Road trips are an excellent way to have to replenish lost energy from the hassles of a busy city. If it’s that time of the year for you to go for that unforgettable escapade, there isn’t any better place to explore other than Pennsylvania. There are many sides to Penn State that you’re going to fall in love with. So check out our sampling of the best Pennsylvania road trips attraction now!
From the Independence Hall and Liberty Bell in Philly to Gettysburg’s Civil War reenactments; it’s almost impossible for a history buff to run out of fun activities to complete their road trips to Penn State. Lovers of nature aren’t left behind either; there are plenty of amazing state parks and national parks to explore and discover the wild in them. And if you’re longing for that adventure thrill, immerse yourself into hiking, white-water rafting, and mountain biking through scenic rolling terrains in Laurel Highlands, Ohiopyle State Park, or the Pocono Mountains.
Regardless of what type of adventure you yearn for, make these amazing destinations as part of your Pennsylvania road trips to-do list and you’ll never regret it! If you want to take a budget-friendly road trip then check out our comprehensive guide to cheap things to do in Pennsylvania.
- 1 The City of Brotherly Love – One of the Best Pennsylvania Road Trips
- 2 Gettysburg – Pennsylvania Road Trips to Know Civil War History & Lincoln Lineage
- 3 Pymatuning, Jamestown – Pymatuning Reservoir & More!
- 4 Lancaster County – Dutch Community, Amish Farms & More!
- 5 Erie – Penn’s Heart of Aquatic Life
- 6 Grand Canyon along Route 66 – Pennsylvania Wild & More!
- 7 Poconos – Delaware Water Gap Hikes & More!
- 8 Ligonier – Amusement Park, War History & More!
- 9 Lititz – Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery
The City of Brotherly Love – One of the Best Pennsylvania Road Trips
Starting with one of the most talked about Pennsylvania road trips, Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. It’s Penn State’s largest city and is mostly famous for its rich history. Whether you’re a history fanatic or not, the magnificence of Philly will take your breath away. Pay a visit to the majestic Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall which holds a significant meaning to the origin of the US; it’s where the founding fathers of this great nation signed the Declaration of Independence.
Immerse yourself deeper into Philadelphia’s artsy and cultural side by touring Benjamin Franklin Parkway where you’ll get to visit The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Rodin Museum, and run the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs which have been featured in the Rocky movie series.
By all means, do not miss out on the authentic Philly cheesesteak. And if you’d love to experience some luxury while in the middle of the action in Philly, spend some time at The Rittenhouse Hotel, centrally placed in the city.
Gettysburg – Pennsylvania Road Trips to Know Civil War History & Lincoln Lineage
If you’d like to learn lots of facts about the Civil War, then Gettysburg is the place to be the best one on your Pennsylvania road trips list. You’ll need to plan a couple of days to spend in this region if you’re to get the most out of this road trip. When you get to Gettysburg National Military Park, you are going to experience the spectacular history reenactments and presentations which bring back to life the era of the Civil War.
You’ll get the chance to land your feet on the renowned Gettysburg Battlefield and get to visit Gettysburg National Cemetery popularly known as the grounds where the Gettysburg Address was delivered by Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
Other notable destinations in this history escapade in Gettysburg include the Eisenhower National Historic Site; Jennie Wade House Museum and Shriver House Museum which portrays the era of the Civil War from a civilian’s perspective.
Spend your day at Lincoln Square Historic Inn for a nice treat, which used to be a family home during the early 1800s.
Pymatuning, Jamestown – Pymatuning Reservoir & More!
Almost everything about this state park is humongous, a common saying by state park officials. And you’ll attest to that when you visit it. Pymatuning State Park is situated near the 7-mile marker at Conneaut Lake and is among the largest commonwealth state parks, spanning an area of 21,122 acres. The Pymatuning Reservoir spanning 17,088 acres is Pennsylvania’s largest lake.
This park records the highest number of visitors compared to other state parks in Penn State. During this tour, you’ll get to visit the visitor center and the fish hatchery operated by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. For a scenic view of wildlife, you can visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission where you’ll also get to learn a lot at their learning center and the viewing areas.
Lancaster County – Dutch Community, Amish Farms & More!
If the Amish culture amazes you, then you don’t want to miss Lancaster County on your road trip to-do list. Lancaster is among the most tranquil destinations you can visit in Penn State, centrally located in a rural setup.
The symbolic farmlands and the rolling hills make this destination among the best for a long drive. You’ll get to explore the Dutch community and the Amish farms that peacefully lie in this quiet region. Lancaster can be best explored when taking an aimless drive along its winding roads, but be sure to make a stop at the farmers market, one of the longest-serving markets in the US.
