Pennsylvania offers lots to do whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend escape or a family-friendly vacation. Explore everything from the rich history and magnificent scenery to chocolate by putting these fun things to do on your itinerary.
Indulge Your Chocolate Craving in Hershey
In 1906, the town of Derry Church became Hershey, thanks to the popularity of Hershey chocolate. The Hershey Company opened here in 1894 and today, there’s an entire world of chocolate to explore. At Hershey’s Chocolate World you can take a free tour to learn how chocolate is made, create your own candy bar, take a historic ride on a trolley through the town built on chocolate, and more. It even has an amusement park with candy-themed fun too. Hersheypark offers all sorts of rides, including coasters, along with a water park and zoo.
You might want to base your stay at The Hotel Hershey, Hersheypark’s official resort where there’s a chocolate spa that provides treatments like the sumptuous whipped cocoa bath.
Ghost Hunting and More in Gettysburg
History enthusiasts won’t want to miss Gettysburg, one of the most significant turning points in the Civil War. Stand in the very spot President Abraham Lincoln eulogized the fallen Union Troops in his famous Gettysburg Address, tour the battlefield and learn more about the battle in the museum and visitor center. For those interested in the paranormal, Gettysburg is also known as one of the country’s most haunted places with sightings of ghost soldiers in the battlefield, cemetery, Gettysburg College and beyond,
If you can plan your visit around mid-May or mid-August, you can enjoy the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival too, which features Pennsylvania bluegrass bands and top-notch musicians from around the country.
Explore Amish Country
Exploring Amish country is a popular thing to do in this state, particularly in Lancaster with many Amish communities found in the rural countryside just outside of town, with the people making their living by farming the land. The Amish Experience will take you on a tour of residents’ homes and farmlands, traveling through the serene countryside with opportunities to meet the Amish people for a firsthand look at the culture. It includes a delicious home-style cooking farm-to-table dinner too.
Enjoy the Natural Beauty at Pennsylvania’s Own Grand Canyon
Sometimes referred to as the state’s own Grand Canyon, Pine Creek Gorge is a nearly 50-mile-long gorge carved into the Allegheny Plateau. Take in spectacular views from Leonard Harrison or Colton Point state parks, and enjoy scenic hikes, horseback riding, camping, picnicking, or even covered wagon rides.
If you’re looking for city attractions, Philadelphia offers it all, from history and art to its famously delicious Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. You can climb the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art like “Rocky,” explore fascinating science exhibits at the Franklin Institute and pay homage to the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park. Step inside Independence Hall and you’ll be where the Founding Fathers of America met to debate and eventually sign the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
When you’re ready for the best cheesesteak, many say it can be found at Pat’s King of Steaks, home of the original. Founder Pat Olivieri invented it in 1930 and it’s been owned and operated by the same family ever since.