Lancaster/Hershey/Gettysburg vacation

Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:26 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 14
Lancaster/Hershey/Gettysburg vacation

Family of 4 (kids 12 &16) travelling to PA for a vacation this July. Trying to decide where to stay...like the idea of finding one place and driving to destinations if feasible. Found the Eden Resort in Lancaster. Would it work to drive to Hershey one day, Gettysburg one day and spend some time with the Amish? Or are these things too far apart? Thanks for you help!
andee26 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:53 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 55
andee,

I live about 20 minutes from Hershey, 25 from Gettysburg and about 45-50 from Lancaster. Lancaster to Hershey is very easy highway drive on 283. Lancaster to Gettysburg on the other hand while not far, can be a slow and tedious go on route 30...tons of traffic and traffic lights. Unfortunately it's about the only route that makes sense. I would stay in Gettysburg for a night or so to avoid the hassle of driving there and back in a day.

fyi...say LANK A Stir, not LAN Cass ter, please.
KenInPA is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2009, 08:59 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,802
That would work geographically, although both Hershey and Gettysburg are a bit of a hike (figure at least an hour's drive). There are any number of attractions in and around Lancaster as well. Not only the Amish attractions, but you will see actual Amish as well, on the roads and going about their business. Most of them however, unless they are actively running tourist attractions, are not interested in interacting with visitors. There is plenty to keep busy with, though, and the area is particularily good for railroad enthusiasts, even pretty casual ones. If it was me, and I had a week or so, I would spend a night or two in Gettysburg, ditto for Hershey, and two or three in Lancaster. This is because we don't mind longish drives early in the day, but can find them annoying late at night, particularily when sticky and sunburnt, which most people are after a day at Hershey. If one theme park is not enough for you, Dorney Park near Allentown isn't all that much further afield, and has a nice water park, which I believe (haven't checked it recently) is included in admission.
persimmondeb is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 09:57 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 160
From a Lancaster resident, I would vote for staying in Lancaster and make day trip(s) to Hershey (under 1hr) and Gettysburg (+-80 mins) & Amish farms (10mins).Others disagree in this forum, but I recommend the Hilton Garden Inn, Courtyard, Bird in hand, Willow Valley, etc. over the Eden.
cheapbutnice2 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 05:31 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 55
andee,
Where are you coming from? The direction might help in a better routing.
KenInPA is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 06:43 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 14
Thanks to all for good info. We are coming from St. Louis MO. The Eden looks so nice and would give us a kitchenette to save a little $ on eating out. Just wondered why you recommend the others over Eden. We don't mind the driving and prefer to stay put in one place once we get there, if possible. Thanks!
andee26 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 04:43 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3,052
We did this trip last year but stayed in Harrisburg/Gettysburg and at the Eden Rock. I loved the Eden Rock. We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite but there have been complaints about the town houses and the rooms closer to the pool.

We stayed at the Sheraton (4 Points) in Harrisburg and although it was a quick trip (on the back roads) I was NOT thrilled with the 4 points at all.

We did not find it a problem staying a 3 hotels, and found it nice to do our laundry at the Eden Rock before we came home.

Have fun
travelbug44 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 12:10 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 55
From St Louis it would make sense to stop in Gettysburg 1st. If you are coming across on I-70, that will meet the PA Turnpike (I-76)near Pittsburgh. Take that to the Gettysburg Exit and then head south on Rt 15 for about 30 minutes. Or if you are coming across 64, catch I-68 in Maryland to Frederick and then north on 270/Rt 15 for about 25 minutes or so. Then after you visit Gettysburg, get back on Rt 15 and go north to the Turnpike EAST to the "Harrisburg EAST" exit and follow signs to Hershey, that would take a little over an hour. Then after Hershey you can take Rt 283 South to Lancaster. Hope that helps.
KenInPA is offline  
Feb 26th, 2009, 06:36 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 160
Assuming that we are talking about the Eden Resort - not the Eden Rock.I live nearby and just feel that the Eden doesn't have any local flavor so why not use one of the national chains or local motels with a local touch?As mentioned, it is directly next to a major expressway and can be very noisy.The suites idea makes lots of sense. Could you consider a new Homewood? Suites near Rts. 72&283?Maybe I've lived here too long and it's a little too commercial for me?Also remember that food can be a little more affordable here.
cheapbutnice2 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2009, 11:20 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3,052
Sorry I did mean the Eden Resort - not Eden Rock. We stayed in a 2 room suite and it was only noisy with Hall traffic. We were near the hwy but did not hear any traffic until we went outside. I like that they had an indoor and outdoor pool. My grandkids are crazy about swimming.