There are lots of Amish charms to explore and you’d want to spend even more time around visiting the orchids, farms, and Dutch Haven, the first-ever documented tourist attraction in Lancaster started in 1946 and rose to fame pretty quickly.
Erie – Penn’s Heart of Aquatic Life
For the lovers of aquatic life and fun, you don’t want to miss out on Erie, Pennsylvania’s heart of aquatic life. Erie is among the most popular destinations in Penn State, situated on the coastline, making it a prime choice for summer getaways and vacations or a perfect spot to spend the quiet weekends of fall.
You will find the Presque Isle State Park which flocks with lots of amazing hiking trails. There’s also a peninsula that is perfect for sunset picnics. Pay a visit to the Erie Maritime Museum and get to view the striking displays that showcase the history of Lake Erie and maritime exhibits.
You definitely wouldn’t want to miss Waldameer Park where all the water fun lies. The park is a combination of a water park and an amusement park and boasts of lots of fun activities for kids. To make your aquatic adventure even more memorable, make a trip reservation on U.S. Brig Niagara, which is a replica of the warship used in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1812.
Grand Canyon along Route 66 – Pennsylvania Wild & More!
If you take a cruise along Route 66 near the 221-mile marker, you’ll come across the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. It’s a combination of two different scenic gorge views of Colton Point State Park and the Leonard Harrison State Park.
It lies 10 miles to the west of the amazing Wellsboro; a New England look-alike town. Its streets are lit by lanterns and the Victorian mansions stand majestically. The canyon created by Pine Creek River spans a length of 50 miles with a depth of up to 1,450 feet.
Grand Canyon is the Pennsylvania Wilds’ focal point. Pennsylvania Wild is a recreational area spanning an area of 2 million acres and lies in the north-central section of Penn State.
Apart from the Great Canyon, Route 66 offers many amazing sightseeing, camping, hiking, and historic spots you’d want to pay a visit to. You can access Route 66 through I-79, I-81, or I-84 which is classified as one of the most scenic drives in the US by National Geographic.
Poconos – Delaware Water Gap Hikes & More!
Among the most popular areas in Penn State is Pocono Mountains, renowned for its forest-covered summits and valleys that would make you want to chill and enjoy a picnic view. The first place you might want to visit in this region is the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. It features many nice hiking trails you wouldn’t want to miss. One of the amazing hiking trails here is the Appalachian Trail.
With such a great landscape, you wouldn’t run out of fun activities to indulge in. Thinking of mountain biking, hiking, or rafting? You’ll be able to enjoy all that here. If you’re not into the adventure thrill, you can as well chill and relax from the views of your window in one of the several resorts in this area.
Other magnificent towns you want to check out during this Poconos road trip include Honesdale, Milford, and Jim Thorpe; a small historic town.
Ligonier – Amusement Park, War History & More!
This road trip will get you to one of America’s oldest children’s amusement parks; so, you don’t want to leave it out, especially if traveling with kids. The amazing surroundings here present lots of nostalgia and shopping.
If you’d want to delve more into the past, especially the history of a battle, then you should head to Fort Ligonier, a definite must-see destination that was a battleground for the French and Indian War. Whenever they visit Ligonier, it’s almost impossible for families to not spend more than a day at Idlewild & Soakzone, which dates its origin back to 1878.
This place has got plenty of fun activities that will leave your kids excited and wanting to come back over and over again.
Lititz – Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery
This is a small amazing town located in Lancaster County of Pennsylvania rich with lots of fun activities to make every minute spent there worthwhile. If up for hiking, get your car parked then trek down Main Street which is flooded with small boutique outlets and eateries.
You can grab your lunch at Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, which also gives visitors a chance to learn how the pretzel is twisted. Alternatively, you can immerse yourself into the bakery’s heritage which is 150 years old.
Then head to Wilbur Chocolate Museum where you can have a taste of the different chocolate flavors. Don’t forget to trek through Lititz Springs Park lying a short walking distance from downtown and bursts with lots of fun events throughout the whole year.
Wrapping Up Pennsylvania Road Trips Attractions
Penn State has got lots of fun activities and places to visit. In fact, you might need at least a week or more to exhaustively explore some of these places. And the goodness of it is that you can bring your kids along to experience some of the greatest memories America has to offer!
Hope our sampling of Pennsylvania road trips idea helps you plan an amazing vacation. To have the experience of a lifetime, book your vacation rentals at Rental Trader. If you need any more information, fill out our web form or give us a call, we’ll be happy to help you.