Posted: 09/25/2023

History Road Trip: Philadelphia to Gettysburg

Take a road trip from Philadelphia to Gettysburg and pick up bits of American history along the way.

LancasterHistory Museum in Lancaster. PA at sunset.

Since the founding of our Country, Pennsylvania has been a part of history. With so much to explore and learn, why not plan a roadtrip around PA for a hands-on history lesson? Any time of year there is sure to be plenty to see and do. We recommend you plan for at least two to three days to complete this trip- perfect for a long weekend getaway.

If you're looking to take the trip with a group, look into WeVenture, they'll take you on a trip to Amish Country and back. You can learn about the fascinating culture found in the rural farmlands outside of Philadelphia. Join our tour to understand the complex history and lifestyle of the Amish community and dispel the myths of a much-misunderstood people.


As the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia is a great place to start your trip. With numerous historic locations, a historic district, and a plethora of tours, guides, and resources you can certainly fill a day or more here depending on your schedule.


After you have finished up in Philly drive 35-minutes to Valley Forge National Historic Park where General Washington’s Continental Army spent the long winter of 1777-1778. You can explore 26 miles of trails marked with monuments, reconstructed log huts, and even an official 60-minute audio tour to learn about this pivotal point of the American Revolutionary War.

Next head to Brandywine Battlefield Park where the largest land battle of the Revolutionary War occurred on September 11, 1777. At the park you can see one of Washington’s headquarters building and follow along a self-guided tour or audio tour.

After stopping in Brandywine head over to Lancaster, PA. As one of the oldest inland cities in America and serving as the U.S. Capital for the day there is plenty of history
to be learned in Lancaster.

Be sure to include the following stops while you are here:

Historic Lancaster Walking Tour
LancasterHistory & President James Buchanan’s Wheatland
Historic Rock Ford
Ephrata Cloister
Lancaster Medical Heritage Museum

Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum
Christiana Underground Railroad Center
1719 Herr House & Museum
Origins of the Underground Rail Road Tour

Historic Day Trip Itinerary

Day 3

Once you have completed your day in Lancaster continue driving to Gettysburg, PA. Stop at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center before you explore the vast and important battlefield. Whether touring by foot, bike, horseback, or your own vehicle you are in for a harrowing and humbling experience.

You can also stop at the Children of Gettysburg 1863, opening September 4th, 2021. This fascinating exhibit features the home of John and Caroline Rupp during the battle among other interactive activities making it the perfect stop for history-loving families.

Recommended For You

For an authentic immersion in early Pennsylvania German life (1740-1940), visit Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum.

From history to hands on, we’ve got you covered.

Gettysburg landmark in Lancaster PA

Learn about Lancaster's ties to the Civil War and the Underground Railroad.

A three-floor brick mansion with white detailing, columns, and a grand staircase that belonged to James Buchanan.

Explore Lancaster County's history and heritage.

group of friends eating at restaurant

Enjoy a taste of history at one of these long-standing and historic dining establishments.


Herr House summer

1719 Museum

The 1719 Herr House stands as the oldest structure and the...