Pennsylvania Attractions

Places to visit, points of interest and top things to see in Pennsylvania

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Just driving through Hershey, Pennsylvania and getting a whiff of that incredible Hershey's chocolate, makes everyone want to go visit Hershey Park while traveling in this incredibly aromatic area. The park opened in 1907 and it's an amusement park that quite close to the chocolate factory. Originally it was opened as a park for the people who worked for this wonderful chocolate company, and later on it actually opened to the public. Today it has more than 60 great rides, food courts, and some other great attractions that visitors from near and far can enjoy.

Some of the great things to do at Hershey Park include:

- Any of the nine great areas with various themes, such as Tudor Square with its donuts, shops, and great restaurants.

- Founders Circle has the original Carousel, eleven roller coasters, a double Ferris wheel, and number other great rides.

- Comet Hollow also has a number of great rides, include the Wave Swinger, everyone's favorite Tilt-a-Whirl, an arcade area, and of course a variety of great places to eat... read more arrow
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There are so many great places throughout the eastern seaboard to visit, and the National Civil Was Museum is just such a place. It's located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and was established to preserve the memory and various artifacts related to the American Civil Ware during the 1860s. This museum honors a variety of organizations and since 2009 it has been associated with Washington, D.C.'s incredible Smithsonian Museum. The exhibits are set up to focus on the complete story of the Civil War from both the Confederate and Union's points of view.

There are a variety of galleries in the National Civil Was Museum that visitors will find fascinating, such as:

- The First Shots gallery from 1861 that was famous for the first shot that started the war at Fort Sumter.

- The Making of Armies gallery depicts how both the Confederate and Union armies trained, recruited, and equipped their soldiers... read more arrow
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For travels wandering their way through Pennsylvania, another great place to stop is the Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg. This is a family owned amusement park that started in 1926 and has grown to more than 57 rides that include roller coasters, a carousel, and some other great features that will delight families from all over the country. Originally it was popular for horse-drawn hayrides, and later ice cream, soda, and snacks were added in addition to other rides.

There are a variety of activities at this great Knoebels Amusement Resort that all members of the family will enjoy, such as:

- The Twists, Kozmos Kurves, and the Phoenix and three great roller coasters, and the Phoenix was one of the first large wood roller coasters that were very popular.

- Most families enjoy trains and this park has two; one miniature steam locomotive and one gas locomotive, both great fun for everyone,

- There are two carousels in the park, and the Grande Carousel was built around 1912 and contains 53 magnificent hand-carved horses... read more arrow
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Benjamin Franklin was one of the most noted and prominent statesmen, inventor, and founder of the American Republic, and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is one of the greatest centers in the country. One of the most celebrated founders during the American Revolutionary War, signer of the Declaration of Independence, inventor, author, and scientist, Benjamin Franklin inspired inventions and discoveries for generations. This Institute was established in 1824.

When visiting the Franklin Institute, there are many fascinating things to see in the Science Center, including:

- A variety of permanent exhibits in the building which showcases many of his inventions, such as the stove, and discoveries, such as electricity. Also included is the Train Factory, the Observatory, the Giant Heart, and many additional exciting galleries.

- The Science Center include several other great exhibits such as the original airplane made of stainless steel, and a model of NASA's Lunar Module... read more arrow
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For visitors traveling to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Walnut Street Theatre is another of the amazing places to visit in the historically amazing city. Take a walk down Walnut Street and this wonderful little theater is still going strong. It's been operating since 1809 and is recognized as the oldest theater in America and it's continued to operate since it opened. There are three stages that includes the Mainstage that hosts the largest productions, the Independence Studio that is on the third floor and hosts smaller productions, and Studio 5 that two floors up and runs independent productions.

The very first production was in 1812, and was notably attended by President Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette, called The Rivals Since then, great stars including Marlon Brando, Henry Fonda, Audrey Hepburn, and Sidney Poitier have all starred in productions at these excellent productions.

For the 2011 season there are some excellent upcoming productions for their 200th anniversary including The Glass Menagerie, Amadeus, and Harry, the Dirty Dog... read more arrow
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Just how many people consider going to visit a penitentiary on vacation? The Eastern State Penitentiary is an extremely unique site that is worth stopping and taking the tour. It actually looks like a medieval fortress and it opened in 1829. It's eerie, creepy and is one of the most unique places in Philadelphia that travelers can tour and learn about some of the most infamous criminals serving time here. One of its most famous gangsters who resided here for many years was Al Capone. One of the most entertaining aspects here is that they regale the visitor with stories of attempted escapes that were unsuccessful, well known romances in the prison, and even some dogs who were incarcerated here.

One exciting attraction of this Eastern State Penitentiary is the ghost stories of the jail. It's particularly fun around Halloween when they open the haunted house tours called "Terror Behind the Walls". Come join one of the creepiest, scariest haunted houses that have ever been thought of – because the ghosts who haunt this prison were some of the most notorious and heinous in the country... read more arrow
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There are so many things to see and do in Philadelphia, and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts that's actually located on the Avenue of the Arts, and it's closely tied to the Academy of Music as well. This is an incredible concert hall that was built in 2000 for the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was designed by Rafael Voñoly and one of the most talent designers of acoustics in the world, Artec Consultants, ensured that the sound was the most incredible of any venue in the country.

This Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has two main performance halls and a number of smaller areas for performances and meetings.

- The main hall, Verizon Hall, seats 2500 visitor and it contains one of the most spectacular pipe organs that is the largest mechanical one in the entire United States.

- Another fantastic performance hall in this amazing venue is the Perelman Theater; it's smaller – seating on 650 people – but its unique feature is the 75 foot stage that on a turntable allowing it to be used as a recital hall or theater... read more arrow
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Philadelphia is one of the most historic cities in the country, and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia is a private medical society that is the oldest in the country. Numerous contributions in the medical industry have come out of this prestigious college. This facility was built in 1909 and in October 2008, it became a member of the National Register of Historic Places in America.

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia contains some extremely interesting facilities, including the following:

- The Mũtter Museum which is home to a fascination collection of antique medical instruments such as a wooden stethoscope, models, photographs, and specimens from the 1800s, such as a liver of conjoined twins, and a piece of the brain of Charles Guiteau.

- The Historical Medical Library is the oldest library of medical texts in country and contains some of the most historic texts, and it's been the main research library for medical students for over 150 years... read more arrow
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When visitors arrive in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the first thing they notice is the wonderful chocolate aroma that permeates the city from Hershey's Chocolate World. When Milton Hershey discovered a delicious recipe for a luscious chocolate as a coating for the caramel candies he made in 1894, and this wonderful chocolate turned out to be incredibly popular, and has remained so for well over a century. Their milk chocolate is still one of the most popular flavors of chocolate in the country today.

When visitors enter the Hershey's Chocolate World, not only is that wonderful chocolate aroma astounding, but there are some great things to do in this facility, such as:

- Free chocolate samples are probably the most popular part of the tour and everyone get samples of their favorite chocolates.

- A tour of the Hershey's Kisses packaging plant allows visitors to see exactly how everyone's favorite treat is made and wrapped... read more arrow
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Just think of taking a lovely stroll around a beautiful trail in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens come to mind. This site contains a series of beautifully decorated grounds and buildings that had its beginnings in 1893. The gardens were a gift from Henry Phipps to Pittsburg with the intent to provide formal gardens containing interesting and beautiful plants that are not native to this area. The conservatory houses the most elaborate gardens in the area and is beautifully constructed with intricate metalwork and glass but in a Victorian greenhouse style.

Take a look at some of the great attractions at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, such as:

- A trip down the Amazon River is not a typical vision in central Pennsylvania, but this is exactly what guests will find in the Headwaters of the Amazon exhibit with some of the most exotic plants and facts about amazing cultures of the region... read more arrow
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One of the most well known artist and filmmaker in America was Andrew Warhol, and The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg depicts his life, his work, and many of his exhibits. He was a child of immigrants from Slovakia in the late 1920s. The museum is part of a collaboration of the Dia Art Foundation and the Carnegie Institute along with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. It's an 88,000 square foot facility and is designed with 17 galleries that feature over 8000 pieces of art and print that over nine million guests view each year.

While visiting The Andy Warhol Museum take a look at the various exhibitions, including:

- The exhibitions of art, sculptures, photographs, videos, and drawings are the greatest collection of the memorabilia of Andy Warhol.

- The museum is host to a variety of traveling exhibits from around the world. Check out the calendar when visiting to find what is currently showing... read more arrow
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For people traveling in Pennsylvania, one of the greatest museums that guests should visit is the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. It was built in 1895 and contains one of the most incredible collections of art, video, and film in North America, and it was Andrew Carnegie's dream of combination art gallery and library. Carnegie love art and particularly what he called the "Old Master if Tomorrow" which translates to the best new artist producing modern art.

There are many galleries and interesting things in the Carnegie Museum of Art, which include such areas as:

- The Hall of architecture that was built in 1907 is an incredibly unique collection of 140 life size plaster castings of buildings from Egypt, Rome, and ancient Greece as well as other primeval civilizations.

- The Hall of Sculpture that is designed to match the inner sanctuary of the Parthenon and contains 69 sculptures based on Egyptian, Greek, Near East, and Roman cultures... read more arrow
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Andrew Carnegie dreamed about a collection of museums, and part of his dream came true with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History when it was built in 1895. This is the 115,000 square foot building that contains a fantastic library, 20 art galleries, and over 21 million artifacts and specimens with 10,000 exhibited at any specific time. Typically, this museum is visited by thousands of school groups and it's one of the top five museums of natural history in the country.

When visiting the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, in Pittsburg, be sure to see some of these incredible collections and galleries, including:

- The Dinosaur collection is one of the most popular exhibits that contain the largest collection of dinosaurs from the Jurassic period, and the third largest collection in the country.

- The Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems has some of the most incredible gemstones and minerals, as well as various metals and ors from various industries around the area... read more arrow
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Continuing the great dream of Andrew Carnegie is the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The center dates back to 1939 and is the most popular museum in the area. When it was integrated with the Carnegie Institute the new building was completed at a cost of $40 million.

