Pennsylvania

Philadelphia City Hall between buildings

We have lived in Pennsylvania for over 15 years and are still always discovering something new. From the Pocono Mountains to the historical sites of Philadelphia to the food of Pittsburgh, there so much to see and experience here.

Quick facts about Pennsylvania

Population: 12.9 million
Size: 46,055 square miles
Capital: Harrisburg
Major cities: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading
Interesting note: Pennsylvania has the second largest population of Amish in the US

Brief history

Before Europeans arrived, a number of Native American tribes called the area home. The Algonquian Lenape, the Iroquoian Susquehannock, and the Petun lived in different parts of the state.

William Penn, a Quaker from England, founded Pennsylvania as one of the 13 original colonies in the United States in 1681. Nearly a century later, it became a significant location for the Founding Fathers of the United States. The US Declaration of Independence was adopted at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and Philadelphia and other locations around the state hosted Continental Congress meetings.

During the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in Gettysburg in the south-central portion of the state. It is pointed to as the turning point of the war. Before and amidst the war, numerous locations throughout Pennsylvania were stops on the Underground Railroad, helping formerly enslaved people make their way from the South to safety in the North.

Planning a trip

It’s important to know that Pennsylvania has a lot of land area—a drive diagonally across the state from Erie to Philadelphia takes approximately 8 hours.

Most visitors will plan their trips around the state’s two largest cities—Philadelphia and Pittsburgh—since they have the most well-known attractions. Philadelphia is well-connected by train and is easy to reach from New York City or Washington, D.C.

Articles about Pennsylvania

Shops along a street in downtown Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

19 Things to Do on a Weekend in Gettysburg

Gettysburg is one of our favorite places on the East Coast. Popular for history, its attractive downtown, and excellent restaurants and bars, there are plenty of great things to do in Gettysburg.

Philadelphia City Hall between buildings

30 Things to do in Philadelphia According to a Local

Philadelphia is often overlooked in favor of our popular neighbors just a little bit north in New York City and a little bit south in Washington, D.C.. But people who skip over us here in the City of Brotherly Love are missing out!

Shrimp and grits with a beer tasting flight at the Happy Valley Brewery in State College

Hop On Over to Happy Valley Brewery

Happy Valley Brewery is the kind of place that makes you feel complete. Hoppy brews and amazing food make this State College institution a must for a visit.

Lark Harmony at Split Rock Resort

A Poconos Weekend Escape at Split Rock Resort

The elusive weekend getaway is something many people struggle to find. It can’t be too far away, but it needs to offer enough to keep you busy. In family friendly entertainment, the Split Rock Resort makes an excellent weekend getaway in the Poconos Mountains.

Entrance to the Rays Hill Tunnel on the Abandoned PA Turnpike

The Apocalyptic Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike

These days, it seems America is infatuated with abandoned places. A whole genre of urban decay tourism has sprung up in Rust Belt cities. The Keystone State has its own monuments to change. Recently I set out with a few friends to see the Rays Hill Tunnel on the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Grapes growing in vineyard at Presque Isle Wine Cellars, a winery in Lake Erie wine country

A Wine Weekend in Lake Erie Wine Country

In the winter, the area around Erie, Pennsylvania, commonly gets as much as 8 feet of snow. It hardly sounds like a good location for growing grapes and making wine. But in an odd twist, it turns out it’s actually the ideal place.