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Pennsylvania – Unusual Attractions & Day Trips

Pennsylvania off the Beaten Path

When people travel to Pennsylvania, they usually visit Philadelphia to take in all the historic sites and observe where the United States got its start. Big cities like Philly and Pittsburgh aren’t all the state has, though. Pennsylvania is a big place and it has a lot to offer tourists and locals who want to go off the beaten path and experience everything the Keystone State has to offer.

Valley Forge

Philadelphia isn’t the only place in the state that has historical attractions. Battles in multiple wars have been fought all over the what is today Pennsylvania. History buffs should take a trip to Valley Forge. It is a fort from the Revolutionary War where soldiers famously suffered through the winter early in the war with minimal supplies and ammunition. Alexander Hamilton was their leader and learned how to properly lead his army because of this. The land is now protected and nothing has been built on it in over 100 years as it has been considered a state park since the 1890s. It now doubles as a historical site/museum and a beautiful recreational park.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Those with a taste more morbid historical sites should visit Eastern State Penitentiary. Tourists can even tell just how solitary and cold the experience of being incarcerated there was by visiting what is left of the site today. There are complete reconstructions of the cells as they existed in the early 1800s. It was said that prisoners there had zero ability to communicate with each other. You can even tour what was its death row when it was in use. This portion of the jail will seem slightly more modern because it was built more recently than the rest of the prison.

Lancaster County

Pennsylvania is rife with pastoral beauty. There is a rather large Amish population in the eastern part of the state, especially in Lancaster County which is about an hour outside of Philadelphia. There are even guided tours of that can give you a taste of what it is like for an Amish person living there today, which isn’t much different than how they were living there two hundred years ago. Be sure to sample some of dutch cooking and outlet mall while you are there.

Pennypack Park

Somehow, Pennypack Park manages to be off the beaten path and right in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the country. It is part of the Fairmount Park system and has almost 2000 acres of land that include wetlands, meadows, and woods. It is a great getaway spot for someone visiting Philadelphia or even someone that lives there. This park, like many other aspects of Philadelphia, is a huge part of the history of the great American city. The Pennypack bridge was built in 1697 out of stone and is still in use today.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about

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