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Top Ten Destination Spots in Pennsylvania

Updated on August 12, 2015

Conneaut Lake Park Historic Roller Coaster

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10. Conneaut Lake

Located on the scenic Route 6 is Conneaut Lake and Conneaut Lake Park. Known to be the largest lake in Pennsylvania, Conneaut Lake offers many different recreational activities, such as; fishing, swimming and water skiing.

On the West shore is home to Conneaut Lake Park which is an amusement park that anyone would enjoy. This theme park is a great place for the whole family to have fun. Along with many different rides,

Conneaut Lake Park houses a historic wooden roller coaster which as become a popular attraction.

Founded in 1892, The Conneaut Lake Park is also home to the Dreamland Ballroom. When the park first opened, one of the attractions was this ballroom. Unfortunately, the ballroom was lost in a fire in 1908, but fortunately was later reconstructed.

Close by is a borough in the county with the same name where you will find places to shop, eat and sleep.

Because Conneaut Lake offers a variety of recreational options and beauty, there are also Summer homes built around the lake.

Since there is no horse power limit on the lake, avid boaters are attracted to Conneaut Lake.

There is not a better place to go for a nice picnic and swim on a hot summer day.

Conneaut Lake

Conneaut Lake
Conneaut Lake | Source

Van Gogh's The Factory at Asnieres

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9. The Barnes Foundation

Founded in 1922 by Dr. Albert C. Barnes, The Barnes Foundation is an art institute which displays collections of French impressionist as well as post-impressionist paintings. The Barnes Foundation offers educational art and horticulture exhibits.

There are two locations to choose from, or you can see them both. Merion and Logans Square in Philadelphia are the locations of this unique art center.

The focus of The Barnes Foundation is to educate and appreciate the fine arts and horticulture science. How this is done is by teaching about preservation through presentation, and interpretation of the arts through exhibits, educational programs with indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Because The Barnes Foundations focus is on education, they offer several different types of educational workshops, semester courses as well as courses that are all year long. While attending these courses, students will share ideas and have different debates along with other things involving art.

In 1940, the wife of Albert C. Barnes, Laura Leggett Barnes came up with the idea to educate people about the arboretum and horticulture.

The Barnes Foundation offers courses in the horticulture field as well. When visiting this unique facility you will leave knowing more about the world of art and horticulture. Don't forget to stop by the gift shop.

The Barnes Foundation Arboretum Pond

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The Fort Hunter Mansion

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Is Harrisburg somewhere you would be interested in visiting?

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8. Harrisburg

Harrisburg is the capitol of Pennsylvania and offers many different sites and entertainment to look into. The capitol building is usually on a tourists list of things to see in Pennsylvania.

Teddy Roosevelt said it was the most handsome building he had ever seen. If you are looking for a site that has more of a wilderness feel, you can drop by and see Wildwood Park.

Wildwood Park offers a trail to walk on and a little nature not too far from the city. Harrisburg is abundant with museums such as; The National Civil War Museum, The State Museum of Pennsylvania and The Susquehanna Art Museum.

The National Civil War Museum houses over 4,400 artifacts as well as many archival pieces. You will see items which belonged to many notable people from the Civil War, both from the north and south. A couple of these people include Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln.

The Fort Hunter Mansion and Park is a must see. It served as an old war fort and overlooks the Susquehanna River. While visiting the Fort Hunter Mansion and Park you will have the opportunity to tour the mansion and park with tour guides who are both friendly and knowledgeable.

This is another place where you don't want to leave your camera home. There are many areas that are definitely photo worthy.

Harrisburg Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania | Source

Duquesne Incline

Duquesne Incline from top
Duquesne Incline from top | Source

7. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh should have a top ten list of its own. There are so many things to do! How about the Pittsburgh Zoo and PGG Aquarium? I think I am safe to say that almost everyone loves a zoo and if your have children to bring, it's a plus.

There is also the Andy Warhol Museum which could be pretty interesting. I mean, come on; it is Andy Warhol.

Pittsburgh is full of historical sites with the Fort Pitt Block House being one of them. This historical structure is the oldest authentic standing building in western Pennsylvania.

