10 Best Weekend Trips In Pennsylvania, USA

weekend getaways from pa
| 6 min read

Pennsylvania is the sixth most populous state in the country, and it has continuously attracted more and more people to visit. The distinctiveness of many unique cities in Pennsylvania has also been an enormous pull factor as most of them have a completely different culture, different attractions, and different opportunities — some might offer more of historical and cultural tourism. In contrast, some cities might offer exciting outdoor activities such as canoeing or jet skiing. Hence, take a look at these 10 best weekend trips in Pennsylvania, USA to see where you must go and what they offer for you and your loved ones!

1. Hershey

Hershey's Chocolate World
Source: Photo by user Jim, the Photogra... used under CC BY 2.0

Upon hearing the name Hershey, many would relate to the famous brand of chocolates. Well, you are not wrong as you’ll venture into the land of chocolates here at Hershey’s Chocolate World while on a guided tour detailing how the famous chocolate bar is manufactured . There are even attractions such as a 4D movie on the “Mystery of Chocolate” or hands-on activities where you can personalise your own chocolate bar. Moving on, another favourite would be the Hersheypark, which is a family-friendly theme park offering a wide variety of rides and entertainment. On top of that, there is also The Hershey Story, a museum depicting the life and history of the man who built up the chocolate brand.

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2. Erie

Steel Dragon structure & tracks
Source: Photo by user daveynin used under CC BY 2.0

Often termed “Gem City”, Erie is a city located on the southern shore of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania. Due to its strategic location near the coast, Erie is famous for its recreation sector whereby many engage in outdoor activities such as swimming, sailing and hiking, to name a few. If you’re down for a weekend trip in Erie, head down to the well-known Presque Isle State Park which offers a total of 12 beaches and paddle boats for you to engage in activities like jet skiing or paddling. If you prefer to splash around in an amusement park instead, try Waldameer and Water World for exciting rides or a splash around the wave pool.

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3. Gettysburg

Gettysburg National Military Park 22
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Frederick William... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Gettysburg is a city in Pennsylvania known for its rich history. After all, the Battle of Gettysburg took place in the vicinity of the city during the American Civil War. Some of the monuments one should check out include the Gettysburg Military Park which preserves the landscape of the Battle of Gettysburg; Jennie Wade House to learn more about the civilian history; and, even the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honour those who have fought the battle. Historical monuments aside, visit some of the exciting places such as Land of Little Horses Performing Animal Theme Park to get up close and personal with ponies and horses — definitely, every child’s dream!

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4. Harrisburg

Pennsylvania State Capitol
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ad Meskens used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania. It is a popular vacation destination for many, and one of the must-go places here is the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex. The complex is one of the most iconic buildings in America. The dome on the building is a one-third-scale Renaissance-style duplicate of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Inside, you will find more than 475 rooms, and there are a total of 4 floors filled with artwork, statues and exhibitions that will just blow your mind away. It also showcases Pennsylvania’s history starting from the beginning of Earth until the modern-day — covering exhibitions such as dinosaurs, the civil war, the state’s wildlife and more!

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5. Farmington

Salmon Ruins in Aztec, New Mexico. 02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nancymaness used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Join us in Farmington for an educational trail at Salmon Ruins where there are guided tours to iconic locations such as Chaco Canyon, Navajo Pueblitos and rock art, Bisti Badlands and more. With knowledgeable archaeologist as your guide, be prepared to go for an adventure and learn more about Mother Nature’s gifts as you will be able to see past evidence of life and natural events through the ruins and rocks. For those who wish to be at the heart of wildlife, head over to the Animas River Trail. With over 100 species of birds at the trail system, and ducks and geese wading along the river, you will surely feel connected to nature and animals. You can even stop by the Riverside Nature Center to obtain food to feed the birds!

