Intercourse is known by many as the very heart of Amish Country because it is a central point where many do business and sell their wares. It has a heavy tourist trade, one of the highest of all of the Pennsylvania Dutch area. The village is surrounded by rural farmland and lies on Route 340 east of Bird In Hand. The town of Paradise lies just to the south of Intercourse and is a truly wonderful choice of towns to stop in if this is your first visit to the Lancaster area.
Many tourists and visitors find the name of the town suggestive and often attempt to steal signs from the area. However, this name is likely a reference to the intersection of roadways and, as a result, the importance of the town in terms of commerce in the Amish community. Originally, the town was called Cross Keys. Some believe the name is in honor of the spirit of fellowship that the town’s residents and visitors share.
As with all of Lancaster, Intercourse has many attractions for tourists and a walk around the picturesque and simple town will greet visitors with shops, museums and galleries. You will also likely encounter many Amish people who come into the town to take care of their business affairs. This is part of what makes Intercourse so special. It is a place where people of different lifestyles and cultures come together to interact and thereby learn a little bit about each other. In this way, the small town becomes a large source of community.
Many are aware of the town even if they haven’t yet visited. It was the setting of the 1985 movie, Witness, which was shot in the area and starred Harrison Ford. For Richer or Poorer was set in Intercourse but not actually filmed there. As you can see, this little town in Lancaster has worked its way into popular culture.
If you wish, you can take a horse and buggy ride through the town to deepen your local experience. Some even include trips through non commercial Amish farms and a chance to meet an Amish family.
A few additional points of interest in Intercourse include the Intercourse Canning Company where people can find an astonishing number of canned goods for sale, and the Deerskin Leather Shop. In Intercouse, you will also find The Old Country Store which is the oldest operating store in all of Intercourse. To keep up with the demand for sightseeing in Intercourse, there are many convenient lodging options in and around the town. The Old Country Store is a great stop for those wishing to pick up some authentic Amish goods to bring home to share with their own friends and neighbors. That is the true spirit of Intercourse!
If quilts are your passion, a stop at the People’s Place Quilting Museum is a good choice for you. Intercourse is also the site of the American Military Edged Weaponry Museum. The town is literally teeming with shopping spots and educational activities.