ON OR ADJACENT TO THE INSTALLATION
Pennsylvania National Guard Military Museum
Housed in a two-story barracks that was built in 1941, the Pennsylvania National Guard Military Museum showcases items and weapons from the Civil War to the Gulf War, as well as items that depict the history of the Pennsylvania National Guard and Fort Indiantown Gap.
Memorial Lake State Park’s 230 acres are near the base of Blue Mountain in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County. The park is surrounded by Fort Indiantown Gap and offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, boating, fishing, sailing and ice skating.
Indiantown Gap National Cemetery
In 1976, a section of Fort Indiantown Gap was selected as the national cemetery for the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania donated land for the 677-acre site to the Veterans Administration. The elaborate Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial is the largest monument in VA’s national cemeteries.
(13 miles southeast of FTIG)
Lebanon County offers plenty of quintessential Americana scenery and things to do. Visit the local bologna-making factories where world-famous Lebanon bologna is made, or shop at downtown Lebanon’s farmers market. History buffs will want to explore Cornwall Iron Furnace, a facility that supported an iron dynasty from 1742 to 1883 and features a display museum with Revolutionary War cannons, iron-making equipment and photos of the furnace when it was still operating.
Other historical sites include the Isaac Meier Homestead, an amazing piece of architecture built in 1738. The homestead is open to the public for tours during the year and hosts events such as the annual country fair with colonial crafts, food and demonstrations.
For those wanting to get outside, Lebanon County’s Coleman Memorial Park has a water park, pavilions, walking trails and tennis courts. Stoever’s Dam Park is situated in the city of Lebanon with trails, fishing and a nature center. Union Canal Tunnel Park sports the oldest canal tunnel in the United States. There are also several golf courses, including the Lebanon Country Club and the Iron Valley Golf Club, fishing on various lakes, biking and hiking.
The restored Allen Theatre in Annville is a great place for a movie night, and there are a variety of choices for dining and shopping in the area. Dining choices in Lebanon County range from pubs, family-style restaurants or a romantic evening out. Timbers Restaurant & Dinner Theatre in Mount Gretna offers a fun option of both dining and live theater, with outdoor, summer dinner theater and a year-round restaurant.
(15 miles south of FTIG)
Known as the “Sweetest Place on Earth,” Hershey, Pennsylvania, is the home of the famous Hershey’s chocolate factory. A town “built on chocolate” by founder Milton S. Hershey, who built the first modern chocolate factory here, Hershey has a wide variety of attractions and activities.
Hersheypark offers more than 70 rides, live entertainment and a boardwalk, or visit Hershey’s Chocolate World and enjoy a free chocolate tour. For a history of the town and its founder, the Hershey Story museum provides interactive exhibits, classes at its Chocolate Lab and unique educational experiences. The museum also has a gift shop and cafe, which offers a chocolate tasting for the ultimate connoisseurs.
Nearby, Hershey Gardens has 23 acres of gorgeous flowers, shrubs and trees that are a delight for all visitors. Opened in 1937, attractions include a butterfly house, children’s garden, several theme gardens and a gift shop.
Explore ZooAmerica’s 11-acre, walk-through zoo, with special after-hours tours, ZooCamp and educational programs. Hershey Theatre has touring Broadway performances, classical music and dance. If sports are on the agenda, fans can watch the Hershey Bears hockey team at Giant Center during the season.
Nature enthusiasts will love Indian Echo Caverns, which has thousands of stalactites and stalagmites and offers tours, picnic areas, playgrounds and a gift shop. Those wanting to shop and dine will find plenty of outlet stores and specialty shops, with both fine dining and casual eateries readily available. Troegs Brewery also offers brewery tours and a tasting room for sampling their various craft beer offerings.
(23 miles southwest of FTIG)
Harrisburg is Pennsylvania’s capital and a vibrant and historical city. The Harrisburg and Carlisle areas have a wide range of activities and recreation to choose from, providing everything from museums, dining and nightlife to outdoor fun.
Tour the state Capitol building, built in 1906 and inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This is an exceptionally beautiful piece of architecture, with guided tours available, a gift shop and an on-site restaurant. The National Civil War Museum is another must-see, as well as the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum and the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts.
City Island is Harrisburg’s main city park, located downtown. Home to Harrisburg’s minor league baseball and soccer teams, the park contains batting cages, miniature golf, an arcade and access to the nearby river. There is a walking and biking path that loops around the northern part of the island and lots of food and souvenir shops.
Enjoy dinner at Restaurant Row, a three-block stretch of restaurants, pubs and clubs. Those who desire an outdoor adventure can explore one of Pennsylvania’s many parks and trails, including the popular Appalachian Trail, which is just north and west of Harrisburg and follows the Appalachian Mountains from Maine to Georgia.
GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK MUSEUM AND VISITOR CENTER
(65 miles southwest of FTIG)
The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the Civil War’s most important battles, giving victory to the Union and ending Gen. Robert E. Lee’s invasion of the North in 1863. There were more than 50,000 casualties in this bloody battle, and Gettysburg is the site of President Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.”
The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center provides information on the history of the area, tours of the battlefield park by licensed battlefield guides, interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations, a bookstore and snack shop. There is also a resource room with computers for those wishing to do research and find more information on the Soldiers who served. Shuttle buses to nearby Eisenhower National Historic Site are also available at the visitor center.
Visitors should plan to enjoy at least four hours at the park, although there is plenty to do and see for a full day of touring. Special events and programs at the park include ranger programs, held seasonally, as well as seminars, trail hikes and “living history” exhibitions.