The Keystone State is a marvelous place for your next vacation. You can step into the past with the horse-drawn buggies of Lancaster County or live it up in the cities of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. And that’s before we get to the stunning outdoor activities on offer here. With 26 national park sites, there’s no shortage of places to hike, bike, and swim. To cap it all off, Pennsylvania has a rich and fascinating history, with many places to learn about that on your trip.
In this post, we’ll take a look at seven of the best activities you can do on a trip to Pennsylvania. Hopefully, it’ll make it easier to plan and make the most of your trip. And yes, there is a campsite near all of them!
1. Try Stand up Paddle Boarding at Presque Isle State Park
Situated on the shores of Lake Erie, Presque Isle State Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Pennsylvania. It is open throughout the year and there are miles upon miles of hiking trails. It also has more than eleven miles of beach, with clear blue waters perfect for swimming. The shores make for a great sunbathing spot too!
If you’re looking for a little more excitement or a bit of a challenge on your trip to Presque Isle, why not learn to paddle board? You can check more info and advice about stand up paddle boarding here at GiliSports. It’s the fastest growing water sport in the world and a great workout for your core! It’s also a fine way to enjoy this stunning state park.
2. Valley Forge National Historic Park
For those who are interested in American history, there are few sites that can stir the emotions as much as Valley Forge National Park. It is where the American Revolutionary war was won. Nowadays, you can learn about the events of Valley Forge at the visitor center – where there are exhibitions and tours. Once you’ve had your fill of history, there are several trails throughout the national park too. While it is an easy day trip from Philadelphia, there are several places nearby where you can camp.
3. Navigate the state on historic railroads
Hiking trails are not the only way that you can take in the beauty of Pennsylvania. In the small town of Strasburg, you can board a historic steam train to discover the surrounding area. This is one of the best ways to see the Amish County and journeys take roughly ¾ of an hour. If you get travel sick, no need to worry. You can visit the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the National Toy Train Museum in Pennsylvania too. Strasburg is in Lancaster County.
4. Learn about America’s independence in Philadelphia
Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania, but Philadelphia is arguably its best-known city. And it’s no surprise since it’s one of the most important historic sites in America! The Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution drafted too. Nowadays, you can visit the museums, stroll through the park and around the cobblestoned streets, and you certainly won’t want to miss the Liberty Bell. Philadelphia is a great place to start your Pennsylvania vacation before heading out into the state’s national parks and areas of great beauty.
5. Take a tour of the Fallingwater House
One of America’s most famous architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, created the stunning Fallingwater house, deep in Bear Run Nature Reserve. It looks out over a waterfall and it’s considered one of the most beautiful private homes in the United States. While you can take a tour of the Fallingwater House, it’s not the only thing in this area. The Laurel Highlands has numerous places where you can hike, bike, and enjoy the great outdoors. And of course, there are several spots where you can camp out too!
6. Gaze at the stars
If you get off the beaten track in Pennsylvania, you can make the most of some incredible dark skies. For an area that is largely untouched by light pollution, put Cherry Springs State Park on your Pennsylvania itinerary. On a good night, you’ll be able to see the Milky Way. Camping here is best if you don’t spend all of your time in the tent – otherwise how will you see the stars above?! The campgrounds here are very quiet, but some have telescopes and observation fields to make the most of those beautiful open skies.
7. Hike some of the most beautiful trails in the states
As we mentioned earlier, there are more than 26 national park areas in Pennsylvania, meaning that there’s a lot of hiking! So, grab your walking boots and anything else you might need and hit some of the trails. If you want to see nature in all its splendor without straining yourself too much, the Montour Trail passes through Allegheny and Washington Counties. It covers 63 miles, but is largely flat, so you can appreciate what is around you. Animal lovers will like the short trails of the Marilla Trail System, while the Great Shamokin Path gives you a chance to learn a little history with your hiking!
Final Thoughts on things to do in Pennsylvania
With so much on offer to do in Pennsylvania, you’ll probably want to book your trip soon. Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, your other half, or even solo, there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the great outdoors than camping. Remember, if you’re local, a camping trip could just be the vacation you’ve been looking for close to home in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic too! No matter where you choose to visit in Pennsylvania, you’re sure to have a great time from taking in its captivating nature to embark on any breathtaking adventure.
Please note that some of the activities such as visiting some parks are not yet available due to the Covid-19 virus. For some activities that are available, we suggest that you follow proper guidelines, proper sanitation and hygiene to help prevent the spread of the virus.