Pennsylvania is not a state that most associate with travel and tourism. Most think of it as an industrialized state which has little to offer except the Allegany and Pocono Mountains. However, there are a number of significant sights for the visitor which I have listed below.
1. Philadelphia – One of the cradles of liberty, Philadelphia is loaded with history. Independence National Historical Park preserves the area of the city near the river where such sights as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the First Post Office can be found. Other important sights within the city include several world-class museums and some interesting markets.
2. Lancaster County/Amish Area – This entire area west of Phildelphia is replete with Amish farms, and tributes to their simple way of life. A visit here makes one realize what’s really important and allows one to appreciate how life can exist and actually prosper without modern conveniences.
3. Gettysburg National Military Park – On the site of the bloodiest battle of America’s most shameful and most divisive war, visitors are made aware of the personalities, strategies, and the awful price paid by the North and the South during the Civil War. Wander the hallowed ground and try to picture the battle unfolding.
4. Longwood Gardens – Without doubt one of America’s finest gardens are delightful to explore during any season of the year, but especially in the spring and summer when thousands of flowers are in bloom.
5. Fallingwater – This masterpiece of practicality and of the harmony between nature and architecture which can exist is a testament to Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s greatest architect.
6. Hershey – A celebration of all things chocolate is what’s in store in this Pennsylvania city. A great place to visit with children, Hershey also boasts a popular amusement park besides the must-do visit to Chocolate World.
7. Pittsburgh – This classic industrial city has emerged from its dirty, polluted past with a new life and energy. Buoyed by its universities and its dramatic location at the junction of the Monongahela, Allegany and Ohio Rivers, Pittsburgh has become a center for the Arts and Sciences.
8. Valley Forge National Historical Park – On the historic site of Washington’s winter camp, visitors can relive the days of the Revolutionary War when things looked bleak for the nation in its struggle for independence. After this period of the war, the tide began to turn in America’s favor.
9. York – This city in south central Pennsylvania was an interim capital of the United States early in its history. Efforts to preserve many of the historic homes and buildings from this colonial period have been hugely successful and the city is a common stop on any tourist’s travel through this part of the state.
10. The Poconos – One of the state’s most popular tourist destinations, the Poconos have long been a haven for resorts and summer camps. Numerous types of indoor and outdoor activities are available throughout the year.