Schellsburg and Philadelphia, American history unfolds with every turn
of the road.
and sites within the immediate metropolitan area are about a 3.5 hour
drive from here on the Penn Turnpike. Brandywine
National Battlefield Park and Valley
Forge National Historical Park, both Revolutionary War sites, should
be included in any trip to the City of Brotherly Love.
Day trips from
here are primarily based around individual towns and their various attractions.
and Hershey are more north than east, so you will find information about
attractions in those parts of Dutch Country on the NORTH page of this website.
- A little less
than 2 hours to the east is the city of Gettysburg.
Naturally, one important stop while there is the Gettysburg
National Military Park, site of the bloody 1863 battle during which
Robert E. Lee's Confederate forces were turned back just enough to prevent
further incursion into Union territory, thereby effectively sealing
the fate of the South. The Park includes Gettysburg National Cemetery,
which was carved out of the town's Evergreen Cemetery after the battle.
President Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address in the Evergreen
Cemetery, as work on the battle cemetery was ongoing at the time of
its dedication. (Click here for my initial
photojournal of the GNMP.) The battlefields are not the only attractions
in town, however; railroad enthusiasts will enjoy the Gettysburg
Scenic Railway, which includes a rail tour along Seminary Ridge
and other battle sites. The campus of Gettysburg
College was a site of battle on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg
and one of its main buildings served as a hospital during the battle.
suffered the same fate as Atlanta during the Civil War. It was the only
Union city to be burned by Confederate forces for failure to pay ransom,
although the damage done by Union forces to areas of the Shenandoah
Valley made such retaliation easier for the troops ordered to set fire
to the city.
- From the sublime
to the ridiculous: if Gettysburg gets overwhelming, come home to Schellsburg
via U.S. Route 30 and stop in at Mr.
Ed's Elephant Museum in Ortanna.
- About 2 hours
east just off the Penn Turnpike you'll come to Lancaster,
the Heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country™. (I didn't know it was
trademarked until I went to the website, honest!) You have to go to
Intercourse just to say you've been there, though you can take a buggy
ride to have a reason to go besides the hysteria of the name itself.
There are hot air balloons and train rides in Strasburg, helicopter
tours in Lititz, and a Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster. Eventually, I'll
be a doctoral student at Lancaster Theological
Seminary someday, probably. James Buchanan, 15th President of the
United States, was born in Mercersburg and had an estate, Wheatland,
- One note of caution:
if you go to Amish country during manure spreading season, close all
your windows and your outside vents before you get there. If you need
to know why, don't follow this advice. You'll know why very quickly.