Pennsylvania is home to many groundbreaking firsts, quirky capitals and impressive scenery. Throughout the Keystone State, you’ll make many unique discoveries!
State of Firsts
The iconic Banana Split sundae was born in 1904 in Latrobe, Pa., when 23-year-old David Evans Strickler was experimenting with new sundaes while apprenticing at the local Tassel Pharmacy. The city earned the title as the birthplace of the Banana Split from the National Ice Cream Retailers Association in 2004. To celebrate the city’s recognition, Latrobe hosts the Great American Banana Split Festival each year.
Discover the site where two of democracy’s greatest documents were written and the second continental congress was held at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Visitors can view the Assembly Room, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were drafted and signed, to explore the origins of American democracy.
Now home to more than 1,300 animals, the Philadelphia Zoo is the nation’s first zoo. The charter establishing the Zoological Society of Philadelphia was approved on March 21, 1859.
D.G. Yuengling & Son in Pottsville is the oldest brewery in the United States and has been family-owned and operated for more than 175 years. Traveling through the factory, viewers can examine beer production, get a sneak peek at the cave under the factory and sample this historic beer.
Stroll down the nation’s oldest residential street that dates back to the 18th century, Elfreth’s Alley in Philadelphia. The 32 buildings along the alley were built between the 1720s and 1830s, and today visitors can experience the spaces that America’s founders knew.
Surrounded by the urban bustle of Philadelphia, Bartram’s Garden is America's oldest living botanical garden. Bartram’s Garden was founded in 1728 when America’s first botanist, John Bartram, purchased the land and began a collection of North American plants, which he gathered by traveling across the nation.
Biggest and the Best
The “Mushroom Capital of the World” is located in Kennett Square, where more than 50 percent of the nation’s mushroom crops are grown. Visit The Mushroom Cap in the heart of Kennett Square for a special film and exhibits showcasing the history of the mushroom industry in the area. Visitors can also experience the annual Mushroom Festival in September, featuring more than 200 vendors, culinary exhibits, farm tours and mushroom soup cook-offs.
Families can have fun at Knoebels, America’s largest free-admission amusement park, and ride iconic rollercoasters like the Phoenix, which was named one of the top wooden coasters by the Los Angeles Times.
Relax at the Lodge at Glendorn, recently named one of the Best Resort Hotels in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure.
Pittsburgh, celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, is known for having the most bridges in the world – 446 – beating Venice for the record and earning Pittsburgh the designation “The City of Bridges.”
Made in PA
Whether your interest is hand-woven fabrics, delicate violins or delicious potato chips, you’ll find it in York County – the Factory Tour Capital where you can tour more than 10 factories like Harley Davidson® and Martin’s Potato Chips Inc.
The German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s and 1800s brought many of their traditions with them, including the love of beer. Today, you can taste brews at more than 100 brew pubs and small breweries like Victory Brewing Company, Troegs and Yards Brewing Company.
Bring your family to the one-of-a-kind Crayola Experience in Easton, where the famous crayons are made. The kids can enjoy 25 hands-on activities, watch live entertainment, climb a two-story playground and even wrap their own crayons. Discover the magic as chemistry, color and technology intersect.
The “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania,” the Pine Creek Gorge, was recognized by USA Today as home to the best trails in the nation.
The Johnstown Incline is the steepest vehicular incline in the world, offering stunning views from the top.
The Kinzua Viaduct was once the highest and longest viaduct in the world when it was built in 1882. After the bridge was partially collapsed by a tornado in 2003, work started to reconstruct the remaining towers of the viaduct as a pedestrian walkway so visitors could “Walk the Tracks Across the Sky” as they look down at the remaining towers. New in 2016 is the Kinzua Bridge State Park Visitors Center.
Visit Elk County – home to the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi River. The visitors’ center offers panoramic views of elk in their natural environment with interactive exhibits.
Presque Isle is Pennsylvania’s only shoreline and offers scenic views of Lake Erie.
Families can watch birds of prey migrate at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Reading, the world’s first refuge for birds of prey.
Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pa., is the only remaining Frank Lloyd Wright house with its original setting, and it was named one of “12 landmarks that will change the way you see the world” by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Spend the day at Penn’s Cave enjoying an array of tours at America’s only all-water cavern and wildlife park. Penn’s Cave offers a one-mile guided cavern tour by motorboat, as well as a traditional wildlife tour.
Located in the North Shore, the Andy Warhol Museum is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. The museum is a place in which diverse audiences are astounded by the art and life of Andy Warhol. The museum is ever-changing and constantly redefining itself, using its unique collections and dynamic, interactive programming as tools.
Head to the Pocono Mountains to see Bushkill Falls, the “Niagara of Pennsylvania,” where you’ll find a beautiful series of eight waterfalls. Reach the falls – nestled deep in the mountains – by way of an extensive network of hiking trails and bridges. Experience amazing views of the falls and forest along the way.