So, you are heading to the City of Brotherly Love – otherwise known as Philadelphia or Philly for short. You have probably already done your research on things to see and do in this exciting and historic city that is filled with culture – and that is also home to some of the best cheesesteaks you will ever taste – but I am here to tell you about some of the great day trips that you can tack on to your itinerary.
You see – Philadelphia is situated in eastern Pennsylvania and this means it is accessible to some other pretty historically and culturally rich cities in the state. And if you are going to be that close, why not add some of that unused vacation time from 2020 to your journey and check them out? Come on – you know you couldn’t use all that PTO – at least not for travel the better part of the year.
Need some convincing? Ok – here are three options for a day trip from Philadelphia for you to ponder. I’ll meet you at the end to see what you thought of them.
Visit Valley Forge
If you didn’t quite pay attention in history class – like ahem – your blogger – the image that just popped into your head when you read the subtitle may have been George Washington crossing the Delaware. Close – but that actually happened in Buck’s County, PA. Valley Forge is in Montgomery County, PA – eighteen miles west of Philadelphia – situated along the Schuylkill River. None the less it still played an extremely important part in the Revolutionary War. You see, General Washington and his troops made Valley Forge their home for six months during the American Revolution. And during that time – he took a group of men from various colonial militias and made them a force to be reckoned with. And there are plenty of remnants of that span from December 1777 to June 1778 that still exist and are open for you to explore. Thanks to the fabulous team at Beyond Times Square you have a private tour option that will ensure that you see all the key spots while you are there.
The tour is centered in Valley Forge National Historical Park’s Encampment. Here you will visit re-created Muhlenberg Brigade huts – which would be what are called barracks today – although much smaller, crudely made and jammed with 12 men in each. You will also get to tour the Isaac Potts House – or Washington’s Headquarters – which is the original home that served as the general’s headquarters while there. Also included is a chance to walk the training grounds where these men came together as a cohesive unit – and is aptly referred to as the Birthplace of the American Army. From there you will head to the breathtakingly ornate Washington Memorial Chapel which was constructed as a tribute to General Washington and the Continental Army. And we can’t return you back to Philadelphia hungry, so you’ll enjoy a tasty lunch at the historic Black Powder Tavern to end your day.
Go to Gettysburg
To get a sense of the history of another American war – the Civil War – head about two and a half hours west of the big city of Philly (population – about 1.5 million) to the much smaller, historic town of Gettysburg (population – not quite 8,000). The Battle of Gettysburg is probably one of the most well-known battles of any of the wars fought on American soil – largely due in part to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address – or at least that is what I would surmise. Or maybe it is because it was the turning point of the Civil War. Or that it was the bloodiest battle ever fought on US Soil. (Yeah – probably the last two. I told you I wasn’t all about my history classes back in the day. At least I am making up for it now.) So back to Gettysburg as an option for a day trip from Philadelphia…
You’ll want to start your day at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Here you can watch a film on the battle, view the cyclorama – which tells the story of Pickett’s Charge and is the largest painting in North America, peruse the museum and then grab a map – and perhaps an audio tour – and head out to the battlefield. There’s a lot of ground to cover but a good deal of it can be done in your vehicle or you can choose to do one of the park’s motorcoach tours. Of course, if you prefer you can always hoof it – literally or figuratively as they do offer tours via horseback as well. Afterwards be sure to make a stop at the Gettysburg National Cemetery to pay your respects to those who lost their lives on those very grounds and to see the spot where President Abraham Lincoln delivered the historic Gettysburg Address.
Step Away to Amish Country
And now for a step back in time that does not involve a war. Instead take a private tour with an expert Beyond Times Square guide to the oldest Amish settlement in the US – in Lancaster County, PA. Just about two hours west of the hustle, bustle and bright lights of Philly – this quaint community is known for its “plain” lifestyle – one with modest clothing, families being the most important social unit, horse and buggies as the main mode of transportation and – though it doesn’t seem possible to exist without, in this day and age, devoid of electricity, including our beloved electronic gadgets.
Our tour will take you to The Amish Village – a 12-acre authentic Amish experience that allows you to get a firsthand look at the culture – starting with a lesson about the history of Amish Country – which started with an early Pennsylvania German settlement nearly 300 years ago. Here you will be exposed to dozens of Amish artifacts – including a horse and buggy, a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop and an authentic farmhouse from 1840. And no Amish experience is complete with trying their homemade baked goods – especially the most popular one to come from the county – shoofly pie! After touring the village there will be time for a lunch stop where you should definitely try out one of the area’s popular family-style restaurants and enjoy some homemade chicken pot pie or apple dumplings – or both. Before returning back to Philly there will be time to shop for more baked goods – try whoopie pies this time – as well as local wares handcrafted by the Amish along with other Pennsylvania Dutch vendors.
Ok I’m back – just like I said I would be. What do you think? Some pretty amazing options for a day trip from Philadelphia, right? Who knew? Well, we did and that is why we are sharing them with you. Now – the best part? If you choose to tour with our experts, you get the BTSQ Luxury Private Experience! And that my friends includes a luxury vehicle pickup and transfer, and the services of one of our expert private tour guides. Plus – we are always just a phone call away for any questions you may have while traveling thanks to our 24/7 support line. And finally – don’t forget that all of our tours can always be customized to meet your specific needs. So – what do you say – why not pick up that phone now and contact us to get your complete Philadelphia itinerary booked!