History is what makes visiting Pennsylvania a unique experience.
This nation was born in Philadelphia, saved at Gettysburg and ushered in the Industrial Revolution in the cities of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Scranton, Allentown, Erie, and York.
It was on Pennsylvania soil that the South seceded to the North, starting a dark time in American history.
In the shadow of the Civil War, Pennsylvania emerged with a strong and robust economy, its industries catapulting the Commonwealth into a manufacturing leader.
In Pennsylvania, all roads lead to history. At every turn, historical museums, battlefields, memorials, and landscapes tell our nation’s story.
1. Independence Hall
Grab a Philly cheesesteak and head to Independence Hall in Philadelphia. This is where both the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were first signed. Is there anything more American? Admission is granted by the hour based on your ticket time. Admission is free but unless you show up early, your admission time will probably be later (first come, first served). We recommend paying the $1.50 / ticket charge and making reservations online ahead of time.
2. Liberty Bell
Check out the liberty bell while in the area. It stands as a symbol of freedom for our nation. While it doesn’t have any direct connection to the founding of our country or played any specific MAJOR part of creating our liberty, it is still worth the glance while there. Did you know that it has been recast at least two times?
3. Eastern State Penitentiary
Ghosts! This has been on every single ghost show because of how active it seems to be. The weird footage caught by “Ghost Hunters” has stuck with me. We recommend that you take a guided tour first and the do the self-tour and wander around all by yourself!
Gettysburg is another place that is known to be haunted in Pennsylvania. If you had to memorize the Gettysburg address while in school, then you know the significance of this place. This place is huge so get here early and drop by the visitors center. Grab a car audio tour and get out on the road. This place is a location of one o the bloodiest battles in the civil war and needs to be seen. The loss of life here is a reminder that even if you have differences of opinion that war is not the answer.
5. Amish Country
Go for a ride in an actual Amish buggy! See the oldest and most extensive area of Amish. Explore the countryside and see into the past of a more peaceful time. See how they live a simpler life and make a living for their family and God.
6. Hershey, PA & Hershey Park
The chocolate capital of the world! If you like candy (and who doesn’t), then you must stop-by Hershey, pa for a visit to Chocolate World. When you are finished exploring the many wonders of chocolate head over to the Hershey Amusement Park. Ride on roller coasters or take a plunge on their water rides, there is fun for everyone.
7. Crayola factory
See how crayons are made and more! While not the actual factory (that’s a few miles away and closed to the public) you still get a demonstration on how they are made. At the end of the tour, you can collect two crayons (or magic markers) to take home, and they have a huge outlet store full of Crayola products. Expect to spend 3 – 4 hours here exploring the different activities with your kids. If you don’t have kids, then we recommend you skip this one!
8. Scranton, PA
If you haven’t seen The Office, then go binge watch all the seasons on Netflix right now. Seriously, do it. Scranton is where Dunder Mifflin is located in the show. Although the actual “office” is located in Van Nuys, CA. Scranton still has many local sites from the show. Want to see the bar where they celebrate all the time? It’s here. While you’re in the area stop by the Lackawanna coal mine for a tour down into a real coal mine. You get to ride the coal train down that men took every day to work.
9. Valley Forge National Historical Park
This was where the US continental army led by George Washington camped in the winter of 77/78 during the revolutionary war. The hardship shared between soldiers and officers here, and strict training is believed to have led to a turning point in the revolutionary war.
10. Fallingwater House
Frank Lloyd Wright (one of the most famous US architects) built Fallingwater House in 1935. It was created as a weekend house for the family who owned Kaufman department store chain. The house blends perfectly with its surroundings and is built over a waterfall. It is a must see in the fall.