Duration: Four days and three nights
History buffs and reenactors, moms and middle-schoolers, take note: this roadtrip is packed with stops along the Pennsylvania towns, museums, railroad stops and second-story bedrooms that stood witness to our country's greatest struggle.
The Pennsylvania Civil War Trails: Prelude to Gettysburg tells the often-silent home front stories. It's on these Trails that the faceless are brought to life and the places in between are explored. Your journey begins in Harrisburg and takes you through the towns, farms, and fields that experienced war firsthand. Places like Wrightsville and Columbia that gave all they had to keep the Confederate forces from crossing the river. Places like Hanover, where the streets were filled with battle and citizens saved the lives of others regardless of a uniform's color.
Along the way, follow the roadside markers with the Union kepi cap to find the next stop. With the help of "Story Stops" and "Gateway Signs," you'll experience the Civil War through the eyes of sons and daughters who lived through it, set against the backdrop of Pennsylvania's picturesque Dutch Country Roads.
Find commemorative events, stories and more information at PA Civil War 150.
Stock's is a well-known favorite of the Harrisburg dining scene. The cuisine is eclectic American fare with Asian and Southeastern influences. The granite bar features Harrisburg's first martini bar, well complemented by the high ceilings, exhibition kitchen, and mahogany woodwork. And if the weather is right, take your meal and drinks outside on Stock's sidewalk seating.Read More >
The Hilton is conveniently located at the south end of Restaurant Row with plenty of options for breakfast in the morning. Notice on the far corner outside the hotel, one of the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails Gateway Signs, one of six placed throughout the many counties of Civil War Trails. Get some rest. Big roadtripping days are ahead.Read More >
After a long day on the Civil War Trails, every good Roadtrip General deserves a good burger and a beverage. The Pub & Restaurant does both well and offers a scenic view of Gettysburg historic Lincoln Square.Read More >
Established in 1797, the hotel sits right on Lincoln Square and is walking distance to nearly all of Gettysburg's major Civil War attractions. It was just steps away in November of 1863 that Abraham Lincoln refined the immortal words of his Gettysburg Address at the David Will House, one of your stops tomorrow.Read More >
This Columbia staple brings old southern Cajun cuisine to "Yankee" territory. The owners and operators, David and Sharon Prudhomme (tell them we sent you) are kin to the famous Louisiana Cajun chef, Paul Prudhomme. David and Sharon opened the restaurant in a building that was once a boarding house for railroaders and a speakeasy, on downtown corner of Route 30 and Cherry Street. Come for the spicy, plentiful dishes, stay for the infectious karaoke (oh, and monthly Sinatra Night, if you're lucky).
We assume your mightly full after your Cajun dinner in Columbia. It's just a few short miles on Rt. 30 to your hotel (and bed) on the beautiful town square of another famous PA Dutch Country town: Lancaster.
It's a brand new, landmark hotel sitting proud amongst the vibrant Lancaster city streets. You're walking distance to Gallery Row and the Arts District where you can experience firsthand the flourishing downtown arts scene. And right next door is Central Market, the oldest, continuously operated farmers market in the United States and a perfect place to grab breakfast before starting another day of your Civil War Trails journey.Read More >
Central Market House
Get a taste of the local flavor. The Central Market House was constructed in 1888 to give the York townsfolk somewhere to sell their fresh fruits and veggies. Today, the old-timey spirit is still alive and well. And the fruits are just as delicious.
Midtown Scholar Bookstore and Cafe
What will you find in Central PA’s largest bookstore? Well, books and lot’s of them. But you’ll also find live music acts here singing folk, blues and more.
Thaddeus Stevens/Lydia Hamilton Smith Historic Site
Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton both played crucial roles in the development of our nation. They championed equal rights for Americans of all colors and backgrounds although such views were unpopular at the time. This site stands in honor of their journey and sacrifice in making America a better place.
State Museum of Pennsylvania
Experience the state's heritage in the vast collection at the State Museum, including Peter Frederick Rothermel's 1870 The Battle of Gettysburg: Pickett's Charge, a massive 16-foot by 32-foot painting of the epic Civil War battle scene.