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In search of a slower pace than what existed in New York City, people flocked to Lebanon for a small town environment. Years later, the city's population reflects its diverse new occupants, but still maintains original Pennsylvania-Dutch roots.
For a taste of Lebanon life, imagine this: schools closing for the first day of deer hunting season and residents choosing sweet Lebanon bologna to most other types of cured sandwich meat. Caches of the Amish and Mennonites sell homemade clothing and food, and if residents aren't seated in church on Sunday, they can be found scoping out the many flea markets in the area.
Situated on the edge of Lancaster County where a much larger Amish population resides, Lebanon County is surrounded by rich farmland. The distinctive smell of manure pierces the air to the delight of farmers, but to the derision of city residents. Lebanon is a country town.
Explore the City
As of November 2017, the average apartment rent in Lebanon, PA is $471 for a studio, $759 for one bedroom, $941 for two bedrooms, and $996 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Lebanon has increased by 3.6% in the past year.
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Top Apartments in Lebanon
Living in Lebanon
With few fancy sit-down restaurants to choose from, Inn 422 on the west side of Lebanon looms large. The owners are professional chefs who serve huge helpings of food. Dinner menu items range from German wiener schnitzel to milk-fed calves or escargot bourgogne like you’d find in the Big Apple. Enjoy this or their equally varied breakfast and lunch menus on the patio, at the bar or in the dining room.
As of 2014, residents rate Trattoria Fratelli as the “Best Italian” restaurant for 10 years running. With a wood stove and a large herb garden, they can’t help but do Italian right. Affectionately dubbed “Trat Frat” by locals, chefs creatively combine food items making for avante garde dining. Diners fawn over his roast duckling with vanilla birch gastrique, pear bread pudding and red cabbage. Big city prices come along with a meal in this restaurant, but consumers say the price tag fits the level of service and quality.
The Blue Bird Inn on Cornwall Road leaves diners pretty happy. One of the top three restaurants in the area, it caters to diners who don’t need a side of “fancy” with their food. Customers can dine at bar stools, booths, tables and outside on the patio. The food pulls in a fair amount of residents, but the craft beers draw in more. Find the local brew Yuengling, newly-formulated as a craft beer, among the choices listed on the beer blackboard. At the Blue Bird you can do something you never could as a kid, enjoy a grilled cheese with a pint of beer. The grown-up grilled cheese press mixes sourdough bread with bacon, tomato and spinach with Swiss, smoked Gouda and provolone cheeses.
Franz’s Tavern serves “cold beer and pretty good food.” The beer is likely to be Yuengling’s, the oldest brewery in America. It costs a little over $2 for a pint. With a bar-fare menu, Franz's serves comfort fried foods available up until midnight most nights per week.
With a scarce nightlife scene, the city center of Lebanon hosts the majority of its bars and clubs in the vicinity of Cumberland Street. With few hot spots to choose from, locals tend to stay loyal to their pub and don’t sway.
Lebanon originally sported the name Steitztown after George Steitz, a man who immigrated to Pennsylvania from the German Palantine region in the 1700s. He built the town by accepting rent from people who wanted to live there. Renters had to build their house with log, stone or brick, and many of these original structures still stand, as of 2014.
Many of the original inhabitants were Pennsylvania Dutch, and the city remains primarily German and Irish, despite the influx of a more diverse population. Dutch homes and barns in the area bear tell-tale signs of its history; hex signs. They have the same hexagon and star symbol that Amish women sew with care into quilts. The Stoy Museum-Lebanon County Historical Society makes a point to preserve the history of the area, and the group of citizens and historians hold regular events in the county.
The County of Lebanon Transit provides transportation for the city’s 26,000 residents. The city is 100 percent urban, and those without automobiles rely on bus to travel around the city. The bus system serves the city of Lebanon and surrounding towns, and carries riders into Harrisburg, 26 miles to the east. Several small taxi cab companies have door-to-door service, but don't expect to hail a cab from the curb as you would in the big city. Instead, residents call one of three companies who pick them up and transport them around the 4.2 square miles of Lebanon.
A lack of parking spots is rumored to have caused the death of some businesses, and meter maids are vigilant, so keep quarters on hand. Route 72 runs through the town; this route connects to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Route 422 further connects drivers to Interstate 78 and 81 for ease of travel.
Walking down Cumberland Street is a treat, especially at night. Often lit up year-round, it makes for a picturesque evening any night of the year. Although there are no bike lanes, bike riding is encouraged. All COLT buses come equipped with a front rack to carry rider’s bicycles.
For a one-bedroom apartment rent comes in at a little over $600 per month in the city. Gas prices in Lebanon run about 1 percent below the national average and a pint of beer will cost a little over $2 on average.
Penny pinchers love the Lebanon Valley. Shopping won't break the bank as the Amish operate thriving businesses, and others offer gently used household and clothing items. Jubilee Ministries on Lebanon’s south side sells household and clothing items for as low as 25 cents. Run by the Mennonites; this business supports the community by helping out the homeless with sales from the store was selected as the Best of the Lebanon Valley. A store with no religious affiliation, Blue Mountain Thrift operates in a large warehouse. As such, they have room for lots of merchandise, including large collections of furniture and hundreds of other household items. Mennonite and Amish also run several discount grocery stores, such as Horning’s Roadside Market and BB’s Grocery Outlet.
Further down Cumberland Street, Boscov’s anchors all other stores in the Lebanon Valley Mall. It gives shopper an experience comparable to that of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Kate Smith Custom Clothing has been on Cumberland Street for decades. With a seasonal changing storefront the locals look forward to how Kate will decorate to fit the change in weather. Wertz Candy, featured on the television program “Dirty Jobs” may tempt you with their handmade candies.
If you like candies sweetened with stevia and sucrose, keep walking down Cumberland until you come to Queens Natural Market. They have everything natural food lovers could want. This store sufficiently meet the needs of patrons wanting health foods and alternative medicines.They have an array of supplements and teas, and also host health clinics for patrons who want to take charge of their health. Centrally located Weis and Giant Foods serve the rest of the population. The Lebanon Farmer’s Market opens on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, selling both food and merchandise that are local to the area.
Lebanon bologna is a sweet style of bologna that has been made in Lebanon County since the 1880s.The recipe was brought over by Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants and is a popular food among Lebanon County residents. The local grocery stores sell this Weaver's Lebanon bologna at a good price.
Coleman Park, on the edge of the city has everything for families wanting outdoor fun. The bike path loops around the scenic park. It surrounds a family-style pool that adults splash in without shame. Parks do not charge an entry fee, but the pool has a nominal cost. The park is dog-friendly, to the chagrin of locals tired of stepping in excrement. Dog owners are encouraged to clean up after their pets so that people who exercise in the park won’t have to worry about where they run. People who live in a town without children’s recreation travel to Jonestown in Lebanon County for their new inclusive park. Adaptive swings and pretend trains make this location the perfect meeting place for play dates. High school baseball and soccer matches play out at the adjacent ball field.
Craft bazaars and quilt expos occur regularly in the city of Lebanon.The Farmer’s Market and Flea market are regularly scheduled throughout the year. As for annual festivities, Lebanon drops a giant 150-pound log of Lebanon bologna in the town square on New Year's Eve. Once dropped, Weaver's donates the meat to a local charity.
Apartments for Rent in Lebanon, PA
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