Pennsylvania is the perfect travel destination during a road trip as it connects the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast to the Great Lakes areas of the country.
History buffs can't skip a trip to Philadelphia to see where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where our country truly began.
There is no shortage of things to do in Pennsylvania to suit all tastes and interests.
You can head to small artistic towns to explore culture, history, and natural landscapes or visit larger cities for sports, museums, and nightlife.
There are even extensive areas of undisturbed wildlife in preservation, giving you a chance to enjoy nature as it was when the colonists first arrived. Don't skip these top 20 attractions in Pennsylvania.
|Table of Contents [Show]|
Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you use my affiliate link.
Although we all associate the name Hershey with candy, Hersheypark is even sweeter. Enjoy more than a dozen roller coasters, 20 kids rides, 65 other rides, and enticing activities. Take home a bit of the exhilarating day with you from the retail emporium. See shows and concerts.
Check out the 15 water rides for children, and including the most zealous adventurer, there is fun for all. Rent a cabana at the boardwalk to relax in between all the amusement at Hersheypark. When hunger strikes, nibble your way through the over 25 dining locations.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Hershey
Address: 100 W Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA 17033
Also Read: 10 Best Theme Parks in the US
The Battle of Gettysburg took place in 1863 during the Civil War. The almost 4000-acre park includes the Gettysburg National Cemetery. The Park Service is attempting to restore the battlefield landscape as it was during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Artifacts and more are available for viewing at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center. Escorted tours of the Battlefield are recommended on a bus, or in your car with a guide.
There are many events in the park and the museum. Visitors who wish to stay for a while may check in to one of the area bed and breakfasts, hotels, inns, campgrounds or cabins.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Gettysburg
Address: 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Also Read: Top 10 American Civil War Sites To Visit
This National Historic Landmark has become hugely popular over the years, with many visitors and residents in Pennsylvania heading over to admire the natural beauty and stunning surroundings.
You will be awe-struck by the stunning grounds as well as by the house itself, which is built over a waterfall and was designed by the famous Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1930s.
The way in which the structure stretches over the waterfall makes it unique and fascinating, attracting many visitors who are eager to take a guided tour.
Address: 1491 Mill Run Rd, Mill Run, PA 15464
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has fabulous collections of art, triumphant creations from all over the world. Also, these amazing items are accompanied by tours, lectures, performances, and classes.
Ancient pre-Columbian artifacts astound with the painstaking decorations on pitchers and fanciful sculptures. For example, a delicate hand-carved Hornbill ivory belt from 18th century China is shown in the East Asian Department.
Not to be missed are the broaches, amulets, and ankle bracelets from India, Nepal, Morocco, and America. Gold, Silver, bone, and hair are only some of the elements of these incredible jewelry pieces.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Philadelphia
Address: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Also Read: Top 25 Attractions & Things To Do in Philadelphia
If you want to visit and explore a unique community in the Pennsylvania area, Strasburg is a place not to be missed. You will find a massive array of things to see and do here, with everything from the fascinating Amish village through to quaint shops, theatrical entertainment, and more.
Pay a visit to the fabulous Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, a place that will fascinate both kids and adults. You can also explore the Sight and Sound Theatres and enjoy some incredible theatrical performances during your time here.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Strasburg
Address: Strasburg, PA
Independence National Park has a fantastic surfeit of historical architecture and preserved sites over the 55-acre area. Have a tour of the historic Independence Hall, Congress Hall, and Franklin's Court.
Benjamin Franklin's life in displays of artifacts and exhibits comprise a museum dedicated to him. George Washington and John Adams each lived in the house at Pennsylvania State Capitol.
The Liberty Bell is one of the most significant symbols of America's struggle for independence at the end of the 18th century. You can watch the Bell free of cost and explore the history of Bell's crack and inner workings.
Also, watch a short History Channel film, available in different languages showing how abolitionists, suffragists, and other groups adopted the Bell as its symbol of freedom.
Address: 6th St & Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Also Read: Top 25 Attractions & Things To Do in Philadelphia
Spread over 3500 acres of beautiful grounds, Valley Forge National Historical Park is the site of one of the most important battles of the American Revolution.
Visitors come here to absorb history, tour the monuments, and see the 'first Pentagon' where General Washington achieved military strategy.
Revel in a planned tour by trolley, bicycle, or on foot. Attributes of the flowers and trees are explained by naturists. Shopping at the Encampment Store at the Visitor Center, one may also see displays of interest.
Accommodation: Where to stay in King of Prussia
Address: 1400 N Outer Line Dr King of Prussia, PA 19406
Natural beauty abounds when you pay a visit to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pennsylvania. You can look forward to a fascinating tour of this venue where you will enjoy everything from stunning flower displays and collections through to artwork and exhibits.
