Pennsylvania Overview

Energetic cities, gorgeous rural landscapes, world-class culture and history by the bucketload: Pennsylvania will leave you breathless. You can dip into 18th-century life at historic homesteads, trace the state’s industrial heritage in old mining villages and disused ironworks, and plant your feet on legendary battlefields.

Philadelphia, its largest city, takes pride in its history. It was here that the country’s Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, and for many visitors, the first port of call is Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Dive into the multi-ethnic culinary scene, sip craft ale at pop up beers gardens and pedal across the scenic Schuylkill Banks Broadwalk.

if all this city action has you crying out for simpler times, look no further than the Amish community in Lancaster County, where horse drawn buggies clatter along rural lanes, televisions and high fashions are a no-no, and life has barely changed for 300 years.

The state’s western side has a different edge to it, lying on the cusp of the Midwest, with staunchly industrial roots. That said, Pittsburgh has dusted off its gritty image and emerged as a sophisticated arts and dining destination in its own right – well worth a visit.

Culturally, Pennsylvania is up there with the best. Gaze at a world-renowned collection in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the USA’s third biggest museum; saunter around Pittsburgh’s fabulous Carnegie Museum of Art: and bag tickets to a musical at Lancaster’s historic Fulton theatre.

Itching for outdoor action? Paddle the Susquehanna River or bike 400 miles of scenic routes in the Allegheny Forest for lungfuls of invigorating Pennsylvania air.

Things to do in Pennsylvania

Art and culture

Pennsylvania is known for its vast arts scene, the state is home to galleries with wonderful art collections, this includes the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. As well as many dazzling horticultural displays at Pennsylvania gardens and arboretums, the area also has a museum dedicated to Andy Warhol. From musical buffs to Shakespeare, Pennsylvania’s art scene has something for everyone.

Attractions and activities

There’s plenty of sightseeing to do in Pennsylvania, with a number of amusement parks, a fall-foliage tour along the railroad, many breweries where you can sample beers and vineyards to try wines. The area is also famous for their potato chips, pretzels and chocolate factories. There’s also a number of racetrack casinos and botanical gardens

Events and festivals

Pennsylvania also have a number of events and festivals going on throughout the year, this includes the Little League World Series, Groundhog Day and many country fairs and festivals which revel in Pennsylvania’s apple crops, maple syrup production and local music.

Golf and sports

The area is home to many golf courses including ones which overlook the Pocono Mountains, there’s also the chance to catch a Phillies game at PNC Park or a Pittsburgh Steelers game. One of the first professional football games was played in local Pittsburgh, making Pennsylvania a place in sports history. Footballs not the only sport in town, the area is also avid when it comes to their baseball.

History and heritage

In Pennsylvania, all the roads lead to history, with battlefields, large iconic buildings, museums and memorials, there’s so much to learn and see. The history of the place really makes it a unique experience, the nation was born in Philadelphia, saved at Gettysburg and ushered in to the Industrial Revolutions in the cities of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Scranton, Erie, York and Allentown. On Pennsylvanian soil the South seceded to the North, a key part of American history.

Outdoors and recreation

If it’s outdoors that you’re into, there’s plenty of brilliant activities to get involved with, this includes balloon rides, a visit to Cameron County full of wildlife filled forests and the Crystal Cave, one of Pennsylvania’s natural wonders. Bushkill Falls is a great place for families, friends, couples and nature enthusiasts to visit, there’s the opportunity to experience the splendour and beauty of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.


Pennsylvania is also a popular place for shopping, there’s King of Prussia, the largest shopping mall on the East Coast, many outlet malls, chic boutiques, antique stores and farmers markets. Whatever your style or personality, when it comes to shopping, in Pennsylvania, there’s something for everyone.

Suggested Itineraries, Escorted Tours and Accommodation for Pennsylvania

View our suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Pennsylvania, and see itinerary routes and escorted tours we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

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