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Sleepytime city, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania© Brian EricksonSleepytime city, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
© Brian Erickson
Ask many travellers what they think of when they think of Pennsylvania, and their first response may well be "history." After all, this is the state where you'll find the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall (both in Philadelphia), Valley Forge and Gettysburg. Ben Franklin published his almanac in Pennsylvania, and Washington crossed the Delaware. Museums and historic sites across the state preserve this heritage, and you should definitely see a few of them during your visit.

But Pennsylvania has lots more than history to offer.

In Philadelphia, you can munch on one of the city's famous cheese steaks (a chopped steak sandwich topped with cheese), or kick back in the trendy bars and restaurants on Rittenhouse Square. Since most clothing purchases in Pennsylvania are tax free, shopaholics seize the excuse to troll the boutiques on South, Walnut and Sansom streets.

Across the state, Pittsburgh once had a reputation as Philadelphia's dowdy steel town cousin. No longer. The city has mounted an aggressive regeneration campaign in recent years. You can enjoy a Broadway musical at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, or see one of the world's best collections of dinosaur skeletons at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Ninety minutes south of town, you can tour Fallingwater, a famously innovative house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

York County in the south central part of the state bills itself as the Factory Tour Capital of the World. Hershey's Chocolate World in Hershey and the Harley-Davidson plant in York are probably Amish buggy on gravel road, Pennsylvania© Eric LawtonAmish buggy on gravel road, Pennsylvania
© Eric Lawton
the two most famous factory tour destinations, but you can also tour pretzel bakeries, a glass factory and more. On the other end of the technology spectrum is Pennsylvania Dutch Country, centered on Lancaster County. And anyone who has ever read a bridal magazine will be familiar with the Pocono Mountains, where happy honeymooners can splash in champagne-glass-shaped bathtubs—or go skiing, hiking or canoeing.

by Laura Byrne Paquet

Stock Photos from 123RF

Stock Photos from 123RF