Saturated in history, Pennsylvania proves to be one of the most unique states to visit in the Northeast. It is equally home to the Liberty Bell as it is Hershey’s Chocolate Factory, making it the Chocolate Capital of the United States. I have very fond memories of visiting Pennsylvania, as my family took us there growing up quite frequently. This past summer, my family and I spent a long weekend traveling around Pennsylvania to visit some extended family. We opted to stay at the coziest bed and breakfast and from there, took a much anticipated day trip to the historical town of Gettysburg.
I’d been to Gettysburg multiple times throughout my childhood but never fully appreciated the history until visiting this past Summer. The quaint, little town is very charming and makes for the perfect day trip during an extended stay in Pennsylvania.
The moment my plane took off, I knew the weekend would be an eventful one. My flight had to make an unplanned landing at the Richmond, Virginia airport after some unexpected turbulence due to a spontaneous thunderstorm that entered the airspace. After an anxious few minutes in the air, we landed in Richmond and were set to refuel and head back up for a short trip to BWI, our original destination. Upon arrival in Richmond, I realized my families flight was completely cancelled and they wouldn’t be making it to Baltimore until the next day around noon. After ping-ponging a few ideas of what to do next and where to stay in my mind, I made the executive decision to rent a car in Richmond and drive the short 2 hours to Washington D.C. where I would meet my family the next morning to start our Gettysburg getaway.
The next day, my family and I were already feeling behind due to our flight delays and cancellations. We packed our bags in the mini-van and drove straight from BWI to Gettysburg, arriving just in-time for a late lunch at The Pub Restaurant.
The moment I stepped out of the car, childhood memories came rushing back: picking out our favorite toppings at the ice cream shop on the corner, sauntering through the quaint town center, taking in the crisp summer air! What a gorgeous day we chose to visit Gettysburg. After enjoying lunch at the The Pub, we strolled around the town and grabbed dessert at a nearby ice cream shop. I loved passing by the many unique boutiques and shops. My sister and I even stumbled across the cutest little red-bricked wine nook, perfectly tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the nearby boutiques.
After browsing through a few shops and stopping in some old museums to brush up on our U.S. history, we headed towards the Gettysburg Battlefield where the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in 1863. Much to our surprise and entertainment, we stumbled upon a reenactment taking place as we headed towards the Pennsylvania Monument.
The field was a somber site but the gorgeous gold glow from the setting sun lit up the plane and you could see the “blue mountains”, as my Grandfather calls them, watching over the field in the background. We headed up to the top of the Pennsylvania Monument to capture a full view of the battle site around us.
We watched the sun disappear over the Blue Mountains and the field turn from a lush green to a golden hue.
After the sun set, we headed back towards town before making our way to the coziest Bed and Breakfast in Lancaster, Rocky Acre Farm. We had a blast driving through rural Pennsylvania and seeing all of the towns and beautiful farms along the way. It was our first time staying at this Bed and Breakfast and judging on how much fun we had, it might not be our last!
Upon arrival, we lugged our suitcases to our room, dodging children and kittens left and right. The experience was truly a unique one! Rocky Acre Farms is a fully-functioning family owned farm and Bed and Breakfast, so cows, goats, and chickens were literally in our backyard. You could even take a basket from the laundry room and grab your own eggs to cook for breakfast from the chicken coop. I have never stayed at such a place!
The Bed and Breakfast has about 5 rooms total, each resembling cozy, two-story town homes with a fully-equipped kitchen, living room, and porch to relax on outside. Rocky Acre Farms fosters newly formed friendships, inviting all of the families staying there to a free, family-style breakfast provided every morning. Families from all around the world sit together at a large dining table and pass around freshly made eggs, meats, and breakfast sweets together. There was a young family from upstate New York, grandparents and grandchildren from Maryland, and even an older couple all the way from Australia! We laughed and ate at breakfast until we couldn’t eat anymore and then helped clean up and went back to exploring the farm grounds.
Rocky Acre Farms is both a place to explore for young children and a getaway to relax for adults. They offer tractor and hay-rides for children, a morning, cow-milking experience. and plenty of additional recommendations to do in the area if you want to get away from the farm for a while. I cannot find the words to describe the unique feeling of being so close and at home to complete strangers while there. It is truly a family-oriented Bed and Breakfast where you instantly feel at home and make life-long friendships with those staying at the farm with you.
As mentioned earlier, Rocky Acre Farms fosters newly formed friendships and allows the families staying there to be have first priority on choosing whether you’d like to come back the following year for the same dates you previously chose. This way, the families you met at the farm during that time, can all come back at the same time next year to see each other again. Interestingly enough, about half of the families we met when we were there actually met the previous year, during the same trip at the same time. It is an amazing idea that I absolutely love and give the owner so much credit for!
Outside of visiting the historically charming Gettysburg and getting our fill of farm life at Rocky Acre Farms, we spent our last day exploring Knoebles, America’s largest, free-admission amusement park in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. The rest of the weekend consisted of a mini-family reunion in Eastern Pennsylvania and quick visit to a few D.C. museums before I had to head home for a busy week of work.
If you are ever visiting Pennsylvania, Gettysburg is an unforgettable experience. With its charm and historical significance, there is no doubt you will find the small town worth the short visit!