Things to do in Pennsylvania
Carlisle - step back in time at Two Mile House
Built on what was once the main road through the area, Two Mile House in Carlisle was at one time a tavern but is now one of the properties owned by the Cumberland County Historical Society. A tour around the house is like stepping back in time. It is only open on Wednesday afternoons between May and September, but private tours can be arranged by appointment.
Gettysburg - tour the historic Gettysburg battlefield
The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the turning points in the American Civil War, and sadly was also one of the bloodiest. Take a tour around this historic battle site and see where nearly 50,000 soldiers on both sides lost their lives in just 3 days. The best way to see the battlefield is to take a tour on one of the buses. Each tour takes about 2 hours to complete.
Harrisburg - relive the past at the John Harris and Simon Cameron Mansion
For a taste of what life was like for the rich back in the mid 18th century in Harrisburg take a tour around the magnificent John Harris and Simon Cameron Mansion. There you will find sumptuous paintings and classic, polished furniture. The museum is open for public guided tours Monday to Thursday between the months of April and October. It takes about 1 hour to complete a tour of this historic masion.
Harrisburg - view the armoury at the National Civil War Museum
Located in Harrisburg Reservoir Park, the National Civil War Museum covers the events leading up to the war, the years after it, and the consequences of the war. There are over 24,000 items on display including photographs manuscripts, weapons and uniforms as well as depictions of the major battles that took place during the 4 year war. Both sides are depicted with no bias, making it a highly educational and sobering visit, for people of all ages.
Lancaster - take the kids to the Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park
A family favourite for nearly 50 years, the Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park was created by the Clark family, but is now run by Hershey Entertainment. Kids have the chance to enjoy themselves on the various rides as well as interact with farm animals and even milk Bessie the cow. The park is open every day between late May and early September.
Philadelphia - go bird watching at the John Heinz National Wildlife Preserve
Located just outside of Philadelphia, the John Heinz National Wildlife Preserve is the largest tract of natural marshland left in the state. Containing over 1,000 acres of habitat, it is home to a diverse group of plant and wildlife. The park is an important stop off area for over 300 different species of migrating birds, which makes it a favourite location and choice for birdwatchers. There are also plenty of creeks to explore in a canoe or to spend time angling, for many varieties of fish can be found in the waters.
Philadelphia - see spectacular city's views from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge
Joining the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey the Benjamin Franklin Bridge was at its time of completion in 1926, the longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge carries traffic in both directions as well as 2 rapid transit trains and has 2 public walkways, the latter of which offers spectacular views of the city and flowing Delaware River.
Philadelphia - view art works at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
One of the oldest museums in the country, and the third largest, the Philadelphia Museum of Art houses a magnificent collection of paintings and sculptures from all around the world. Works of arts from the great masters and an extensive collection of American painters works can be found here. Its imposing Greek style columns set the tone for a visit to this museum. There is so much to see inside that you will need to allocate a whole day, if you want to see it all.
Pittsburgh - be inspired at the Cathedral of Learning
Towering above the city of Pittsburgh is the magnificent Cathedral of Learning. At 535 feet and 42 stories high it is the second tallest university building in the world. it is clad entirely in Indiana Limestone. Completed in 1934, although the first lesson was held in the building in 1931, the university has over 2,000 rooms including theatres, computer labs and classrooms. One area of the university that has to be seen is the stunning Commons Room, whose vaulted ceilings go up 4 stories and is entirely made up of Indiana Limestone, which gives it a stunning gothic cathedral, interior look.
Pittsburgh - go up Mount Washington by the Duquesne Incline
Originally powered by steam but now electric driven the Duquesne Incline is a funicular or inclined railway that goes up the side of Mount Washington, and carries foot passengers up and down the mount. It was originally built back in 1877 to carry cargo up the steep slopes as there were few roads at the time, but now offers sensational views over the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.
Introduction to Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is not only one of America's largest states, but also contains some of the country's most frequently visited tourist destinations. There is as large an amount of hotels in Pennsylvania as there are attractions, and many establishments can be found in the state's biggest city of Philadelphia, where some of the state's most luxurious accommodations and budget hotels are located, along with everything else in between. The other most famous city, Pittsburgh, is located on the opposite end of the state and contains an equal variety of the lodgings. Some of the most historic buildings are located in the state capital of Harrisburg, including restored historic inns and charming bed and breakfast businesses. One of the most unique places to stay in the region is the traditional Amish community of Lancaster, which can be found near the region of Hershey most famous for its chocolate and the community of Gettysburg best known for its important Civil War address. Camping on the shores of Lake Erie or relaxing in a Poconos resort are other popular places to stay in the district.