Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is known as a touchstone state for its role in founding the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address are written here. Visitors will find numerous historic landmarks and attractions, from Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell to Valley Forge to the Gettysburg Battlefield. It is also known as the Quaker State because of the state’s namesake, religion William Penn.
Pennsylvania Dutch Country is home to a uniquely Amish culture, and their dedication to simplicity and tradition continues to attract travelers seeking a peaceful weekend getaway. While Pittsburgh is known for its industrial roots and Carnegie family heritage, the capital city of Harrisburg is loved for its small-town vibe and historic architecture.
Other Pennsylvania attractions have gained notoriety for less serious reasons, such as Hershey, known for its chocolate makers, and Punxsutawney, known for its weather-predicting groundhogs. Historic Philadelphia has something for everyone, from the city’s attractions to its many parks and open countryside.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania:
1. Gettysburg National Military Park
Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg is home to the Gettysburg Battlefield, a Civil War that resulted in 51,000 casualties in three days in 1863. Hundreds of signs and monuments now adorn the park. The main highlights are Seminary Ridge, the main Confederate location west of Gettysburg during the second and third days of the war; Cemetery Ridge, where the last two days of the battle were held for the United Line of Defense; and the inaugural Oak Ridge Civil War Day. battleground.
The park museum and visitor center have a variety of exhibits, including the Rosensteel Collection, one of the largest collections of American Civil War uniforms, weapons, and personal items. The park also hosts living history shows and reenactments and has extensive equestrian trails.
Address: 1195 Baltimore Pike (Route 97), Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
2. Presque Isle State Park
One of Pennsylvania’s top parks, Presque Isle State Park is located on a peninsula that curves into Lake Erie and forms Presque Isle Bay, a major shipping and transportation hub. Open every day of the year, the park offers a wealth of activities, including 11 miles of beaches and several hiking trails.
Besides swimmers and sunbathers, many tourists come here to collect the colored “sea” glass that washes up on the shore. Kite flies also love the open space and lake breeze, with Sunset Point being a favorite. The park also hosts seasonal events and summer concerts that are free to the public.
At the park’s entrance, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center offers exhibits about local history and ecosystems. The center also facilitates activities and has a 75-metre observation tower from which you can admire the surrounding parks and lakes. There is also a great view of the lake from the top of the Presque Isle Lighthouse, which can be visited on a guided tour, as well as the lesser-known lighthouse on the North Pier.
Official website: www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/PresqueIsleStatePark/Pages/default.aspx
3. Independence National Park and the Liberty Bell
One of the oldest areas in the United States and home to the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park is a national treasure. Independence Hall is the park’s central attraction and is famous for being where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution was drafted. The Liberty Bell is displayed across from Independence Hall, surrounded by a series of exhibits that tell its history.
Built in 1948, Independence Mall stretches north to form the rest of the park, paved with old cobblestone streets. Here, you’ll find historic buildings like the Capitol and Old Town Hall, as well as museums like the Ben Franklin Museum and the National Museum of American Jewish History.
Address: 143 S. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Official website: www.nps.gov/inde/index.htm
4. Hershey Park
Families will take a stroll through the famous amusement park in Hershey, a town also closely associated with chocolate. Hershey Park is the city’s main attraction, with 90 acres of promenade for kids and adults alike, with everything from roller coasters to water shows.
Originally built in 1906 as a recreation area for Hershey’s employees, the park has been expanded over the years to attract visitors from all over. Hershey Park is constantly expanding, offering a variety of activities for all ages. In addition to the kids’ rides in the park, there are all family favorites like the carousel, trains, bumper cars, and a Ferris wheel. There are also several water rides and more than a dozen roller coasters designed to be exciting for hot summer days.
Other attractions include mid-range games and two large video arcades. ZooAmerica is adjacent to the park and is included with admission. Here, visitors can see more than 200 animals from their North American habitat, including bald eagles, mountain lions, and even road runners. Zoo guests can also sign up for special behind-the-scenes tours to get a close look and help feed the animals. Entry is lower for those who want to skip the big park and just visit the zoo.
Address: 100 Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Official website: www.hersheypark.com
One of the most famous buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater is known for its organic architecture while harmonizing and contrasting with the surrounding natural world. In addition to the magnificent architecture, the collection of the Kauffman family, the former residents of the house, stands out. Located 70 miles southeast of the city, Fallingwater is a popular day trip from Pittsburgh.
Sculptures, large and small, ranging from Mexican folk art to the works of famous Cubist sculptors, adorn the hotel’s interior and exterior. Some of the most impressive artifacts include a cast-iron Buddha head (circa 906-1127), an Austrian Bohemian Virgin Mary made in 1420, and an 8th-century statue of Parvati, the Hindu fertility goddess.
