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Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Pennsylvania features cities large and small, foodie spots, sports hubs and more. Plus, the state experiences all four seasons, meaning you can pick your favorite time to visit. U.S. News considered sights, culture, adventure and accessibility, in addition to expert and user feedback, to create this ranking. Read on below and vote for the spots that belong. 

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#1 Philadelphia

#1 in Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

Philly is one of the country's most notable historic destinations, thanks to top sights like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. What’s more, the city has something for travelers of all ages: Kids will enjoy the Please Touch Museum and the zoo, while adults can stroll through Reading Terminal Market and admire Rittenhouse Square. Don't forget to try a classic Philadelphia cheesesteak before you go. Read More »

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#2 Pittsburgh

#2 in Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

An up-and-coming foodie destination, Pittsburgh woos travelers with its new restaurants that dish out everything from Asian Mexican fusion to Italian. In addition to eating your way through Steel City, you'll want to hit the Andy Warhol Museum, swing by PNC Park for a baseball game or tour, and catch the Duquesne Incline to the top of Mount Washington for excellent city and river views. Read More »

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#3 Gettysburg

#3 in Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

History buffs will love Gettysburg. Travelers can take battlefield tours on the 6,000-acre Civil War military park, enjoy ghost tours of allegedly haunted areas of Gettysburg or shop for antiques. Looking for a little rest and relaxation? Gettysburg is home to several golf courses and spas as well.

Gettysburg
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#4 Strasburg

#4 in Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

This small town is known for its railroad ties and nearby covered bridges. Children will relish the chance to see model trains on display at the Choo Choo Barn and can learn more about them at the Smithsonian-affiliate Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Travelers should also plan a pit stop to view the beautiful Neffs Mill and Lime Valley covered bridges, which date back to the 1800s.

Strasburg
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#5 Lancaster

#5 in Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

The Dutch Wonderland amusement park and the Amish are synonymous with Lancaster. The family-friendly theme park wins praise for the variety of rides for kids young and old. Meanwhile, Lancaster's Amish buggy rides and impressive farmers markets are also popular with travelers. You may want to save some cash and head to the area's outlets, too.

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#6 State College

#6 in Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

Home to Penn State University's main campus, State College is more than just a college town. The area is home to a few breweries and wineries, beautiful parks and a handful of museums, plus the town hosts a popular summer arts festival. Come on a fall football weekend to tailgate and experience Happy Valley at its most energetic. Visit another time to enjoy fewer crowds and more affordable prices on lodging.

State college
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#7 Jim Thorpe

#7 in Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

Sights like the Asa Packer Mansion house museum, the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway and the Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary are just a few things that draw visitors to this northeastern Pennsylvania town. Nearby hiking at Glen Onoko Falls and whitewater rafting through Lehigh Gorge State Park are activities outdoor enthusiasts can't get enough of.

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#8 Harrisburg

#8 in Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

The capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg is home to the state Capitol building and a few notable institutions, including the State Museum of Pennsylvania and the National Civil War Museum. When the weather's warm, take a ride on the Pride of the Susquehanna riverboat, which is one of only six remaining authentic paddle wheel riverboats in the U.S.

Harrisburg
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#9 Bethlehem

#9 in Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

Bethlehem is a quaint town that features some unique attractions. The city's Moravian Book Shop, which first opened in 1745, is the oldest continuously operating bookstore in the world. And the Hoover-Mason Trestle that once shuttled raw materials for Bethlehem Steel is now an industrial landmark and park for travelers to explore.

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#10 Delaware Water Gap

#10 in Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania

Lovers of the great outdoors flock to Delaware Water Gap each summer to hike and admire the green forest and waterfalls of the area. Travelers can also rent canoes or kayaks and take to the water, bike along the McDade Recreational Trail, enjoy a swim or go fishing.

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