Best Places To Visit In Pennsylvania

Philadelphia PA
Philadelphia PA

Pennsylvania, the 33rd largest state of the Unites States, also known as Keystone State and Quaker State, has plenty of things to offer its visitors. Major cities are cultural and diverse, national parks are suitable for many recreational activities from hunting to hiking to skiing, amusement parks are great for family weekends, and cozy resorts are perfect for romantic getaways. And even though it is difficult to put Pennsylvania on must-visit in America list, there are some places and cities here that are really worth a trip.

Philadelphia (or Philly, that’s how many of us call this city tenderly) is not only largest city in Pennsylvania, but also probably the most interesting city to visit. The history of the city goes back to 1682, therefore Philadelphia has many historical sites, buildings and monuments. From Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 proclaiming American independence, to Penn's Landing, named after the influential and charismatic governor William Penn, America’s first capital city has much to teach visitors about the early years of America. At the same time, Philadelphia is a bustling city with modern attractions and entertainment. The city offers great diversity in accommodations, restaurants and nightclubs. From luxurious The Rittenhouse Hotel to cozy Alexander Inn to elegant Thomas Bond HousePhiladelphia hotels can easily satisfy the most sophisticated traveler. And the most demanding epicures also wouldn’t be hungry here – some Philadelphia restaurants such as Le Bec-Fin, the Fountain, Barclay Prime, and Morimoto are among America’s best and most famous.

The Barnes Foundation, in Merion just outside of Philadelphia, is a unique and one of the world's largest collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, with extensive holdings by Picasso, Matisse, Cézanne, Renoir and Modigliani. For art lovers, the Barnes Foundation is a must visit place in Pennsylvania and among must see museums in the USA. The 12-acre arboretum, which surrounds the Foundation’s Art Gallery, is a great place for relaxation and to be surrounded by tranquility and beauty of flower gardens and exotic trees.

Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania
Longwood Gardens Christmas Lights, Pennsylvania
Longwood Gardens Christmas Lights, Pennsylvania

Longwood Gardens, located about 30 miles from Philadelphia, one of the premier botanical gardens in the United States, consists of 1,050 acres (4.2 km²) of gardens, woodlands, and meadows. With 20 outdoor and 20 indoor gardens it hosts 800 horticultural and performing arts events each year, from flower shows and gardening demonstrations to concerts, organ and carillon recitals, fountain shows, and fireworks displays. Longwood Gardens are open all year round, and it is a great place to visit at any time of the year, even during Christmas holiday season. 500,000 outdoor lights and holiday magic await visitors during Longwood's Christmas display, as well as dazzling trees, seasonal concerts and ice skating shows.

Battlefield in Gettysburg PA
Battlefield in Gettysburg PA

Gettysburg is a popular place to visit in Pennsylvania, particularly among American history buffs. It is here where one of the most important battles of the US Civil War took place and 51,000 men gave their lives for what they thought was a cause worth dying for. For those who want to go back in time and learn more about the US Civil War, to tour battlefields and visit numerous Gettysburg museums could be very entertaining and informative. For those who want to spike their blood with adrenaline, to stay in one of haunted hotels in Gettysburg or take a ghost tour through the streets of historic Gettysburg could be very exciting. Supposedly, Gettysburg is one of the most haunted places in America!

Most Haunted Live: Gettysburg PA

Poconos PA
Poconos PA
Skiing in Poconos, PA
Skiing in Poconos, PA

The Pocono Mountains cover a hefty 2,400-square-mile expanse of the northeastern portion of Pennsylvania and offer its adventurous visitors about 170 miles of racing rivers, 18 scenic waterfalls and 500 lakes with Lake Wallenpaupack the most impressive one. The Pocono Mountains is a popular destination even among avid skiers and hikers. And Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, a water part of the region, is an absolute paradise for aqua-lovers. So, if you are looking for an adventurous vacation in Pennsylvania – The Pocono Mountains is a perfect place to go!

Hershey is not only the sweetest place in Pennsylvania, but probably the sweetest place on earth. The town was built by Milton S. Hershey as a lovely place to live, work and play for the employees of his chocolate factory. And today, it is a great family resort destination with deluxe accommodations, chocolate-themed spas, amusement park, chocolate tour rides and chocolate tasting adventures, great golf courses and even the zoo. Hershey is a perfect entertainment place to visit in Pennsylvania for families and guests of all ages.

