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Pennsyvlania mapLike Massachusetts, the history of Pennsylvania is writ large in the founding of America as a nation.

Fought over by the Dutch, Swedes and English from its earliest days, Pennsylvania was a leader in helping to throw off British control during the American Revolution.

Today, visitors can visit memorials to Revolutionary America at Valley Forge where General George Washington rallied troops despite a spectacularly bad winter, and at Independence Hall in Philadelphia where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were created (while across the street proudly sits the Liberty Bell that first summoned citizens to the reading of the Declaration.)

Pennsylvania was also the scene of the largest battle ever waged during the American Civil War at Gettysburg in 1863.

Other major vacation attractions include Pennsylvania Dutch Country in Lancaster County, the Pocono Mountains resort area, the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh and thrilling adventure travel and white water rafting through the Delaware Water Gap.

pennsylvania tourist attractions
Top tourist attractions in Pennsylvania include Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in
Philadelphia (left); the amusement park in Hershey (middle); and Amish Country in Lancaster (right)

Kid-friendly Pennsylvania - Philly, Pittsburgh & Pennsylvania Dutch Country

The two biggest cities naturally have the biggest attractions for families, starting with the Philadelphia Zoo - the nation's first zoo and by far the city's top kid-friendliest attraction - and then on to historical highlights beginning with Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House, the Liberty Bell and the Franklin Mint.

Likewise, the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium is a must-see (for the polar bear exhibit alone) together with more family fun at the Carnegie Science Center for world-class interactive exhibits and educational adventures.

Heading out to Pennsylvania Dutch Country, don't miss the area's star attraction at Hershey Park offering a sweet mix of amusement park rides, a water park, and live entertainment scheduled every day throughout the summer season. Especially with toddlers in tow, more fun awaits at Dutch Wonderland featuring kiddy rides, live shows and strolling entertainment.

DID YOU KNOW? Pennsylvania Travel Fun Facts

Peeps, born in Bethlehem, PA.

Peeps are manufactured in Bethlehem at the Just Born Candy factory. Every December 31st, a giant peep is dropped over the city to ring in the New Year.

• The hit film "Groundhog Day" starring BIll Murray put Punxsutawney PA on the map for a new generation, but most location shooting actually took place in Woodstock, Illinois.

• In Bethlehem, The Moravian Book Shop is the oldest continuously operating bookshop in the world, founded in 1745.

The world’s largest shoe? You can find it in Hellam, PA. Truth be told, it's a store that is shaped like a shoe.

also see -> PA Lakes & Beaches | PA Campgrounds | PA Fall Foliage

Christmas in Pennsylvania | PA Outlet Malls

More information about Pennsylvania travel & tourism around the Web: - Along with practical travel tips, hotel & restaurant guides, maps & pictures, check out the Road Trips section for complete excursions & scenic drives in selected areas, plus a complete directory of related links & resources.

Best of Pennsylvania Tourism - Trip Advisor - Check out the latest 'been there, done that' reviews from travelers covering popular hotels, restaurants and attractions in Philly, Pittsburgh, Lancaster, Hershey, and more.

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