I’m going to put Pennsylvania on the Yes side of the ledger but with that little asterisk for “repeat visit needed”. The reason is that my two visits to the state barely scratched the surface. I spent one vacation in Allentown, PA for the Drum and Bugle Corp championships. It rained and the tent leaked. I spent most of the time wet and cold!
The other time was to see the Army VS Navy football game in Philadelphia. Aside from sitting in the stands and admiring the sea of Navy Uniforms, I remember the traffic. At the time I was much younger and not yet used to the brutal traffic you can get in cities. (After 30+ years in Boston I expect it would be much easier this time).
So what have I missed that calls for a return trip? There’s a lot so let’s see how many reasons I can name before I run out of room in this post. (I have a self imposed limit of 500 words per post)
#1. Ricketts Glen State Park. If you like waterfalls, this park has an abundance. In a single day you could visit 22 waterfalls, most with easy access surrounded by outstanding scenic beauty. The Falls Trail is 7.2 miles and will pass 21 of the 22 waterfalls.
#2. Gettysburg National Military Park. No one should be able to cross Pennsylvania off their must see list without visiting Gettysburg. Next to the battlefields of Lexington and Concord that started the Revolutionary War, this is almost certainly one of America’s most important battlefields. You don’t have to be a student of history to appreciate the importance of this battle.
#3. Hershey. The Milk Chocolate capital of the world…well in my opinion. Home of the Hersey Bar and Candy Kisses, the Hershey Candy factory stopped their tours in 1973 but you can visit Hershey’s Chocolate World, and the Hershey Museum. The nearby Hershey Park is one of the best know amusement parks in the Northeast with over 60 rides and attractions including a 1919 carousel.
#4. Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Since 1720 Pennsylvania’s Amish and Mennonite communities have lived and worked and followed James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up.” Lancaster, Berks and adjacent counties are home to 70,000 of the “Plain People” including members of the strict Old Order Amish. Horse-drawn buggies, Amish quilts and food and hex signs, those lovely colorful bits of folk art, are a trade mark of the area.
#5. Fallingwater. According to a poll of the American Institute of Architects this is the most architecturally significant building in the U.S. This is the vacation home of Pittsburgh businessman Edgar Kaufmann and his wife, Liliane designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
#6. Valley Forge. From the Civil War back to the Revolution, Pennsylvania was in the middle of history. Everyone knows the story of Valley Forge. The American army was in tatters, hunkered down and trying to survive the long, cold winter. Starvation loomed. But change came in the form of aid from abroad and by the time the rag-tag army marched out of Valley Forge they had been transformed. Although the war dragged on for another 5 years, this was the turning point.
I’m out of space and we haven’t even talked about Pittsburgh and it’s Steel Heritage, the museums of Philadelphia and the Liberty Bell or even the Rocky Statue; Franklin Court and the Betsey Ross House. So much to see and do.
New tally..13/ 25