The Golden Triangle, Downtown Pittsburgh PA
The Golden Triangle, Downtown Pittsburgh PA

Pittsburgh, the second largest city in Pennsylvania, is consistently ranked among the nation’s most livable cities. For visitors Pittsburgh offers great outdoor activities on its rivers and parks, unique shopping downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods, and excellent dining in some of the state's most interesting locales. Take one of the city’s two 19th century cable cars to Mt. Washington for the best views of Pittsburgh, or just stroll unique Pittsburgh neighborhoods for breathtaking views of rivers and architectural masterpieces of the city.

Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania’s largest natural lake, is a fantastic place for fishing, swimming, water skiing or simply relaxing by the water. Conneaut Lake Resort Area, established as a mecca for hunters and fishermen in the 1880’s, is nestled on Pennsylvania’s scenic RT. 6, just in about two hours from Pittsburgh. Whether you're looking for peaceful waterfront serenity, or the thrill and nostalgia of a ride on classic wooden roller coaster at Conneaut Lake Park – Conneaut Lake is a great place for a vacation in Pennsylvania or just for a weekend getaway from the city.

Have a great time in a state of Pennsylvania and please share with us your Pennsylvania travel experiences!

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Comments 58 comments

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

Very nice Hub about Pennsylvania. I have to confess that my travels in the Keystone state were always primarily centered around the Scranton area (because my inlaws lived there). It was, by no means, a "vacation spot" - but today it does enjoy the "glory" of being where the tv show, "The Office", takes place.

Still, in spite of Scranton's not having a particularly lustrous reputation at the time (to say the least), I found it kind of nice to be able to see mountains all around, even when doing something as mundane as going to the shopping center or sitting on "Grandma's" and "Grandpa's" balcony. I know my "sentimental attachment" to Scranton is mostly because I associate it with my kids' late grandparents - but I couldn't resist giving it a plug here. :)


Wanderlust profile image

Wanderlust 7 years ago from New York City Author

Lisa thank you for sharing. I guess we all have sentimental attachements to particular places. My favorite in Pennsylvania is Philly, I spent a lot good times there for work and pleasure and still love to go there once in a while for weekend. There were some art exibitions which were showed in Philadelphia and never been showed in New York. And The Barnes collection is my favorite place in Philadelphia suburbs.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Very interesting hub with beautiful photos. Longwood Gardens looks absolutely gorgeous! Would love to stroll through there someday.


ChrisSnil profile image

ChrisSnil 7 years ago from United Kingdom

I can remember driving with a friend through Hershey during my last visit to the US, the Kiss-shaped streetlights were a wonderful touch, and the 4th of July fireworks were amazing :)

I'll be heading back to Pittsburgh in June for another visit and I'm looking forward to exploring more of the city :)


paul kenyon profile image

paul kenyon 7 years ago from Olean, New York

Last summer was my first visit to Gettysburg and it was fantastic. We'll be making a return trip this summer and spend a week doing extensive investigations. After all, Gettysburg is America's most haunted town!

Great hub!


AshleyVictoria profile image

AshleyVictoria 7 years ago from Los Angeles

Great stuff. I'm a Philly girl and it's always so nice to see my city getting some hub love.

And I highly suggest everyone go to Hershey park and get Hershey park happy. The chocolate does indeed taste better when you buy it straight from the factory!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

thanks for information about this place. I'll visit this city someday. looking for travel tips, don't hesitate to visit:

http://travelling-solutions.blogspot.com


Sam MacConnell profile image

Sam MacConnell 7 years ago from Lancaster/San Luis Obispo

This is a great hub! I am actually going to Pennsylvania for the first time this June and this opened my eyes to different places I could visit. Thanks!


