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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness in PA

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness in PA
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Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

Just a short drive away is Philadelphia’s countryside, where visitors can experience artistic small towns like New Hope, history at Valley Forge where George Washington once encamped during the American Revolution and attractions like Longwood Gardens with acres upon acres of awe-inspiring flower gardens and water features. Philadelphia also offers a diverse mix of urban shopping districts and some of the nation’s largest retail centers, including King of Prussia Mall and the high-end shops of Rittenhouse Row.

The city of Pittsburgh may be famous for sports and its rivers, but it’s also a growing hub for green technology and culture. For art and history lovers, the world-renowned Carnegie museums and the Andy Warhol Museum are sure to impress, and the Duquesne Incline offers an incredible view of the skyline. Pittsburgh also has 89 distinct neighborhoods celebrating ethnic cultures from around the globe.

Just outside of Pittsburgh, gorgeous, four-season resorts can be found in the Laurel Highlands. The Great Allegheny Passage offers stunning trail passes for biking or hiking, and visitors can experience some of the best white-water activities in the eastern U.S. This region is also home to three Frank Lloyd Wright masterpieces, all of which are open to the public.

Pennsylvania’s popular destinations of Gettysburg and Lancaster are filled with history and small-town charm. Gettysburg National Military Park provides a full range of group programs and battlefield tours that honor the significance of the Civil War’s most important battle: the Battle of Gettysburg. And nearby Lancaster may be known for its bucolic countryside and Amish heritage, but the historic city has also blossomed into a fine arts destination.

Guided tours of the state’s capitol building in Harrisburg explore its unique Pennsylvania history and architectural design. And known as the Sweetest Place on Earth®, Hershey is an iconic destination for families from all over the world. Visitors can go behind the scenes to learn how the famous chocolates are created on Hershey’s Great American Chocolate Tour, and Hersheypark offers a fun experience for all ages with its roller coasters, water rides and shows.

Home to millions of acres of unspoiled forests and mountains, as well as the largest free-roaming elk herd in the eastern United States, the Pennsylvania Wilds region is composed of 11 distinct and beautiful counties, each with its own heritage, character and outdoor adventure. This region is where visitors can find breathtaking views, miles of waterways, trails and plenty of wildlife. In between are lovely tucked-away towns that welcome visitors with a friendly smile.

Pennsylvania is home to outdoor recreation and historic sites, cultural attractions and natural beauty which are second to none.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness in PA

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness in PA
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Fun Fact

Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day in Pennsylvania
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Every Groundhog Day, Pennsylvania looks to Punxsutawney Phil and his shadow to predict how much longer winter will be.

A kayak at Moraine State Park in Portersville, Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania’s 120-plus state parks, which are scattered across the state, all offer free admission.

Photo: Evan Nowak

Couple taking a selfie in front of fountains at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
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Longwood Gardens boasts 11,000 varieties of plants spread out across more than 436 hectares and has the largest collection of fountains in North America.

Must see places

Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania

Strasburg Rail Road

Restored coal-burning steam trains run through the Amish countryside on this historic railroad, now designated a tourist rail. A variety of different tour themes are on offer, from Amish Feast to Wine and Cheese to Murder Mystery. Stop in to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, just across from the station, before you go.

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Family fun on Lake Wallenpaupack in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania

Pocono Mountains

These forested, rolling mountains located in the northeastern part of the state feature 150 lakes within their 6,215 square kilometer scope, as well as villages with historic churches and homes to tour. Made for outdoor adventure, the woodlands, rivers and waterfalls here offer hiking, biking, rafting, skiing and swimming opportunities.   

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Historic cannon and battlefields at Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park

Learn about how the battle waged here, a pivotal moment in Civil War history, shaped the USA. A visitor’s center and museum holds one of the country’s largest Civil War collections, while outside, living history performers reenact the battle, firing rifles and cannons, and wielding bayonets. Also visit the David Wills House, where Abraham Lincoln completed his Gettysburg Address.

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Roller coasters at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania


The legendary candy-maker makes for a sweet theme park, with over 70 rides and attractions in all, among them roller coasters (and, soon, three new plunging towers). Here you’ll find Boardwalk Waterpark as well as ZOOAMERICA, plus resorts, dining and shopping, and nearby Hershey’s Chocolate World, where you can go on a chocolate factory tour ride.

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Historic building in Philadelphia's Independence National Historic Park

Independence National Historical Park

A collection of historic Philadelphia sites and symbols, all of which played a role in the creation of the American government, are on display in this park. See why UNESCO made Philadelphia the USA’s first World Heritage City. Visit the famous Liberty Bell with its defining crack, go to Independence Hall (once Pennsylvania State House), tour a military museum and explore Bishop White House for an education in the history of American Democracy. 

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Viewing a self-portrait at the Andy Warhol Museum

Andy Warhol Museum

Thousands of paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs spread across seven floors awaits visitors to this museum devoted to all-things Warhol, which also includes continually updated exhibits of the artist’s films, a Gallery Talks series and even a photo booth that will give you your own screen test.

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Memorial Arch in Valley Forge National Historical Park

Valley Forge National Historical Park

The birthplace of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, Valley Forge’s 18th century monuments, buildings, exhibits and living history enactments teach visitors about this historic site. With 48 kilometers of walking trails and lakes filled with trout and catfish, you can get a side of recreation here along with your history.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1935 masterpiece, the Fallingwaters house


Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1935 masterpiece, designed as a modern vacation home, is built right over a waterfall. This tour is unique in that it allows guests to walk through every room of the furnished house, which is set in the woods, with a mountain stream running nearby. 

Scenic beach views of Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park

More than just a beach (Pennsylvania’s only), this park on a peninsula is packed with recreational opportunities. Water ski, dive or fish Lake Erie, hike or bike one of many trails or sunbathe on the beach. 

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

On the National Register of Historic Places, this structure’s all-glass facade flanked by two elaborate outdoor staircases greets you as you enter. You’ll find rooms devoted to the flora of the desert, examples of formal gardens, a court full of palms, and an orchid room. Look for Chihuly glass sculptures throughout the park. 

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Hot air balloon over Asheville, North Carolina
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Group skiing in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania
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Group skiing in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania
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