A new year calls for new adventures throughout the Keystone State! We asked Happy Travelers what hot spots and must-see places are on their #PABucketList for the upcoming year. Get inspiration from your fellow travelers and be sure to add these destinations to your 2023 #PABucketList.
1. See Punxsutawney Phil’s Prognostication at Gobbler’s Knob
Visit the site where, every year in early February, the country’s most beloved rodent, Punxsutawney Phil, makes his annual prognostication. Watch and dance along to performances on center stage, keep warm with hot beverages, and witness as the legendary Phil declares six more weeks of winter or the start of an early spring. Stop by the Gobbler’s Knob Visitor Center and Gift Shop to purchase your own Groundhog Club memorabilia.
2. Walk amongst the clouds at Kinzua State Park and Sky Walk
Experience some of the most breathtaking panoramic views of PA when you walk along the Kinzua Sky Walk. Named “One of the World’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Skywalks and Viewpoints in the World” by the Culture Trip, U.K., this 624-foot walkway has a railroad track that leads to the end of an overlook and features a partial glass floor. Visitors can gaze below into the park before they head down and hike, bike, and explore the park for themselves.
3. Reach the peak of 1,000 Steps
Located along the 85-mile long Standing Stone Trail, 1,000 Steps is one of the most well-known of the trail’s milestones and are located in Huntingdon County. The steps were built in the 1950s by quarry workers who cut away a large slice of Jacks Mountain to quarry the ganister stone used to make silica bricks. Happy Travelers are rewarded after climbing the jagged and steep steps with an incredible view from the top.
4. Shop ‘til you drop in the quaint Peddler’s Village
All year round, visitors can stay, shop, and soak in the enchanting scenery at Peddler’s Village. The village has 65 unique shops and six delectable restaurants all located on 42 acres of landscaped gardens and brick pathways. Guests can experience seasonal special events and festivities, so make sure to check the calendar ahead of your trip. If you’re having too much fun, make it a weekend trip and stay at the Golden Plough Inn.
5. Discover the heart of Easton at Centre Square
When you wander around downtown Easton in the Lehigh Valley, you’ll stumble upon the heart of the downtown at Centre Square. If you visit on a Saturday, make a point to walk through the Easton Farmer’s Market – the country’s oldest open-air farmer’s market where vendors sell fresh, local produce and goods.
6. Cheer on the Nittany Lions at a Penn State Football game
Nothing says fall in PA like cheering on the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley. Pack a cooler and soak in the energetic tailgate atmosphere before heading into Beaver Stadium to attend a Penn State Football game. Be sure to practice your best “We Are” chant and gear up for an unforgettable sporting event.
7. Experience the sweetest place in America at Hershey’s Chocolate World
Unwrap adventure and eat your way through history as you learn about the Hershey company’s legacy at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Smell the chocolate in the air, create your very own Hershey’s chocolate bar, or hear all about the candy empire during the Hershey’s Chocolate Tour. In 2023, help them celebrate 50 years with exciting events, festivities, and—of course—sweet treats!
8. Enjoy the wild rides at Knoebels Amusement Park
Did you know America’s largest free-admission amusement park is right here in PA? With 60 rides including three wooden roller coasters, three steel roller coasters, a carousel from 1913, and a Haunted Mansion, it’s no wonder Knoebels Amusement Park has won an array of awards and been named a “Top 10 Family Friendly Amusement Park” by Travel Channel.
9. Visit the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater
Any reputable #PABucketList must include a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. This UNESCO World Heritage Site and PA treasure has been named one of the 12 landmarks that will change the way you see the world by Travel + Leisure magazine. Take a guided tour of the house and grounds to learn about this iconic piece of architecture, the incredible architect who designed it and the family who lived in it.
10. Gaze at the stars at Cherry Springs State Park
Originally named for the large stand of black cherry trees found in the area, today the 82-acre Cherry Springs State Park is best known by night sky enthusiasts who take advantage of the impeccable dark skies to gaze up at thousands of stars. Bring a blanket, lay your head back, and keep your eyes peeled for the Milky Way, planets, and other out-of-this-world views.
11. Dive into our nation’s history at Independence National Historic Park
Journey back to where it all began and learn about the nation’s founding with a visit to Independence National Historical Park. Here you can tour the country’s most notable and historical locations including the Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, the Benjamin Franklin Museum, and the Betsy Ross House, all within walking distance.