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E. A. Wright profile image

E. A. Wright 7 years ago from New York City

I've really enjoyed visiting Longwood Gardens. Good recommendation.


mb 7 years ago

I would like to visit Pennsylvania, but don't know where to go. I would rather be outside than inside ( have a favorite state park or campground) or favorite hiking trail, or anything off the beaten path? What did you do in Gettysburg that was interesting? Same about Philadelphia. I wish Rick Steves would write a book about Pennsylvania though the back door. M


Wanderlust profile image

Wanderlust 7 years ago from New York City Author

well, mb, for you if you like hiking trails or state parks, I specifically mentioned Poconos with plenty of hiking trails and Conneaut Lake, which is totally off the beaten path. And before Rick Steves write a book about Pennsylvania through the back door (where I am sure he will mention the same places) I suggest you will give these places a try!


Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 7 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

Having lived in PA for most of my life, I'd say the Poconos Mountains are a good pick... I've been to 4 of these places and the rest don't appeal to me at all.


Sam 7 years ago

i'd say there are plenty of great places to visit in pa infact i can list about 10 of them right off the top of my head that deliver beautiful views and scenery. 1. bushkill falls-located in the great pocono mtns region for only $10 you can walk thro the trails that bring you past 8 georgeous waterfalls including the 100' bushkill falls. 2. now at the other end of pa there is a beautiful place that is known as a great lake, lake erie along with presque isle that offers beautiful lighthouses that you can tour and an intense feeling to be swimming in a lake that makes you think your in an ocean! the waves are huge and you don't get that nasty salt water taste. 3. would definitely have to be the PA grand canyon, this is what really brings people to pa you just have to know where to look. it is located about 10 miles west of wellsburo, pa it offers a cliff of 800ft down to pine creek bellow and be sure to take the turkey path down to the bottom in the east state park called Leanard-harrison state park along the way you'll see awesome waterfalls and a really cool walking path! just like you might see at bushkill falls. i personally would climb back up on the side of the mtn just because you can say you climbed and 800ft cliff. haha. but thats just me. so anyway 4. im going to say about 30 mins west of the grand canyon is a place called cherry springs state park. this place is very well known for what happens after the sun goes down..just look up. you'll see about 50 million stars in the sky and this is because your standing at the darkest place in the eastern U.S. this also offers a view of the milky way galaxy which is seen perfectly from here. 5. Now you'll want to head south to a place i like called harrisburg, pa. this city is the capital of Pennsylvania and is also the only place you'll find the susquehanna river water gaps through the appalachian mtns. this is quite extraordinary to see such a huge river running straight through mtn ranges and while your here make sure you take a hike on the famous appalachian trail that you can find at the clarks-ferry bridge as the easiest access point where you can climb up the mtns that lie on either side of the river this brings me to 6. if you follow the trail to the top of the mtn on the west side of the bridge you will find yourself at hawk rock with a vista to see as far at 72 miles looking north. 7. Hawk mtn (different from hawk rock) is located in hamburg, Pa. here you can find a variety of different species of birds where many people go just to look at them. it costs somewhere between $5 and $10 to walk the trails but there's enough to take up a hole days hiking trip. make sure you explore the north outlook and in the far distance you can see giant wind turbines that look incredible from this view after so journey to the bottom of the valley and you'll find yourself standing on a river of rocks. you'll notice a big building when you first get off the highway on the way to hawk moutain and that building is called 8. Cabela's- this place is very unique in that is contains a mtn of mounted animals ranging from polars bears to elephants. something you can surely bring the kids too and if they don't like that just go to the aquarium that lies inside the building also. 9. i have yet to be here but ive heard many good things about the allegheny state park about an hour and half east of lake erie and could be one of the most scenic parks in all of PA. while your there be sure to check out some of the high points and views such as jakes rocks that overlook the huge allegheny reservoir. 10. the best for last- is in my mind the Deleware national water gap located near the pocono mtns and where you can find bushkill falls. this scenic area contains dozens and dozens of beautiful waterfall ranging from 30' up to probably 200' the lakes in this region of pa are some of the greatest and prettiest lakes the state has to offer. if you are not impressed by these landforms arcoss the keystone state, then i don't know what to tell you, but you must be crazy. haha. so enjoy and i think this little writing is going to inspire me to write a book on the places to travel in pa. so look for it someday. ha. good luck and good day.


buckeye 7 years ago

I just went to Pittsburgh for the first time. We took a day and went to Mill Run to see the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater home. It was incredible. There are hiking trails/state park nearby. We went to the Pittsburgh zoo as well. It is small, but the exhibits show the animals up close. The most interesting animal was the mandrill!


juneaukid profile image

juneaukid 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

I liked this article very much and sort of miss my birth state as I've been out west since 1965. But your article stirred up fond memories.


yanin 6 years ago

so is PA a good place to visit the last week of december??


