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gs logo Otter Lake Camp Resort
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

A map of Pennsylvania indicating a loop route near the southern border.

Blending Americana and adventure, this road trip through southeast Pennsylvania is tailor-made for history buffs with a sweet tooth. From Hershey to Holtwood, you’ll have endless opportunities to feast on treats like shoofly pies and candy kisses, so don’t worry about working up an appetite as you bike, hike and fish your way through the Keystone State.

1) Hershey

Starting Point

Known simply as “the Sweetest Place on Earth,” Hershey’s top attractions are odes to the iconic chocolate brand’s place in American history. Start at Chocolate World, where you can watch cocoa beans transform into melted chocolate, design your own candy bar and enjoy plenty of decadent, one-of-a-kind creations. Right across the street, Hersheypark takes the excitement to a whole other level with 14 rollercoasters, a water park and a zoo. For a break from the sugar buzz, try the stately Hershey Gardens, a 23-acre botanical garden that overlooks town and features seasonal exhibits, a butterfly atrium and more.

Recommended Stopovers

Otter Lake Camp Resort • Stroudsburg, PA – (570) 223-0123

2) Lancaster

Drive 28 miles • 39 minutes

Home to one of the largest Amish populations in the country, a visit to Lancaster is like stepping back to a simpler time. You can visit a traditional schoolhouse or devour staples like scrapple and shoofly pie, but the best introduction to the lifestyle of the “plain people” is on one of the horse-and-buggy tours that takes visitors past rolling hills on private Amish back roads. Many tours even welcome guests into their homes and barns for an in-depth look at life on a working Amish farm. Kick the adventure up a notch with a rock-climbing excursion to iconic Chickies Rock led by North Fork Adventures, an expert outfitter that tailors trips for climbers of all ages.

A black amish buggy emerged from a red covered bridge.

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3) Holtwood

Drive 19 miles • 31 minutes

A quick 30-minute drive south at the Holtwood Dam, the Susquehanna River slows into a serene collection of islands and eddies perfect for catfish, bass and walleye fishing. Whether you take a small boat or wade into the shallower vstretches, you’ll find plenty of pools perfect for an afternoon on the water. Follow the hiking trails down from either side of the bridge for the easiest access. Just east of the river, Muddy Run Recreation Reservoir also offers top-notch bass fishing, as well as kayak and canoe rentals, and miles of hiking and wildlife trails. End your visit with the view from Pinnacle Overlook, a hidden gem of a hike that’s perfect for a picnic and connects to the looping trails of nearby Kelly’s Run Nature Preserve.

Recommended Stopovers

Tucquan Park Family CampgroundHoltwood, PA – (717) 284-2156

Two men fishing on a river in a green canoe.

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4) Gettysburg

Drive 62 miles • 1 Hour, 33 minutes

For many travelers, visiting Gettysburg for the first time is akin to a spiritual experience. Though it’s easy to explore the military park in a car at your own pace, the legacy of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle is best understood on a tour with one of the licensed battlefield guides. Active travelers should look into a guided bicycle excursion that will help you get up close and personal with the sites of major events and memorials. For a uniquely fun-filled and immersive dive into the town’s historic past, try the Lincoln’s Lost Treasure scavenger hunt, which sends groups on a quest across the downtown district to discover a lost artifact. Costumed cast members are scattered throughout the experience to direct players and bring the fantastic story to life.

Recommended Stopovers

Gettysburg Campground • Gettysburg, PA – (717) 334-3304

Drive 51 miles, 1 hour to return to Hershey and complete the loop.