Things to do on a trip to Pennsylvania

Curious to know what locals do in Pennsylvania for fun?
Things to do on a trip to Pennsylvania

Rest assure that there are hundreds of things you can do as a tourist in Pennsylvania such as visiting museums (i.e. trolley and toy train museums), theaters (i.e. majestic theater), parks, farmers markets and cool events such as the Murder Mystery Weekend (March 2-4). For me though the best of the best things to do in PA are as follows:

Sample PA’s famous cheese-steak sandwiches

You can’t say you’ve truly experienced Pennsylvania if you don’t get to sample PA's famous sandwiches. Primanti Bros in Pittsburgh is a "household" name in PA and they're popular for their sandwiches.

Primanti’s sandwiches are seriously huge (almost six inches tall), “notoriously” tasty and quite unique since you won't find a sandwich place that tosses the slaw and fries right inside your sandwich! Primanti’s are located all over Pittsburgh in places like Cherry Way and Market Square, though the one in the Strip District is the best location to sample their famous sandwich.

If you love cheesesteaks, places such as Jim’s Steaks (South St), Campo's Deli (Market Street) and Dalessandro's Steaks (Wendover Street) are some of the best places in Philadelphia to get a cheesesteak sandwich.

Spend a day out whitewater rafting

Outdoor pursuits such as hiking and fishing are indeed popular in PA, though one of the best things to do on a trip to Pennsylvania for fun is booking a whitewater rafting day trip. The Lehigh and Youghiogheny rivers are Pennsylvania’s whitewater rating rivers.

Both the Pine Creek Gorge (also known as Pennsylvania Grand Canyon) and Ohiopyle State Park are two very popular whitewater rafting spots, though the Ohiopyle State Park is easily the best whitewater rafting destination in PA.

Ohiopyle is just under an hour’s drive southeast of Pittsburg and the beauty about whitewater rafting in Ohiopyle State Park is that you get to raft within stunning natural scenery and choose from several outfitters. There is a handful of rafting companies (i.e. wilderness-voyageur, Ohiopyle trading post, laurel highlands, white water adventures) operating Ohiopyle, all of which offer rafting trips, water rentals and kayaking lessons.

Pine Creek Gorge (northern PA) and the Pocono area (westerns PA) are two other places worth considering for a whitewater rafting day trip. Outfitters located near Pine Creek Gorge include Pine Creek Outfitters and Canyon Cruises both of which are located in Wellsboro; while in the Poconos (Lehigh River) you have Whitewater Challengers (in Weatherly) and Pocono Whitewater (in Jim Thorpe).

Do the chocolate factory tour in Hershey Park

A visit to Pennsylvania would not be complete without visiting Hershey’s top tourist attraction – Hershey’s Chocolate World. Hershey Park truly lives up to the hype and a visit there it's one of the most enjoyable things to do on a trip to Pennsylvania.

Besides doing the famous factory tour and eat chocolate till your heart’s content, you also get to explore Hershey’s beautiful themed-areas and ride its awesome roller coasters such as the Sidewinder and Fahrenheit.

Go for an underwater cave tour in Penn's Cave

Penn’s Cave is located literary in the heart of Pennsylvania (near Penn’s Cave airport) and offers another opportunity for a fun day outing with the kids. The cool thing about Penn’s Cave is that it’s an all-water cave that can only be explored on boat. The guided boat tour lasts about 60 minutes and takes you through the narrow passages of the cave and allows you to see amazing shapes of rock formations.

Another reason that makes a visit to Penn’s Cave worthwhile is that it’s also a wildlife/farm park that boasts cool animals on display such as mountain lion, elk, mustang, bobcat, bison, and many more.

Watch a football game at Penn State University (PSU)

Sports fans in Pennsylvania love their football and beer and if you’re traveling to Pennsylvania you simply cannot pass the opportunity to watch the Nittany Lions play at home to experience what it feels like being surrounded by hundreds of cheering fans.

The football season runs between September and late November and Penn State Nittany Lions will be playing at home seven times this season. Single game tickets cost roughly $70 per ticket.

Take a train ride on the Strasburg Rail Road

The Strasburg Rail Road is without a doubt, one of the top tourist railroads in the United States and a must do in PA. The beauty about the Strasburg steam train is that is passes through Pennsylvania Dutch Country which allows you plenty of nice photo opportunities.

The actual ride takes about 40 minutes between Strasburg and Leaman Place and costs roughly $14 round-trip ticket. By the way, be sure to pass by the museum (Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania) located directly across the Strasburg Rail Road to ride on the cool miniature train!

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