Explore > Pennsylvania > Welcome to Pennsylvania
welcome header

Welcome to Pennsylvania

As one of the original 13 colonies and host to decisive historical events during the American Revolution and Civil War, the Keystone State played a mighty role in the birth and development of the United States. Today’s visitors can take in the state’s history along with robust helpings of urban sophistication and outdoor adventure.

Mountains and Lakeshores

Eastern Pennsylvania’s Poconos and Endless Mountains lure visitors with undulating terrain and glistening waterways. Nine state parks provide prime spaces for outdoor recreation in this scenic region. Ricketts Glen is a favorite due to its 20-plus waterfalls and old-growth forests, while Big Pocono offers mountaintop views. The Allegheny Mountains cross central Pennsylvania, providing another prime location for outdoor adventures. The Great Allegheny Passage offers a 150-mile rail-to-trail pathway that takes you through the heart of the scenery.

Great Lake Fun

Many people don’t know that Pennsylvania’s northwest corner borders one of the Great Lakes. A visit to Presque Isle State Park’s 3,000-acre peninsula stretching into Lake Erie will make you feel miles away from mid-America as the waves crash on the sandy shore. The town of Erie dazzles visitors with historic attractions honoring the War of 1812, along with ample outdoor trails.

From Big Cities to Rural Gems

Philadelphia played an important role in United States’ history, and today it’s the state’s cultural capital and largest city. To the west, Lancaster County feels worlds away, thanks to the large Amish population who live according to simple customs. From its towering downtown skyscrapers to its cozy neighborhoods, Pittsburgh treats visitors to unexpected joys. Unique museums, world-class architecture and a plethora of parks are sure to delight.

A black Amish buggy pulled by a single horse.

On the Wild Side

Straddling Pennsylvania’s border with New Jersey, the Delaware Gap National Recreation Area is a 70,000-acre outdoor paradise. The Delaware River and its tributaries provide prime waterways for fishing and paddling, with some of the most pristine waters in the northeast, while the forested landscape provides game-rich hunting grounds. If you’re seeking boating and bass, head to Lake Wallenpaupack for relaxation and recreation in the scenic Poconos. Along the western border with Ohio, the Pymatuning Reservoir is a favorite for anglers seeking walleye. Pennsylvania is considered one of the best states for turkey and deer hunting, and the woodlands of the Moshannon State Forest and State Game Lands 223, located outside of Pittsburgh, are prime locales.

Blasts From the Past

Few places encapsulate the birth of our nation the way Philadelphia does. It was here the Founding Fathers met to sign the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the Liberty Bell later rang out in 1776 to signal America’s independence. Explore this history with a tour of Independence National Historical Park. Almost a century later, Pennsylvania would play another important role in the nation’s history with the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. A tour of Gettysburg National Military Park provides solemn insight. For a lighthearted change of pace, head to Hershey, home of the chocolate company that brought us Kisses, M&Ms and other treats.

A Civil War-era cannon on a roadside that leads to a monument.