Riding through Pennsylvania is like riding back through time. Much of it is still farmland and largely unchanged from before the Europeans settled.
Rolling fields of gold, farms chocked full of grazing animals, farm equipment and bountiful harvests.
Pennsylvania is full of history. Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell and Valley Forge all lie within this interesting state.
There’s also the Amish. Quiet and spiritual, yet strong in mind and body, the Amish dominate many parts of the landscape of Pennsylvania. They are a unique group who many could learn lessons from and have in the past.
Pennsylvania is beautiful and unique in its own way and it’s a pleasure to take you on this journey to explore this intriguing state.
Read on for a roundup of some of Pennsylvania’s most beautiful and interesting places.
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This “City of Brotherly Love” is the top city in Pennsylvania as it has plenty of history, which means there is also much to do.
The Revolutionary War put this city in the spotlight way back in the 18th century when the Continental Congress was held here. Even the all important document, the Declaration of Independence, was signed in this city by the forefathers that would spearhead this country becoming its own entity.
When visiting Philadelphia, you can take a historic walking tour or catch the bus on a hop-on-hop-off city tour. Or, you can take your pick from haunted city tours, egway tours and foodie tours. My point is, you will not be lacking tours in this city.
My tip? Visit these historical mammoth sites by day and peruse downtown by night. Start at the Friday Saturday Sunday bar for a drink and great ambiance, then head to Washington Square West for the city’s best foodie scene. Top it off with Karaoke at Yakitori Boy.
If you’re looking to make your stay in Philly unforgettable, be sure to also climb the 72-stone steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for your very own Rocky moment.
Fun, food and a little history thrown in make this stop on your whirlwind tour of this state the best place to be in Pennsylvania.
Independence National Park and the Liberty Bell
Pennsylvania is full of history and these next two landmarks are some of the best historical places to visit in the state.
One of the most sought after historical landmarks in America lies in Philadelphia at Independence Hall. The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution were both signed in this building making Independence Hall the site of the beginning of America as we know it today.
Tour the Hall and see the Liberty Bell and her infamous crack right outside the hall. Incased in glass, it is protected from the elements and will stand for hundreds of years as a sign of freedom for all that grace America’s shores.
There are many rumors as to when and how the bell got cracked. However, a widely believed theory reports that it happened in 1846 during George Washington’s birthday celebration when the bell was rung after a small crack was thought to have been repaired. So, the rest as they say…”is history”.
The “Steel City” is next on our list of places to see in Pennsylvania. Also home to Heinz Ketchup, the first Ferris wheel and the polio vaccine, Pittsburgh is a place of innovation and interesting finds.
Other interesting things that Pittsburgh is known for are its multitude of tunnels and bridges. Pittsburgh’s diverse topography in the Appalachian mountains makes it necessary for traffic to flow through tunnels that go beneath the city. Three rivers converge near the city and meet at Point State Park. Therefore, there are 446 bridges in the city of Pittsburgh, more than any other city in the entire world.
Pittsburgh is a beautiful city and has many intriguing sights to see, so put it on your itinerary when touring Pennsylvania.
Gettysburg National Military Park
Reading about the Battle of Gettysburg in school, I never imagined I would be able to visit it, being from a backwoods town in Georgia. But my travels brought my family and I to this historical park and it was a dream come true for this history buff!
Gettysburg is an interesting place, but also a place of sadness and reverence. It is mind blowing to me that in a three day span, over 50,000 souls were lost in this epic battle between the states. When you walk around the over 1,300 monuments and memorials you get a sense of the passion each side had for what they believed in, even to the death.
Come and explore this poignant national park and find out why it should be on your list of things to see in America before you die.
I’ve never been to a more aromatic or tastier place in my life! At Hershey Park you can experience the best of the confectionary world by exploring all things CHOCOLATE!! You can also go to their amazing amusement park while you’re at it.
Come see 110 acres that contain 76 rides and even a zoo called ZooAmerica. When you’re finished getting your thrill, tour Hershey’s Chocolate World to see how this yummy chocolate confection is made. Walk away with a free chocolate bar and memories made, because this is definitely the yummiest place in Pennsylvania.
