10 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.

Explore all the best places in the state of Pennsylvania. There are several interesting places, which are worth sharing here.


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 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. Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Pittsburgh has everything you want, 3 major sports teams so you can catch a big league game any time of year, Not far away there’s skiing, hiking, boating, sightseeing. It has a good public transportation system and a lot of cabs so you don't need a car. If you prefer a resort/country club vacation Nemacolin Golf Resort is not too far from Pittsburgh.

The nice thing about an urban vacation is that they price their rooms and their hotels for daily business and you're not getting shafted with the vacation upcharge like you do in the more popular resort regions. You just pay the regular rate for accommodations. Amtrak is like flying first class and the scenery is beautiful. Pittsburgh has terrific museums and a conservatory that rival the best in the world.

The Carnegie museum of Natural History is better than the one in NYC. The Pittsburgh Aviary is about the best avian zoo. The Frick Museum has a fantastic art collection if you're into that. Andrew Carnegie set up a wonderful system of philanthropy and the Pittsburgh public theatre is a real treat. It’s a theatre in the round and it holds maybe 200 seats.

Andy Warhol has his own museum and so does Roberto Clemente! Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Falling Water” is not far away so if you're into classic American architecture you shouldn't miss it. Kennywood is the oldest amusement park in the country and the wooden roller coasters are really fun. The park is small so it’s easily walkable and ideal for tween age kids.

Also nearby is the Cathedral of Learning on the U Pitt Campus. They’ve designed ethnic and cultural classrooms that are open to the public and it's like a museum itself. Pittsburgh is home to three major universities so the crowds are young, culturally diverse, and hip. All the bands stop in Pittsburgh on their way to NYC or Chicago.

The bars up and down East Carson Street were always hopping with live music and cheap cold beer. You can catch a live band any night of the week. The city wears its history on its face. The architecture and the palatial homes that are monuments to the industrial age are stunning. The same Robber Barons that summered in Newport, Rhode Island lived in Pittsburgh.

It has ethnic and historic neighborhoods like any big city, but it's got the convenience of a small town. The Duquesne Incline is fun to ride and the view from the top is terrific. If you're a fan of railroad history, you'll never tire of learning. In Gibsonia they have a really wonderful model railroad museum that’s worth the ride. Even the cemetery is worth a tour.

People love to eat in Pittsburgh. The food scene is great, you can get a good meal anywhere with no trouble at all, they even make a decent bagel. The festivals and events are held almost every weekend so there’s always something to do. The Strip District is a bunch of old warehouses that have been converted to shops and clubs and restaurants.

It's like a market run by the United Nations! It is also home to Primanti Brothers where you can get a huge sandwich with cole slaw and fries on it. There’s a heavy Eastern Orthodox and Greek Catholic influence so there’s churches everywhere and they each have their own neighborhood flavor.

10. 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.

Kalyan Panja