Church History Driving Tour: Palmyra to Carthage

We decided last minute to do a Church History Tour before Bryson left for his mission.

He wanted to go on a tour with friends and it was going to cost almost $3000.

We said no to that option, as he was already doing some other traveling and that is a lot of money for a youth trip.

When we said no, he suggested he go with Rob and I. He really wanted to go see these historical sites.

It seemed like a good way to actually spend time with him before he left, as when he is home, he is rarely actually home! 😉

So I planned this trip. (You can download my itinerary at the end if you want)

It went pretty great and in the end cost us around $4000, mostly because our plane tickets were bought last minute. They cost us $1824 just to fly out and back. (I just went on and checked and see if we had booked the trip more like a month out and been ok with crazier flight times we could have gotten out and back for more like $400!!! Moral of the story, plan ahead!)

So I think you could easily do it for much less if you planned ahead.

Highlights of the trip!

Niagara Falls

The line to get on the Maid of the Mist was SUPER LONG!!!!  I was not expecting this.  But it was AWESOME and worth it.  You WILL 100% get wet. Even with their ponchos they give you.  Tip: Have shoes on that you are ok getting wet. 


So much to love here. The Sacred Grove was lovely. (Though we did get mosquito bites… tip: wear insect repellant)

The Palmyra Temple was so pretty.

Definitely worth the drive to go to the Whitmer Farm.


I think this was our favorite stop of all.


We saw 4 people serving missions there that we knew!

Bryson saw Sister K. and Elder W. and Rob saw old family friends.

There is so much to do here! We only ended up having 1.5 days. Could probably enjoyed a slower pace of 3 days.


We ended our trip here the last morning and then drove to St. Louis to fly home.

We had 5.5 days of visiting sites and 1.5 days of travel.

While you could pay more and have a personalized tour with a guide. I felt like our individual guides at each site were great.

It was the perfect trip for us and we got to enjoy our time with Bryson. We got home around 9 PM and he headed right out to see friends. So for sure if we had stayed home, we wouldn’t have seen him very much. 😉

All the Details

Here is my spread sheet with the details and at the end I share what I would have done differently with more time.

Feel free to use it as a template for your trip!