Things to do in Pennsylvania 

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Pennsylvania is a state that seamlessly blends history, natural beauty and vibrant culture to offer an array of unforgettable experiences. From the bustling streets of Philadelphia to the picturesque landscapes of the Pocono Mountains and the industrial charm of Pittsburgh, it is a treasure trove of diverse attractions. 

Pittsburgh skyline showcasing the city's vibrant nightlife and attractions; a must-see on your list of things to do in Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh Skyline. Photo Credit: Yayimages.

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, a food lover or an art aficionado, Pennsylvania offers experiences that will captivate and inspire you. 

Immerse yourself in the story of the United States at iconic sites like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, explore the stunning waterfalls and lush forests of Ricketts Glen State Park or indulge your artistic side at museums rich with heritage. 

“I lived in Philadelphia for several years and have had the pleasure of visiting Pittsburgh regularly for work. Pennsylvania is a state worth exploring from end to end. Nosh on mouth-watering pies baked by the Amish at Reading Terminal Market in Philly or take a photo walk through the Mexican War Streets neighborhood of Pittsburgh, including a stop at endlessly quirky Randyland.” 

 — Jennifer Petoff, Sidewalk Safari 

Museums

The Philadelphia Museum of Art stands as a testament to artistic excellence, housing an extensive collection spanning diverse cultures and eras. Its iconic steps, made famous by the “Rocky” films, beckon visitors to explore its galleries, which feature masterpieces from around the world. 

Eastern State Penitentiary, once a prison, has transformed into a thought-provoking museum that delves into the history of incarceration and criminal justice reform. Its haunting corridors and preserved cells offer a glimpse into the past. 

Philadelphia museum of art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania offers an enriching experience for those seeking things to do in Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo Credit: Yayimages.

Meanwhile, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh celebrates the life and work of the iconic artist, showcasing an extensive collection of his creations across various mediums, while providing insight into his avant-garde approach that continues to shape contemporary art.

The hallowed grounds of Gettysburg National Military Park and Museum bear witness to one of the most pivotal moments in American history. Here, visitors can trace the footsteps of soldiers, relive the epic Battle of Gettysburg, and gain a profound understanding of the Civil War’s impact on the nation. 

Similarly, the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg offers a comprehensive exploration of the conflict’s complexities through artifacts, exhibits and stories that illuminate the experiences of soldiers and civilians alike.

In Philadelphia, the Museum of Natural History captivates with its charming displays of Earth’s wonders. From dinosaur fossils to intricate mineral formations, the museum inspires a sense of awe and curiosity about the natural world. 

Meanwhile, the Allentown Art Museum is a cultural gem showcasing a diverse array of artistic styles and periods, allowing visitors to engage with works that span from the Renaissance to the present day, fostering a deep connection between art and community.

Lake Erie

Lake Erie, located in the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania, is the state’s only Great Lake and forms a significant part of its northern border. Its shores offer sandy beaches, charming coastal towns and opportunities for boating, fishing and water sports. 

Lake Erie is also crucial to the region’s economy, supporting industries like fishing, shipping and tourism. The lake’s beauty and resources make it a treasured asset for Pennsylvania’s residents and visitors alike.

Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park is a stunning natural gem nestled on a peninsula that extends into Lake Erie. Renowned for its captivating beauty and diverse ecosystems, the park offers a wide range of recreational activities against the backdrop of freshwater landscapes. 

It is a popular destination with beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a variety of wildlife. If you’re looking for other picturesque state parks to visit, check out Muskegon state park and Watkins Glen state park.  

Ride the Duquesne Incline for panoramic views of Pittsburgh.

The Duquesne Incline is a historic cable car funicular located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It’s not only a mode of transportation but also a beloved attraction that offers panoramic views of the city’s skyline, making it a must-visit for both locals and tourists.

Dating back to the late 19th century, the Duquesne Incline was originally built to transport workers living on the steep hillside to and from their jobs in the city. Today, it serves as a charming and nostalgic way to ascend Mount Washington, one of Pittsburgh’s iconic hills.

Things to do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Duquesne Incline. Photo Credit: Yayimages.

Hershey’s Chocolate World

Hershey’s Chocolate World is located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, famously known as the “Sweetest Place on Earth.” This iconic destination offers a unique experience for chocolate enthusiasts of all ages, combining entertainment, education and plenty of delicious treats. Here, visitors can embark on an engaging tour that takes them through the chocolate-making process. 

Pocono Mountains

The Pocono Mountains, located in northeastern Pennsylvania, are a captivating natural playground offering a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. With their rolling hills, lush forests, pristine lakes and diverse wildlife, the Poconos provide an idyllic setting for hiking and exploring the great outdoors. 

The region boasts an extensive network of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels, ranging from leisurely strolls to challenging treks. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, you’ll find trails that lead to breathtaking vistas, serene waterfalls and tranquil meadows. 

Citizen’s Bank Park

Citizens Bank Park is a modern and iconic baseball stadium located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It serves as the home ballpark for the Philadelphia Phillies, the city’s Major League Baseball team. The stadium is known for its fan-friendly features, scenic views and its role in hosting a variety of sports and entertainment events.

Citizen's Bank, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies stadium in Philadelphia.
Citizens Bank Park. Photo Credit: Yayimages.

Yuengling Brewery

The Yuengling Brewery, located in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, holds the distinction of being America’s oldest continuously operating brewery. Established in 1829 by David G. Yuengling, a German immigrant, the brewery has a rich history that spans generations and has left an indelible mark on American brewing culture. A tour of the Yuengling Brewery offers a fascinating journey into the world of brewing, showcasing the intricate process that transforms raw ingredients into the beloved beer that has stood the test of time. 

Ricketts Glen State Park

Ricketts Glen State Park is located in northeastern Pennsylvania, USA. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, encompassing waterfalls, hiking trails and diverse ecosystems. The park covers an area of about 13,193 acres and is a popular destination for both day trips and camping. The Falls Trail, a 7.2-mile loop trail, offers hikers the chance to see 21 waterfalls along Kitchen Creek as it descends through the Glens Natural Area.

After you’ve explored the best things to do in Pennsylvania, check out the best things to do in Ohio and the best Michigan wineries

Lara is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Personal Trainer. She is also a photographer and recipe developer and has a food and travel blog LaraClevenger.com. She shares easy recipes that are mostly low-carb, along with some bowling and travel adventures. Whether you’re cooking with an air fryer, Blackstone or Instant Pot, she has you covered with healthy recipes.

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