Besides Independence Hall and the other incredible historic landmarks in Philadelphia, there’s also the American Civil War Museum in Harrisburg for a very balanced telling of the story and the new Visitors Center at Gettysburg where the restored diorama will knock your socks off. The Omni in Bedford Springs has been restored to its Gilded Age glory, contrasted with the Pocono Mountains which was home to the first leisure resort in the country. And there’s more, astounding fall foliage, the Brig Niagara and the Carnegie Museums. Couple all this with Washington, DC and you have an unforgettable trip.
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After visiting Independence National Park, we suggest taking the Philadelphia Trolley or a horse driven carriage ride to get an overview of the city. Similar to Boston and Charleston, the streets of Philadelphia’s old neighbourhoods are narrow and lined with historic town homes and gracefully detailed structures. While in town, you have to try a Philly Cheese steak at Steaks on South, not far from the Liberty Bell and Independence Center.
Enjoy evening entertainment that can include an Independence After Hours program to include a three course dinner at the City Tavern, a 1776 Walking Tour and the Lights of Liberty Show.
You’ll want to visit all the key locations on the National Mall in Washington, DC. In between, this expanse of green is lined with the finest of Smithsonian National Museums, and from the Washington Monument it is a clear view to the White House. Quite honestly, the memorials, monuments and museums on or near the Mall could fill your entire trip to Washington!
Even though most of the attractions are free of charge, careful planning will make your trip most rewarding. Some attractions require timed tickets, so think about it ahead of time, what are the sights that you want to see, and plan accordingly.
The list of museums to choose from is extensive: The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of African Art, National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Memorials on or near the Mall include the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, National World War II Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, United States Navy Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
You may want to focus on one or two museums that interest you the most and then in the evening, see the monuments and the memorials from a different light.
You have the opportunity today to take a drive into the countryside surrounding Pittsburgh. It’s amazing that farmland, covered bridges and quaint towns can peacefully coexist with such a large city. Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece is located outside a tiny village in southwestern Pennsylvania. Built over a waterfall, it remains an enduring work of art. Severaltypes of guided tours are available, as well as a separate tour at another of Wright’s designs, Kentuck Knob.
Nearby, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and the Museum of Rural life are must sees as well. Meadowcroft Rockshelter is the site of the oldest human habitation in America. You can try using an atlatl, a prehistoric spear-thrower like those used by Meadowcroft's first inhabitants. Meadowcroft Village lets you experience elements of everyday family life in the 19th century. Watch a blacksmith forge red-hot iron or enjoying fresh-baked bread from the open hearth.
If there is any time left in your day, plan to meander the scenic byways of the Laurel Highlands on the way back to your accommodations in Pittsburgh.
After you’ve marveled over the baron’s residence, a cruise on the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat will be a good opportunity to let any stress you brought fly off on a gentle breeze, as this authentic paddle wheeler plies the river. The last cruise is at 4PM, unless a special evening event is planned. If you want to stay in the Millionaires’ Row tradition, have dinner at the Peter Herdic House, voted the most romantic fine dining in the region.
If your visit to Valley Forge is on a Saturday, spend an exciting evening at the famous encampment at Valley Forge and see what nights were like for the Continental Army under the leadership of General George Washington. Begin your adventure at dinner with the troops before checking in at Washington's Headquarters. Kick back with your brigade around the group campfire as they tell you their soldiers' tales.
Call the USA travel specialists at Bon Voyage to discuss your ideal Highlights of Pennsylvania and Washington DC tour.