Lancaster PA Retro Roadtrip – Mod Betty & Doerthe Externest Photo Visit!

When an awesome photographer pal asks if she can tag along on a Retro Roadtrip, where does Mod Betty take her for the most bang for their buck? Lancaster, PA! We could only visit a sliver of what Lancaster has to offer, but we ran the gamut from kitschy roadside attractions to hip and happening shopping spots.

Maybe these photos from Doerthe Externest Photography will inspire you to head to Lancaster yourself!

The Lincoln Highway

While the authentic vintage tourist destinations on Route 30 are quickly being bulldozed and replaced by GenericAmerica, I was able to share a few of my fave stops along the way to Lancaster. A taste of shoo-fly pie at Dutch Haven and a coffee stop at The Route 30 Diner are musts, in my book.

And I always have to stop at Almost Paradise to check out their assortment of hex signs, kitschy souvenirs and blowmold holiday decorations on the second floor of their historic 1795 barn.

N. Queen Street 300 Block Lancaster, PA

Mod Betty has been a fan of this little stretch since the days of Zap&Co., and later Mommalicious, but she is positively giddy about how many cool and creative shops and people there are there now!
Why this block even has their own shopping guide website so you don’t miss any of them- just check out all of them listed on 300 Block of North Queen Street.

Lancaster PA Doerthe Externest Photography - Madcap and Co Lacaster Necklace

You could easily spend more than a day popping into the shops, and there were many we missed, but these are some of the highlights of our all-too-short visit.

Madcap and Co.

Located in what once was Mommalicious, Madcap and Co. is a cheery and fun shop filled with a great variety of vintage finds, handmade crafts, retro candies and local and American-made designs.

I was thrilled to see the artwork of Nicole Duquette in person, as we are Instagram pals, and so excited to hear that The Telltale Dress is opening up a shop across the street soon!

The Scarlet Willow

Mod Betty’s pal My Aunt Debbie displays her pop inspired hand-crafted jewelry at The Scarlet Willow –  a super cheery shop filled with vintage clothing, housewares, records, books and fun.

Mod Betty is always complimenting owner Jodi on her creative displays (neckties woven into a wallhanging, slide carousels as mirrors, anyone?) and a visit to the sunlight filled second floor is always a treat.


Mid-Century-Mod Betty wants to simply camp out and stay in Space – this bright and midmod shop is right up her vintage decor alley!

Another “Hey we follow each other on Instagram!” chat with owner Jesse confirmed that I was in the right place, as we discovered mutual friends and interests. Always good to find Like Minds!

Building Character

There are plenty of nooks and crannies in Building Character a large brick warehouse filled with vintage, recycled and hand-made goods. However one spot that is totally unique and crazy-interesting is The Heritage Press – a volunteer museum working here and preserving letterpress printing craft and history.

Mike showed us some coasters he was printing for a local alehouse, and told us the story of the interesting presses still in use here. We left with some free samples and I’m already plotting a Christmas Card for next year!

Sadly we ran out of time before we could visit all the shops we wanted to – but this jaunt inspired us both to ‘splore more in the Lancaster area. Hope it did the same for you!

Thank you to Doerthe Externest for such fun photos – if you like what you see, please follow her on Facebook and Instagram!


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  • Debbie H.
    April 25, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Fun post! I just went to My Aunt Debbie’s Etsy shop and bought 2 brooches- I told her I found her from you. I HAD to get the mouth brooch and the Ginsberg brooch 🙂

    • Mod Betty /
      April 26, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      That is so wonderful that my post spurred you to purchase! Isn’t her stuff great? I have such a hard time choosing, but I am DEF a fan of my Carmen Miranda brooch 🙂 Thanks for supporting local creatives!

      • Debbie H.
        April 27, 2017 at 12:19 am

        Yes! I’m so excited to get my brooches and to support a DEBBIE! LOL

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