As one of the original 13 colonies and the headquarters for many key historic events, Pennsylvania is the perfect place to delve into our nation’s past – including the legacy of American presidency. We’re also home to President James Buchanan (Lancaster) and two vice presidents — George Dallas (11th) and Joe Biden (47th). Increase your knowledge of America’s history in Pennsylvania with a stop at one of these presidential places.
President James Buchanan’s Wheatland - Dutch Country Roads
History buffs and casual visitors alike will enjoy touring the beautiful grounds and mansion of the only president from Pennsylvania, James Buchanan. Located in downtown Lancaster, visitors can explore Wheatland’s rooms, stairwells, and gardens where the secrets and details of his political and personal life intersect. Experience history come to life as tour guides dressed in traditional period clothing lead you through the same grounds Buchanan once roamed.
Washington Crossing Historic Park - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Relive one of the most important moments of the Revolutionary War at Washington Crossing Historic Park. On December 25, 1776, General George Washington and his men crossed the Delaware River into New Jersey to march on Hessian troops quartered in and around the village. Each year, thousands gather in Washington Crossing to experience a reenactment of Washington’s triumphant journey across the Delaware. After touring the park, enjoy a cozy dinner at the spot where General George Washington assembled his troops - the Washington Crossing Inn.
Valley Forge National Historic Park - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Valley Forge National Historic Park invites visitors to experience the past and the great Pennsylvania outdoors as they travel though the site of George Washington’s encampment. Guests can explore the visitor’s center and key sites like Washington’s headquarters, Washington Memorial Chapel and the Hope Lodge, the headquarters of Surgeon General John Cochran. In nearby New Hope, the 1870 Wedgwood Inn offers a stay in a true Victorian bed & breakfast, which once served as a camp site for General George Washington and the Continental Army in 1776.
The David Wills House - Dutch Country Roads
The David Wills House offers visitors a world-class museum experience that tells the story of Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address. Prominent attorney David Wills’ home, in the heart of Gettysburg, became the center of recovery and justice after the Battle of Gettysburg. The David Wills House is the only site where you can experience President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal Gettysburg Address in the place in which it was crafted. The museum features six galleries and two restored rooms: Wills' office and the bedroom where Lincoln stayed and prepared for his famous Address.
Eisenhower National Historic Site - Dutch Country Roads
Eisenhower National Historic Site was the home and farm of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Adjacent to the Gettysburg Battlefield, the farm served as Eisenhower’s weekend retreat from Washington and a meeting place for world leaders. Take a tour of the President's home, enjoy a self-guided walk around the farm or join a park ranger for an exploration of World War II.
The President’s House - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Philadelphia, Pa., served as the nation’s capital from 1790-1800 and was the location for the first executive mansion. Today, visitors are able to see structural fragments of the home where George Washington and John Adams served their presidencies. The 24-hour, open-air site, located one block from Independence Hall, gives a glimpse into the New World’s struggle for freedom even as nine enslaved people lived and worked in the President’s House. Visitors can learn about the events that transpired at the President’s House through illustrated glass panels, timelines and video re-enactments.
Independence Hall - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Independence Hall was where the two most important documents in American history were signed - the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Many presidential figures including George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson walked through Independence Hall to leave their signatures on the documents that helped forge this great nation. Visitors can see the Assembly Room where the documents were crafted, as well as the original courtroom for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the iconic Liberty Bell.
Congress Hall - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Congress Hall was the site of two presidential inaugural addresses: President George Washington in 1793 and President John Adams in 1797. Within the two-story brick walls of Congress Hall, the Bill of Rights was ratified solidifying the first 10 amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
National Constitution Center - Philadelphia and the Countryside
The National Constitution Center was established to increase the understanding of the U.S. Constitution through interactive exhibits and conversations. With the Center’s emphasis on the Constitution, it becomes a perfect place for upcoming presidential candidates to share how they will honor the country. Barack Obama delivered his memorable speech on race in March 2008 at the National Constitution Center, and Obama and Hillary Clinton debated there during the Democratic primary race. In addition, Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush are frequent visitors to the Center and once served as chairmen on the Board of Trustees.
Bucks County Civil War Museum - Philadelphia and the Countryside
An impressive collection of Abraham Lincoln artifacts is on display at the Bucks County Civil War Museum in Doylestown. Various rare and one-of-a-kind pieces are on display within the museum like the Lincoln life mask, a bronze sculpture cast from a mold of the president's face early in his presidency.
Grey Towers - Pocono Mountains
Grey Towers and its surrounding 100 acres of land are a testament to the work of the first Chief Forester of the United States of America, Gifford Pinchot. On September 24, 1963, Gifford Pinchot’s conservation efforts were honored by President John F. Kennedy when he visited Grey Towers to dedicate the Pinchot Institute for Conservation Studies. Visitors of Grey Towers can tour the estate and learn about the Pinchot family’s impact on America.
Pearl S. Buck House and Historic Site - Philadelphia and the Countryside
A visit to the Pearl S. Buck House and Historic Site gives an inside look into the former home of the philanthropist and Nobel Prize-winning author, Pearl S. Buck. Buck’s writings and charity efforts were noticed by some of America's most prominent politicians. Gifts and letters from John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Eleanor Roosevelt and more dignitaries are on display inside her historic estate in Perkasie, Pa.
State Museum of Pennsylvania - Dutch Country Roads
Several eccentric keepsakes of presidential past are displayed within the State Museum of Pennsylvania where visitors can find two rare samples of George Washington’s hair. One of the historic locks was originally kept by United States Army Officer Robert Wescott. The lock of hair changed owners before it was eventually donated to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1875. The second lock of hair hails from the Valley Forge Historic Park, which later transferred the artifact to the state’s museum.