The most beautiful places to visit in Pennsylvania

Top 15 Beautiful Places To Visit In Pennsylvania 

20 mins read

1. Allegheny National Forest 

Allegheny National Forest

I would recommend not missing this stunning spot! The only National Forest in Pennsylvania, the Allegheny National Forest is situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Established in 1923, the Allegheny National Forest comprises plateau tops and diverse hardwood forests.

The heart of this forested landscape is the Alleghany Reservoir or the Kinzua Lake with miles of beautiful shorelines and myriad recreational activities that in my opinion you shouldn’t miss!

If you’re adventurous, I would recommend hiking the Jakes Rock Overlooks and numerous other scenic trails in this charming forest! 

  • Address: Marienville, near Warren, PA 16239
  • Best Time to Visit: Fall comes with colored trees. Spring and summer offer the best weather conditions for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.

 My Favorite Highlights…

  • Hiking the Rimrock trail, which lead me to a gorgoeus scenic overlook.
  • Going boating at Allegheny Reservoir.
  • Discovering Kinzua Sky Walk which offers panoramic views through a glass-bottomed observation deck.

2. Presque Isle State ParkPresque Isle State Park

The only seashore of the Keystone State, the Presque Isle State Park is an arch-like sandy peninsula jutting into Lake Erie. At the neck of the peninsula is the broad and deep harbor for Erie. The radiant coastline, sandy beaches, and diverse ecosystem make the Presque Isle a hub of recreational activities! 

With 13 designated beaches to swim, surf or sunbathe, the Presque Isle’s beaches are filled with colorful ‘sea’ glass and endless fun. The historic spot of the state park, the Presque Isle Lighthouse has been a guiding light for passing ships since the 1870s.

A National Natural Landmark, the Presque Isle is one of the top birding spots for endangered species, so I suggest not missing this one!

  • Address: 301 Peninsula Dr, Erie, PA 16505
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer and autumn season.

My Favorite Highlights…

  • Paddleboarding on the lake (rentals are available seasonally).
  • Visitng the lighthouse which cost $8 but it was well worth it!
  • Biking on the paved Karl Boyes Multi-Purpose Trail, with offered lakeside scenery.

3. Philadelphia Philadelphia - best places to visit in Pennsylvania

One of America’s most historic cities, Philadelphia has a stunning skyline, numerous historic landmarks, cobbled streets, and outdoor markets which in my opinion make it a superb city. It still has an edge to it though so it’s never boring! 

I would recommend visiting the iconic Independence National Historical Park, a legendary site where the American Constitution was drafted, and the Liberty Bell, which has rich exhibits of American history.

My other favorite attractions I think you should include are the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Ben Franklin Museum and then don’t forget to explore downtown Philly with its scrumptious cuisines and eclectic shops.

  • Address: Philadelphia, PA 19019-9100.
  • Best Time to Visit: You can enjoy activities year-round in Philadelphia. However, avoid the winter season to enjoy more outdoor activities.

My Favorite Highlights…

Bushkill Falls Pennsylvania

Nestled in the Poconos Mountains on the edge of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Bushkill Falls is one of the region’s tallest and most powerful waterfalls.

Hidden deep in the woods bordered by cliff-hugging boardwalks I personally think the Bushkill Falls is a real gem! 

Comprising eight beautiful waterfalls, the Main Falls or the namesake Bushkill Falls is the centerpiece of the attraction. With interconnected trails and walkways, you can reach the base and the crest to experience the crystal-clear water gushing from the springs.

  • Address: Bushkill, PA 18324
  •  Best Time to Visit: Closed during the winter season, it is best for summer, spring, and fall.

My Favorite Highlights…

  • Taking the easy Green Trail.
  • Taking a picnic and finding the perfect spot nearby a nearby stream.

5. Blue Marsh Lake Blue Marsh Lake Pennsylvania

The Blue Marsh Lake, which was primarily built for flood control by the US Army Corps of Engineers, has become a hub of outdoor recreation.

Located in western Berks County, the Blue Marsh Lake offers 1,147 acres of water for boating with varied hiking trails.

A manmade wonder, Blue Marsh Lake’s recreation area offers so many things to do right from swimming (please note there are no lifeguards on duty here though), skiing, and picnicking and my personal favorite kite-flying! 

  • Address: 1268 Palisades Drive Leesport, PA 19533
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall season.