Wanderlust profile image

Wanderlust 6 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks everybody for comments! Special thanks to Sam for very detail comment about wilderness of Pennsylvania!

To yanin - Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, like any other big city are very beautiful under Christmas decorations. Poconos is a great place for skiing, and the last week of December is a good time for that. And Longwood Gardens with 500,000 outdoor lights and ice skating shows is a perfect place to visit during Christmas holiday season.


melbel profile image

melbel 6 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

Beautiful hub! I will have to check out some of these places when I'm passing through Pennsylvania next!


goddlookinglady 6 years ago

i think pennsylvania is a good state i love visting many famous place in pa. i love pennsylvania


Chad 6 years ago

Sinnemahoning state park is a nice visit as well. Bald Eagles and Elk roaming along the river with some great fishing.

The route through the area is rated as one of the top scenic places in the U.S.

We also visit Gettysburg each year and it is wonderful place especially if you have an interest in history, there are also alot of ghost stories and tours as well as sweet dining and shopping.

We stayed in a little cabin there by the park and it was a lot of fun.


raguett profile image

raguett 6 years ago

WOW what a great hub.. Lots to see, lots i never knew about thanks for the great info can't wai to plan my vacation I know where I'm going...see my link http://hubpages.com/travel/Northern-California-an-...


CaronCC 6 years ago

My family spent a memorable Christmas in PA a few years ago. We visited Koziars Christmas Village near Reading. Hershey Park, got snowed in at the Steamboat Inn in Strassburg. Visited Longwood Gardens and The Brandywine Museum.


Frank S 6 years ago

I like to visit york ,PA for it's factory tours


Beck 6 years ago

Great info on PA. I would say visitors to my home state most definitely need to check out Presque Isle/Erie, PA and Cook Forest and Allegheny Nat. Forest. These are beautiful areas great for vacationing.


country chick11 6 years ago

pennsylvania is so cool


Patrick 6 years ago

I grew up outside of Pittsburgh in a small suburb named Mt.Lebanon, While growing up i had a hard time appreciating the surroundings, but having left for many years to places out west, like Colorado, California, Utah, and Montana. All of which are very beautiful places that I loved. But having come back to Western PA, and the great city of Pittsburgh, i have come to fall in love with the region. I feel like this blog is focusing primarily on Philadelphia and eastern PA. Western PA is the true, of the beaten path, place to visit. Landmarks such as F.L.W's falling water, and kentuck knob, to historic forts and battlefields. If you like to hike there are several state, and national parks and forests to enjoy, with ample fishing, hiking and skiing. PA's most famous and the Mid-Atlantics best ski resort, Seven Spring's, which lies in the south west corner of the Appalachian Mountains. Ohiopyle is a great place to find breath taking scenery, with lush tree covered mountains and a raging river that us locals dub the yough,(yock). I'm an avid hiker/fisherman and my favorite local spot to fish, hike, and camp is Raccoon Creek State Park...it's a relatively small state park in Beaver County. But with a medium sized 101 acre lake, and an ample amount of wildlife, from bears to beavers, and a large diversity of birds from blue hering to bald eagles its an excellent place to visit. If you like rock climbing or bouldering. McConnells Mill State Park offers challenging features for all ages. I feel as if im just rambling on about my home, but don't forget that Pittsburgh, and its surroundings are also an excellent place to visit. AND if you come in the fall or winter you may be lucky enough to enjoy the Steelers crush an opponent. Or the Penguins rush to another Stanley Cup victory, or in the summer watch the Pirates get utterly destroyed by almost any team in the MLB...but they have the nicest ball park in the nation with incredible city views and prices that match any families budget. I hope that this info helps an interested individual.


