Pennsylvania — Things to Do
Pennsylvania offers visitors a wide range of activities, from adrenalin-pumping recreation to amusement park fun and casino gambling. Outside of the big cities Pittsburgh and Philadelphia the entire state turns rural, with state parks and forests like the Poconos, the Pennsylvania Wilds, and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area offering everything from hiking and biking to winter skiing and summer rafting.
There is even a tiny slice of Lake Erie at the far northwest corner of the state if you want to get out on one of America’s Great Lakes. What makes Pennsylvania so fun to travel is there is history at every turn to balance the outdoor recreation, amusement parks like Hershey Park, and newly-legalized casinos. Explore Civil War battlefields, raft down the Delaware River, or simply drive the miles of scenic byways that cover the state.
If you enjoy getting outdoors, Pennsylvania is a great place for hiking. From short nature walks in the Delaware Water Gap to longer adventures along the 42-mile trail in the magnificent Pennsylvania Wilds, you can find a hike anywhere in the state. Check with one of the many outfitters like Pine Creek Outfitters for gear and guidance into the state’s many wilderness areas.
Many of the trails in Pennsylvania’s state parks are also open for biking. There are some amazing options here, from the single tracks of the Allegheny Highlands Trail that connects to the mellower Youghiogheny River Trail, to the historic C & O Canal pathway which you can bike all the way from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. Companies such as Alleghenies Bike Tours and Grouseland Tours run all kinds of biking tours both on-road and off-road.
Pennsylvania is blessed with miles and river and hundreds of lakes, including the great Lake Erie. The summertime rafting and kayaking here is some of the best in the east, and there are dozens of professional outfitters in every waterside town to give you an outing on the water. Kittatinny River Trips and Laurel Highlands River Tours are just two of the experienced guides in the state.
In the winter, the mellow mountains of Pennsylvania use their snowy slopes for skiing, sledding, snow-tubing, and other fun activities. There are cozy comfortable resorts all over, from the Poconos to the Alleghenies, along with a handful of mellow ski hills like Liberty Mountain Resort and Bear Creek Mountain Resort.
In the summer you can have loads of fun at the seven popular amusement parks in the state. From the chocolately indulgence of Hersheypark to the dual thrills of Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom outside of Allentown, the theme parks in Pennsylvania are good fun for people of all ages.
There is also more adult-flavored excitement at the casinos around Pennsylvania. The state recently legalized casino gambling, and nice modern resorts have opened on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and in the Poconos. Casinos are a good place to find entertainment and dining as well as games of chance. Among the most popular venues are Rivers Casino outside of Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino on the edge of Philly.