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The Top 20 Must See Places in Pennsylvania

Updated on January 1, 2022
Jason Matthews profile image

Jason has a background in business, travel, and athletics. He is happy to share his knowledge with others and loves to continually learn.

A cannon at Gettysburg National Military Park
A cannon at Gettysburg National Military Park | Source

Welcome to Pennsylvania!

Pennsylvania is an incredible state, filled with rich American history and heritage. In this hub, I am sharing twenty of the best places to visit during your trip to PA. Geographically, these sites are all different regions of the state and in both rural and urban areas. Helpful links are provided for all of these family friendly locations. Enjoy your travels in the great state of Pennsylvania!

The Phoenix ride at Knoebels.
The Phoenix ride at Knoebels.
Shop at the world's continually operating farmer's market at the Central Market in Lancaster.
Shop at the world's continually operating farmer's market at the Central Market in Lancaster.
Amish farm land in Lancaster County.
Amish farm land in Lancaster County.

20. Knoebels Amusement Park

Knoebels is the largest free admission amusement park in the country. Although day passes for unlimited rides are available, no one is required to pay upon entry. The park has over 50 rides of which many are geared more for children and families. However, there are several large coasters and some high-thrill rides. One of their rides, Phoenix is rated in the top five of all wooden coasters in the US. Knoebels is located in Elysburg, PA, which is approximately 75 minutes from Harrisburg, 1 hour and 45 minutes from Allentown, and 50 minutes from Williamsport.

19. Lancaster

In an area known as Pennsylvania Dutch Country, visitors to Lancaster can experience Amish life and culture, cross quaint covered bridges, ride a house and buggy, and enjoy uniquely wonderful cooking at local eateries. If you need a place to relax, slow down, and enjoy some quiet time, Lancaster is a perfect place to stay. Lancaster is just 45 minutes east and south of Harrisburg and 1 hour and 30 minutes from Philadelphia.

18. Little League Museum and World Series Site

Each year, the very best Little League teams from around the world come to Williamsport, PA to play in the Little League World Series. The Little League facility in Williamsport also hosts the Little League Museum, Hall of Excellence, and Official Little League Store. The Howard J. Lamade Stadium can seat 40,000 and the size of the field is about 2/3 the size of Major League ball parks. Touring the museum and stadium is a great activity for baseball lovers of all ages!

17. Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom

Dorney Park is one of Allentown's biggest attractions. The park features eight coasters, ten thrill rides, numerous children's and family rides, and a water park with nearly 25 different slides, pools, rivers, and water play areas. The park is operated by Cedar Fair and tickets can be purchased online using the link below:

The capitol dome stands out in the skyline of Harrisburg.
The capitol dome stands out in the skyline of Harrisburg. | Source

16. The Arboretum at Penn State

Enjoy viewing over 700 different species plants in the 35-acre garden known as the Arboretum at Penn State. Admission to the garden is free.

15. State Capitol Building

Built in 1906, the PA Capitol Building is on the U.S. Register of Historic Places. Guided tours of the capitol are available and can be arranged by calling: 1-800-868-7672. There are many other great attractions located near Harrisburg such as the National Civil War Museum, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, and Fort Hunter Mansion.

14. Presque Isle State Park

Didn't think Pennsylvania had beaches? Think again. Presque Isle, a peninsula into Lake Erie, offers visitors a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, boating, swimming, fishing, hunting, and even scuba diving. During the winter the trails are used for cross-country skiing and when ice thickness permits, guests can go ice fishing, ice skating, and ice boating in Presque Bay. Presque Isle is just 20 miles away from, Erie Bluffs State Park, another good place to visit if you're in the area.

13. Steamtown National Historic Site

Steamtown is a railroad museum and working train yard, located in downtown Scranton. Visitors can watch trains use a working roundtable and take excursions on the Moscow, Gouldsboro, or Cresco lines. Steamtown houses over 30 historic locomotives and offers tours to guests in addition to the museum area and theater presentations.

12. Ricketts Glenn State Park

With 26 miles of hiking trails, 22 waterfalls, a 245 acre lake with swimming and boating, 12 miles of horse trails, and 13,050 acres of nature to explore, Ricketts Glenn is premier park in the PA State Park System. During the summer, a 600 foot beach is available to swimmers. In the winter, cross country skiing and ice-fishing are optional activities. Cabins and campsites are available to guests year-round.