And then there is the beautiful 1880 St Anthony’s Chapel which is quite the site to see. St. Anthony's Chapel holds the largest number of relics in the world aside from The Vatican.

The Duquesne Incline is definitely my favorite. Imagine century old cable cars crawling up a mountain. Once you get to the top there is a gorgeous overlook of Pittsburgh and the Museum of Pittsburgh History to walk through.

The Duquesne Incline is something you will love and shouldn't miss if you are in the area.

Don’t forget to visit Punxsutawney on February 2nd for Groundhogs Day which isn't too far away.

Pittsburgh

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Valley Forge

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6. Philadelphia

Founded by William Penn in 1682, There are several picks of museums including the Philadelphia Museum of Art for those art lovers out there.

Franklin Square is another place to go and is a popular spot in Philadelphia which was laid out by William Penn himself. It offers mini golf, picnic areas, a classic carousel and more.

Independence Historical Park is abundant with history and houses including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall which is where the Declaration of Independence was adapted.

Valley Forge National Historical Park is a great place to stop in and learn some history on the Revolutionary War. No wars were fought here however; there were still many struggles for the soldiers who eventually surrounded this fort while many were fighting hunger, illness and other tragic situations.

These were George Washington's Soldiers and they stayed here the winter of 1778-1779.

You wont have any trouble finding places to shop in Philadelphia. Chestnut Hill is a great location to shop due to the boutiques, antique shops and retail shops that line the street. Philadelphia also has great places to dine and sleep.

Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell

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Shofuso Waterfall

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5. Shofuso the Japanese House and Garden

Located in Fairmount Park, these beautiful gardens were built in 1953 in Japan and moved to Philadelphia in 1958 next to other Japanese structures which date back to 1876 during the Centennial Exposition.

It was built using traditional techniques with authentic materials.

Shofuso is a historical site which also houses a museum that holds plenty of history on the site.

Some of the gardens located at these 17th century style gardens are; Courtyard Garden, Viewing Garden and Tea Garden. There is also Koi Pond located at this wonderful spot.

The Japanese House and Gardens have been ranked third in the United States out of over three hundred Japanese gardens.

While visiting these gardens you will also see beautiful murals which were donated by Hiroshi Senju, and you will also see a waterfall.

The views of this garden are breathtaking and a must see! Don't forget to bring your camera. This is the perfect spot for photo opportunities.

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden | Source
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4. Gettysburg National Military Park

With 51,000 casualties, The Battle of Gettysburg was a pivotal point in the Civil War, in 1863 and the setting of Abraham Lincoln’s most famous address given on November 19th of that year.

The Gettysburg National Military Park houses most of the battlefield where different types of tours are offered. The Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center is also located here and is a great place to start.

It houses 4300 artifacts from the Civil War and offers interactive exhibits as well as multimedia presentations where you will learn about the Battle of Gettysburg among other things.

The David Wills House is close by and was home to Gettysburg attorney David Wills. It was after the Battle of Gettysburg that this house was centered around the cleanup and was also where Abraham Lincoln finished his final touches to the Gettysburg Address.

The Gettysburg National Military Park offers many trails to explore on as well as a Junior Ranger Program.

Gettysburg National Park and Cemetery

Gettysburg National Military Park
Gettysburg National Military Park | Source
Gettysburg National Cemetery
Gettysburg National Cemetery | Source
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3. Hershey Park

Located in Hershey Pennsylvania, this theme based amusement park is great for the whole family. Opened in 1905, this theme park has more than 60 different rides and attractions. There is also a water park and a zoo that have become popular attractions.

Hershey’s Chocolate World is a visitor center which is full of shopping, eateries and a cocoa themed ride. Hershey Park houses 11 roller coasters and a lot of the areas are Hershey themed.

While at Hershey Park, you will see eateries and shops all over the place which make it easy to grab a bite to eat or to just look around. It is also full of booths which offer different kinds of carnival games and cotton candy!

Not far from Hershey Pennsylvania are Pennsylvania Dutch Country and The Amish Village. Both of these communities are worth a visit and the craftsmanship of the woodwork along with needle point and quilting are built to perfection.

The hospitality that will be given to you will make you feel right at home while visiting the Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch communities.