gesuenderleben profile image

gesuenderleben 6 years ago

What nice city, Pennsylvania! *homesick* :-(


naomi 6 years ago

i think the best place to go on summer vacation is Pennsylvania great wolf lodge Poconos mountain because they have everything you want in a vacation they have an indoor water park a huge indoor water park with like a million slides and pools and outside there is just a slide and a big pool and they have good places to eat and in the morning and night they even have a little show and their is even an arcade and the rooms are big also they have a spa for grownups and kids the kids one get ice while getting the best spa treatment ever to find out more about great wolf lodge Poconos mountain PA is by going on www.great wolf lodge.com and it will show you everything so make sure you check it out because i might even be going this year again it was that fun that i want to go again


Mike 6 years ago

Pennsylvania is the 6th Largest state in U.S by population. This article stated it is the 33rd largest state in US? Is that by geographical size? (Other top 5 most populated states: CA, TX, NY, FL and IL.)


Wanderlust profile image

Wanderlust 6 years ago from New York City Author

Mike, Pennsylvania is 46,055.24 sq mi, which makes it 33rd largest state in the United States.

Thanks everybody for great comments and suggestions.


Mike 6 years ago

OK....That threw me. Never really heard anybody point out PA was the 33rd largest state in geographical size before. I live in Pennsylvania and that's a fact that is news to me. Thanks.


scarletquill99 profile image

scarletquill99 5 years ago from Australia

Awesome Hub! So many ideas! Thanks!


aaaawaa 5 years ago

trolololololololo great places


ixpil 5 years ago

im traveling with my family to wheeling and Pittsburgh and seven springs is there any town thath i have to visit???? we are from mexico and i woukd like to know some little historic towns araund


mara 5 years ago

Lancaster is another great city in PA, it's also called the Amish Country. Lots of things to do and see, and the best restaurant to eat at is Shady Maple Smorgasbord. It also has the very best christian theater "Sight and Sound", which is 5 minutes away from the "Strasburg Railroad" and "Corn Maze." Must visit!


pradeep 5 years ago

LANCASTR PENNSYLVANIA MOST BEAUTIFULL SMALL TOWEN IN EAST AMERICA GOD BLESS AMERICA.


more more 5 years ago

add bigger pictures.great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Matt_Anselmi profile image

Matt_Anselmi 5 years ago from Gaithersburg, MD

What a great article! As a former resident of Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh I really enjoyed your words and photos.


Jessiekluck86 profile image

Jessiekluck86 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Loved this beautiful article about my beautiful home state! I am from Historic Bucks County....lots of revolutionary war haunts, green hillsides, artist colonies and great cuisine!


Gabrielle 4 years ago

Love This SITE!!!!!!!


4 years ago

i would love to go to longwood gardens and poconos


pAMELA 4 years ago

keWL") THANK YOU FOR ALL THE HELPFUL INFORMATION


Courtney 4 years ago

I recommend State College, PA. The scenery and landscape is beautiful, and there is plenty to do with Penn State right around the corner. Great lodging and restaurants, too. Here's one of the most relaxing hotels in town...

http://www.lioncountrylodging.com/carnegiehouse/ch...


roj 4 years ago

i thank you for information about PA ,i hope visit!!!!


lilly 4 years ago

I was looking for a place to visit in pennsylvania and i thought at first was a boring place but once you look around you will find that it is very interesting in some places and i whould for sure go there agin


Kim Miller 4 years ago

I need some helpful information from somebody


mikalea 4 years ago

i love it


jakob 4 years ago

it is the most wonder pics ever


poop 4 years ago

cool


3 years ago

If you're interested in hiking and the outdoors, I suggest Rickett's Glenn State Park, Hickory Run State Park, and World's End State Park. Rickett's Glenn has beautiful waterfalls, Hickory Run has a large boulder field, and World's End has a wonderful swimming spot.


Noam 3 years ago

How come there's no new stuff?


Jason 3 years ago

Usuck


dfghjun 3 years ago

go to Pittsburgh!!!


crappy ****** 3 years ago

jason **** u


creativeaqua profile image

creativeaqua 3 years ago from India

Never knew about Pennsylvania. Seems interesting.


kjs 3 years ago

fun in here


mts1098 profile image

mts1098 2 years ago from InsideTheManCave

I liked this so much, I pinned it - Philly, Poconos and Hershey are some of the best places I have visited - cheers

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