There are so many amazing and beautiful sites to see in Palmyra. Much of the information can be found directly on LDS.org, but if you’re wondering if this should be part of your stop when visiting the East Coast–our answer is 100% yes! We are still in awe. Our young kids– ages 10, 7, and 5 at the time of our trip–were little sponges (and not just because of the rain!), they absorbed so many little details about the humble circumstances surrounding Joseph Smith and his family. We pulled into our hotel late at night and began our day of touring bright and early the following morning.
We had four stops in Palmyra:
- The Smith Family Farm (including The Sacred Grove and homes surrounding it)
- The Grandin Print Shop (Publication Site of the Book of Mormon)
- The Palmyra LDS Temple
- The Hill Cumorah
We also toured the Peter Whitmer Farm just outside of Palmyra. All sites are free to tour, all are family-friendly. Hours vary, so be sure to plan accordingly. We LOVED going in early October, as you can see the leaves were gorgeous!
Our first stop was the Smith Farm Welcome Center, where some darling missionaries (members of our church who volunteer their time to serve others) took us on a tour of the two homes and property nearby. We walked through the Log Home first. Find hours here.
Pictured above left, the dining room/living room/kitchen in the log home. Pictured above right, our children looking out through the Smith family log home’s back door at the Sacred Grove.
The Sacred Grove was beautiful and peaceful. After touring their humble–perhaps crowded–log home, it was easy to see why Joseph chose the Sacred Grove as a place to ponder and pray vocally for the first time. For more information about the Sacred Grove, visit the official site here.
Pictured above, view of the Palmyra Temple, peaking through the trees (look closely!) near the Sacred Grove.
We also toured the Smith Frame Home, a short walk from the Log Home. This was a slightly larger, and more modern home (pictured above)–but still humble. Our kids loved seeing the many different places where Joseph and his family hid the Golden Plates from the angry mob (pictured bottom left).
We spent about three hours touring the Smith Family Farm, although you could spend more or less time depending on your schedule. There are restrooms throughout, we would suggest to make sure to use them before walking through The Sacred Grove–especially with young kids 🙂
Not far from the Smith Family Farm is the Palmyra Temple. We enjoyed walking around the beautiful Temple grounds. (To see a list of all six Temples we visited on our trip, visit here.)
We had so much fun touring the Grandin Print Shop as well. Another pair of darling missionaries gave us and another family a tour of the building where the Book of Mormon was first published. Find hours here.
This cheery space is where the free tour starts. We also learned about E.B. Grandin and the process to print a book back then–what a miracle it all was. It was a very engaging (and hands-on at times) tour! For more information on why the Book of Mormon is so special to us, visit here.
We spent a little under two hours on this tour, but again–you could spend more or less depending on your schedule. The charming antique shops nearby were also fun to visit (think Milk Glass!).
While this isn’t technically in Palmyra, we were SO glad we drove the 40 minutes to tour the Peter Whitmer Farm, where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was officially organized on April 6, 1830.
While there we had the chance to view a short film (about 5 minutes) in the visitor’s center called The Grove. Take time to watch it! This is the only place you can see it, as it’s not available online. What an inspiring visit! We spent just under an hour here.
The Hill Cumorah took our breath away with its beauty! When we arrived it was pouring rain, so we watched a new segment from ‘Meet the Mormons‘ in the Visitor’s Center, talked with the missionaries and learned more about what took place in this sacred spot. Find more on the hours and location here. During the summer there is also a free pageant here (oh how we want to come back in the summer for this!). Find more information on that here. We spent about two hours here, but again you can spend more or less depending on your time frame. It is also a short, steep walk to the top. However, you can also drive up a bit closer if needed.
Our visit to Palmyra was near the very end of our our two week East Coast trip- more on that here. We were walking up to the statue at the top of the hill and the wind was blowing. We looked up and saw this- the American Flag and the statue of Angel Moroni- and just thought how fitting this picture was- FREEDOM and FAITH- everything we hold near and dear culminating right here. It was a perfect way to wrap up our trip.
Oh- one last thing: Lunch! Some of the locals suggested we try Yellow Mills Diner for lunch and it was so yummy. The service was great and we love eating local in a family-friendly environment.
We also visited the Prophet Joseph Smith’s birthplace in Sharon, Vermont. Read more about our time there here.