The owner and manager, Brian Fisher, told me, “In the last three years, we’ve remodeled all but three rooms, and the last two rooms are slated to be remodeled in the 2024/2025 winter season.”

I often like to stay in recently remodeled B&Bs, hotels, and Inns, and the Alden House is on my short list of places to stay.

Taking to the Streets

A Taste of Lititz is an open-air street party where many of the town’s restaurants sell a modified menu on Main Street in early June each year. My wife and our friend, Scott from Colorado, joined me to attend Taste of Lititz in 2024 under clear blue skies and favorable temperatures below 80 degrees.

Bull’s Head Public House was a good place to start with a glass of wine and their delicious honey-chipotle chicken wings. Other popular menu choices are burgers, bangers and mash, and fish and chips. From what I can tell, the pub is popular with both locals and visitors.

Bull’s Head Pub was calm just before Taste of Lititz opened at 5 PM. Photo by Kurt Jacobson

After devouring the starter, we set out to taste as many items as possible from street vendors. We tried several different items, and our favorites were the paella and the Julius Sturgis Pretzels. The soft pretzels came with a mini-tub of jalapeño cheese dip, which took the delicious treat a notch higher. My friend Scott got a good photo of three kids loving the pretzels.

Three kids enjoying their Julis Sturgis pretzels. Photo by Scott Allen

I saw several music performers, including a one-man band, a full band, and a jazz band. A wall of paint-by-numbers was a kid-friendly hands-on attraction. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and the fine weather helped draw a big crowd.

A Walk in the Park

Lititz Springs Park is a private park open to the public courtesy of the owner, the Lititz Moravian Congregation. The Moravian Congregation has shared the park with locals and visitors for over 200 years. This peaceful park features playgrounds, picnic tables, pavilions, one of the coolest natural springs, and a stream, where I love to grab a bench seat and watch the world go by.

Lititz Springs Park with the Wilbur Hotel in the background. Photo by Kurt Jacobson

Check out the event schedule on the park’s website to plan your trip, or stop in the welcome center in the old train station building, open Monday through Saturday, from 10 AM to 4 PM. The Fourth of July celebration in Lititz Springs Park is one of the most significant events in town. The Lititz Historical Foundation Summer Concert Series is a pay-what-you-can event with the proceeds going to the Mary Oehme Gardens. If you plan to stay overnight, book your lodging well in advance.

This is where the underground springs come up in the park. Photo by Kurt Jacobson

On the Outskirts of Lititz

I’ve never visited these two very interesting attractions, but I plan to soon. Rock Lititz is a huge facility where musicians and others come to rock and roll. The Economist called Lititz the rock and roll center of America. At Rock Lititz, rock and roll stars come to rehearse, record, and collaborate on shows they have dreamed up. They also have an on-site hotel.

The Wolf Sanctuary of PA is an 80-acre wolf refuge where hybrid (wolf dogs) and purebred wild wolves find a safe home. The sanctuary offers guided tours and works to dispel myths about wolves through education and tours. Its website lists a variety of tours.

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When You Visit Lititz, Pennsylvania

Lititz will appeal to both young and old visitors. The best time to come is spring through summer, but it’s also an excellent place to visit for Christmas shopping in November or December. It takes about an hour and a half to drive from Philadelphia, from Baltimore about the same, and from Washington, D.C., two and a half hours, depending on traffic. I recommend staying the night to get the most out of your visit.

We invite you to check out Wander With Wonder for more things to do during your visit to Pennsylvania.

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