By: Ashli Yakabovicz and Melissa Milloway
Pennsylvania may not have any beaches and may not be a top ten tourist destinations, yet there are hundreds of activities and places to discover. Next time summer boredom strikes or the parents get too overwhelming, gather some friends and take our advice on some of the best places in Pa. to visit.
Hot days call for a splash in the pool or a ride down one of Pa.’s ultimate water slides. Camel Beach offers a variety of water fun as well as Dorney Park’s Wildwater Kingdom. If getting soaked isn’t your thing, you can always enjoy one of the many amusement parks Pa. has to offer: Knoebels Grove, Dorney Park, Hershey Park, and Dutch Wonderland just to name a few!
I bet that you would enjoy Mount Airy Casino Resort, located in the Pocono’s. With slot machines, poker tables, live entertainment, spa treatments, and much more, guests will feel like royalty. Another great place to get your gamble on is Moghegan Sun Casino at Pocono Downs.
Lions and tigers and don’t forget the rest of zoo. The Pittsburg Zoo offers visitors a close up look at not only mammals and reptiles, but a variety of fish. The Pittsburgh zoo is home to the magnificent PPG Aquarium located within the zoo. Clyde Peelings Reptile Land is home to over 40 species of reptiles and amphibians. Think zoos aren’t for tough guys? The Adventure Aquarium, near Philadelphia, allows it’s vistors to not only look in the tanks, they let you swim…with the sharks.
Moon Lake State park allows visitors to leave behind the noise and bustle of the city and enjoy over seven recreational activities. With 600 acres of fields and a forest that surrounds a 48 acre lake, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can hike 20 miles worth of trails, swim in the double-sized Olympic pool, camp (for cheap!) on one of the 63 sites available, along with much more. Other state parks worth seeing are Ricketts Glen (to hike the waterfalls) and Worlds End.
For those who seek a different thrill from what amusement parks have to offer visit Haunted Gettysburg for nightly ghost walks. These tours take visitors away from the sidewalk into dark alleys as a guide weaves a tale of gruesome ghost stories that swirl with the sights and sounds that go ‘bump in the night.’ Other haunted attractions in Pa. include the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia (a prison once home to Al Capone and `Slick` Willie Sutton), and the Jim Thorpe old Jail museum (where the spirits of some members of the Molly Maguires are said to remain).
Interested in the how to? Why not take a day to see how it all works by taking a tour of one of the factories in Pa. The Martin Guitar Factory shows visitors how guitars are still made through the use of old world tools. The Crayola Factory, although geared toward kids, is a fun experience for all ages. where creativity is the name of the game, not your age. The Harley Davidson assembly line tour is a great place for all of the motorcycle fanatics out there. And finally, for those not interested so far, Hershey’s Chocolate World. A vacation where eating chocolate and licking your fingers is encouraged.
The summer heat doesn’t dry up the romance in a few places around Pa. Bushkill Falls, the Niagara of Pennsylvania, is a place to view eight waterfalls that are nestled in the Poconos. The Bischwind Bed & Breakfast, an English Tudor dating back to 1891, offers guests a 100 acre lake, hiking trails, and English Gardens. Mount Hope Estate and Winery will hold the Great Pennsylvania Flavor Fest in May. If you are not interested in that, there is always time to take a tour of the winery later in the summer.
The summer is the time for picking strawberries, going to catch a flick or two at the drive in theaters, or visit a few yard sales. Sometimes you don’t have to look very far to find an adventure waiting to be discovered.