My Favorite Highlights…

  • Going boating on the stunning lake which was a tranquil, zen-like experience!
  • Spotting wildlife and bird life, including massive gulls and ruffed grouse. 

6. Pennsylvania State Capitol, Harrisburg Pennsylvania State Capitol

In my opinion, this is one of the architectural treasures of the nation; the Pennsylvania State Capitol is where history, art, and learning work in perfect sync.

Often called a ‘palace of art’, the state capitol is filled with sculptures, murals, and stained glass windows with decorative Renaissance themes.

Featuring a breathtaking rotunda and Paris Opera-themed staircase, the majestic St. Peter’s Cathedral-inspired dome sits atop the building with a gilded bronze statue.

Part of the sprawling State Capitol Complex, the complex grounds also include the State Museum of Pennsylvania, which has many historical buildings and memorials.

  • Address: 501 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17120
  • Best Time to Visit: Open to year-round visitations, but best to visit on weekdays.

My Favorite Highlights…

  • Seeing the majestic staircase! 
  • Going on an interesting scheduled a tour which had a very knowledgable guide. 

7. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

The second-largest city of the Keystone State, Pittsburgh is known for its rich cultural legacy & industrial roots of the Carnegie family.

The city’s epicentre, the “Golden Triangle” lies at the junction of Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. At the tip of the triangle is Point State Park, which houses the largest fountain in the state.

Step back in time and try some of Warhol’s art techniques at the Andy Warhol Museum. I would recommend exploring the contemporary arts at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

A gift to the city, the Phipps Conservatory is home to an exotic public garden and stunning Victorian-style greenhouses. I would also suggest riding on the antique cable car on the Duquesne Incline and enjoying the spectacular panorama of the city! 

  • Address: Pittsburgh, PA 15219
  • Best Time to Visit: All seasons except winter are the best.

My favorite highlights…

  • Exploring the vibrant and hipster-friendly Strip District with many trendy bars, clubs and resturants. 
  • Having a cocktail at Altius, which has amazing views of the city, I’d highly recommend trying the very apt “A Sip With a View cocktail”

8. Ricketts Glen State Park

Ricketts Glen State Park

Once an abode to the Native Americans, the Ricketts Glen State Park today is one of the most scenic parks in the state. Nestled in the Luzerne, Sullivan, and Columbia counties, the Ricketts Glen State Park covers 13,050 acres of land.

With wild, free-flowing waterfalls cascading the ancient hills, the Ganoga Falls is the highest among the 22 named waterfalls.

Swim, hike, picnic, or go biking, the state park offers all recreational activities for visitors and I would highly recommend getting involved with as many as possible!

  • Address: River Rd, Delaware Water Gap, PA 18302
  • Best Time to Visit: All three seasons except the winter season.

My Favorite Highlights…

  • Hiking the Mount Trammy/Minsy loop and McDade Recreational trail.
  • Going kayaking on the lake.

9. Delaware Water Gap

Delaware water gap pennsylvania

The Delaware Water Gap is America’s most popular vacation destination, surrounded by lush forests, beautiful lakes, and rugged mountains.

One of the most stunning areas of the Pocono Mountains, the middle section of the Delaware River or the Delaware Water Gap runs across the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border.

The Delaware Water Gap is located in Monroe County and runs between the high bluffs, forested shores, and rhododendron ravines. The Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River is a boon for canoeists, kayakers, rafters, and scenic seekers.

  •  Address: Pocono Mountains, PA 18360
  • Best Time to Visit: ideal for all seasons.

My Favorite Highlights…

10. The PoconosPoconos - most beautiful places to visit in Pennsylvania

A beloved destination for vacationers seeking to relax, the Pocono Mountains are known for their natural scenic beauty and quaint historic towns.

The Northeastern Pennsylvanian Mountains have been alluring visitors for generations.

The 2,400 sq. mile area of the Poconos is easily accessible within two hours from the nearby metropolitan cities. A famous ski destination, the Poconos offer year-round camping, trail rides, and hiking experiences in the lap of nature for nature lovers and peace seekers.

Step into the enchanted mountain slopes, clear lakes, flower-covered valleys, and varied landscapes for exciting outdoor adventures! 

  • Address: Pocono Mountains, PA 18360
  • Best Time to Visit: ideal for all seasons.

My Favorite Highlights…

  • Hiking to see the scenic Bushkill Falls.
  • Dining at Nick’s Lake House Restaurant, which has lovely lake views.

