About the venue
The Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square is the ornate anchor of the main intersection in vibrant, historic downtown Lancaster. Part of this hotel—the architectural gem—is the former Watt and Shand department store. The beautiful hotel and convention center is across the street from Lancaster Central Market, the longest, continuously operated farmer's market in the country (hint: HippoCamp takes place during TWO market days!) and is within close proximity to many eating and drinking establishments, shops, and attractions.
The official conference hotel is the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, which is also the conference venue. So it's also super convenient.
We have a limited number of rooms available at a special conference rate available:
- $171 per night
- includes complimentary parking
[Our room block is now closed.]
We encourage you to reserve your room as soon as possible, as our block usually sells out months before the conference. Our room block closes 7/21. (Must use the link on this page to get our official rate.)
- This hotel's website has details about the amenities, and you can read about Marriott's Commitment to Clean.
- If you’re looking for a roommate, we suggest posting in the conference Facebook group.
Official Overflow Hotel
Holiday Inn - two blocks from venue; group rate coming in mid-May
- Lancaster Arts Hotel – a boutique hotel one mile from the conference venue (a 20-minute walk or 4-minute drive) is a gem, and it has an on-site bar/restaurant, John J. Jeffries.
- The Cork Factory Hotel – it’s literally an old cork factory and 1.3 miles from the venue ( about a 5-minute drive) and has an on-site bar/restaurant. (Same building as Lancaster Science Factory!)
- Airbnb: Downtown Lancaster and the surrounding area offers a wide array of AirBnBs! Many of our past attendees had great experiences with local hosts. (If you’ve never used Airbnb, this referral link will save you $20 off your first stay.)
If you will have a vehicle or are willing to take public transportation, there are several locally owned as well as many familiar chain lodging options outside of the immediate downtown area and on the outskirts of the city that can fit any budget.
If you live in the Mid-Atlantic region, getting to Lancaster by car is manageable and, we think, a pretty nice drive! We’re not too far from these major cities:
- 65 miles – Philadelphia
- 70 miles – Baltimore
- 106 miles – Washington, D.C.
- 160 miles – New York City
Conference commuters (those who live locally or are staying at a different hotel) will get a discounted daily rate of $11/day at Penn Square Garage. You can pick up your discount card at the conference registration desk.
Conference commuters (those who live locally or are staying at a different hotel) will get a discounted daily rate at Penn Square Garage.
- Bus: Lancaster Red Rose Transit
- There also are local taxi services and rental car options
- Uber and Lyft are now available in Lancaster
- Bike It Lancaster: for the adventurous light-packers who come in via Amtrak, there is a bike share station at the train station and a station on West King Street, half a block from the convention center. (This can also be a great way to explore the city!)
Taking the train here
Lancaster Amtrak Station: 1.5 miles from the conference center
Lancaster is a stop on Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian and Keystone routes.
- The Keystone route offers frequent daily service between New York City and Harrisburg by way of Philadelphia.
- The Pennsylvanian route travels daily between New York City and Pittsburgh. This line also connects in Pittsburgh to Capitol Limited trains 29 and 30, which offer service to Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago, and other points.
- A transfer in Philadelphia also makes the Northeastern Regional Line and the Acela Express a possibility; these lines run from Boston to Virginia. The Northeastern line has more options.
Lancaster is closest to the Harrisburg International Airport (MDT), which is actually located in between Lancaster and Harrisburg in Middletown. Lancaster also is not too far from Baltimore/Washington and Philadelphia.
- Sun Air at Lancaster Airport (LNS): <5 miles (limited service to BWI)
- Harrisburg International Airport (MDT): 27 miles
- Philadelphia International Airport (PHL): 71 miles
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI): 90 miles
BWI and PHL note:
Depending on where you are flying from and/or which airlines you prefer, one of these major airports might make sense. Both are less than two hours from downtown Lancaster, and also offer rental car options and are close to train stations that hook up with the Keystone Line, which runs right to downtown Lancaster.
MDT airport transportation note:
Being a midsize city in farm country means we’re not big or busy enough of a metropolitan area to attract shuttle companies like Super Shuttle, and downtown Lancaster hotels do not offer their own shuttle service. The estimated taxi fare according to the Marriott website, is $65 per trip from MDT to downtown Lancaster. We suggest other options, listed below.
- You can find six car rental services in the Harrisburg International Airport terminal: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hertz and National Car Rental.
- MDT is about two miles from the Middletown Amtrak stop, which is on the Keystone Line. (An airport taxi could take you to the train station.)
Visiting Lancaster - Things to do
Here are a few links to regional tourism sites, as well as some regional and national press on our city, to help you get an idea of what to expect from our region. There’s plenty to enjoy and, perhaps, the attractions in our area will inspire you to extend your trip! Your conference packet will have details on our recommendations, too!
Travel articles – what others are saying about Lancaster
- "The Heart of It: Lancaster, Pennsylvania”" – city profile from the American Craft Council, January 2019
- "Best Places to Visit on the East Coast for 2019" – OffMetro, January 2019
- "Where to Go Next: The Best 14 Place to Visit in the United States in 2019" – Forbes, December 2018
- "The 10 Coolest US Cities to Visit in 2019" – Forbes, December 2017
- "The 14 Coolest Things to Do in Lancaster, PA" – Thrillist, May 2017
- "Lancaster, Pennsylvania is Much Cooler Than You Think" – NY Post, March 2017
- "Live Like a Local: Where Innovation and Heritage Coexist" – TravelMag, October 2016 — by HippoCamp’er Wendy Fontaine, inspired by her first visit!