The state credited with bringing the term “Black Friday” into existence also holds enticing reasons to plan a trip there. Pennsylvania is one of America’s original 13 colonies, which means it’s teaming with history, but beyond this, Pennsylvania is home to charming and fun attractions that appeal to visitors of all ages and interests.

Here are five reasons you should consider making Pennsylvania your next destination.


1. Early American History

Pennsylvania has earned its nickname as the Keystone State because it is rich in American history. It is known for being the state where the Declaration of Independence was written and signed and where the US Constitution was signed. One of the state’s cities, Philadelphia, even served as the Capital of the US until a permanent location was made in Washington.

During the American Civil War, one of the most famous battles, the Battle of Gettysburg, also happened in the state. Today, you can see the grounds of this historic battle by visiting the Gettysburg National Military Park. You can even dive deeper into the history of the war by following Pennsylvania’s portion of the Civil War Trail.

The state celebrates this history with historical attractions like the Independence National Historic Park, where you can see the Liberty Bell, the Benjamin Franklin Museum, and the Museum of the American Revolution.

2. Amish Country

Pennsylvania is home to the oldest Amish settlement in the United States, Lancaster County. It has become a huge tourist draw that lets people see what it’s like to live following the Amish lifestyle and religion that’s been relatively unchanged since first being established 300 years ago.

The draw of learning about this way of life is a lucrative one, bringing in billions for the area each year. You may find yourself surprised by the many common misconceptions about people following the Amish religion. For instance, Amish people are in no way prevented from using modern medicine or hospitals, something many people outside the Amish way of life don’t realize.

While visiting the area, you can see how daily Amish life operates by taking part in horse and buggy rides, having meals at home with practicing Amish people, seeing the windmill farms, or walking through the village to explore various businesses and Amish-made goods.

3. Hershey’s Chocolate

Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, you’re likely aware of the Hershey brand and have even sampled it enough to have a favorite chocolate treat (or two). If you didn’t already know, Milton Hershey created the chocolate brand in Pennsylvania. In the process, he had a hand in developing schools, a community, and a park for his employees. The impact Hershey had on the area has essentially created a town centered around the company and an amusement park.

Today, that amusement park is now the biggest in the state. It features a water park portion, roller coasters, camping, and resorts. A Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory experience in real life, it’s a huge draw for families.

The area has even put work into making itself an attractive getaway destination for couples or friends. You’ll find relaxing environments like spas within Hersheypark’s resorts. In the town, you’ll find concerts, hockey games, and a range of dining experiences. The only missing thing is the glitz and glamour of a casino. However, for those interested in heading to Hershey and testing their luck, Pennsylvania allows gambling through the various online casinos found at

4. Punxsutawney Phil

The official Groundhog Day has its roots in Pennsylvania, specifically in the town of Punxsutawney. The tradition was begun by German settlers, building off the tradition of using a hedgehog to predict how long the winter would take. In Punxsutawney, this tradition was done with groundhogs.

The idea behind the tradition is that if the animal emerges from its burrow and sees its shadow, it’ll get scared and return to its winter-hiding place, meaning there will be six more weeks of winter. If, however, the groundhog comes out and doesn’t see its shadow, spring is on its way.

The first official day was celebrated on February 2, 1887. Now Punxsutawney Phil — the groundhog the town of Punxsutawney turns to for the winter forecast — is a household name. Across the country, Punxsutawney Phil has become people’s go-to source for finding out how much more winter there’ll be before the arrival of warmer weather.

5. National & State Parks

Pennsylvania is home to many national and state parks that appeal to history buffs, outdoor adventurers, hikers, and families. Many of the national parks found there hold significant historical value, such as the Independence National Historic Park and the Gettysburg National Military Park mentioned earlier in the article.

However, the variety of historical sites in the Keystone State invites visitors to dive deeper into different parts of America’s history. Other noteworthy parks that consistently receive positive reviews include Valley Forge National Historical Park, which holds significance in the American Revolution, and the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, which explores the early days of industrialization in the country.

When it comes to parks, the natural beauty of the state can’t be forgotten. At both the national and state level, there are parks you can explore and drink in the Pennsylvania Landscape. Some of the most highly rated for their scenery include the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Ricketts Glen State Park, Allegheny National Forest, and Hickory Run State Park.

Pennsylvania Has a Lot to Offer

From history and groundhogs to Hershey’s chocolate galore, Pennsylvania is a state that has more to offer than initially meets the eye. The opportunities it provides to learn and surround yourself with history and its family-friendly adventures and stunning landscapes appeal to everyone, making it a state well worth visiting.