7 Best Places to Explore in Pennsylvania on a Short Stay

Pennsylvania, the state of large and small cities, experiencing all four seasons is perfect for a peaceful weekend getaway in USA. There is no wrong or right time to visit this State. The cultural legacy, sights, food, and adventurous pursuits have attracted visitors to Pennsylvania for a long time.

Last year, I visited Pennsylvania for the first time to attend my sister's wedding. The vacation of a week turned into a month-long stay due to a family emergency. I had to stay too to help which made me cash strapped. So, I started exploring recruitment agencies to search for a temp job in engineering and stumbled upon CGT Staffing.

They not only got me an interview with a great company, I was also hired right after it. During my stay, I got the opportunity to explore all the best places in the state of Pennsylvania. I was surprised to find several interesting places, which are worth sharing here.

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From historical attractions to breathtaking parks, these attractions are highly recommended to a first-time visitor:

1. Hersheypark

When you are here in Pennsylvania, you can't say no to Hershey Park, everyone's favorite amusement park located in Hershey's town. The park is home to 90 acres of land dedicated to rides and entertainment for kids and adults alike. Did you know that back in 1906, this Park was originally built as a recreational area for workers at the Hershey's factory?

It was expanded later on to attract visitors from other states. Alongside the park, there lies ZooAmerica with over 200 animals from the North American habitat. Kids love the opportunity to feed animals.

2. Gettysburg National Military Park

It's always baffling to see sites where battlefields were held, right? Pennsylvania allows you to walk on the battlefield of the civil war held in 1863! The Gettysburg National Military Park, home to the Gettysburg battlefield where more than 50,000 people lost their lives is a chilling place to explore. I got goosebumps standing here!

This is a park museum featuring several exhibits. The Rosensteel collection has artifacts, uniforms, weapons, and personal items from the civil war. The best thing about the Gettysburg National Military Park is it never bores you. They also reenact history programs and have horseback riding trails.

3. Philadelphia Museum of Art

This iconic building has the largest collections of art in America. You have guessed it right; the front steps of this museum were featured in all of the Rocky movies. If you get a chance to explore this museum, don't forget to take a picture with the Bronze rocky statue that's placed at the bottom right of the steps.

Inside the museum are some iconic pieces of art from the western and Asian world. The museum is further beautified by Roman, the Egyptian collection, and pre-Columbian artwork including painting, sculpture, and decorative arts. The backdrop of the museum is often used for hosting concerts and parades.

4. Fallingwater

Fallingwater by Architect Frank Lloyd Wright remains one of the most classic examples of 'Good Architecture'. The house has water flowing right underneath it, blending the space with the nature and merging landscape and built environment together. The natural materials makes the space comforting and relaxing.

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater is famous for the organic architecture that harmonizes and contrasts with its nature. This building has collections from the Kauffman family and other former residents. The property is adorned with large and small sculptures. Prominent pieces include Mexican folk art and cubist sculptors.

The international art collection includes impressive pieces by Diego Rivera and Picasso. Visitors get to see the home’s interior through guided tours.

5. State College

Home to Pennsylvania State College, the State College is perfect for anyone who would like to experience the vibe of a college town. This area has interesting historical sites to explore such as the Boalsburg Heritage Museum, Centre Furnace Mansion Historic Site, and Fort Roberdeau Historic Site. The college also hosts annual events and festivals like the Central PA Festivals of Arts (which I was honored to witness).

6. Reading Terminal Market

This multi-ethnic market is located in downtown Philadelphia. It is filled with gourmets you wouldn’t want to miss out on. Savor Amish cuisine at the Dutch eating place or take home Beiler’s doughnuts. This market has been around since the 1980s in the National Historic Landmark building. From fresh produce to baked goods, books, clothing, ice cream, flowers, culinary treats, and unique merchandise, everything best is available in this market.

7. Wissahickon Valley Park

Located in the heart of Philadelphia, this park is home to 1800-acre green land perfect for hiking, viewing wildlife, and recreation. It has 50 miles of trail for mountain biking, hiking, and even horseback riding. You will also pass along some historical sites. Spring is a great time for bird watching as the park arranges special birding walks for visitors.

8. Independence National Historical Park

Among the famous landmarks in North America, the home of the Liberty Bell, Independence Park in Pennsylvania takes you back to the times of the founding fathers of USA.

9. Kinzua Bridge State Park

Kinzua Bridge State Park offers visitors the opportunity to tour the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk. Located in McKean County, this park is home to the newly reinvented Kinzua Viaduct. The viaduct, once the longest and tallest railway structure at 2,054 meters long and 301 feet high, was known, was partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003.

The engineering masterpiece was reinvented as a new pedestrian crossing, where visitors can stroll 600 feet over the remaining peer support towers, miles out into the Kinzua Gorge as well as look down on the partial glass platform at the end of the walkway. The Kinzua Bridge Scenic Byway is designated as a shared use walk/runner trail.

Conclusion

One can only visit so much in a month, right? I hope to revisit Pennsylvania to explore more attractions in this beautiful state. I might as well move here if I am able to find a permanent job, which may mean contacting engineering staffing agencies. I wouldn't mind the hassle because this State is worth it!

Kalyan Panja