Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania
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 House – Philadelphia 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, 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.
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!
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.
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!