Things to do in Pennsylvania

Things to do in  Pennsylvania

Leave no keystone unturned

You can’t talk about American history without including Pennsylvania. The Keystone State is where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were adopted, and Philadelphia is packed with historical landmarks. But, that’s just one side of this state. While Philly and Pittsburgh serve up urban buzz, world-class museums, and popular sports teams, there are plenty of outdoorsy things to do in Pennsylvania, too, from visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Fallingwater” and skiing the Pocono Mountains to leaf-peeping along the shores of Lake Erie. For history buffs, Gettysburg National Military Park is unmissable.

Top 15 attractions in Pennsylvania

Liberty Bell Center

The Liberty Bell, a 2,000-pound (907-kilogram) piece of American history, was forged in London's Whitechapel Foundry and represents freedom in the city where the Declaration of Independence was crafted. Now set in the Liberty Bell Center, the bell was commissioned in 1752 and has been in Philadelphia since British Colonial rule.More

Rocky Statue

The larger-than-life bronze statue standing at the base of the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art has become an essential stop on any visit to the hometown of fictional fighter Rocky Balboa. The massive Rocky Statue—both arms raised—was made for the movie Rocky III (1982) and gifted to the city by actor Sylvester Stallone.More

Gettysburg National Military Park

More than 50,000 soldiers died in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, the bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil. Today, the Gettysburg National Military Park is a National Park Service–run memorial to the lives lost in the 3-day battle. You don't have to be a Civil War buff to learn from this American history landmark.More

Amish Farm and House

Anyone curious about the history, heritage, and daily life of America’s Amish will be fascinated by the community at the Amish Farm and House in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This 200-year-old house—one of the nation’s oldest Amish attractions—hosts house and farm tours, cultural demonstrations, and interactive classes.More

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest public art galleries in the United States. Along with its main Greco-Roman style building—home to works by Rubens, Monet, and van Gogh—this cultural treasure boasts four smaller museums and is fronted by the “Rocky Steps,” immortalized in the hit 1976 film Rocky.More

Betsy Ross House

George Washington supposedly asked Betsy Ross to stitch the first-ever American flag. The seamstress is said to have created the Stars and Stripes in 1776. Today, visitors can explore the 18th-century house where Betsy Ross purportedly lived, examine artifacts from her life, and even meet a costumed Betsy Ross impersonator.More

The Franklin Institute Science Museum

One of the country’s first science museums, the Franklin Institute takes its name from inventor and former Philadelphian Benjamin Franklin. Today, it serves as an entertaining and educational destination for visitors of all ages—its hands-on exhibits, temporary exhibitions, planetarium, and other offerings make it a family-friendly must.More

Congress Hall in Philadelphia

Congress Hall played an important role in the history of the United States. Following the American Revolutionary War, Philadelphia was declared the capital city and Congress Hall served as the home of the U.S. Congress from 1790-1800. Today, the building is part of Independence National Historic Park and is open to the public for tours.More

Heinz Field

Home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, Heinz Field can pack in more than 65,000 fans on game day. Seats in this stadium on the banks of the Allegheny River offer views of the city skyline and riverfront. The venue also hosts large concerts and University of Pittsburgh football games.More

Independence National Historical Park

Known as “America’s most historic square mile,” Independence National Historical Park comprises the most significant landmarks linked to the Revolutionary War and the founding of the United States. Highlights of the park, located in Philadelphia’s Old City and Society Hill neighborhoods, include Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.More

Christ Church

Founded in 1695 and located in the heart of Old City, Christ Church is one of Philadelphia’s oldest and most significant religious landmarks, formerly attended by Founding Fathers including George Washington. Christ Church Burial Ground serves as the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin, George Ross, and other American luminaries.More

Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia City Hall, in the middle of Center City at the intersection of Broad and Market streets, is visible from all over town. For nearly 100 years, it remained the tallest structure in the city. Though it no longer bears the accolade, City Hall remains one of the city’s most recognizable historic buildings.More

Elfreth's Alley

Billed as the oldest residential street in the United States, Elfreth’s Alley dates back to 1702. A National Historic Landmark and a living museum, the narrow, cobbled alley features 32 buildings in Georgian and Federal styles. It’s also home to Elfreth's Alley Museum House.More

