Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

One Tank Trip for Pennsylvania Camping

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Gettysburg Campground

Every once in a while in our travels, we happen across a territory that truly captures our hearts and imaginations. While it might have some of the same features and offers similar activities to other regions, there’s something about the location that sets it apart. One such place is the Keystone State - Pennsylvania. You’ve got the bright lights, big city experience of Philadelphia, which also is a city steeped in our nation’s history. But as you venture forth through the state, you’ll see Mother Nature at her finest, with something to suit every enthusiast of the great outdoors.

Starting this one tank trip off in Philadelphia, we find a great many sites to attract the history buff, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, and several museums devoted to a variety of subjects and periods in our history, A few that deserve attention are the Franklin Institute, a science museum that also contains the Benjamin Franklin Memorial, and the National Constitution Center, which features hundreds of artifacts that show the Constitution’s development and historical use in helping establish our nation. Philadelphia also has a massive array of shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities that rivals those you would find in any other major metropolitan area.

Getting out on the road, drive west on the I-76 for 15 miles into Valley Forge, the location where Gen. George Washington camped his troops during one of the coldest winters of the Revolutionary War. Today, Valley Forge pays homage to those who helped shape our nation with the Valley Forge National Historic Park, which offers visitors a glimpse into the past with historical buildings, reproduced campsites, and memorials to fallen heroes. You can set up camp near the Delaware River, and enjoy a day of Pennsylvania camping by fishing, canoeing, or just being lazy by the water’s edge. As you look around Valley Forge, you’ll find a wealth of things to keep you occupied such as museums, a very impressive public aquarium, and local wineries that feature nationally renowned vintages.

Still moving west on this one tank trip, drive for 17 miles on the US-30 until you pull into Gettysburg, which is a particularly popular travel destination for Civil War hobbyists. Considered by many Civil War historians to be the turning point of the war, Gettysburg has several monuments and memorials dedicated to our fallen soldiers, including the Soldiers National Cemetery, established in 1863. Among the myriad of historical sites available for touring, you may find the Monfort Farm intriguing; this building served as one of the biggest Confederate field hospitals, and now offers a pub and brewery onsite for your dining pleasure. Take a tour around some of the town’s historic sites, either on foot or via a horse-drawn carriage. Every year, the Battle of Gettysburg is re-enacted by thousands of costumed participants, whose attention to detail gives a whole new meaning to the word “meticulous.” Check the town website’s schedule of events, as the event tends to change months from one year to the next. It really is an awe-inspiring sight to see, and draws quite a crowd from all over our nation.

After Gettysburg, it’s time for a change of pace. Travel north on the I-15 for 31 miles, then east on the I-83 for 7 miles until you come to the US-322, which you take the remaining 7 miles into the city of Hershey, home of – yes, you guessed it – the world-famous Hershey bar. Expect to find a wealth of chocolate and chocolate-oriented activities around the area. The Hershey Chocolate Factory is an extremely fun choice for a tour, but dieters be warned – the smell of the place alone may pack on a few pounds. The factory does provide a fascinating look at how the product is manufactured, packaged and distributed, along with showing the history of the company and how it became the most famous chocolatier in the world. While in town, give the Hershey Park a day or so of your time; with a host of rides ranging from the more sedate kiddie rides, all the way up to the twisting and scream-inducing steel coasters, Hershey Park meets all your thrill needs. There are shows, attractions, water rides, and of course chocolate!

If you’ve never been Pennsylvania camping, give the Keystone State a chance to charm you, as it has with so many who’ve come before. But if you’ve been there before, you already know how easy it is to fall in love with the state. Come on back and see it again!

Woodall's Recommended Pennsylvania RV Campgrounds