We intend to go back and I will look into Homewood Suites next time too.
travelbug44 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 08:45 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 160
TB44, Please don't let me talk you out of the Eden. Homewoood doesn't have a pool but Bird-in-Hand and Willow Valley both have in & out pools.I'm aging myself when I forget about kids and pools-especially off-season.
cheapbutnice2 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2009, 06:24 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,691
A few summers ago my husband and I spent 4 nights camping near Gettysburg, with my brother and his wife, and my 12-13 year old nephew and his friend. We spent two days just touring the battlefields, wandering through the cemetery, and seeing all the attractions at the Visitor's Center (museum, light show, etc.).

Then there's downtown Gettysburg, where we enjoyed strolling the streets, past historical buildings and sites, while checking out the many antique and souvenir shops, chitzy museums, and places to eat. The kids really wanted to do the "Ghost Tour", but we ran out of time.

There's lots of things to see and do in the Gettysburg area, so you might want to consider an overnight, instead of a day trip.

Since we had 4 nights, we also headed southeast just a bit, to Hanover, and took the free Utz potato chip factory tour. Free samples at the end of the tour.

http://www.utzsnacks.com/tours.html

We also stopped briefly at the Conewago Chapel, which is the oldest stone built catholic church in the US.

Then, there were all the antique shops..... We had lots of fun, and my nephew keeps asking when we're going back to Gettysburg.

And now, for an alternative amusement park, I would like to recommend Knoebel's Grove, located in Elysburg, PA, which is about 1 1/2 hours north of Lancaster.

Knoebel's is America's largest family-owned, free-admission amusement park, located in the forests of NE Penna. You can buy books of tickets to go on just a few rides, or you can get your hand stamped and ride all day long. Or, you don't have to ride anything, you can just people watch, or visit the carousel museum, or mining museum, or the steam-generated big machinery (ALL FREE).

When you're tired of riding, you can go for a swim in the pool, or down one of the water slides (fee charged). You can even pack your own picnic lunch and eat it under one of their picnic pavillions (free) - you're not forced to buy their food, although who can resist their french fries with vinegar (yum!).

The DarkRide Enthusiasts have voted the Haunted Mansion as their favorite dark ride for five consecutive years. And, the Phoenix wooden roller coaster has been in the top 10 list of roller coasters since it was built almost 25 years ago.

www.knoebels.com

Enjoy your visit to Pennsylvania, the Keystone State.

Robyn
artstuff is offline  
Feb 28th, 2009, 02:33 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 55
Ditto on Knoebel's. Love that place and their food.

Gettysburg just opened a new visitor's center and museum last year which we vistited and think is 10x better than the old one. The best way to do the battlefields is to hire a guide that comes along in your car with you. They will gear the talk towards who the travelers are (teens, etc).
KenInPA is offline  
Feb 28th, 2009, 07:17 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 14
wow! Thank you everyone for some great ideas! I am excited to visit PA this summer. Can anyone tell me about the best ways to see the Amish and their way of life. Tours? Places to go? Thanks again.
andee26 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2009, 12:25 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 55
While there are better people to answer the "places to go" question, I will say you need to get off the beaten path in order to see the "real" farms and ways of the Amish. Route 30 is rediculously commercial. Go thru smaller towns like Lampeter, Bird-in-Hand etc and off the main roads and stop at some of the small home businesses. The Lanc. Co. Visitor's Bureau has a very detailed free map of the county roads. We enjoy the Landis Valley Museum, which is not Amish--more like Little House on the Prairie--, since it has a lot of hands-on things you can do. It's an outdoor "museum", more like a mini Colonial Williamsburg, but for the mid 1800's.
KenInPA is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 08:26 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 160
Using the Lanc. map suggestion above, I always suggest the area between Routes 23 and 340 on the east side of Lancaster.It's much less dense but the area south of Lancaster between Rtes. 222 and 272 are also very pretty.I hate to say this but visitors also seem to enjoy watching the movie "Witness" before visiting.
cheapbutnice2 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 01:27 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 55
BTW, Andee, the "Ghost Tour" of Gettysburg that Artstuff mentioned is very cool from what friends have told me and another good reason to stay the night in that area. You said you are going in July. If you are going between July 1st and 4th, the anniversary of the battle, expect a lot of re-enactors. Very interesting but also VERY busy time to go.
KenInPA is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
alicefe
United States
6
Jul 21st, 2009 04:16 PM
rpbuttery
United States
4
Mar 16th, 2008 03:22 PM
NOPETSAL
United States
7
Jul 11th, 2006 03:33 PM
foggy
United States
16
Oct 7th, 2003 02:31 PM
suzk
United States
8
May 22nd, 2003 03:26 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:14 AM.