The entire Dutch Country and Gettysburg region is overflowing with historical sites, museums, factory tours, and glimpses at a simpler life:
Charge! Imagine hearing the voices of thousands of soldiers as they ran across the battlefields at Gettysburg as General Robert E. Lee led his men against Union forces. Civil War buffs, groups, and historians all gather in Gettysburg, where battlefield tours, museums, and interactive displays relive the encounters of the war's bloodiest battle and the 51,000 casualties. It also provided President Abraham Lincoln with the setting for his most famous speech: The Gettysburg Address.
Stroll along on one of the ghost tours through Gettysburg and also visit Eisenhower's National Historic Site, General Lee's Headquarters Museum, Harrisburg's Civil War Museum, Pennsylvania's State Capitol building, and the Pennsylvania State Museum.
York, Factory Tour Capital of the World, boasts 14 such tours. Take a tour of Herr's, Martin's, and Utz's potato chip factories, Snyder's pretzels, Wolfgang's candy, and Hershey's Chocolate World. Don't forget about the woodcrafts, dairy farms, wineries, breweries, glassware, textiles, and the ever-popular Harley Davidson tours. Go to www.yorkpa.org and click on Factory Tours to find the hours and details of each tour.
Lancaster County is also home to the oldest Amish settlement, a step back in time where families make their living farming without electricity, plumbing, gas-powered vehicles, or modern-day tools. Attractions include buggy rides through Amish working farms, and dairy farms where you'll see the milking of cows by hand and where they "refrigerate" milk without electricity. Visit one of the several farmers markets in the area and stock up on home-grown fruits, vegetables, scrumptious Amish baked goods, and hand-sewn quilts.
"Buggy" out of the farm fields and you'll find modern-day entertainment at several venues, including Sight & Sound, the largest Christian live theatre on the East Coast; American Music Theatre, where the entertainment never stops with top-rated performers; or the Dutch Apple Theatre, where the show comes with a dinner buffet.
What do hawks, vultures, ospreys, eagles and falcons have in common? They are birds of prey that "hang out" at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Over 12,000 raptors have been spotted and protected in these 2,600 acres of land plus an additional 13,000 acres of private and public land. Hawk Mountain also provides a flyway to the Appalachian Trail. Pulpit Rock and The Pinnacle are two of the trail's icons, and a few of our campgrounds have connecting trails to these vistas.
Don’t miss the 60,000-gallon aquarium at Harrisburg's Bass Pro Shops. Not only does this facility offer a huge selection of outdoor gear, but also an archery range, rock climbing wall, a NASCAR simulator, and fly fishing workshops. For more outdoor interaction, head north to visit Lake Tobias Wildlife Park.
After a long day of activities head to one of the multitude of wineries and breweries in this region, including Pottsville's Yuengling Brewery, America's oldest.