Dang, the pretzels up in Pennsylvania taste heavenly.
Beautiful and golden, with just a slight outside crunch and a warm, soft, bread-like center, topped with a tiny tang of salt…yummmmmy!
Fun Fact: The state of Pennsylvania produces a staggering 80% of the nation’s hard pretzels!
The Palantine Germans brought soft pretzels and pretzel recipes to America in 1710. And where did these people settle? That’s right! Pennsylvania. Today, we call these pretzel-bearing geniuses the “Pennsylvania Dutch”.
Though several PA pretzel makers and companies offer tours, we decided to visit the FIRST commercial pretzel bakery in America–to see where it all began!
Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery
Our 26th of 100 adventures!
In 1861, Mr. Julius Sturgis built the original ovens for his pretzel bakery in a 77 year-old building located in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Today, pretzel lovers, visitors and crazy homeschooling families on sabbatical (like us!) can visit the site, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
The interesting, 30 minute tour includes the history of pretzel making and baking, a hands-on pretzel twisting class and a quick tour of the original bakery, ovens and equipment.
We twisted some impressive pretzels!
Visitors also learn about the evolution of machinery used by the company and as a small treat, receive a bag of hard pretzels at the conclusion of the tour.
Guests can watch large, soft pretzels being made onsite! ***The company still uses the same recipe from 1861! AMAZING!
The shop offers quite a bit of historical information, relics and museum-worthy exhibits, too!
All kinds of yummy flavored hard pretzels, souvenirs and hot, fresh soft pretzels can be purchased in the front gift shop, separate from the tour. But, take the tour! (And then shop!)
This tour offered all my favs: an interesting history, a knowledgeable and entertaining guide, original relics, a hands-on activity and FREE snacks at the end!! Certainly an excellent way to learn about the history of pretzel making and the Julius Sturgis Pretzel company. A++
Put this tour on your list of “must-do adventures” during your next visit to Lititz, Pennsylvania! We loved it!
Julius Sturgis Pretzel is located at 219 East Main Street, Lititz, Pennsylvania, 17543.
Tours are offered Monday-Saturday, 9:30 am until 4:30 pm.
Ages 13+: $3.75
The store is open 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. Closed on Sunday and some holidays.
For more information, call 717-626-4354 or visit www.juliussturgis.com
Looking for other things to do in Pennsylvania?
Check out Wilbur Chocolates–right down the road from Julius Sturgis! Click here for more info!
Don’t miss this awesome museum: The National Watch and Clock Museum
Interested in the Appalachian Trail? Read about our first hike here!
Check out the State Museum of Pennsylvania here!
If you find yourself in Lancaster, PA, click on the titles and check these places out!