From the Revolutionary War to Al Capone, Pennsylvania’s past is full of fame. There are the celebrated historic attractions of course, like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. But there are many more treasures here that you may not think of.
To help you plan and prioritize, we’ve rounded up eight historic sites in Pennsylvania you simply must visit. See them during your next stay at Lake in Wood RV Resort, located near Amish country in Lancaster County.
Explore Eight Pennsylvania Historical Sites
1. Gettysburg National Military Park
The site of the Civil War’s turning point, Gettysburg National Military Park is a somber reminder of what the war cost. But Gettysburg is also a rich historic site in Pennsylvania. Walking these hallowed grounds can be a surreal experience. From the bloody battle to President Lincoln’s famous address, Gettysburg is an iconic site to visit.
2. Independence National Historical park
In some ways, Independence National Historical Park could be considered the birthplace of the U.S. There’s no doubt that it’s the one of the most famous historic sites in Pennsylvania. Here are just a few of the monuments contained within the park:
- Independence Hall
- Liberty Bell
- President’s House Site
- Benjamin Franklin Museum
- Declaration House
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution
You can also explore many more gardens, buildings, and museums at Independence Park. A word of advice, though, check the website beforehand to be aware of any closures or special circumstances. For example, you must reserve tour tickets in advance at Independence Hall for much of the year. Make sure you’re in the know before you go.
3. Philadelphia City Hall
The stately center in the City of Brotherly Love is Philadelphia City Hall. This building is a magnificent example of Second Empire architecture in the heart of Penn Square. And topping the tall tower is the famous statue of Pennsylvania’s namesake, William Penn.
To this day, Philadelphia City Hall is the largest municipal building in the U.S. Additionally, the tower is the world’s tallest masonry structure without a steel frame.
Visitors can take guided tours of City Hall to see the grand rooms and hear the history. Double check before visiting to ensure that tours are running on a regular schedule.
4. Eastern State Penitentiary
Another incredible attraction is the Eastern State Penitentiary, which tops the list of spookier historic sites in Pennsylvania. At the height of its use, it was the most expensive prison in the world. Today, it’s a haunting ruin with halls once walked by the likes of Al Capone and “Slick Willie” Sutton.
Year-round tours are available during the daytime. But if you’re feeling bold, try and take one of the night tours. These are offered in autumn, especially around Halloween. As the moon shines through the skylights, you can stroll the cellblocks in eerie silence. Just watch out. They say some prisoners still walk the halls….
5. Pennsylvania State Capitol
The Pennsylvania State Capitol is a place with a rich history. For one, it’s in Harrisburg, which became the seat of state government only after Philadelphia and Lancaster. And believe it or not, the current Capitol is actually the third constructed in Harrisburg. The first building was destroyed by a fire and the second was never finished.
Guided tours are free and can be booked online. The knowledgeable tour guides walk guests through the building, all the while answering your questions.
6. Fonthill Castle
Henry Mercer is one of America’s most famous archaeologists. However, he is perhaps best known for Fonthill Castle, the eclectic home he designed in Doylestown. The home blends Medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine styles for a design unlike any other.
Fonthill Castle is simply enormous. You’ll find no less than forty-four rooms and eighteen fireplaces throughout the historic home. Be sure to listen closely to the tour guide because they have plenty of interesting trivia tidbits to offer.
7. The Amish Farm and House
Located less than 30 miles from Lake in Wood RV Resort is The Amish Farm and House. This is one of the most prominent historic sites in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. You can trek to Lancaster and begin the experience with a guided tour of the house. Then the fun continues with a bus tour through the Amish countryside, complete with a stop at an Amish business. Finally, come back to the farm for a photo by the covered bridge to complete your trip.
8. Valley Forge National Historical Park
King of Prussia
Many of Pennsylvania’s historical sites are related to the Revolutionary War and Valley Forge National Historical Park is no exception. From 1777-78, the Continental Army led by George Washington camped at Valley Forge, enduring one of the harshest winters on record.
You can explore Valley Forge both individually and on guided tours. Numerous statues and monuments dot the landscape, along with an artillery park and reconstructed Revolutionary huts. Thanks to its many outdoor attractions, most of Valley Forge can be explored even when the buildings are closed.
Camping near History at Lake in Wood RV Resort
Deep in the forests of Narvon, Pennsylvania Lake in Wood is full of magic and charm. Begin your experience at the six-acre stocked lake with an exploration by paddleboard or canoe. Alternatively if you’re an angler, you can enjoy fishing from the shoreline.
Lake in Wood offers many amenities ranging from miniature golfing to the indoor/outdoor swimming pool complex. But the amenities are just the beginning. Guests can also choose from a wide selection of unique vacation rentals. From barns to tree houses, tipis, and beyond, these aren’t your average vacation rentals. Treat the family to a stay in one of these whimsical rentals during your next visit to Lancaster County!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this roundup of historic sites in Pennsylvania. Don’t forget to share this post with your fellow travelers before planning a trip.