Pennsylvania’s countryside, nestled between the bustling cities of New York and Washington, D.C., offers a delightful escape into a world of rich history and breathtaking natural beauty. With rolling hills, serene farmland, charming towns, and historic sites, it’s a place where you can unwind and explore to your heart’s content. Here are five spots to check on your visit to the Pennsylvania countryside.
Lancaster County, often referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch Country, is a captivating region that welcomes visitors with open arms. Its appeal lies in its blend of natural beauty and Amish heritage. As you travel the winding country roads, you’ll be transported to a bygone era, where Amish farmers tend to their fields, and horse-drawn buggies share the road.
One of the most iconic aspects of Lancaster County is its Amish communities. The Amish are known for their simple, traditional way of life, which eschews modern conveniences. While touring the area, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Amish farms, observe their agricultural practices, and perhaps purchase handmade crafts and goods.
Plus, Lancaster County is graced with historic covered bridges, some of which are centuries old. The Covered Bridge Tour takes you on a journey through these landmarks, offering opportunities for photography and quiet reflection.
Visitors who want a completely refreshing experience can drive out to Hollywood Blvd, Grantville, which is barely an hour from Lancaster County. Grantville is home to the widely popular Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. This venue comes with a race course for thrilling entertainment, dining, and a chance to try your luck at online gambling in a lively atmosphere.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, stands as a memory of the sacrifices made during one of the most critical chapters in American history – the Civil War. Known primarily for the Battle of Gettysburg, this town offers an educational experience for history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.
The Gettysburg National Military Park serves as the centerpiece of the town’s historical significance. This park is where the decisive Battle of Gettysburg unfolded in July 1863. Visiting the park allows you to step back in time and gain a deeper understanding of the events that unfolded here.
One of the best ways to explore the battlefield is through guided tours. Knowledgeable guides provide insights into the strategies, tactics, and personal stories of the soldiers who fought here. Witnessing the iconic fields, stone walls, and copse of trees, where big moments occurred, is a moving experience.
In addition to guided tours, the park offers living history demonstrations that bring the Civil War era to life. You can watch re-enactors in period attire engage in various activities, offering a brief look into the daily lives of soldiers and civilians during that turbulent time.
The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center serves as an excellent starting point for your exploration. Here, you’ll find informative exhibits, interactive displays, and a cyclorama that provides a dramatic experience of the battle.
When you think of Hershey, Pennsylvania, it’s impossible not to imagine images of delectable chocolate. However, this charming town offers visitors much more than just sweet treats; it’s a place where you can explore rich history, culture, and natural beauty.
The most famous attraction in Hershey is, of course, Hersheypark. This world-renowned amusement park offers thrilling rides, delightful entertainment, and fun for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a fan of water rides, roller coasters, or live shows, Hersheypark has it all. Families, couples, and adventure seekers will find plenty to enjoy within its enchanting confines.
For those seeking a more leisurely experience, Hershey Gardens is a horticultural paradise. Spanning over 23 acres, the gardens showcase a stunning collection of themed gardens, each with its unique charm.
The town of Hershey also hosts the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, a lively and entertaining event that transports visitors back to the 16th century. Explore the Shire, interact with costumed characters, and enjoy live entertainment, delicious food, and artisan crafts. It’s an immersive experience that provides a delightful escape from the modern world.
You can also learn more about the town’s history at the Hershey Story Museum, where you can learn about the life and legacy of Milton S. Hershey, the founder of Hershey’s chocolate empire. The museum offers interactive exhibits, a Chocolate Lab for hands-on chocolate-making experiences, and fascinating insights into the town’s transformation from a small farming community to a chocolate mecca.
Nestled just outside Philadelphia, Valley Forge is a destination that echoes with the spirit of the American Revolution. It was here, during the winter of 1777-1778, that General George Washington and his Continental Army endured immense hardships as they sought to secure America’s independence. Today, Valley Forge stands as a reminder of their sacrifice and resilience.
At the heart of Valley Forge lies the Valley Forge National Historical Park, an expanse of over 3,500 acres that offers visitors a glimpse into the challenges faced by the Continental Army. The park features a network of hiking and biking trails, allowing you to explore the serene landscape and contemplate the history that unfolded here.
One of the park’s most iconic features is the Muhlenberg Brigade Huts, a reconstructed encampment that showcases the crude cabins where soldiers lived during that fateful winter.
The National Memorial Arch is another significant landmark within the park. This majestic monument pays tribute to General George Washington and the enduring legacy of the Continental Army.
The Brandywine Valley is a region of beauty, where rolling hills, stunning gardens, and historic sites create an enchanting landscape. Located in southeastern Pennsylvania, this destination offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to art enthusiasts, nature lovers, and history buffs.
At the heart of the Brandywine Valley lies Longwood Gardens, a horticultural masterpiece that spans over 1,000 acres. This botanical paradise features a dazzling array of gardens. You will find the stunning Italian Water Garden, the Japanese Garden, and enjoy the vibrant colors of the Flower Garden Walk. Longwood Gardens also hosts seasonal events and illuminated displays, adding a touch of magic to your visit.
Art aficionados will find the Brandywine River Museum of Art to be a captivating destination. The museum showcases the exceptional works of the Wyeth family, renowned American artists whose contributions to American art are celebrated worldwide.
The Brandywine Battlefield Park offers a glimpse into the region’s historical significance during the Revolutionary War. Explore the site of the Battle of Brandywine, one of the largest battles of the war, and gain insight into the events that unfolded here. The park features hiking trails, historical markers, and informative displays that provide a deeper understanding of this moment in American history.