Going on Faith

JUN-JUL 2016

The Magazine for faith-based travel planners.

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going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 21 F or almost as long as America has existed, Pennsylvania has been making headlines. Anchored by Philadelphia in the east and Pittsburgh in the west, Pennsylvania is among the most populous states in the country and has been at the center of some of America's most pivotal events. Groups that tour the Keystone State can relive dramatic scenes from American history, spend some time with famous candy-makers, take in world-class faith-based musical theater and see some of the best museums in the country. If your travelers haven't spent much time in Pennsylvania, this tour itinerary is designed to introduce them to the highlights of the state, in both the major cities and the smaller communities in between. This trip starts in Philadelphia and continues to Lancaster, Hershey and Gettysburg before finishing in Pittsburgh. Five days should be the perfect length of time to see these sites and cover the roads between them. Adding an extra night at the beginning or the end to see more of Philadelphia or Pittsburgh would be a great option as well. [ D E S T I N A T I O N P H I L A D E L P H I A ] H I G H L I G H T | B I R T H P L A C E O F A M E R I C A In a sense, America was born in Philadelphia. It was here, in 1776, that our Founding Fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence and announced the creation of a new nation. Today, groups visiting Philadelphia can immerse themselves in these historical events in a number of ways. No first-time trip to the city would be complete without a stop at Independence National Historical Park, located in the historic city center. This site preserves Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was writ- ten, and is also the home of the world-famous Liberty Bell. A number of other attractions nearby round out the historical expe- rience. City Tavern is a re-creation of a restaurant frequented by the Founding Fathers, complete with period costumes and Colonial reci- pes. And an organization called Historic Philadelphia hosts a number of tours and evening light shows throughout the historic district. W H I L E Y O U ' R E T H E R E : Philadelphia enjoys a collection of world-class museums to rival any other major city in the country. The National Constitution Center focuses on stories of human freedom, and the Franklin Institute is an interactive science museum in a Greek Revival building. And don't miss the Philadelphia Museum of Art, an encyclopedic museum whose exterior was made famous in the film "Rocky." M O R E I N F O | W W W . D I S C O V E R P H L . C O M # 1 [ D E S T I N A T I O N L A N C A S T E R ] H I G H L I G H T | P E N N S Y L V A N I A D U T C H A short drive west from Philadelphia, Lancaster and surrounding York County are home to one of the oldest Amish communities in the country, colloquially called the Pennsylvania Dutch. There are still thousands of Amish in the area, and visiting groups have a wide variety of ways to interact with them and learn about their lifestyles. A good place to start is Amish Village, a 12-acre site that offers a historic look at the Amish lifestyle. Visitors can see the 1840 farm- house as well as a village store, a smokehouse market, a blacksmith shop and a one-room schoolhouse with an Amish teacher. Another attraction, the Amish Experience, is located at Plain and Fancy Farm and features a theater that shows the critically acclaimed film "Jacob's Choice." Groups can work with the local convention and visitors bureau to arrange numerous personal interactions, including horse-and-buggy rides and visits to Amish homes and businesses. WHILE YOU'RE THERE: Sight and Sound Theatre has earned a repu- tation throughout the tourism industry for producing some of the best live musicals outside of Broadway. All the shows are based on biblical stories and feature professional actors, stunning larger-than-life sets and original musical scores. The Lancaster theater is now showing "Samson." Beginning in 2017, it will mount a new production: "Jonah." M O R E I N F O | W W W . D I S C O V E R L A N C A S T E R . C O M # 2 by B R I A N J E W E L L P H I L A D E L P H I A # 1 L A N C A S T E R # 2 H E R S H E Y # 3 # 4 G E T T YS B U RG Courtesy Philadelphia CVB Historic Philadelphia PENNSYLVANIA

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