Home to Philly cheese-steaks, the Liberty Bell and birthplace of Andy Warhol Pennsylvania is packed with history and culture and our sojourn into the state was all too fleeting. We didn’t get as far as Pittsburgh or Philadelphia but this just means we still have plenty of reasons to return to the Keystone State.
We stayed in the sumptuous, welcoming and historic Sayre Mansion in Bethlehem where gourmet breakfasts and home-baked cookies on arrival were standard. Bethlehem, founded by a small religious community, is now home to a massive casino if you’re the gambling sort – but we liked it’s quaint streets just fine.
Driving through the Dutch Country we did see Amish people in their horse-drawn buggies, so choose a few back roads and you might too, as well as charming home-made signs for farms selling fresh fruit or pick-your-own-pumpkin patches.
Site of one of the Civil War’s most decisive and bloody battles and where President Lincoln delivered his famous address, Gettysburg makes for a sobering visit. The Gettysburg National Military Park has a great visitor centre and museum which helps put the place into context. The day we went the sky was blue, the leaves burning bright red and orange and even a stroll here is an invigorating treat.
After contemplating war and peace what better than to ditch the gravitas and head to Hershey where at Hershey Chocolate World for $15 we made (and later ate) our very own chocolate bars. This was a silly amount of fun. It was tough fighting the urge to buy more candy than we could carry in the ginormous gift-store and whilst a bit naff, this was a really ace pit-stop. Also, when driving or walking around Hershey: look up. The lampposts are shaped like hershey kisses, cool or what?
Even though we didn’t visit the big urban centres of Pennsylvania there’s still plenty to see in this historic state.
Rate the State
Good for: history, candy, Amish, country roads.
Bad for: don’t go expecting a beach-holiday.