Visiting the “Niagara of Pennsylvania” has got to be a thrill, especially when there are not one but eight waterfalls to explore. Set in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, Bushkill Falls is a gorgeous getaway anytime of year, but especially in Fall.
Follow the green, yellow, blue or red trails that have varying length and difficulties.
The Red Trail is the most popular with only two miles to travel and all eight waterfalls to enjoy. Bushkill Falls is a gorgeous place in fall with every color represented. Bring your good camera and a picnic lunch and make a day of it.
Fallingwater is one of the most famous houses in the world and is listed as Smithsonian Magazine’s “Life List of 28 Places to See Before You Die”. With an endorsement like this, you must put it on your list.
The 20th century architect Frank Lloyd Wright, designed this home for the Kaufmann’s of Kaufmann’s Department Store in 1935. It was a structural and aesthetic marvel for its time and still captivates lovers of architecture and nature all over the world. What makes this home a one of a kind is the fact that the house was built over a waterfall, enabling it to become one with its natural environment.
When you come here to see one of the most unique places in Pennsylvania, you will have a choice of many tours that vary from a sunset tour to a brunch tour to a family field trip. Pick one and make a day immersing yourself in a building and property that are one with nature.
Pennsylvania is home to over fifty Amish communities, totaling around 70,000 people. The Pennsylvania Dutch bring a history and culture that is unmatched anywhere else in the world.
Strasburg is one of the best examples of the Amish life. Here, you can get to know their way of life and enjoy the simple things that make their lifestyle so appealing.
If you travel the rolling hills and the back roads of Strasburg, you’ll find real working farms that have operated very much the same since the late 17th century.
For instance, you can tour a mini horse farm or see how a true craftsman makes a simple yet intricate toy, shop through handmade wares and even taste the most amazing flavors from an Amish kitchen. Of course, most importantly, you can’t leave without a horse drawn carriage ride down a country road.!
There is so much goodness in Amish country, you just have to see for yourself with a visit to Strasburg, Pennsylvania.
Valley Forge National Historic Park
During the winter of 1777-1778, Valley Forge served as an encampment for the brave men that fought the bloody battles of the Revolutionary War.
George Washington’s Continental army spent the winter here and it is one of the most visited historical war sites in America. It is revered as a place where fortitude and stamina were acquired to win the war, in which America was to become its own entity, therefore gaining its independence from England.
At the site, now state park, men built over 1,500 huts to shelter them from the cold and snow of winter, when the war came to all but a halt. The British occupied Philadelphia and would not battle again until Spring.
Come to this 3,500 acre national park and hike the more than 30 miles of trails, picnic in the fields and tour the encampment while learning about its history. There is no better way to learn about history than to walk the hallowed grounds where it all happened. So, come visit one of Pennsylvania’s most celebrated historical parks.
Eastern State Penitentiary
Scarface, Slick Willie Sutton and other famous criminals once called the Eastern State Penitentiary their home as did more than 75,000 other gangsters, murderers and thieves over its 142 years.
However, today it sits as one of Pennsylvania’s most visited sights.
At the time it was built in 1829, it was the largest prison in the world. Through a revolutionary way of thinking, where the prisoner should penitent through confinement and work, reformers hoped to help inmate know the evil of their ways and become an upstanding citizen.
The penitentiary itself is grand and attracts thousands of visitors from around Pennsylvania and beyond, even today. Clearly, people are intrigued by the most expensive and revolutionary prison of its time!
So, take a tour and find out what millions have been so curious about over the centuries at Eastern State Penitentiary.
Lake Erie gives Pennsylvanians the chance to visit a lake that is reminiscent of the ocean. Vast and expansive, this lake gives ample opportunities for recreation and fun.
Spend a day at one of the eleven beaches on Lake Erie’s shores and watch as the sunsets over the water. Then, stroll around Erie, the only port city in Pennsylvania to check out handcrafted items in Downtown, go wine tasting on the bay front, then pick from an array of great restaurants and cafes to dine at to top off the night.
The next day you, do it all over again and enjoy another day of fun in the sun at one of Pennsylvania’s best places to spend a summer day.
Did we miss anything you would like to see in Pennsylvania? We’d love to hear from you!
Leave what you’d like to see in the comments!