Ephrata derives its name from the Bible and means "fruitful." Fruitful is a good adjective to describe this little town located in northeastern Lancaster County.

Foremost of the attractions is arguably the Ephrata Cloister which is the very first communal religious society in the United States. This 18th-century Cloister is famous for its fruitful creation of original art, music and printing, especially during the 1740s and 1750s when about 300 members worked and worshiped there.

The Cloister is especially renown for its distinctive German architecture and its prodigious output of fraktur which is essentially an ornate form of medieval German lettering.

Despite its fruitful creation of art and music, life inside the wall of the religious community was based upon asceticism. Brothers and Sisters of the Cloister eschewed the basic comforts of daily life that we take for granted. For example, members were required to sleep on bench-like beds of hard wood with wooden blocks used in place of soft pillows.

Any visit to Ephrata in Lancaster County would definitely be incomplete without a visit to the Ephrata Cloister. Today, it is listed as a National Historical Landmark and is open to the public for tours and special events.

Another attraction exhibiting the fruitful wonders of the town is the Green Dragon Farmer's Market. Farmer's Markets are a traditional part of Pennsylvania Dutch country life. Green Dragon which has been around since 1932 is one of the most famous and successful in the region.

Even if you don't intend on buying anything, it's great fun to people-watch as well as admire the abundant fresh food and high-quality crafts on display that are provided each week by more than 400 local growers, merchants and craftsmen.

The Green Dragon Farmer's Market which is located 4 miles north on North Street is open every Friday.

The town also offers a fruitful display of modern cultural amenities as well. A prime example is the Ephrata Playhouse in the Park which offers first class theater to residents and visitor alike.

Moreover, the downtown district offers a thriving and bustling scene with many museums, shops, and delicious restaurants serving regional and national cuisine.

Noteworthy for shoppers is the Adamstown Antique Mile located nearby on Route 272. Here, it is possible to find virtually anything on display from antiques to local crafts.

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