One of the greatest things about HippoCamp is that it gives a sense place to an otherwise “everywhere” publication.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania—the nation’s oldest inland city—is described as “small yet cosmopolitan” and it has found its way into various “top” lists in the past few years including Most Exciting Small Cities in America. Most recently, it’s been touted as “the Brooklyn of Pennsylvania” for it’s good food, good brews (coffee and beer!), and quirky shops and makers’ movement.
Our conference happens in the heart of the city:
Explore more, below. Or, if you’ve been here before to do your research and are back to book- we placed a handy “book now” button right here so you don’t have to go searching for it:
Book Room – block closes 8/22 or upon sell-out
The Lancaster County Convention Center will be home to most of the conference events, but with break time and dinner-on-your-owns, you will have time to explore downtown’s dining options.
The Convention Center is bright, spacious, colorful and comfortable; the staff is friendly and attentive. Service at HippoCamp 2015 was impressive, and we’re happy to be back.
The Convention Center not only is attached to a hotel that is part of the former Watt and Shand department store, but it also is home to a few other historic gems, including (at press time) an active archaeological site: the convention center was built around the home and law offices of Thaddeus Stevens–evidence shows that his home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. In fact, on the premises is The Thaddeus Stevens & Lydia Hamilton Smith Historic Site.
Special conference rate: $160/night plus free parking (for overnight guests).
Book Room – block closes 8/22 or upon sell-out
HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers has a block of rooms reserved, at a discounted rate, at The Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square Thursday through Sunday.
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 Marriott 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 walking distance from many eating and drinking establishments, shops and attractions.
This hotel’s website has details about the amenities, but we’ll share a few here:
Extra discounts for HippoCamp attendees:
Other Local Hotels
Staying in the conference hotel is most convenient, especially if you want to take a break or freshen up between sessions or be close to “home” after socializing at the conference and after-hours events. However, there are alternatives.
Note that if you are commuting to the conference either because you live locally or are staying in another hotel, you can take advantage of a discounted Penn Square garage rate for HippoCamp attendees: $11 per day. (Reg. $18)
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:
Official conference activities will be within walking distance of the Convention Center, but but if you need to get around once you get here:
Lancaster Amtrak Station: 1.5 miles from conference center
Discount conference fare coming in January.
Lancaster is a stop on Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian and Keystone routes.
Lancaster is closest to the Harrisburg International Airport, which is actually located in between Lancaster and Harrisburg. Lancaster also is not too far from Baltimore/Washington and Philadelphia.
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.
BWI and PHL
Depending on where are you 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.
A website for downtown Lancaster says it best: 288 experiences within 20 square blocks. There is something for everyone in this historical, central PA city, from Gallery Row to vintage shops. And, with dinner on your own on Saturday, you have time to explore and literally get a taste of Lancaster!
Major media outlets have (re?)discovered Lancaster as an amazing destination, with a few dozen write-ups about our city. Here’s one from March 2017 from the NY Daily News: “Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is much cooler than you think.”
Here are a few links to regional tourism sites 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!
The latter bullet? So yum we feel the need to share a video.
We can’t wait to welcome you to Lancaster, Pa!