Take Your Pick
Bushkill, PA
The Scenic Delaware
Delaware River - The Delaware River flows along the entire eastern edge of Pennsylvania and offers over 300 miles of free flowing river and gorgeous countryside. Drop a canoe in the river near Winterdale, PA and in a week or two you will be passing Cape May, NJ on your way out to sea. During the sojourn you'll see four states and pass through the Upper Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The Water Gap is a section of the river that snakes through the Appalachian Mountains where the only sound you'll hear is your paddle and an eagle's wings flapping.
Clearfield, PA
Huge Hamburgers
World's Largest Hamburgers - Clearfield is a small town of around 6,000 people and if you want to find most of them, they are at Denny's Beer Barrel Pub enjoying a tasty burger. This small pub in the middle of nowhere is home to the World's Largest Hamburgers including the 6 pound "Ye old 96er", the 15 pound "Beer Barrel Belly Buster" and the 25 pound "Beef-a-nator". The Guinness Book of World Records proclaims Denny's serves the largest burgers in the world. What is the biggest you ask? The 123 pounder, which is 80 lbs of beef and 43 lbs of bun and fixin's. You may not have room for dessert.
Ephrata, PA
Visiting the Ephrata Cloister
Ephrata Cloister - Founded in 1732 by Conrad Beissel, the Ephrata Cloister was a religious community that at its peak had 300 German settlers. Roughly a third of the members were Brothers and Sisters who practiced celibacy and the other two thirds were married families. They spent their time in charitable works, praying, farming and doing crafts such as papermaking and blacksmithing. A visit to the beautiful grounds today one can see over 20 unique sites including the Sister's House, Meeting House, Amphitheatre, Stable, Workshop, and Cemetery.
Erie, PA
The Presque Isle Light
Presque Isle State Park - Jutting into Lake Erie like a giant fish hook is a peninsula containing the 3,200 acre Presque Isle State Park. Millions of visitors come here each year to sunbathe on her sandy shores, fish her frigid waters and sightsee along the waters-edge. The park holds some historical significance too. During the War of 1812, American Commander Oliver Hazard Perry helped defeat the British in what is known as the Battle of Lake Erie. The Perry Monument in near Misery Bay commemorates the battle. Another landmark in the park is the Presque Isle Light, which has been continuously operating since 1873.
Friedens, PA
Flight 93 Memorial
United Flight 93 - On September 11, 2001 United Flight 93 was destined for San Francisco, CA from Newark, NJ. While in route hijackers over-powered the crew and were planning on crashing the plane into the nation's capitol in DC. Passengers had learned that other hijackers had already crashed two commercial airliners into New York's World Trade Center and one into DC's Pentagon and decided to take action. It is unclear if the passengers breached the cockpit door, but their efforts potentiially saved hundreds of lives in Washington. The plane crashed near Shanksville killing all 40 people on board. A memorial is set up in their honor.
Gettysburg, PA
The Turning Point of the Civil War
Gettysburg National Military Park and Cemetery - In about 3 minutes, the 256 word Gettysburg Address was delivered by Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863. It has become the most widely recognized speech in American history. His speech came shortly after the pivotal and bloody battle during the Civil War from July 1 to July 3, 1863. Here roughly 50,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing in action. Today Gettysburg National Military Park and Cemetery contains a museum, a 20 mile auto tour (which surrounds the entire site) and the Soldiers National Cemetery. Be sure to check your photos when you get home, there are many reports of phantom soldiers appearing in the pictures.
Harrisburg, PA
The Keystone Capitol
State Capitol Building - In 1906 during the dedication of the State Capitol Building, Teddy Roosevelt commented that it was "the handsomest building I ever saw". And he wasn't kidding. This impressive 272 foot tall, renaissance revival style structure, is topped with a green dome which is modeled after the St Peter's Basilica in Rome. The capitol stands on 45 acres and the grounds contain several sculptures and a geyser-like water fountain in back. The interior is equally impressive with detailed artwork, murals, chandeliers and stained glass throughout its 475 rooms.