There are various events held here over the course of the year, such as flower shows and the Party in the Tropics event. You can also enjoy the beauty and delights of the Butterfly Forest, which adds to the natural beauty surrounding you.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Pittsburgh
Address: 1 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Also Read: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Top 10 Attractions
This former Philadelphia prison is a place that fascinates many visitors who head over to enjoy a guided tour of this sprawling structure. You will benefit from a combination of experiences when you come to this penitentiary.
You can explore the artwork that now adorns the walls of the building, look forward to hands-on experiences, and delve into the fascinating past of the place with experiences such as taking a look at Al Capone’s cell.
General Admission tickets cost $15 and visitors have the option of buying tickets online to skip the line.
Address: 2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Situated in Erie, Pennsylvania, this state park offers incredible natural beauty making it perfect for those who love spending time outdoors.
You will find plenty of recreational opportunities to enjoy here too, from excellent walking trails through to beaches and the marina.
When it comes to outdoor activities, you can look forward to a wide choice of options such as swimming, boating, and hiking. It is also an ideal place for those who are into wildlife as you can enjoy activities such as bird watching.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Erie
Address: 1 Peninsula Drive, Erie, PA 16505
Also Read: 25 Best State Parks in the US
Andy Warhol is an American artist, famous for his work in pop art. The Andy Warhol Museum is dedicated to the late artist's life and art.
The museum opened in 1994 in Pittsburgh, the Warhol's hometown. It's the largest museum dedicated to a single artist in North America – it's a multistory museum with 17 galleries exhibiting hundreds of paintings, sculptures, photos, prints, and archives.
There are several multi-media elements to the museum, including video clips of the artist at work or film screenings from his projects. It also includes interactive features.
The Andy Warhol Museum holds the most extensive permanent collection from the artist. It receives over 100,000 visitors every year.
Visitors get an inside look at the artist, from his most famous works to details about his storied life. The museum experience is designed to take your time at each of the exhibits and provides lots of seating and standing space for enjoying the artwork as Warhol intended it.
Address: 117 Sandusky St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Longwood Gardens is the top botanical garden in Pennsylvania, visited by over 1.5-million people every year. Work on the gardens began in the late 1800s, when the founder, Peirce-du Pont, wanted to inspire horticulture to the public.
Established in Kennett Square, the admission to the gardens also includes entry to the former Peirce residence. The large garden covers more than 1,000 acres, featuring landscapes such as gardens, woodlands, and meadows.
There are indoor and outdoor displays in the gardens. It provides visitors with beautiful scenery of the decorative gardens exhibiting native plants from the region and more exotic plants from around the world.
The gardens also feature several fountains – there are daily light shows and fountain shows for viewers to enjoy.
Visit Longwood Gardens throughout the year to see themed displays and seasonal arrangements. The site also hosts events and educational activities such as lectures and workshops.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Kennett Square
Address: 1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Ohiopyle State Park opened in 1965, remaining as one of the most popular state park attractions in Pennsylvania. The park is in the southwest region of the state, a popular destination for outdoor recreation and sightseeing.
There are lots of points of interest in Ohiopyle State Park worth checking out during your visit. Some of the favorite sites include the Youghiogheny River Gorge, which stretches more than a dozen miles; several waterfalls including Cumber Falls, Ohiopyle Falls, and the Jonathan Run Falls; also, the Ferncliff Peninsula National Natural Landmark.
Many people go to the park for recreational activities. Whitewater rafting is one of the top things to do in Ohiopyle State Park. Other activities include hiking, biking, riding horses, and skiing during the winter seasons.
The hiking trails in the park take hikers to some of the most scenic parts of the park overlooking the landscape and rivers.
Ohiopyle State Park permits camping for overnight stays.
Address: 124 Main St, Ohiopyle, PA 15470
Also Read: 25 Best State Parks to Visit in the US
If you're looking for a family-friendly destination in Pennsylvania, the Knoebels Amusement Resort is the perfect place to go. The theme park is family-owned, operating since 1926 and gives visitors lots of fun for an entire day.
Knoebels Amusement Resort features over 60 rides – roller coasters, a vintage carousel, Ferris wheel, water rides, and a haunted house attraction. The ride attractions are fun for all ages and even includes kid-friendly rides.
The amusement park includes designated picnic sites and campgrounds – there are several restaurants and snack vendors. Visitors can navigate the park via the leisure train running around the park.
One of the best parts of the park is that it has free admission. Visitors can pay-as-they go or get day ride passes.
Knoebels Amusement Resort is open seasonally between April to September. It also opens with a special theme for Halloween.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Elysburg
Address: 391 Knoebels Boulevard, PA-487, Elysburg, PA 17824
Also Read: 25 Best Amusement Parks in the US
A quiet site just outside of Johnstown, PA, will forever be in America's memory due to the tragic events of September 11th when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed at the site. The Flight 93 National Memorial honors the lives lost during the terrorist attacks.