There are so many excellent galleries and exhibits to see in the Carnegie Science Center, including the following:

- The largest model train in America is located and it's a fantastic reproduction of the Western Pennsylvania railroad system beginning in the 1890s, and it dates back to the early 1920s.

- Roboworld has been labeled the "world's largest permanent robotics exhibit" and is an incredible display of over 30 working robots, and it's home to the Robot Hall of Fame.

- The Buhl Planetarium is an incredible domed building that has some excellent programs and displays on the farthest areas of the universe and guests are thrilled by amazing nebulas, global clusters, and planets... read more arrow
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is home to some of the best museums, and the Fort Pitt Museum is at the juncture of the Monongahela and Allegheny River at the head of the Ohio River. This is an historically significant area because allowed the troop to control the upper Ohio River Valley, which was particularly important during the American Revolution. Fort Pitt was built in 1758 by the British and it also played an important role during the Whiskey Rebellion. It's located at Point State Park and is a 12,000 square foot museum that is located in a two story building.

This Fort Pitt Museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute and is the largest historical museum in Pennsylvania and it opened in 1969, recreating some of the unique history of the Western Pennsylvania area. This includes figurines that depict reenactments of the French and Indian War, as well as several battles that were fought during the American Revolution. There are a variety of interactive exhibits that include life sized figures and numerous authentic artifacts from the wars and the lives of the people during these eras... read more arrow
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The Duquesne Incline is an amazing plane railroad located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that scales Mount Washington. The design was created by Samuel Discher and it is 800 feet long, 400 feet high, and it rises at a 300 degree angle. One of the most unique aspects of this incline is the odd five foot gauge railroad, and it was completed in 1877. Originally, this was powered by steam and used to foray cargo up and down the mountain in the late 1800s, but eventually it led to passengers being ferried up the mountain. By the late 1960s only two inclines up the mountain remained this one and the Monongahela.

Some of the most interesting things about the Duquesne Incline are the following:

- The Observation Deck at the top of the mountain provides a truly amazing panoramic view of the valley below; photographers will thoroughly enjoy photographing the scenery... read more arrow
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America's largest Aviary is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is known as the National Aviary. This aviary is home to more than 600 birds that are 200 different species, many of which are endangered, and it's considered to have the greatest assortment of any aviary in the country. Some of the rarest birds, such as the Blue Winged Mountain Tanager, Scarlet Headed Blackbird, Green Backed Trogon, Pompadour Cotuinga, and many more have found their home in this excellent facility.

Some of the areas that visitors to the National Aviary will find very popular include:

- One of the newest exhibits is Penguin Point, that is home to eleven African Penguins and it has a great tank that allows both underwater and above ground viewing.

- The Raptor Experience has some incredible birds of prey and visitors get to learn about these amazing predators that includes, eagles, falcons, owls, hawks, and many more... read more arrow
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One of the most interesting and educational places to take kiddos is the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. It opened in 1983 in the existing Allegheny Post Office and it has some outstanding programs for children of various ages. It was expanded in the early 2000 to incorporate with the Buhl Planetarium nearby. There are a variety of exceptional exhibits and programs that help children learn about various topics and they are interactive; allowing the children to create various projects in the assorted areas of the museum.

When guests discover this Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, they will return time and time again to see these various exhibits, including:

- The attic challenges the senses with the Gravity Room where everything is tilted at 25° creating an amazing sensation, the Phosphorescent Room which allows the kids to cast interesting shapes with the foam props, as well as the puppet show at the Animateering... read more arrow
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Another institution that is affiliated with the Smithsonian is the Heinz History Center located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. It's name after Senator John Heinz who was a Republican serving from 1977 to 1991 as a U.S. Senator, and from 1971 to 1977 as a Congressman in the House of Representatives. He was killed in a plane crash in 1991 and the History Center named after him is a 275,000 square foot building that is homes to some excellent exhibits in its six floors.

There are a variety of compelling exhibits in the Heinz History Center, that include the following:

- One very interesting exhibit is Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation that highlights the inventions and achievements of influential inventors of this area, including George Westinghouse, Jonas Salk, George Ferris, Andrew Carnegie, and Rosie the Riveter. This area includes the premier Jazz club where the most prominent jazz musician's music is played... read more arrow
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In a city full of museum, another excellent museum of modern art is The Mattress Factory Art Museum located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. It boasts some unique galleries and has some truly amazing room-sized exhibits that were so large they had to be created at the museum because they were too large to be moved through the doorways. A variety of media is used in many of these exhibits that will delight and amaze all the senses, and it's operated since 1977.

There are some remarkable exhibits in The Mattress Factory Art Museum, such as the following:

- One of the gallery's exhibitions is the Queloides: Race and Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art that highlights the debate of racism in Cuba and around the world. There are 12 artists who were invited to display their artwork in this exhibit including Pedro Alvarez Belkis Ayon, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Douglas Perez, and several more... read more arrow
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* Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

You can also rate and vote for your favorite Pennsylvania sightseeing places, famous historical landmarks, and best things to do in Pennsylvania by visiting the individual Pennsylvania attraction pages.