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Historic Sites in Pennsylvania

Check Out the Campus at the University of Pennsylvania

Visit the Historic UPenn in Philadelphia
Pennsylvania is a state loaded with historical sites and premier, can't-miss early-American attractions. Plan your next visit to Pennsylvania and be sure to explore the City of Brotherly – few destiinations in the state can yield such a wide range of sites and experiences.

True, PA, as a whole, has plenty to offers visitors – from the 10 best roadside attractions to 19 must-tour museums. But Philadelphia has the advantage – it's home to the University of Pennsylvania.

Penn, as it is commonly referred, is one of the eight Ivy League schools found throughout the northeast. You can find this historic campus in the heart of downtown Philadelphia – its southern border touches the Schuylkill River, and is easily accessed via Interstate 76.

Established in 1740, Penn is a private institution, and one of the oldest in the state, and one of the nine original colonial colleges. It's campus, which is more like a small city, sprawls to a total of 1,094 acres.

Notably, Penn's primary founder and President of the Board of Trustees, was Benjamin Franklin. As you begin your campus tour at Penn, you'll find a large statue of Benjamin Franklin at the front of College Hall. Other must-see sites on the Penn campus include the Fisher Fine Arts Library, the Upper Quad, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Athletically, the Penn Quakers compete across a wide range of sports ike baseball, men's and women's basketball, and women's fencing. Make your way to Franklin Field during late summer or fall to catch the Penn Quakers football team in action, and if your visit is a spring time affair, check out the Quakers bsaeball team in action at Meiklejohn Stadium.

Tours of the Penn campus are available throughout most of the year, with some dates omitted – tours can last a full day with a whole host of activities and options to make your time exploring Penn as enriching as possible.

Oil Region National Heritage Area

Celebrate local beginnings and history when you visit the Oil Region National Heritage Site, one of the premier attractions in western Pennsylvania. Drive into Oil City from nearby Du Bois and explore the Oil Region heritage area – find an array of artifacts, exhibits, and scenic communities.

Promoting and celebrating the areas in and around Edwin Drake's Oil Well, the Oil Region area, in many respects, gave way to the modern oil industry. You can explore local museums and themed shops. There are important oil-related buildings and structures to be seen, and a wealth of knowledge to be gained by visiting the Oil Region National Heritage Area.

Historic Rock Ford Plantation

A fine example of architectural survival, the Historic Rock Ford Plantation is an ideal destination for history buffs exploring central Pennsylvania and the city of Lancaster. With an estimated 90 percent of the original house still intact – woodwork, glass, floors, shutters – the Rock Ford Plantation is the former home of Revolutionary War General Edward Hand.

The house itself is a marvel and a charming museum, well worth a visit, and the entirety of the grounds spans roughly 33 acres. Found near downtown Lancaster, Historic Rock Ford Plantation is within Lancaster County Park, and yields easy access to the Conestoga River.

Set aside some time on your visit to Lancaster and check out Rock Ford – enjoy a guided tour, and if you're traveling with a group of 12 or more, you'll receive a discount on admission. Take a peek at the Rock Ford Museum Shop and pick up a souvenir, or explore the Barn at Rock Ford.

Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Enjoy a historical tour of western Pennsylvania when you check out the Fort Necessity National Battlefield. Commemorating and preserving the history of the Battle of Fort Necessity, the Fort Necessity National Battlefield is a top attraction in Farmington – and just a short and scenic drive southeast from Bentleyville.

Measuring in at nearly 903 acres, the Fort Necessity National Battlefield features a wealth of sights and things to do. Visit the reconstructed Fort Necessity, and the always popular Mount Washington Tavern. The Battle of Fort Necessity took place on July 3, 1754.


President James Buchanan's Wheatland, more simply known as Wheatland to locals, is an ideal destination for historical insights to the life of President Buchanan and the Lancaster area.

The 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, inherited a volatile nation, largely split over matters of slavery and secession. Explore Wheatland and glean insights into the life of Buchanan – be sure to check out his formal dining room, office, bedroom, and bath – all furnished with artifacts of the era.

As you prepare to explore Wheatland, plan to check out Tanger Arboretum, a spectacular display of more than 100 species of trees.

Your next central Pennsylvania visit should be met with some time spent at Wheatland – enjoy a tour of the stately home and take a peek at the library where he wrote his inaugural address and memoirs. Wheatland offers tours from April through October, picking up again in February and March.