Duquesne Incline

The Duquesne Incline is a classic (and entertaining) way to get up to Mount Washington from Pittsburgh. In service since 1877, this pair of historic cable cars shuttles passengers from Pittsburgh’s South Shore neighborhood to an overlook with panoramic views of the city and its rivers.More

Love Park

Located in downtown Philadelphia, the John F. Kennedy Plaza is better known as LOVE Park, after Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture in the center of the park. Newly redesigned, with expanded green spaces, improved seating and pathways, and a programmable fountain, LOVE Park is a popular destination with locals and visitors alike.More

Top activities in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Old City Historic Walking Tour with 10+ Top Sites
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Flavors of Philly Food Tour
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Flavors of Philly Food Tour

Dark Philly Adult Night Tour

Dark Philly Adult Night Tour

Revolution and the Founders: History Tour of Philadelphia
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Explore Philadelphia: Founding Fathers Walking Tour
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Chef-Led Taste of the Italian Market Food Tour
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Spirit of Philadelphia Signature Lunch Cruise with Buffet
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True Crime Philadelphia and History Tour
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Black & Ghost Tour

Black & Ghost Tour

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All about Pennsylvania

When to visit

Summer is the most popular time to visit Pennsylvania. From Fourth of July celebrations to the delights of baseball season to weather that makes a Poconos lake retreat especially inviting, the season offers many things to do in the Keystone State. But, if you'd rather bypass the crowds that come with the heat, aim for spring: the flowers in Longwood Gardens will be at their peak, while family-friendly attractions like Hersheypark theme park will be less hectic.

Getting around

Pennsylvania’s two major hubs, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, are both served by international airports, by major Amtrak train stations (30th Street Station in the former, Union Station in the latter), by numerous bus lines, and by their own metropolitan transit systems. To get around the state, use mainline trains or bus services like Greyhound, which also link to smaller cities like Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Erie, and Scranton.

Traveler tips

Pennsylvania is largely landlocked, and it’s easy to forget that the state’s northwest corner shares 77 miles (124 kilometers) of border with Lake Erie. To experience for yourself the charm of this Great Lake, head to the city of Erie, where you can explore Presque Isle State Park and experience the only surf swimming within the state. Afterward, enjoy waterfront views from the Bicentennial Tower.

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People Also Ask

Is there anything fun to do in Pennsylvania?

Yes, there are lots of fun things to do in Pennsylvania. Major hubs like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offer historical landmarks, world-class museums and restaurants, and big-name sports teams. Hersheypark is popular with families, while outdoorsy destinations like the Pocono Mountains and the Lake Erie waterfront offer plenty of recreational activities.

What is the number one tourist attraction in Pennsylvania?

Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park—home to historic icons such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall—is Pennsylvania’s most-visited tourist destination. But it’s not the only thing to do in Philadelphia. Other highlights include Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia Museum of Art (and its Rocky statue), and Rittenhouse Square shopping district.

What is Pennsylvania known for?

Pennsylvania is known for its history. The state was one of the original 13 colonies, and Philadelphia was an early national capital. It’s known for its Civil War heritage (including the Gettysburg National Military Park), for cultural destinations like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and for its sports teams.

What is the prettiest place in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania boasts many scenic spots, from Allegheny National Forest and Pocono Mountains to the Appalachian Trail. Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Fallingwater is in southwestern Pennsylvania, while the Pine Creek Gorge (known as the PA Grand Canyon), part of Tioga State Forest, is located in the northern part of the state.

Is Pennsylvania worth visiting?

Yes, Pennsylvania is worth visiting, no matter what kind of traveler you are. Those interested in history and culture should visit Philadelphia, while sports fans can get their jollies in Philly and Pittsburgh. Shoppers can head to the enormous King of Prussia Mall, and nature lovers should visit the Poconos.

What are things that are only in Pennsylvania?

There are so many things unique to the Keystone State, from Philadelphia and its historical landmarks —including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Philadelphia Museum of Art—to Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Fallingwater. There are the sweet delights of Hershey’s Chocolate World to Amish history and culture in Lancaster County.

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