The United Airlines Flight 93 was one of four airplanes hijacked but failed to reach its intended target, thanks to the crew's efforts and passengers onboard revolting. The plane, which was most likely en route to the capital, crashed here, killing everyone on board.
Flight 93 National Memorial consists of a memorial wall and a visitor center. The Wall of Names is made from white marble, showcasing each of the 40 victim names – it's arranged to follow the plane's exact flight pattern just before crashing.
The visitor center provides an emotional experience with actual audio from passengers recorded onboard and an observation deck overlooking the crash site.
Address: 6424 Lincoln Hwy #30, Stoystown, PA 15567
Ricketts Glen State Park is a natural park attraction in Northeast Pennsylvania – it was initially intended to be a national park, but established in 1942 as a state park due to the onset of WWII.
The large park covers over 13,000 acres, stretching across multiple counties in the region. It's also a National Natural Landmark for its old-growth forest landscape.
One of the biggest draws of the park is the waterfall attractions – there are two dozen waterfalls named with directions provided on how to reach them.
Ricketts Glen State Park was a former home of Native Americans, but now a popular tourist destination. It receives a half-million visitors every year for recreation, sightseeing, and education.
The state park is open all year long. During the Summer, some of the popular activities to do in the park include hiking, horseback riding, swimming, kayaking, and camping. During the winter, it's an excellent place for skiing, ice fishing, and ice climbing the frozen waterfalls.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Benton
Address: 695 State Route 487, Benton, PA 17814
Carnegie Museum of Natural History ranks among the top natural history museums in the US. Andrew Carnegie founded the museum in 1896 in Pittsburgh, one of the four museums bearing his name.
The museum first gained prominence for research, making notable discoveries of dinosaur fossils – it was the first to discover the T-Rex specimen. The museum exhibits many of these discoveries across its 20 galleries and a host of other displays. The building also includes a library and art museum section.
The top gallery exhibitions at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History include Dinosaurs In The Time, Ancient Egypt, and the Hillman Hall of Mineral and Gems. There are millions of specimens kept by the museum, displayed in various cycles.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History holds the largest Jurassic dinosaur collection in the world – hundreds of thousands of visitors go to the museum every year to see the life-size dinosaur arrangements.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Pittsburgh
Address: 4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Travel to central Pennsylvania to Lake Tobias Wildlife Park to see exotic animals from all around the world. Located in Halifax, PA, the wildlife park delivers an animal safari experience to animal-lovers of all ages.
Lake Tobias Wildlife Park covers hundreds of acres and home to close to one thousand animals. The park offers a variety of attractions – a safari tour, zoo exhibits, a petting zoo, and more.
The safari tour is one of the favorite things to do at the park. Ride for a couple of hours in open-top buses to see and interact with free-roaming animals. The park features exotic animals such as lions, tigers, bears, giraffes, alligators, zebras, and monkeys.
Kids will enjoy a lot at the petting zoo, where they can feed the animals.
The wildlife park offers educational activities and programs.
Address: 760 Tobias Rd, Halifax, PA 17032
Located in Cumberland Township near Gettysburg, the former home of Dwight Eisenhower was opened to the public as the Eisenhower National Historic Site. The site includes the surrounding farmland, which extends for nearly 700 acres.
Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States who purchased the house in 1950, shortly before his presidential term, a few years later. After renovations, the house remained a weekend retreat during his time as President – he also used it to host visiting world leaders. The house became his permanent residence after his terms in the White House.
The house was eventually donated to the National Park Service and opened to the public in 1980. Visitors can now take tours of the house and grounds for a glimpse into the former President's lifestyle.
Original decoration and furnishings are preserved in the house. Visitors can also explore the barn houses and cattle operations.
Address: 243 Eisenhower Farm Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Reading Terminal Market is a must-see attraction in Philadelphia, PA. Opened in 1893, the indoor public market brings all the excitement of open-air markets to an enclosed space.
Hundreds of vendor stalls line the aisles of the market. You can find almost anything at the market – fresh produce, meat, baked goods, fish, flowers, clothing, crafts, and much more. The entire market is arranged in a grid style to make it easy to navigate with a large seating area in the center.
The market is open daily and a popular destination for locals and tourists. One of the favorite reasons to come is to eat.
Vendors at the market sell fantastic food options, from local favorites like the Philadelphia Cheese Steak to seasonal foods, vegan dishes, and ethnic food.
Check out the market to grab a bite or shop for souvenirs during your visit.
Accommodation: Where to stay in Philadelphia
Address: 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107