11. Hickory Run State Park

Hickory Run State Park

One of the largest state parks, the Hickory Run State Park, is in the Carbon County of the Pocono Mountains.

With more than 40 miles of hiking trails, natural streams, state park natural areas, and blooming rhododendrons, the Hickory Run State Park covers 15,990 acres of a vast landscape.

Walk along the striking boulder-strewn area of the Boulder Field, witness the beautiful Hawk Falls or Hike the Fireline Trail to catch a stunning view of the Lehigh Gorge; in my opinion, Hickory Run provides amazing recreational opportunities!  

  • Address: 3613 PA-534, White Haven, PA 18661
  • Best Time to Visit: Late Spring to early fall season. 

My Favorite Highlights…

  • Hiking the 6-mile Hawk Falls trail leads to a beautiful waterfall.
  • Photographing the incredible boulders.

12. Pine Creek Gorge

Pine Creek Gorge Pennsylvania

One of Pennsylvania’s largest State Natural Areas, the Pine Creek Gorge is a part of the Tioga State Forest. The gorge begins near the quaint town of Wellsboro near Ansonia.

The Leonard Harrison Park & the Colton Point State Park are opposite the Pine Creek Gorge.

The scenic waterfalls, rolling mountains, deep deciduous forests, and wild water provide gorgeous scenery of the Pine Creek Gorge every season.

Hike along the converted railroad bed of the Pine Creek Rail Trail or watch the sunsets at Colton Point and Leonard Harrison. A trip to the Pine Creek Gorge is full of adventures and fun. 

  • Address: Pine Creek Gorge, Watson Township, PA 17740
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring to Fall.

My Favorite Highlights…

  • Trying to spot eagles (watch out for the black bears that also roam here).
  • Hiking the 7-mile Sand Run Falls loop.

13. Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area

Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area

An exceptional Bird Area recognized globally, the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area is between the Lebanon-Lancaster County line of Pennsylvania.

A special tract of landscape protecting and preserving the unique wildlife, the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area covers 5,000 acres of land with shallow-water lakes and oak woodlands.

Witness and photograph the beautiful flocks of migratory Tundra Swans and Snow Geese in their natural habitat. The lake and surrounding marshy lands are the nesting sites of forest and farmland wildlife.

  • Address: 100 Museum Rd, Stevens, PA 17578
  • Best Time to Visit: late winter to early spring (February to March). 

My Favorite Highlights…

  • Watching the geese migrating at the start of the winter season.
  • Hiking the Willow Point Trail, graded easy and took me past gorgeous scenery.

14. Lake Wallenpaupack

Lake Wallenpaupack

Wallenpaupack or the ‘stream of swift and slow water’ is the second-largest lake in the Pike & Wayne Counties.

Covering 5,700 acres of land with 13 miles of uninterrupted shorelines, this man-made lake is an ideal retreat for friends and family.

Play the day away in the stunning recreation area with sweeping forest lands, wildlife, scenic hiking trails, and campsites. I would also recommend indulging in water skiing, jet skiing, or kayaking; there are scores of things to do in the charming Lake Wallenpaupack! 

  • Address: 2512 Route 6, PA 18428
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring to fall for ideal weather conditions.

My Favorite Highlights…

  • Visiting the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitor Center to understand the history and ecology of the area.
  • Going water tubing was a lot of fun! There are rentals in the area.

15. Cook Forest State Park

Cook Forest State Park Pennsylvania

Often referred to as the ‘black forest of Pennsylvania’, the Cook Forest State Park covers 11,536 acres in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Bordered by the Clarion River, the scenic 13-mile stretch connects Cook Forests with the Clear Creek State Park.

Renowned for the virgin white pine and hemlock timber stands, this National Natural Landmark is home to some of the oldest trees east of the Rockies.

I suggest climbing a fire tower, exploring the Henry Run Sawmill Dam Falls, or hiking the Paved Trail. The Cook Forest offers a beautiful area in which to enjoy life’s peacefulness and simple things.

  • Address: Cooksburg, PA 16217
  •  Best Time to Visit: Late spring to Fall.

My Favorite Highlights…

  • Staying at a cabin near Clarion River.
  • Hiking the popular Longfellow Trail.
  • Climbing the Fire Tower and enjoying a clear view of the surrounding and the river valleys.

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