12. Hike and explore Worlds End State Park
The 780-acre Worlds End State Park is surrounded by the scenic Loyalsock State Forest and offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Named one of the “20 Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks” by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, visitors can hike, camp, whitewater raft, cross-country ski, hunt, and fish, providing plenty of year-round activities for you to enjoy at any time in 2023!
13. Tour the nation’s oldest brewery - Yuengling
Brew up some fun and book a tour at Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery. Learn about their nearly two-century history, get a behind-the-scenes look of how their beverages are made, and try a pint—or two—of freshly brewed lager.
14. Embrace the wilderness at Wissahickon Valley Park
This year, uncover the wilderness of Wissahickon Valley Park! With dozens of miles of trails, a lush 1,800-acre gorge, crossing forest, meadow, and Wissahickon Creek, you can get a glimpse into nature’s beauty right in Philadelphia. Walk, bike, or even ride a horse to explore and discover the wildlife within.
15. Camp or hike at Parker Dam State Park
Visitors can explore and appreciate the old-fashioned charm of the 968-acre Parker Dam State Park. Open year-round, this park is made for leisurely strollers and adventure enthusiasts alike. Relaxers will love sitting by the scenic lake, cozying up in a rustic cabin, or making memories around the campground. Meanwhile, adventurers can geocache, walk through tornado-ravaged woods, backpack the 50,000-acre Quehanna Wilderness, mountain bike, or search for Pennsylvania Elk.
16. Step into the past in Gettysburg
Home to one of the most famous and historical American battlefields, the town of Gettysburg is known to house some of the most historical attractions in the country. While in town, see where the Civil War took place at Gettysburg National Military Park, climb one of the three observation towers in the park, learn about the war at the Gettysburg Museum of History, get a glimpse into what civilian life was like at the Shriver House, and tour President Eisenhower’s home and farm that served as a meeting place for world leaders.
17. Sleep in a shoe at The Haines Shoe House
You know the old nursery rhyme, “There was an old lady that lived in a shoe?” Well, now you can, too! What was once an ice cream shop and museum is now the historical and unique Haines Shoe House, a converted, vacation-ready rental. The house features three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a living room, kitchen/dinette, and recreation room. Get ready to step into your next PA getaway!
18. Watch stunning sunsets over Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park
Feel the sand between your toes and take in the impeccable views of Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park. The 3,200-acre peninsula is home to 11 beaches with some of the state’s most picturesque sunsets. Beyond the beach, you can visit the Great Lake year-round with plenty of hiking, picnicking, boating, and fishing. Voted one of the top birding spots in the country by BirdWatching magazine, be sure to bring your best binoculars to spot the park’s unique wildlife.
19. Tour industrial treasures at W.A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop
Take a step back in time with a visit to W.A. Young & Sons! Nestled in Rices Landing Historic District, the Machine Shop is an astonishing industrial treasure. Built in 1900, the shop produced parts for steamboats, coal mines, railroads, and supported local small businesses. Visitors can tour the blacksmith shop, pattern shop, hardware store, and foundry, and marvel as the machines are switched on during a live demonstration of this turn-of-the-last-century technology.
20. Ring in a New Year at Ringing Rocks
Upper Black Eddy
Happy Travelers, be sure to pack a hammer when you visit Ringing Rocks Park. Admire and listen to the beauty of this unique 123-acre park as you strike the boulders and hear them ring. While you’re there, explore and venture to see Bucks County’s largest waterfall, High Falls.
21. Celebrate History and Art on the Mercer Mile
Comprised of three historical destinations, the Mercer Mile will have you celebrating and learning about the amazing life, work, and collections of archeologist, ceramicist, and industrialist, Henry Chapman Mercer. Tour his former home and National Historic Landmark at Fonthill Castle, stroll through six floors of history at the Mercer Museum, home to 50,000 artifacts representing 60 early American trades, and watch tiles and mosaics be created before your eyes at Tileworks. If you’re looking for a venue to hold a special event, Aldie Mansion where Henry’s younger brother, William Mercer, once lived with his wife, Martha, is a stunning choice.
For more inspiration on where to travel in 2023, check out visitPA.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state.