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Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

United States
Level Contributor
153 posts
Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

Hi - we are planning a 16 day road trip to explore some of the American History with our two grade school children - 12 and 13... we are from the UK and would love some suggestions and guidance... we are driving to and from IL... our kids are used to road trips as we've done them out West on a couple of occasions...

You'll see that I don't have DC or Boston on the itinerary as we'll tackle those on separate trips...

We would LOVE any suggestions that you have re MUST SEE'S... roads/routes we absolutely should take as we go on our adventures...and any DON"T BOTHER... I know our list is long, and we may need to tweak it down a little so we have time to sleep... I'm after great guidance on the things we shouldn't cut, and those that are good, but less impactful.

Leave IL

Carnegie Museums Pittsburg PA

Heinz Field Stadium Pittsburg PA

Civil War battlefield Gettysburg PA

Pennsylvania Hospital Philadelphia PA

Carpenter's Hall Philadelphia PA

Independence Hall Philadelphia PA

Benjamin Franklin Museum Philadelphia PA

The Franklin Institute Philadelphia PA

Independence National Park Philadelphia PA

Liberty Bell Philadelphia PA

Reading Terminal Market Philadelphia PA

Mount Vernon Alexandria VA

Civil War Battleground?? Fredericksburg VA

Home of George Washington Fredericksburg VA

Historic Jamestown Jamestown VA

Colonial Williamsburg Williamsburg VA

Colonial National Historical Park Yorktown VA

Monticello Charlottesville VA

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Charlottesville VA

Home of Thomas Jefferson Monticello VA

National Underground Railroad Cincinnati OH

Return IL

Many thanks in advance for any guidance you may have!

16 replies to this topic
Furlong PA
Level Contributor
842 posts
201 reviews
1. Re: Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

Wow. Lotsa battlefields and single-purpose sites. Is that your intent? Have you considered some museums with broader interests than Revolution/Civil War history?

The art museum in Philadelphia is world class. Since you're driving you can make a slight detour off the PA turnpike to Frank Lloyd Wrigt's Fallingwater, if that's your thing.

Centerville, Ohio
Level Contributor
14,291 posts
3,318 reviews
2. Re: Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

You really should reserve :

Battlefield Field Tour Guide

https:/…fees.htm

We add 1-2 extra hours to the fees; the guide will drive your car.

United States
Level Contributor
153 posts
3. Re: Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

Thank you for the suggestion... I will add that to the list for sure!

United States
Level Contributor
153 posts
4. Re: Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

Hi David D... ha... I'm not sure if that's my intent or not.. what I'm after is a trip that educates the kids (and me) on the American History... if one or two battlefields, or single purpose sites, nail it, then perhaps I can cut back on others... I am in the early stages of planning, and as I'm not from the US, it's all very unfamiliar... google and trip advisor are becoming my best friends! Any suggestions you have for tailoring the itinerary would be hugely appreciated... thank you!!!

Furlong PA
Level Contributor
842 posts
201 reviews
5. Re: Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

One battlefield would "nail it" for me.

I do agree with you on Colonial Williamsburg.

Edited: 06 November 2017, 03:47
Furlong PA
Level Contributor
842 posts
201 reviews
6. Re: Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

Between gettysburg and PHL, in Lancaster, is the Landis Valley Museum. Re-enactors of how us colonists lived.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

I'm not going to mention all the toursity things that involve staring at the Amish....

BrickUSA
Level Contributor
4,084 posts
164 reviews
7. Re: Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

Good job with the various sites in Virginia. They are reasonably close to each other and that should work out nicely.

Bucks County...
Destination Expert
for Philadelphia, Train Travel, Bucks County
Level Contributor
9,873 posts
97 reviews
8. Re: Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

Pennsylvania Hospital is an actual live working hospital. The historic part (the surgery ampitheater) afaik is generally not open to the public.

PA
Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
Level Contributor
3,432 posts
174 reviews
9. Re: Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

Monticello Charlottesville VA

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Charlottesville VA

Home of Thomas Jefferson Monticello VA

The above are on your list - just to clarify, these are all one in the same. Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, is located in Charlottesville, VA. It is definitely worth a visit.

I would add the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

Depending on the routes you take within Virginia, you might want to consider the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA which highlights the culture and heritage of the Shenandoah Valley.

https://www.themsv.org/

I agree with a previous poster that suggested Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster.

PA
Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
Level Contributor
3,432 posts
174 reviews
10. Re: Historic / educational road trip - VA & PA - Must Sees???

While not American historical sites, there are several caverns in the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia that would provide a break from the historical sites and might be of interest to your children. Luray Caverns, Endless Caverns, or Shenandoah Caverns are possibilities depending on the routes you travel within Virginia.

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