As one of the original 13 colonies of the United States, Pennsylvania is rich in historical sites like the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and Gettysburg National Military Park.
But "The Keystone State" isn't just for history buffs. With over 100 state and national parks and internationally recognized museums and art galleries, nature lovers and culture seekers alike will have plenty to explore.
And whether you're spending a long weekend in Philadelphia or you’re just on a quick day trip from New York, you simply cannot leave without having an authentic Philly Cheesesteak.
Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania
An easy getaway from New York, Philadelphia makes for a great weekend vacation destination for local east coasters. Pennsylvania's other popular city, Pittsburgh, is full of attractions from historical monuments to unique museums. The capital city, Harrisburg, is known for its small town feel.
Cities in Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Zoo: A 42-acre Victorian garden that’s home to more than 1,300 animals.
Magic Gardens: A mosaicked art environment, gallery, and community arts center spanning three city lots.
South Street: A busy shopping, dining, and entertainment area.
Forbidden Drive: A 5.3 mile point-to-point trail used for walking, trail running, and mountain biking.
Independence Hall: The historic building where the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted.
Old City: Best known for its major Colonial-era sites, this now modern neighborhood was the birthplace of American independence.
Pittsburgh Glass Center: Features handcrafted glass on display at the Hodge Gallery, studio tours, and glass-blowing classes.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh: A hands-on museum, which includes interactive art, a garden, and a theater.
Carnegie Museums: A collection of museums, which includes Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum.
Mattress Factory: Contemporary art museum featuring site-specific works
Cultural District: Located between 6th and 10th street, this area is full of outdoor art installations, performing arts venues like Pittsburgh Public Theater and Liberty Magic, and quarterly Gallery Crawls.
Market Square: This pedestrian-friendly public space is home to outdoor markets and festivals, shopping, and dining.
City Island: This mile-long island in the Susquehanna River between Harrisburg and Wormleysburg is popular for leisure and sports activities.
State Museum of Pennsylvania: The Official Museum of the Commonwealth is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the region's history and culture.
Harrisburg Capitol Tour: Experience a guided tour of the state's capitol.
Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts: This arts complex features science exhibits, theater performances, concerts, and films.
Hershey: Just outside of Harrisburg, this family-friendly town features Hersheypark, a world-class amusement park, and Hershey's Chocolate World.
Broad Street Market: This is one of the oldest continuously-operating farmers markets in the country.
Pennsylvania State and National Parks
Pennsylvania’s many state and national parks include:
Ricketts Glen State Park
Cherry Springs State Park
Hickory Run State Park
French Creek State Park
Ohiopyle State Park
Presque Isle State Park
Other Popular Tourist Attractions
- Lancaster County: Home to Amish country.
- Fallingwater: Frank Lloyd Wright's famous 1935 house located in Mill Run.
- Pocono Mountains: A scenic area of forested peaks, lakes, and valleys that features family-friendly resorts and romantic getaways.