The house is equipped with an eclectic collection from folk crafts to designer chairs. There is also an impressive international art collection, including works by Picasso and Diego Rivera. The interior of the house can be seen on a guided tour, and there is a cafe and gift shop on site.
Address: 1491 Millen Road, Millen, Pennsylvania
Official website: www.fallingwater.org
6. Reading Terminal Market
Reading Pier Market was named a National Historic Landmark in 1995 and has been a Philadelphia institution since it opened in 1893. Before Reading Rail built the new station and the market area below, farmers and fishermen were selling their wares outdoors at the market close to the railway junction. Today, it is frequented by locals and tourists alike, and still provides fresh local produce to Philadelphia’s homes and restaurants.
Nearly all of the vendors at the market are small local businesses, including butchers selling farm-fresh local produce, free-range meats, and numerous food artisans serving tinned preserves, baked goods, ice cream, and even Pennsylvania Dutch desserts. . In keeping with the theme, visitors will find numerous recipes, unique utensils, and other favorite foods to complete the experience.
Not only is it food, but many craft shops also sell a number of unique treasures, including handmade jewellery, clothing, handmade traditional crafts and gifts. The market is open 7 days a week, but visitors should note that Pennsylvania Dutch vendors are closed on Sundays.
Address: 51 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Official website: https://readingterminalmarket.org
7. Phipps Conservatory
Located in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh, this massive complex features 15 acres of botanical gardens and facilities. Donated to the city in 1893, the conservatory is home to 23 gardens in addition to the large 14-room conservatory with an impressive collection of bonsai and orchids.
The greenhouse has other permanent settings, including a desert room with cacti and a tropical forest greenhouse. Other exhibits change throughout the year with seasonal flower shows and events. Outdoors, visitors will find traditional gardens as well as unique gardens such as water gardens.
The greenhouse complex also includes the Center for Sustainable Landscape, considered one of the “greenest” buildings in the world. The center hosts educational programs and is responsible for maintaining green practices throughout the gardens and facilities.
Address: One Shenley Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Official website: www.phipps.conservatory.org
8. Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1896, it is one of Pittsburgh’s top tourist attractions and one of the best natural history museums in the United States. The museum is known for its dinosaur and paleontology exhibits, and the on-site PaleoLab gives visitors the opportunity to watch staff work on new specimens as they prepare for display.
Many of the specimens in the Age of the Dinosaur exhibit are real dinosaur bones and fossils, including one of the first T-Rex bones ever discovered. The exhibit includes many fossils from real Mesozoic environments. The Cretaceous Seaways exhibit overlaps with this to explore underwater species from the same period, focusing on the inland seas of western North America 80 million years ago.
There are exhibits of fossils from the Cenozoic and Mammalian Ice Ages, and a few more focusing on wildlife today. These include exhibits on North American wildlife, African wildlife, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Visitors interested in the museum process can also learn how the curators created dioramas that bring the natural world to life.
For younger visitors, Discovery Base Camp is a place to experience specimens firsthand and learn more about the natural world through interactive exhibits.
Address: 4400 Forbes Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Official website: www.carnegiemnh.org
9. Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary is an eerie mix of old and new, with industrial watchtowers towering above stone structures that look more like a medieval castle than a prison. The stories and legends surrounding this grand facility are as impressive as the building itself, which has remained largely unchanged since it closed in 1971. The vaulted ceilings and long corridors of the facility, which was built in 1829, make it particularly suitable for photography.
Eastern State Penitentiary was once one of the nation’s premier high-tech prisons and housed notorious inmates such as Al Capone and Willie Sutton. One of the most popular parts of the tour is Al Capone’s cell, which showcases the extravagant furniture Capone managed to have in prison. The Prison Museum’s central exhibit offers up-to-date statistics on America’s prisons and domestic conditions.
Additionally, the exhibits explore changes in policies and laws and its negative impact on certain groups and communities, particularly minorities and non-whites. Alongside audio and guided tours, it offers hands-on interactive tours that allow visitors to explore more deeply.
Address: 2027 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Official website: www.easternstate.org
10. Pennsylvania State Capitol
The state capital of Harrisburg occupies 45 acres with active government buildings and several tourist attractions. The Capitol is an impressive building made of Vermont granite, and its entrance is protected by a pair of bronze doors that weigh a ton. At the top of the building is a magnificent dome inspired by Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica and weighing 52 million pounds. Capitol tours can be arranged in advance.
The Pennsylvania State Museum is also housed on complex grounds, including a natural history museum, a planetarium, historical exhibits, and a collection of artifacts and documents from the state’s early days. There are numerous statues and monuments throughout the historic and government complex, including the Soldier’s Grove Quadrangle, the Pennsylvania War Veterans Memorial Fountain, and a replica of the Liberty Bell.
Address: Room 129, Main Capitol, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Official website: www.pacapitol.com
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Pennsylvania. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Pennsylvania, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.