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6. Millford

Grey Towers National Historic Site
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daniel Case used under CC BY 2.5

A borough in Pennsylvania, Milford is known for being close to nature sanctuaries, recreation areas and small communities that have a lot to offer curious visitors. A weekend trip at Milford would not be complete without a visit to the Grey Towers National Historic site, where a tour guide would brief you on the house’s history and its artifacts. After all, it was previously owned by notable people who contributed to America’s progress. Another spot worth visiting is the Raymondskill Falls — the tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania. The waterfall is merely a few feet shorter than Niagara Falls, so be sure to bring your camera and snap some breathtaking views!

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7. Hawley

Lake Wallenpaupack
Source: Photo by user Andrew used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Hawley is a place that attracts enthusiastic and adventurous tourists as this is a fun-filled city packed with loads of activities for you to take part. On Lake Wallenpaupack, you can take a walk along its shorelines, rent a boat, or even kayak to frolic around the 5,700 acres (23,067,100 square meters) of water. For the hardcore thrill-seekers, there are other activities such as waterskiing, stand-up paddleboarding, wakeboarding and also jet-skiing! Don’t worry if you are not that inclined on water sports and activities. Surely, you’ll find several activities on dry land — including horseback riding. At Triple W Riding Stables, you will be able to ride a horse and go on a guided adventure in a peaceful and quiet mountain top.

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8. Philadelphia

Liberty Bell
Source: Photo by user Phil Roeder used under CC BY 2.0

Also known as the “City of Brotherly Love”, Philadelphia has a lot in store for its visitors to engage in — from delicacies, museums to parks and historical sites, the city will be sure to entice you. Be sure to drop by some well-known historical sites, including Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, as they are symbols of America’s freedom and democracy. Other places worth visiting include an informative visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art which houses over 240,000 art collections — spanning from paintings, sculptures to photographs.

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9. Pittsburg

Downtown Pittsburgh seen from Mt. Washington
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user EEJCC used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Over the years, Pittsburg has gained a reputation as “the land of magic”. As a beautiful city with countless attractions, scenic spots and eateries, many have regarded Pittsburg as a magical city where their dreams come to life. Pittsburg’s status as a land of magic is more than just a figure of speech in Liberty Magic as talented magicians take the stage and perform — using sleight of hands to create illusions that seemingly defy reality and bedazzle the mind of curious audience. Sometimes, magicians go beyond the conventional performance and also incorporate different elements such as comedy. In addition, Pittsburg is also home to the Big Macs Museum where you will be able to see the history of the huge burger we see in every Macdonald’s outlet! This museum and restaurant has a lot of sitting space, a Play Place, McDonald’s memorabilia, as well as a bronze of Dellagatti.

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10. Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe PA A Packer House to St Marks
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Smallbones used under CC0

When visiting Jim Thorpe, many often visit the Old Jail Museum — a two-storey stone structure dating back to the 1800s that was used as a jail for prisoners serving their sentence in Jim Thorpe and in the surrounding communities. The jail cell compromises of 27 jail cells and some additional rooms in the basement for solitary confinement. With a historic reputation due to the Molly Maguire trials that hung seven Irish coal miners from the gallows, many visitors flock here to see one of the condemned Irishman hands placed on the jail wall as a proclamation of innocence. On top of that, the Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary is another ideal spot to go for an outing due to its large variety of wildlife such as butterflies, frogs and fishes. Inside the Flutterarium, visitors can watch butterflies fluttering all over the place and they will also have an opportunity to feed them as well.

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Pennsylvania, an extraordinary and multifaceted state

Independence Hall
Source: Photo by user elPadawan used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Pennsylvania — the birthplace of America and a city rich with historic value — continues to offer an assortment of exciting experiences for both its people and tourists. Perhaps, the beauty of Pennsylvania lies in its rich yet inherently diverse nature. From the vast beautiful nature to heritage sites of universal value, museums, malls, and retail centres, Pennsylvania is a state that will never bore you. For a travel experience that leaves you wanting more for new discoveries, wait no more and make the city your next destination.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Explorer by day, writer by night. In my waking hours I roam both the city streets and the rural areas in search of new thrills, every nook and cranny of this world a wonder waiting to be...Read more

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