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Historic Places to Visit in NJ and the Philadelphia Area!

Updated on May 27, 2014

History and Education without ever having to leave the area!

Everyone has an history nut in the family. Well just because you moved to NJ doesn't mean that you have to give up that exploring for historic places! Here is a list of those I have found, either by visiting myself over the years or by word of mouth, that I think you all will love an enjoy. Remember to bring your camera for these one of a kind places in history!

1. Historic Batso Village - Hammonton, NJ

When you first read this you might think "Batso = Bats right?" But in this case you would be wrong! This is a historic site located in the Pinelands of NJ. It can be traced back to 1776 as an iron ore and glass making village. This is located in Wharton State Forest which also has some great FREE lakes to visit for day trips as well.

2. Historic Smithville - Smithville, NJ

This is a beautiful little town with shops and restaurants and boardwalks just made for strolling along. They do many events during the different seasons that are great for families, but to me this is a great date night or romantic night away place.

3. Whitesbog Village - Whitesbog, NJ

I'm sure you all have heard of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice, but did you know that they have a factory right here in NJ? That that NJ is a HUGE producer of cranberries? Its true! We are known for our cranberry bogs down here and those who grew up in this area remember school trips to see the harvesting and learn all about them. Whitesbog Village is considered the historic center for cranberry cultivation and was started in the early 20th century. They have many events throughout the season and it is just a great place to visit and see the 3,000 acres of bogs.

4. Allaire Village - Farmingdale, NJ

Allaire Village is another living history village is a well-preserved early 19th century iron making town. This is another one of those great educational sites for the whole family to see how things were during another time. Want to make your kid appreciate this Nintendo, Playstation and TV? Just let him get an idea of what life was like a century ago!

5. Concrete Ship, WWII Lookout Tower, WWII Bunkers, Cape May Lighthouse - Cape May, NJ

Again more great spots to visit while in Cape May! There was truly a concrete ship used during WWI (yup that's World War One folks!) and was purchased in 1926 to be used as a ferry dock for ferries to run between NJ and DE. On June 8th of 1926 though, there was a storm that caused the ship to break free and run aground. It now sits there falling apart right off of Sunset Beach (see previous hub article where just part of the hull is still there. There is also right there the Cape May Lighthouse, WWII Lookout tower, both of which you can climb for a fee. Also on the beach by the parking lot of the Lighthouse is the WWII bunkers set into the sand. Erosion has caused them to be completely unearthed but imagine how it would have been back when they were completely covered in sand!

6. Princeton Battlefield Site - Princeton, NJ

See the actual site where Washington crossed the Delaware on Christmas Eve, winning the battle that was thought to be the turning point American Revolution.

7. The Liberty Bell Center & Independence Hall - Philadelphia, PA

See the Liberty Bell, crack and all and walk in the footsteps of our forefathers. The Center is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily year round with extended hours in the summer and admission is

8. Eastern State Pennitentary - Philadelphia, PA

As posted in a previous hub article, this is a early 19th century prision that was the first example of how to use solitary life in prison to change how things were run then. This place is CREEPY and haunting as you walk through the corridors and realize what it would have been like. They offer military discounts and you can do an audio tour. It is definitely a day trip for the kiddos but they do some awesome tours around Halloween. Check it out!

9. Tomb of the Unknown Solider - Philadelphia, PA

This tomb lays in Washington Square and is said to be a moving site to see. Originally the square was being used as a potters field when it was included as one of the parks laid out by William Penn in 1682 for Philadelphia, it later became the last barracks by thousands of soldiers who later died in the Revolutionary war in the 1770's. In 1954 it was agreed to erect a statue to memorialize George Washington and an unknown solider and after digging through the square and confirming by finding a mass grave of soldiers who had died, they found the undisturbed remains of make with what was believed to be a musket ball wound to his skull became the unknown solider who was buried here. Definitely a moving and unusual experience.

10. Living History Center - Philadelphia, PA

A wonderful museum to see how live was lived in Philadelphia over the course of its history. You can watch archaeologists study real artifacts from digs and see Philadelphia;s history uncovered!

11. Valley Forge, PA

While no battle was actually fought here it was a staging ground for battles in the area during the Revolutionary War. A great place to visit with lots of sites to see around the area and a great inclusion for a day trip!

12. Betsy Ross House - Philadelphia, PA

Living history again! They can meet Betsy Ross in her upholstery shop and not only learn about the american flag but about how businesses were run during the time and what life was like for a woman then.

13. Strasburg Railroad - Strasburg, PA

Anyone who loves Thomas the Tank Engine will love this place! Ride on a real coal burning steam engine train! You can walk through and see over 100 locomotives and rail cars, and even eat while taking your trip on the train! They offer a "Day out with Thomas" for the little ones as well!


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    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Hi, welcome to HubPages, it looks like you're off to a good start. I think it's a wonderful idea to write about the area you live in. After all, you know things about it that a visitor would never discover without your help.