Sample Five-Day/Four-Night Itinerary

Sample Five-Day/Four-Night Itinerary

Antietam.jpg    Living historians at Pry House FIeld Hospital Museum.jpg    Group at Harpers Ferry.jpg       

Download Sample Itinerary PDF


  • Three national battlefields
  • Seven museums and historic sites
  • Three evening cultural activities
  • Two outdoor recreation programs
  • One day in the nation’s capital


Harpers Ferry National Historical Park – John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry was the spark that ignited the Civil War. Was he a hero or a villain? Programs here encourage students to decide for themselves. If time allows, include a hike to Maryland Heights where a breathtaking panoramic view reveals the importance of geography in Civil War tactics.

Enjoy a box or catered picnic lunch at Harpers Ferry or at Antietam.

Antietam National Battlefield – Learn how the country’s bloodiest one-day battle in 1862 gave rise to the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Be sure to stop by the historic Newcomer House, part of a farm/mill complex that witnessed the battle, and the Pry House Field Hospital Museum. Before leaving Sharpsburg, visit Tolson’s Chapel, a post-Emancipation church and Freedmen’s Bureau school, where African American life in a newly free community is explored.

Evening options include a minor league baseball game with the Frederick Keys (Orioles affiliate) or Hagerstown Suns (Nationals affiliate), theater or concert-going, a lantern-lit walking tour (with or without ghost stories), or area amusement parks.

Dine and overnight in Hagerstown, Frederick or Westminster, where a variety of student-friendly lodging and restaurant options are ready to accommodate your group. This will be your base camp for the week.

Monocacy2.jpg    Monocacy 150th_NPS Photo.jpg    Lincoln Memorial_NPS photo_2.jpg       


Monocacy National Battlefield – Learn about the Civil War “Battle that Saved Washington.” Pre-Civil War history at this location is also fascinating – find out about archaeology that revealed the largest extant slave habitation site in the mid-Atlantic. While here, local outfitters can lead a “float through history” on the scenic Monocacy River.

Frederick Visitor Center – The site of a spoke factory, this building offers wonderful exhibits and an orientation film, “A Turn of the Wheel.” Pick up box lunches here to eat along Carroll Creek Linear Park, where students will have fun discovering hidden symbols of community in the tromp l’oeil painted Community Bridge. After lunch, enjoy a stroll through the Frederick historic district and shop for souvenirs on the way to your next stop.

Roger Brooke Taney HouseThis site is uniquely situated to explore the difficult topic of slavery, due to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney’s involvement in the 1857 Dred Scott decision. Students learn about the daily lives of enslaved people and stories of escape on the Underground Railroad, and are challenged to consider the impact of the Dred Scott decision.

Brewer’s Alley Restaurant – dine in the very room where, in 1864, Frederick’s mayor paid the Ransom demanded by Confederate General Jubal Early just prior to the Battle of Monocacy. A private dining room can be arranged for your students.

National Museum of Civil War MedicineTake an after-hours tour to introduce students to history in an entirely unique way. “Civil War Medicine – it’s not what you think!"

DAY 3  

Washington D.C. – Less than an hour away from most lodging properties in the heritage area, take a day to see our nation’s seat of politics and power. Options are endless! Continue the Civil War theme with visits to the Clara Barton Missing Soldier’s Office, Ford’s Theatre, the Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorialsall places that speak powerfully to the aftermath of war and the ongoing work of civil rights.

Downtown Westminster.jpg    Carroll County Farm Museum_3.jpg    Union Mills Homestead-Cropped.jpg       


Follow the footsteps of Union and Confederate troops en route to Gettysburg. Start with a walking or driving tour through historic downtown Westminster, where an important cavalry skirmishCorbit’s Chargedelayed the advance of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart’s march into Pennsylvania just prior to the Battle of Gettysburg in the summer of 1863.

Carroll County Farm MuseumGuides in period attire interpret agricultural history, traditional craftsmen demonstrate a variety of skills, and students may “muster in” as a Civil War soldier and learn about what happened here during the conflict.

Enjoy a box or catered picnic lunch on the grounds of the Farm Museum.

Union Mills HomesteadThe anguish of divided loyalties among Maryland families is powerfully evoked here, where the Shriver family hosted encampments of both Union and Confederate armies. A special treat is the working grist mill, expertly demonstrated by Ivan the miller, a great storyteller and artisan.

Gettysburg National Military ParkVisit the park’s Museum & Visitor Center for the film, cyclorama (1900s version of IMAX!) experience and museum. Explore the site of the “High Water Mark of the Rebellion,” the Civil War’s bloodiest battle, by bike, horseback, on foot or in the comfort of the motorcoach.

Stay in Gettysburg or return to your base camp for dinner and evening activities.


Options on your last day include:

  • Hiking a segment of the Appalachian Trail while visiting South Mountain State Battlefield
  • Shopping in one of our charming Main Street communities
  • Geocaching (several options, including some designed especially for student groups)
  • Explore an orchard or farm where you may “pick your own” or feed a calf and enjoy ice cream made onsite
  • Visit a nearby zoo or nature center

Download Sample Itinerary PDF

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