Weekend Getaways in Pennsylvania for Romance, History or Family Fun

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Downtown Pittsburgh from PNC Park
Downtown Pittsburgh view from PNC Park Photo credit: Julie Bigboy

Enjoy a romantic mountain retreat, take the family to a chocolate theme park, uncover history at world-class museums, or taste delicious local cuisine—Pennsylvania can offer all that and more. The Keystone State has a bit of everything, from vibrant cities to rich history to diverse natural beauty.

Visitors can tour historic sites in Gettysburg, or make their own chocolate bars in Hershey. Philadelphia is a great spot for foodies and the Pocono Mountains make for a perfect romantic getaway. To help you plan your next trip, we’ve compiled a list of the best Pennsylvania weekend getaways.

Sunset view of Philadelphia skyline
Photo credit: Shutterstock/Paul Brady Photography

1. Philadelphia

Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, is a great getaway for those interested in history, culture, and food. The city is home to lots of historic landmarks in American history. Visitors can tour Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed, and see the Liberty Bell, a symbol of U.S. independence.

Another famous attraction is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, famous for its impressive art collection and iconic entrance, immortalized in the Rocky franchise. Philadelphia also has lots of delicious restaurants. Be sure to have at least one Philly cheesesteak during your stay!

Round out your visit by perusing the city’s many murals, taking a stroll down South Street for unique shopping and nightlife or visiting the Philadelphia Zoo.

2. Hershey

Calling all chocolate-lovers! Hershey is a small Pennsylvania town where Milton Hershey built his chocolate corporation. The town’s two biggest attractions include Hersheypark, a 121-acre theme park with roller coasters, souvenir shops and lots of dining opportunities, and Hershey’s Chocolate World, where you can learn about the history of chocolate and create your own candy bar.

The 23-acre Hershey Gardens offer a tranquil escape with beautiful botanical gardens and a butterfly atrium, and the Hershey Theatre hosts frequent Broadway performances and concerts. You can also visit the Hershey Story Museum or the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum.

If you’re looking for luxurious accommodations, stay at the Hotel Hershey, also founded by Mr. Hershey. This resort offers a free shuttle to Hersheypark, an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a spa, and a fitness center. Guests can stay in suites, cottages or standard guest rooms.

Best Family Resorts in the Poconos
Photo Courtesy of PoconoMountains.com

3. Pocono Mountains

Plan your next outdoor adventure in the Pocono Mountains. With its stunning forests, sparkling lakes and rolling hills, this area offers endless outdoor activities. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of water sports during the summer months, including swimming, boating, kayaking and canoeing. There are even whitewater rafting opportunities in the Lehigh River rapids.

Miles of hiking trails meander through the mountains. These trails are also suitable for biking and horseback riding, and there are plenty of golf courses. In the winter months, the Poconos become a winter wonderland, with skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing opportunities in several resort areas, including the Jack Frost Mountain and the Camelback Ski Area.

Visitors can go zip lining at Camelback Mountains or explore the area’s charming small towns. Some accommodation options include the Lodge at Woodloch or the Ledges Hotel in Hawley.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is a good weekend getaway
Part of the enormous Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg. Photo credit: Sarah Ricks

4. Gettysburg

Gettysburg is a charming town located in Southern Pennsylvania. It is best known for its historic attractions, most notably its park commemorating the Battle of Gettysburg, which marked the turning point of WWII. History buffs can learn more about the battle by visiting the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center before touring the battlefield. Other historical sites include the Jennie Wade House and the Shriver House Museum.

The town also has a charming downtown area with unique shops and restaurants. Visitors can take a ghost tour, go to an escape room or visit Carlisle Sports Emporium, an entertainment complex with go-karts, mini golf and laser tag.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Extend your immersion into Gettysburg history by staying at one of these Gettysburg PA B&Bs.

weekend getaways in PA can include taking in a game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

5. Pittsburgh

Located in western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, is a vibrant city that attracts all who love art, sports, museums and exploring the outdoors. The city is full of art galleries and public art installations, but the city’s most famous art attraction is the Andy Warhol Museum, which houses the biggest collection of Warhol art. For sports enthusiasts, a trip to PNC Park to watch a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game is a must, as is a visit to Heinz Field to see the Pittsburgh Steelers play football.

The city’s top museums include the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Carnegie Science Center. Nature lovers can go biking in the Point State Park or hike along the Great Allegheny Passage, which connects Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. Foodies will love exploring the city’s numerous restaurants and breweries.

6. Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe is one of the small towns in the Pocono Mountains, but it deserves its own entry. This small town is full of historic charm. Visitors can take a scenic train ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway and enjoy stunning views of the mountains and the Lehigh River.

