Hallowed Ground, Virginia and Pennsylvania Road Trip

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This road trip itinerary is for lovers of American history as it includes stops of significance from both revolutionary and civil war periods.  Beginning at Jefferson’s Monticello near Charlottesville, VA the journey heads northeast through the famous battlefields of Manassas before terminating at Gettysburg National Military Park, the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War.

Hallowed Ground Virginia and Pennsylvania Road Tripjustasc / Shutterstock.com

Below is the step-by-step itinerary with links to TripAdvisor where you can research more about each destination and find great hotel deals and compare prices, or learn more  details about this road trip at National Geographic Traveler.

Begin your trip at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello outside Charlottesville, VA.  The house was designed by Jefferson, one of Americas founding fathers and the third president of the United States, and sits up on a hill which is reflected in the name which in Italian means “little mount”.

Next head to Ash Lawn-Highland, the former estate of James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States.  Monroe was encouraged to buy the property from his friend Thomas Jefferson, who’s own Monticello was adjacent to the property.
Ash Lawn-Highland

Next head through Virginia’s burgeoning wine country to Barboursville, birthplace of Zachary Taylor, the twelfth president of the United States.  The town was named for James Barbour, a former Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the ruins of his estate can be found on the grounds of Barboursville Vineyards.
Barboursville, Virginia

Continue northeast until you reach the former estate of the fourth president of the United States, James Madison’s Montpelier.  Madison, who was instrumental in drafting the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, occupied the 22-room estate with his wife Dolley.

Heading up into Northern Virginia shifts the focus to the American Civil War, with the first stop Manassas National Battlefield Park.  The park commemorates the battles (there were two) of Manassas, which we’re also known as the Battles of Bull Run depending on which side of the Mason-Dixon line you reside.Manassas Battlefield, Virginia

Now pay a visit to fox hunting country by making a stop in Middleburg, a charming town of understated wealth.  The historic downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as is the Red Fox Inn, the oldest continually operated inn in the US.Middleburg, Virginia
Kathryn Rapier / Shutterstock.com

Heading further north consider making a stopover at the Ashby Inn & Restaurant in Paris, VA for dinner or to spend the night.  The inn, which was built in 1829, hosted many of the integral figures in both American wars.Photos of The Ashby Inn & Restaurant, Paris
This photo of The Ashby Inn & Restaurant is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Cross over the Pennsylvania border to end your trip at Gettysburg National Military Park  to learn about this decisive battle that halted Confederate General Lee’s advance north.  The battle lasted three days and was the bloodiest of the entire war with approximately 50,000 casualties.
Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania

NG Drives of a LifetimeThis road trip is one of National Geographic’s Drives of a Lifetime.  Find out more about the Hallowed Ground road trip and other ultimate road trips on the National Geographic Traveler Website or purchase the beautiful hardcopy book of 500 ultimate road trips from the National Geographic online store for only $40.  Buy Now