DIY Ice Cream, Quirky Museums in Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Lancaster County offers travelers rolling hills, covered bridges and plenty of outdoor events. Check out our picks for fun in and around the town of Columbia, Pennsylvania that just might get you on the road this summer:

Columbia is a Pennsylvania Dutch area full of Amish goods and never short on attractions -- including museums you definitely won't find down on the National Mall.

First up, consider the Wrights Ferry Mansion (38 S. 2nd St., Columbia), which features Philadelphia furniture, English ceramics, needlework, metals and glass, all made prior to 1750. The idea behind museum reflects the interests of the original owner, Susanna Wright, a Quaker settler who had an affinity for law and medicine.

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There's also the National Watch and Clock Museum (514 Poplar St., Columbia), which houses America's largest collection of timekeeping items on display with events such as the Hops-n-Clocks beer tasting and family sleepovers, when visitors can stay overnight.

Nearby is also the home of the Nissley Wine Vineyard (140 Vintage Drive, Bainbridge), which holds summer lawn concerts every Saturday from 7:30 to 10 p.m. that feature regional bands. What we also like about Nissley is that they can personalize any of their wine bottles for you. Having a wedding or birthday? Have Nissley create a one-of-a-kind label just for your event.

Last but not least would be the Turkey Hill Experience (301 Linden St., Columbia). Yes, we're talking about ice cream. The Turkey Hill Experience offers your kids the chance to create their own flavors. That in itself is worth the drive.

The Susquehanna Glass Factory (731 Avenue H, Columbia) will let you create customized glassware and get a complete factory tour to learn about the glass-making trade. They also offer 50 percent off all hand-cut patterns and monograms when you visit.

Columbia, Pennsylvania is located about 2.5 hours from downtown D.C.

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