Storm Runner at Hershey Park

Storm Runner at Hershey park
Storm Runner at Hershey park | Source

Du Pont House

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2. Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens offers conservatories, fountains, both outdoor and indoor gardens and historic houses.The Pierce Du Pont House was built by a Quaker farmer in 1730 and currently is the oldest house in Longwood Gardens.

While visiting this historic house, you will be able to see the conservatory, the library, the foyer, the den, the parlor and great hall, the resting room, the dining room, the flower room, the pantry and old kitchen and the butlers room.

Inside the ballroom you will be able to see the Longwood Organ which was purchased by Pierre Du Pont in 1929. The Pierce Du Pont House is open to the public and open year round and is located in the heart of Kennett Square.

This Quaker community was a big part of the Underground Railroad when the Quaker people helped lodge and transport slaves.

The conservatory at these beautiful gardens houses many exhibits. Some of these exhibits are; The Banana House, Orchid House, Tropical Terrace, Rose House, Fern Passage and bonsai. Longwood Gardens also offers concerts, some in which are free and their fireworks and fountains event which is a must see.

Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens | Source
Italian Water Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens
Italian Water Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens | Source

The Pocono Mountains

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1. Pocono Mountains

Located in Monroe and Pike counties, and some parts of other counties, the Pocono Mountains are absolutely breathtaking.

The Poconos are divided into five different regions; mountain region, Lake Region, Delaware River region, upper Delaware River region and the Lehigh River region. These mountains offer overlooks and views of the gorgeous scenery which include; lakes, waterfalls, foliage, nature and wildlife.

A gorgeous waterfall to see while visiting the Pocono Mountains is Fulmer Falls.

Located in the George W. Childs Recreation Site, Fulmer Falls is one falls of many in the Pocono Mountains. It is 55 feet tall and a great photo opportunity for those who have cameras.

The Poconos are full of many recreations and activities that can accommodate most people. Some of the recreational activities include; fishing, hunting, skiing and hiking.

The Poconos offer resorts to stay at as well. The Pocono Mountains are growing rapidly as a popular vacation spot due to its beauty and different terrain to explore.

Fulmer Falls

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I have added a map to help you get around Pennsylvania

show route and directions
A markerConneaut Lake -
Conneaut Lake, PA 16316, USA
get directions

B markerThe Barnes Foundation -
Barnes Foundation, Saint Joseph's University, 300 North Latchs Lane, Merion Station, PA 19066, USA
get directions

C markerHarrisburg -
Harrisburg, PA, USA
get directions

D markerPittsburgh -
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
get directions

E markerPhiladelphia -
Philadelphia, PA, USA
get directions

F markerShofuso Japanese House and Garden -
Shofuso Japanese House & Garden, Philadelphia, PA 19131, USA
get directions

G markerGettysburg National; Military Park -
Gettysburg National Military Park, 1195 Baltimore Pike #100, Gettysburg, PA 17325, USA
get directions

H markerHershey Park -
Hershey's Chocolate World, 251 Park Boulevard, Hershey, PA 17033, USA
get directions

I markerLongwood Gardens -
Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348, USA
get directions

J markerPocono Mountains -
Pocono Mountains, Herrick, PA 18470, USA
get directions

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    • April Dawn Meyer profile image
      Author

      April Dawn Meyer 2 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      Mts1098, I would love to visit hershey once a year at least :)

    • mts1098 profile image

      mts1098 3 years ago from InsideTheManCave

      excellent summaries on Philadelphia and Hershey - I live near Philly but go to Hershey several times during the year - cheesesteaks and chocolate cannot be a bad thing...cheers

    • April Dawn Meyer profile image
      Author

      April Dawn Meyer 4 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      Emily, You are right there. you should :)

    • emilynemchick profile image

      Emily Nemchick 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Awesome! I need to explore PA more! Lake Erie is also super nice to visit up in Erie.

    • April Dawn Meyer profile image
      Author

      April Dawn Meyer 4 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

      :) Thank you for commenting and voting up. Longwood Gardens is so beautiful. Thanks for reading!...

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      aprildawnmeyer, Pennsylvania seems to be a great place for visiting. Harrisburg looks majestic. Longwood Gardens are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and beautiful.