Jim Thorpe is also known for its well-preserved Victorian architecture, which can be seen in the town’s historic district. The Old Jail Museum offers a glimpse into the town’s past and is where the infamous Molly Maguires were imprisoned and executed in the 19th century.

Outdoor enthusiasts can go hiking, biking or kayaking in the nearby state parks. During your visit, treat yourself to a luxury stay at The Inn at Jim Thorton or the Dolon House Bed and Breakfast.

A peaceful sunset in beautiful Lancaster County, PA. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

7. Lancaster

Lancaster is a cozy Pennsylvania town with beautiful outdoor attractions, great shopping, restaurants and historic landmarks. It is located in Amish Country, where visitors can take a tour of an Amish farm, explore an Amish village, and shop for handmade crafts and goods.

The town is also home to Dutch Wonderland, a 48-acre theme park with roller coasters and a water play area. Shop for produce, tea, home goods and flowers at the Lancaster Central Market, the oldest farmers’ market in the United States. Catch a performance at the Fulton Theatre or visit the Lancaster Science Factory. There are also lots of great wineries in the area.

8. Erie

Located on the shores of Lake Erie in the northwestern part of the state, Erie is a popular hiking and beach destination. One of the town’s top attractions is Presque Isle State Park, a 3,200-acre peninsula that cuts into Lake Erie. The park boasts 13 different beaches and several shops with kayak and jet ski rentals. Visitors can take a boat tour through Misery Bay and Presque Isle Bay, or visit the historic Presque Isle Lighthouse.

Attractions in town include the Erie Maritime Museum, which exhibits the city’s maritime history and the expERIEnce Children’s Museum, a hands-on center for children. Families can also visit the Erie Zoo or the Waldameer Amusement Park, which has rollercoasters and a waterpark area.

9. Leola Village

Leola Village is a tiny town in Lancaster County. It is home to The Inn at Leola Village, a luxurious resort perfect for those who want to escape and unwind for a weekend. Once an Amish tobacco farm, this boutique hotel boasts modern amenities, including a high-end spa, an Italian restaurant, a pool and a garden where spices and vegetables are grown for the restaurant.

Accommodations include traditional guest rooms as well as Amish inspired lodging and parlor suites. This historic hotel also has Whirlpool suites with jetted indoor hot tubs.

While staying at the Inn, guests can spend their days exploring rural Lancaster County via a network of local trails, accessible by bike or on foot. Visitors can also tour Amish farms, visit a winery or shop at local boutiques and galleries.

10. Omni Bedford Springs Resort

Omni Bedford Springs Resort is a luxury getaway tucked in the scenic Cumberland Valley. The resort has two pools, an 18-hole golf course, an on-site spa, tours of the hotel and nearby hiking trails. The hotel also organized outdoor activities, such as s’more nights and lawn games.

The property features a range of elegant accommodations, including 216 guest rooms and four luxurious suites. Some rooms have marble floors, balconies and vanities. There are seven different dining options, including a steakhouse, a coffee shop and an upscale restaurant serving five-course meals.

11. New Hope

Located on the Delaware River, New Hope is a small town in eastern Pennsylvania, known for its historic buildings, vibrant art scene and beautiful views. Stroll down Main Street and visit antique shops, boutiques, restaurants and historic sites. Meandering along the Delaware Canal is also a great way to spend an afternoon.

The Bucks County Playhouse is a New Hope must-see. This historic theater has been open since 1939, and has hosted many famous actors and productions. Visitors can also ride a vintage train on the 130-year-old New Hope Railroad. During the one-hour journey, the on-board narration tells the train’s history and some folklore.

12. Nemacolin Resort

Nestled in the Laurel Highland Mountains in a community called Farmington, Nemacolin is a luxurious resort made up of five different resort properties. Guests can stay in private homes, luxurious suites and townhouses. Certain suites even come with a dedicated butler.

The resort offers endless activities for all ages. There’s axe throwing, paintball, bowling and mini golf. There’s also a full-sized golf course and hunting opportunities. Those looking to relax can rent a cabana by the pool or take advantage of the resort’s spa facilities. The resort boasts many dining options, including a Tea Room, a seafood restaurant, an ice cream parlor and more.

Adina Keeling is a freelance travel writer from San Diego, CA. She worked in local news for a year until her wanderlust drew her to Costa Rica, where she is now based while freelancing and traveling the world. She has lived in three different countries and traveled to 27. An avid solo traveler, Adina wants to empower other women to safely travel alone.
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