Hershey, PA
The Place to Build Your Own Candy Bar
Hershey's Chocolate World - This sock monkey spent his summers around a campfire slowly toasting marshmallows to be sandwiched with Hershey's chocolate in order to create the perfect s'more. So a trip to Hershey's Chocolate World was a must - and it was even better than I expected. Inside was Hershey's Great American Chocolate Tour, Hershey's Really Big 3D Show and the greatest thing ever invented; Hershey's Create Your Own Candy Bar. Yes, you pick the ingredients and even the packaging to create a mouthwatering candy bar. Also, right next door is Hershey Park, a huge amusement park. Fantastic!!!
Indiana, PA
Ja Ja Jimmy Stewart Birthplace
Jimmy Stewart Birthplace - There's not a Christmas that goes by that I don't gather up all my stuffed animal friends and watch "It's a Wonderful Life'. The film's central character George Bailey is played by James "Jimmy" Stewart (1908-1997) and is classic holiday movie. Other great films he starred in are, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", "Rear Window" and "Vertigo". The Jimmy Stewart Museum is a great place to reunite with this great actor, it is filled with photos, movie posters and movie props (including the star's front door). If you can, plan your visit in May during the Jimmy Stewart Festival.
Middletown, PA
Nearly a Meltdown
Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant - On March 28, 1979 the worst nuclear accident in the nation's history occurred. Up until 4:00 AM that day Unit 2 of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant was humming along at 97% capacity - then a small valve failed, causing the cooling water to stop flowing over the super-heated core. A series of incorrect assumptions and a misreading of instruments prolonged the water shutdown, eventually causing the core of the plant to start melting. Although stopped before a catastrophic event occurred, there was some radiation leaked from the plant and roughly 150,000 people evacuated the surrounding area. When it was over it took nearly one billion dollars to clean up.
Mill Run, PA
Fallingwater? More Like Fallingsnow
Fallingwater - Fallingwater is considered by some to be Frank Lloyd Wright's (1867-1959) greatest works of his over 1,000 designs. Completed in 1937 it was used as a weekend retreat for the owner and businessman Edgar Kaufmann, Sr. (1885-1955). Fallingwater is a perfect blend of rock and glass that stands over a small waterfall in a densely wooded forest. The waterfall can be heard from every area of the 5,300 square foot home (interior rooms and balconies). Traditional Wright design features of light, low ceilings and red steel are ever-present in the house.
Philadelphia, PA
Doing My Best Rocky Impression
Philadelphia Museum of Art - What separates the Philadelphia Museum of Art from all other art museums in the USA, is that Rocky ran up its 68 stairs and danced around with his arms in the air. To commemorate the Rocky film, there is a larger than life bronze statue of Rocky Balboa at the bottom of the stairs. Of course, if you came to see an exquisite museum instead of a Rocky statue, you won't be disappointed. This 10 acre, 200 gallery museum is among the largest in the USA and houses nearly 250,000 artifacts. Van Gogh, Renoir, Manet, Monet and Dali works are among the highlights. The Medieval Cloister, Indian Temple Hall and French Abby are also dramatic exhibits.
Philadelphia, PA
Next to the Liberty Bell
Independence Hall - Often called the birthplace of the United States of America, Independence Hall is where the Declaration of Independence (the document declaring our freedom from British rule) was drafted and is where our Constitution was created and signed. Within these walls our nation's Founding Fathers, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams (among others) debated and successfully created our country. Across the street is the home of the famous cracked Liberty Bell that once hung from the tower of Independence Hall.
Philadelphia, PA
An Authentic Philly-Cheese
Philly Cheese Steak - Of course Philadelphia is home to the world famous Philly Cheese Steak. The first ever was created by brothers Pat and Harry Olivieri in 1933 at their hot dog stand. It consisted of chopped beef "wit" onions on an Italian roll. The steak sandwich was so popular; the brothers opened Pat's King of Steaks a few years later at the same location. To add a little friendly competition to the mix, Geno's Steaks opened in 1966 right across the street. Both restaurants have almost identical menus, offer delicious sandwiches, and have long lines. So if you love a great steak sandwich, the corner of 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue is where to go.