Visitors interested in fishing should visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Visitors interested in hunting should visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Al Capone's cell at Eastern State Penitentiary.
Al Capone's cell at Eastern State Penitentiary. | Source

11. The Crayola Experience and Factory

The Crayola Experience is a wonderland for kids and creativity! The "experience" contains four floors with 25 different activities for children of all ages. A Water Works play area, a crayon wrapping station, a "Color Playground", and a drip art workshop are just a few of many different attractions included in the Crayola Experience. The Crayola Experience is located in Easton, PA, which is 1 and 1/2 hours from New York City or Philadelphia and 30 minutes from Allentown.

10. Eastern State Penitentiary

This old prison, turned-museum is a National Historic Landmark. Eastern State was one of the most expensive and elaborate prisons ever built and it housed infamous criminals like Al Capone and Willie Sutton. The prison is known for it's "wagon-wheel" design which was copied by over 300 other prisons around the world. The prison is located in Philadelphia, making it easy to see when visiting the many other historic sites in the area.


9. Hershey Chocolate World

Hershey gives free admittance to their World of Chocolate ride and have a huge store with lot of chocolate (of course) and Hershey’s souvenirs and collectible items. After getting the free tour, guests can pay for other shows, attractions, and activities like the Great Chocolate Factory Mystery in 4D, Create Your Own Candy Bar, the Chocolate Tasting Adventure, and more!

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8. National Museum of American Jewish History

This museum, located in the heart of historic Philadelphia, gives visitors an opportunity to learn about the Jewish heritage and history in the United States. A variety of collections and exhibits are on display and educational programs for grade school students are available.

7. Philadelphia Museum of Art

Wonder through one of the world's largest art museums complete with rotating exhibitions, over 200 galleries, and a sculpture garden.

6. Carnegie Science Center

Explore a real Cold War sub, walk through a replica of the International Space Station, check-out the world's largest permanent robotics exhibit, learn more about magnetic forces and lasers at the Exploration Station, and watch a presentation in the four-story Omnimax theater. These are just a sample of the amazing things you can see and do at the Carnegie Science Center, located in downtown Pittsburgh

5. Hersey Park

Hosting 11 Coasters, 16 waterpark rides, and over 55 family and children’s rides, Hershey Park offers big thrills and fun family rides. Storm Runner, one of the park’s most popular attractions, goes from 0-72 MPH in just 2 seconds.


4. Gettysburg

Gettysburg is site of one largest and most well-known American civil-war battlefield. The flight which took place in this small town could have been won by the North or the South and is widely considered to be the turning point of the war in favor of Union. Visitors could spend days exploring the numerous sites to within this massive National Military Park.

3. Mount Washington and the Duquesne Incline

There are many sites and activities in Pittsburg and a trip up a cable car to Mt. Washington provides viewers a wonderful of the city and all it offers. The best way to reaches Mt. Washington is on the Duquesne Incline. The inverted plane railroad climbs up 400 feet at a 30 degree angle. The line was first opened in 1877 and is listed on the national register of historic places.

A view of the Liberty Bell with Independence Hall in the background.
A view of the Liberty Bell with Independence Hall in the background. | Source

Finding Valley Forge

1400 N Outer Line Dr, King Of Prussia, PA 19406:
1400 N Outer Line Dr, King of Prussia, PA 19406, USA

get directions

2. The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall

See the room where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and get close to America's great icon of freedom and liberty. Here in Historic Philadelphia you can visit Independence Hall, where the Declaration was signed in 1776 and the Constitution assembled in 1787, and the Liberty Bell Center which houses the famous bell and along with historic documents and other exhibits. There are many other great sites and places to visit nearby including the Betsy Ross Home and Franklin Square.

1. Valley Forge

Valley Forge was the winter quarters for George Washington’s American army during the revolutionary war. Visitors of this National Militarily Park have the opportunity to experience a piece of what the harsh winter would have been like for the American troops through audio tours, a museum, films, and reconstructed buildings designed replicate the original cabins built by the soldiers.


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