Pretzel baking like at the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Factory in Lititz, PA

See How It’s Made: The Lancaster Area’s Best Factory Tours

Perhaps because the native people of Lancaster County and the wider south-central PA area are such an industrious lot, many well-known products have long been made here. Hershey’s Chocolate is probably the most famous example of a product that was “born and raised” locally (Milton Hershey actually started his candy-making empire in Lancaster City), but there are many more examples, as well.

Are you curious to see “how it’s made” in Lancaster County and beyond? Today’s blog post offers a few options for factory tours and visits to sites where handmade products are created in the local region. Food tours are at the top of the list, but you can also discover how things like premium furniture and even motorcycles are built!

(Please note that some tours may be temporarily suspended or altered due to COVID-19. Visit the linked websites for each business to get updated information on their operations before visiting.) (more…)

Senior couple considering their independent retirement community options

How Lancaster County’s Retirement Communities are Different

And, Why You Should Consider a CCRC or Life Plan Community Yourself

In many of our posts here on the Explore Retirement Living (ERL) blog, you have likely encountered the term “Life Plan Community,” and perhaps you have wondered what that actually means. We realize that there are a lot of seemingly similar terms that get applied to retirement community living, and that can create unnecessary confusion.

Today’s post will clear up some terminology questions related to retirement communities of various types. We’ll also explain how the Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) and Life Plan Communities affiliated with Explore Retirement Living in Lancaster County, PA, are different from so many others. (more…)

Couple celebrating their new carefree retired life with a convertible ride

How to Successfully Enjoy Retired Life

It seems counter-intuitive that after decades of working, raising children, taking care of housework and home maintenance chores, and just living the “daily grind,” it can be challenging to step back and actually ENJOY retired life.

But many seniors today find the extensive free time suddenly available to them in retirement can be challenging to fill with meaningful or productive activities. You’ve earned this time—you should spend it how you want instead of having others constantly dictating your schedule, but now what?

You don’t want to fall into the trap of one of the most significant retirement risks out there—passing idle hours in front of the TV or Facebook every day, just feeling bored and unfulfilled. Luckily, there’s a whole world of options to keep boredom from catching up with you! You just need to know where to look—and perhaps get a little creative.

We’ve got some suggestions here to get you started, and we’d love to hear your good ideas on our Explore Retirement Living Facebook page, too! Be sure to give us a “Like”! (more…)

Concept graphic with retirement marked as cancelled

4 Big Retirement Myths You Should Stop Believing

A little while ago, we shared five big priorities you should work on as you are nearing retirement. We looked at retirement income planning, touched on considerations for your investments and sources of income, and even explained why giving your home some attention was a smart idea in the five years or so just before retirement.

However, we neglected to mention one to-do in that post that you also shouldn’t forget in your retirement plan: “don’t believe everything you hear about retiring.”

It’s true. There are tons of retirement myths floating around the internet and in your friends’ and loved ones’ imaginations that have the potential to ruin your “golden years.” Many of these relate to financial planning and money management both before and during retirement, but there are also some myths about general retirement living that also need to be “busted.”

Today’s post highlights four of the most significant retirement myths out there and offers some truthful insight so you can better prepare. (more…)

Beautiful Central PA golf course view

9+ Reasons Why Lancaster, PA is the Perfect Retirement Destination for Golfers

As an avid golfer, you may dream of retiring to sunny South Carolina, Florida, or Arizona—lands of meticulously maintained golf retirement communities and world-class courses around every other corner. However, did you know that Lancaster County, PA is also home to some amazing—and affordable—golf options that make retirement closer to home that much more enticing for those who enjoy hitting the links?

In these uncertain times, traveling to exotic golf resorts elsewhere is challenging at best. But, Pennsylvania’s golf courses are safely open for you to play a round while easily following proper social distancing and other COVID-19 prevention guidelines. It’s certainly time for you to check out what these courses have to offer!

Need a little more info about our fantastic local public courses before you set a tee time? Today’s post introduces a sampling of five of the Lancaster area’s favorite golf courses open to every golfer. We’re also sharing which five of our phenomenal independent retirement communities are located closest to each course—where you may just want to rest your clubs for the long game! (more…)

Tips for Staying Active While Staying at Home banner

[INFOGRAPHIC]: Tips for Staying Active While Staying at Home

It’s true that we are all going a little stir crazy this month due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders from our government. Here in Lancaster County, PA, it’s perhaps even more challenging to stay inside to help “slow the spread,” since beautiful spring weather is beckoning to us to get outdoors.

While some outdoor activities are certainly permitted, such as gardening and yard work on your own property, it is safest to minimize your exposure to others by prioritizing indoor activities now.

At a loss for things to do? These are a few of our favorite tips here at Explore Retirement Living for staying active—both physically and mentally—even while you’re cooped up at home. Let’s work together on keeping those blood pressure rates down and mental health going strong as we await the return of “normal life!” (more…)

Pulling back the curtain on the Fulton Theatre’s latest shows

What’s On Stage at the Fulton Theatre in 2020?

If you’re well-acquainted with the attractions and institutions that make Lancaster, PA, a unique place to visit, play, and live, you’re likely familiar with the Fulton Theatre—the city’s fantastically historic yet thoroughly modern performing arts venue.

If not, it’s time to meet the “Grand Old Lady of Prince Street” in today’s post! (more…)

Ephrata Cloister Museum near Lancaster, PA

9 Great Museums in Lancaster, PA That You Need to Visit

As we’ve often discussed here on the Explore Retirement Living blog, the Lancaster, Pa. region is a treasure trove of culturally rich things to do and see. Today’s post focuses on a few of the best museums in Lancaster County, highlighting the impressive diversity and quality of these local institutions.

You’ll see that no matter your interests, the Lancaster area has a museum collection that will appeal to you! Additionally, for our friends who are always on the lookout for fun and educational activities to share with their younger family members, we have a number of museums in Lancaster that will delight kids—and kids at heart! (more…)

Downtown Lancaster PA

An Updated Look at How Lancaster, PA is Growing

A few years ago, we took a look at how the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania area—our home here at Explore Retirement Living—is growing and changing. The good news story back in 2017 was that steady population growth in both Downtown Lancaster, as well as the surrounding towns and municipalities within the county’s borders, was creating an increase in opportunities for people of all ages.

More jobs, even better access to high-quality healthcare resources, and positive effects on other crucial quality of life indicators were becoming reality—and still are. (more…)

Strasburg Rail Road

Why You Should Check Out the Strasburg Rail Road

As we attempt to demonstrate here on our Explore Retirement Living blog, there is no shortage of unique things to do in Lancaster County, PA.

Many of these attractions bring the vibrant history of our area’s industrial and commercial productivity to life and represent the “oldest” or “first” examples of such activity in the entire United States, as well. Lancaster Central Market is America’s oldest continuously operating public farmers market, the Fulton Theatre is likely the oldest working theatre, and today’s featured destination—the Strasburg Rail Road—may just be our nation’s oldest operating railroad!

If you’re a train enthusiast—or someone in your family loves locomotives (including kid-favorite Thomas the Tank Engine)—you’ve likely visited the small town of Strasburg, which is also home to the state-operated Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (just across the street from Strasburg Rail Road).

While also a popular lodging town for tourists visiting the nearby Amish communities, Strasburg is certainly, first and foremost, a railroading hub. And the Strasburg Rail Road offers “a full steam adventure” that’s sure to excite visitors of all ages as they hop on board for an old-fashioned ride to Paradise (and back). (more…)

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