Pennsylvania is one of the most interesting states in the United States. With almost 13 million residents it is also one of the most populous states, with much of the population located in the major cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Erie.
One of the original 13 Colonies, Pennsylvania is bordered by Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, and West Virginia. It shares a water border on Lake Erie with Canada. The southern boundary of the state is marked by the Mason–Dixon line (39° 43′ N), which is an historic boundary drawn by surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon between 1763 and 1767 during a border dispute between the British colonies in Colonial America.
As a vacation destination, Pennsylvania has something for everybody. There are 57 miles of shoreline along the Delaware River, and beautiful woodlands throughout the state including the Allegheny National Forest which covers over half a million acres and is a popular spot for canoeing, hiking, camping, snowmobiling, horseback riding, hunting, and fishing.
Pennsylvania is home to some of the most important historic sites in the United States, and historical and cultural attractions can be found from one end of the state to the other.
The battlefield at Gettysburg – where President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address in 1863 – is one of the most important historic sites of the American Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg – fought between Union and Confederate soldiers from July 1 to July 3, 1863 – was the bloodiest battle ever to take place on American soil; over 7,800 soldiers were killed with almost 40,000 others wounded, captured, or missing.
The Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg is a must-see for those interested in military history; the museum contains an excellent collection of vehicles, small arms, and other exhibits and artifacts from the 20th and 21st centuries.
The Joseph Priestley House in Northumberland is an interesting place to visit for science fans. Priestley is credited with the discovered of oxygen in 1774, and also invented soda water. Priestley was also a liberal political theorist who published over 150 works during his lifetime.
Pennsylvania has several historic farms and farming communities open to the public, most notably the Somerset Historical Center and the Old Economy Village. Other fascinating destinations in the state include the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum and the Scranton Iron Furnaces.
Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania with a population of over 1.5 million, and is the fifth largest city in the United States. It was founded in 1682 by William Penn and within 70 years outgrew Boston to become the largest city in America, and the second largest in the British Empire after London.
Philadelphia is famous for its arts, culture, and sports. There are a number of world class museums to be found in and around Philadelphia including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Franklin Institute, and the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum. The city is also home to a number wonderful parks, including the extensive Fairmount Park which covers over 9,200 acres and is home to the Philadelphia Zoo.
Philadelphia played a crucial role in the American Revolution, and is home to a number of historical sites associated with the War of Independence. Among these is Carpenters’ Hall, where the First Continental Congress began meeting in 1774; their discussions eventually led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall in 1776. The iconic Liberty Bell can be found nearby at the Liberty Bell Center. All of these historic sites are located in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood.
If you are visiting Philadelphia and you love sports, you will find something to interest you year round. The most popular teams in the city are the Philadelphia Eagles (football), Philadelphia Phillies (baseball), Philadelphia Flyers (ice hockey), and the Philadelphia 76ers (basketball). In recent years the Philadelphia Union soccer team has also become quite popular.
Philadelphia has invested heavily in sports venues in recent years, and if you are visiting the city you should plan to take in a game or two. To see which teams are playing when you will be visiting the city, check out Philadelphia ticket information before you leave home.
Make Pennsylvania a regular vacation destination
With so much to offer, Pennsylvania is a popular vacation location and many people return to this beautiful state year after year. There are camping sites located throughout the state, as well as many hiking trails for those interested in communing with nature.
Individuals who like to explore will find Pennsylvania to be a great place for an extended road trip. National Geographic calls Pennsylvania’s Route 6, which takes in the Susquehanna River and the Endless Mountains, “one of America’s most scenic drives.” Starting from Wellsboro, take Route 6 to Pine Creek Gorge, Smethport, and on to Warren. There are many interesting sights along the way and the scenery is fantastic.