Pittsburgh, PA
An Enduring "Pop Artist"
Andy Warhol Museum - Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was born in Pittsburgh and went on to become one of the most famous "pop artists" in the world. He arrived on the scene creating works of every day products and famous celebrities. The most popular of these are the Campbell's Tomato Soup Can and Marilyn Monroe works. The Andy Warhol Museum exhibits over 500 of his paintings, sculptures, photographs, films and drawings on a rotating basis in its 80,000 square foot museum. It is one of four Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh and the nation's largest museum dedicated to an individual artist.
Pittsburgh, PA
Steepest Incline and a Great View
Monongahela Incline - For the best view of Pittsburgh that money can buy, hop aboard the Monongahela Incline to the top of Mt Washington (also called "Coal Hill", but Mt Washington sounds way better). The Mon Incline, completed in 1870, is the oldest cable car in the USA and the oldest and steepest incline railroad. The cable car takes passengers up 635 feet at a 35 degree incline to observation decks over-looking the city. It is one of two remaining inclines left in the city (originally there were 17), the other is the nearby Duquesne Incline which also climbs Coal Hill...I mean Mt Washington.
Punxsutawney, PA
Jess and Me Visiting Phil
Groundhog Day - Every Feb 2nd Punxsutawney Phil pops his head out of his burrow, checks the weather and whispers to the Groundhog Club President the forecast. If Phil sees his shadow there will be 6 more weeks of winter, if he doesn't see his shadow there will be an early Spring. It's a fun tradition that's held in a cute town filled with great people and colorfully painted giant groundhogs. As Bill Murray said in the movie "Groundhog Day", "standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter". Hear hear.
Reading, PA
Reading Pagoda and Me
Reading Pagoda - Standing atop of Mount Penn is a 72 foot tall Japanese-style Pagoda, how it got there is an interesting story. At the turn of the 20th century William Abbott Witman, Sr. was quarrying rock from Mount Penn which caused ugly scaring on the face of the hill. To cover it up the hole, Witman decided to build a luxury hotel and started by constructing the Pagoda. Unfortunately the liquor license for the hotel was turned down by the city and the hotel construction was abandoned. The Reading Pagoda is certainly worth a drive up the twisting mountain road, it offers views as far as these monkey eyes can see.
Scranton, PA
Riding the Railroads
Steamtown National Historic Site - Housed in the former rail yard of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, the Steamtown National Historic Site is one of the best railroad museums in the nation. The site contains several dozen locomotives, a museum, two former roundhouses (rail-speak for things that turn engines around), and provides rides on several trains. The railroads in this area were used to transport coal to the furnaces and iron from them. The nearby Scranton Iron Furnaces State Park protects four stone furnaces built between 1848 and 1857.
Washington Crossing, PA
George on His Way to Victory
Washington Crossing Historic Park - On December 25, 1776, Washington and his 2,400 man Continental Army crossed the Delaware River to surprise and defeat the Hessian Army in Trenton, NJ. The Washington Crossing Historic Park contains the Pennsylvania side of the crossing and features a Visitor Center and 13 historic buildings. The Visitor Center contains a replica of Emanuel Leutze's 1851 oil painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware" in its theater. And one of the historic buildings include McConkey's Ferry Inn where Washington planned the famous attack.
Wellsboro, PA
Tioga County CCC Worker
Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania - The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania (Leonard Harrison State Park) is a nearly 1,000 foot gorge carved out by Pine Creek in the Tioga State Forest. It was formed over tens of thousands of years, after a glacier forced the rerouting of Pine Creek. The area is mostly undeveloped and is great for hiking, camping, fishing, and white-water rafting. Near the river is an old railroad track which was converted to a hiking/biking path which offers spectacular views while getting a little exercise.