Traveling in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is a large state in the northeast that holds some of America’s most significant historical sites, most populous cities, and some unique culture. One of America’s largest and most interesting city’s is Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, officially creating the United States. Other major cities include Pittsburgh, Lancaster, and Harrisburg which all combine to make Pennsylvania the 6th most populous state in the country. The rest of Pennsylvania has smaller towns and farms, some vast mountainous regions and a 50 mile shore along the great lakes. There’s a lot of interesting things to do here, and despite living only a few hours away I feel like I’ve seen relatively little!
Nicknamed Steel City, Pittsburgh was once a major industrial center in the early 20th century. The steel workers and other jobs helped Pittsburgh grow to be one of America’s greatest cities. It’s also one of America’s most beautiful cities, famous for its dozens of bridges and unique architecture.
Centralia is one of the most unique destinations in the state. Centralia was nothing but a dozen of small coal mining towns in Pennsylvania, but this all changed once an underground fire took place here in the 1960’s. After roads and buildings suddenly opened up to fiery pits below, the town and some surrounding areas were immediately abandoned. Although the fire is burning today, its died out enough that the town is once again safe to visit. Centralia has largely been overrun by nature, with few original buildings still standing.
Allegheny national forest is located in the north central part of Pennsylvania. The low altitude mountains are heavily covered in trees, making it a beautiful place to visit all year around. Hiking trails, small waterfalls, beautiful vantage points, and of course wildlife viewing are some of the activities here.
Philadelphia’s is one of America’s most historic cities, beginning in the mid 1700’s when the city was briefly the capital of America. The city has one of the most significant historic attractions, the Liberty Bell was which rang to summon up the city of Philly so the Declaration of Independence could be read. Many start exploring at the museum of art next to the Rocky Balboa statue, for lunch you can try the famous Philly cheese steaks, and at night you can watch a play at the oldest theater in America.
Another one of Pennsylvania’s historic cities, Lancaster stands out for its history and Amish population. Lancaster had the honor of being the capital of the United States for an entire day, after the British took over Philadelphia. The small town though is more famous for its Amish population, who culturally live nearly the same exact way as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.
The United States has no shortage of Civil War battles, but the most famous will always be Gettysburg. In July 1863, America’s bloodiest fighting took place. The battle of Gettysburg only lasted three days, but produced over 50,000 casualties and was a major victory for the Union Army. There are now over 1,400 monuments and memorials on the battlefield, and a cemetery where over 3,500 Union soldiers were buried. Gettysburg Battlefield also has a large visitor center complete with a museum.
Pennsylvania’s capital of Harrisburg is located on the Susquehanna River in the south central area of the state. Harrisburg is another great American city with a historic downtown, beautiful riverfront stores and restaurants, and multiple museums and places of interest to visit. The city is also famous for the 1970’s nuclear reactor meltdown which took place in nearby Three Mile Island.