9 Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

1 Philadelphia

Philadelphia Tony Fischer / photo modified

Philadelphia, known as the "cradle of the nation" for its long history, lies in the urbanized Atlantic region between Boston and Washington DC. It is set in the extreme southeast of Pennsylvania, extending along the Delaware River, which is joined here by the Schuylkill River. Philadelphia's historical sites, theatres, concert halls, libraries and museums, together with the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University and the famed Philadelphia Orchestra, make it one of the leading cultural centres of the United States.

2 Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Hannaford / photo modified

Pittsburgh, once known for its gritty industrial past, has reinvented itself and has become the corporate headquarters of some of America's largest companies. This is the dominant city of southwestern Pennsylvania and a place that has successfully transformed into one of the most livable cities, according to several polls. The city boasts such attractions as the Andy Warhol Museum in tribute to its famous son, the Carnegie Museums, the historic Point State Park, and nearby Fallingwater, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

3 Lancaster


Lancaster is the main metropolitan center in Lancaster county, a beautiful rural area with farms and rolling hills. The city has a long history and was for a brief period the state capitol. It is known as the city with the oldest continually operating Farmer's Market in the United States, and also for its extensive Dutch Community. This cultural heritage can be seen in many of the museums and attractions found around town and in the surrounding countryside. Among the key tourist attractions are the Amish farms. There are opportunities through tours and museums to get a glimpse of a typical homestead and working farm. The Heritage Center Museum of Lancaster showcases the history of south-central Pennsylvania through folk and decorative arts and other various household items.

4 Harrisburg

Harrisburg David Amsler / photo modified

Located on the banks of the Susquehanna River in the rolling landscape of Pennsylvania, the state capital of Harrisburg is a beautiful city with a handful of significant attractions. The lush hills along with a mixture of old buildings and wide streets lends the city a quaint historic feel. Families will enjoy a summer day at City Island while history buffs can stop by the National Civil War Museum or the State Museum of Pennsylvania.

5 Gettysburg

Gettysburg Ron Cogswell / photo modified

Gettysburg is an historic town most well known for events related to the Civil War and the Gettysburg Address, delivered here by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 . The Gettysburg National Military Park is one of the areas most famous attractions. The former home of President Eisenhower is also located in Gettysburg and open to the public.

6 Bethlehem

Bethlehem Dougtone / photo modified

The town of Bethlehem, north of Philadelphia, was founded by Moravian Brethren from Germany who have left their mark on the town through traditional celebrations and architecture. The Christmas Festival, with choirs and orchestras, is well known throughout the United States. Some of the architectural achievements include the Gemein Haus of 1741, the Brethren's House of 1748 and the Old Chapel of 1751. In the Moravian Cemetery on Market Street there are graves ranging in date from 1742 to 1910. The Bach Festival held on the campus of Lehigh University is also internationally recognized.

7 Hershey

Hershey Ed Kennedy / photo modified

Hershey is synonymous with the chocolate company that Milton Hershey founded 1903. Today the town attracts millions of visitors per year, drawn to the chocolate which is best appreciated on a visit to Hershey's Chocolate World. Hershey Gardens is another of the town's top attractions, set on 23 acres and featuring a variety of gardens.The Hershey Park amusement is a popular outing on summer weekends. For something a little different try a stop at the Indian Echo Caverns.

8 Erie

Erie Ken Lund / photo modified

Erie is Pennsylvania's largest town on the shores of Lake Erie. It was Commodore Perry's headquarters when he defeated an Anglo-Canadian fleet in 1813. His flagship USS "Niagara" has been restored and is currently on display at the Erie Maritime Museum. The Bicentennial Tower, built to commemorate the city's 200th birthday, stands on the waterfront, providing good views from the observation decks. In summer a popular nearby attraction is Presque Isle State Park with beaches, trails, and picnic areas.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Erie

9 Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe
Jim Thorpe Holly Higgins / photo modified

Jim Thorpe is located at the foot of the Pocono Mountains. It has a history rich in tradition, ranging from the beginning of the coal mining era in Pennsylvania, through the Industrial Revolution to its present-day rebirth as a tourist attraction. Many people come here to enjoy the recreational opportunities presented by the lovely surroundings, including rafting, hiking, biking and other adventures.

Popular Pages