Pennsylvania Experience

After seeing the birthplace of America head into the peaceful Pennsylania countryside.  You will visit Valley Forge where the American soldiers survived the brutal winter of 1777-78 and then explore Lancaster County with its large Amish community.

  • Program Highlights

    Almost all American Christian Tours Education Programs doing the Pennsylvania Experience will include:
    • Liberty Bell Pavilion
    • Independence Hall Tour
    • Congress Hall
    • The Constitution Center - "Freedom Rising."
    • The Betsy Ross House
    • The "Rocky Steps" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
    • Evening Historical Program
    • Valley Forge National Historical Park
    • Washington Memorial Chapel
    • Amish Countryside Tour
    • Amish Farm Stop
    • The Amish Experience - theater
    • Amish family-style meal
    • Amish House Tour
    • Sight and Sound Theater - based on ticket price/availability
  • Climate

    Fall and spring are mild and the most pleasant seasons in Pennsylvania.
     
    Summers tend to be hot and often muggy, the humidity tending to be highest during July and August. The rainfall pattern is generally spread throughout the year, with between six and nine wet days in every month.
     
    Winters are cold, but seldom does the mercury drop below freezing. Snow is unpredictable, some winters experiencing little and others characterized by continual snowstorms.

  • Geography

    Amish Country is located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, which is found in the south central portion of the state of Pennsylvania, in the beautiful Susquehanna Valley.  The land is mostly flat, with mild rolling hills, lending itself to farming. The farmland of Lancaster County is considered to be among the most fertile non-irrigated farmland in the world. Popular crops include tobacco, soybeans, and corn. There are a large number of dairy and chicken farms as well.

     

    The city of Philadelphia is situated in Philadelphia County in southeastern Pennsylvania, at the junction of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, and covers almost 130 square miles. It lies approximately 100 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean and about halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C.  Philadelphia is located on a narrow strip of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, separated from the Piedmont Plateau by the fall line.
  • Essentials

    • Walking into the Assembly Room of Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was approved and U.S. Constitution was written.
    • Seeing the small replica log huts where the American soldiers wintered at Valley Forge.
    • Watching Amish buggys clip along the narrow roads of Lancaster County while eating a fresh warm soft pretzel.
  • Get Prepared

    WATCH
    • Friendly Persuasion, 1956, Allied Artists - released on DVD 2000, Warner Studios. This movie is a story based on the Quakers during the Civil War.  Although the Quakers and Amish are different in beliefs - there are similarities in their style of plain living and pacifistic beliefs.  The idea here is that our country allows for different religious groups to practice their religion without persecution.
    • 1776,  1972, DVD or VHS  Directed by: Peter H. Hunt    Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
      This is a historical musical comedy about the events of 1776.
       
    READ
    • Killer Angels, Michael Shaara; 1987, Ballantine Books
    • Memorize the Gettysburg Address.
    • The Riddle of Amish Culture, Donald Kraybill, 1989, ISBN 0-8018-3682-4
    • It answers many of those difficult questions about why the Amish do what they do.
    • The Amish in their Own Words, compiled by Brad Igou, 1999, Herald Press
    • Short readings and stories show the Amish as people; one of the few books actually written by the Amish themselves.
    • The Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution.

    LISTEN
    • Civil War music.
    • Listen to a sample of an Amish hymn being sung from the Ausbund, the Amish hymnal.
    • Listen to a sample of an Amish Bishop preaching
    • "Gonna Fly Now" - Bill Conti/Carol Connors.  The song, from the Rocky movie, became part of American Popular Culture after main character Rocky Balboa completed his daily training regimen while the song plays. The song finishes as Rocky completes his famous run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and raises his arms in a victory pose. The song is also often played at sporting events.
  • Senses

    EAT
    • The Amish are wonderful cooks and bakers.  If you stop at an Amish bakeshop on your tour, we would recommend the whoopie pies - little cakes with icing between them.
    • Pretzels are another Amish Country favorite.  They come in many flavors with many types of dipping sauces.
    • If your tour is eating at one of the Amish family-style restaurants - be adventurous!  Try the dried corn or the shoo-fly pie.
    • A Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, a hoagie or a soft pretzel.
     
    DRINK
    • If you can find a water ice or Italian ice.
    • The Amish enjoy birch beer (like root beer) and lemonade.
    • Hires Root Beer - created in Philadelphi in 1876
    • Water, of course.  Stay hydrated!
  • In A Word:

    • Washington, D.C. - Monumental.
    • Lancaster County - Simple.
    • Philadelphia - Independence.
  • Surprises

    • Independence Hall seems so small compared to the large, tall buildings of the rest of downtown Philadelphia.
    • The the statue of William Penn (Philadelphia's Founder) on the top of Philadelphia's City Hall is 37 feet tall.  It is the tallest statue to stand atop any building in the world.
    • During the winter encampment at Valley Forge the number of soldiers ranged from 12,000 to 20,000.  There were about 400 women present -mostly wives, including Martha Washington.
    • The Amish call all non-Amish - "English"
    • There are many different groups of Amish.  The Old Order Amish are the group that most Americans think of when they hear Amish.
    • The Amish broke off of the Mennonites in the late 1600's.
  • Cities/Destinations Included

    • Philadelphia
    • Valley Forge
    • Lancaster County

© 2019 by American Christian Tours. 

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