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Altoona - Top-Rated Weekend Getaways to Explore in Pennsylvania

9 Top-Rated Weekend Getaways to Explore in Pennsylvania (2024)

When it comes to traveling and exploration, Pennsylvanians have a lot of options within the State boundaries and even some the connecting states. Pennsylvania covers over 46,000 square miles of the United States, and its geography consists of everything from Mountains to farmlands, coastline, urban, suburban, and to top it all, some of the most interesting attractions in the World. Not only that, the major cities in Pennsylvania like Philadelphia provide opportunities to plan a quick weekend Getaway to cities like New York, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. that too via a quick road journey.

Whether you are a Pennsylvanian resident or planning to visit the State anytime soon, there are several weekend appropriate places you must give a try. Neither it would take your extra time, nor will it cost you much, but one thing is ensured that the fun quotient will not drop even with an inch.

9 Top-Rated Weekend Getaways To Explore In Pennsylvania:

So, if you are looking to plan a short rejuvenating break in Pennsylvania, then our itinerary might help you with the decision.

1. Renaissance Pittsburgh

The first entry might surprise you, but there’s isn’t a better place to spend a weekend than at the Renaissance, Pittsburgh. Renaissance is a historic hotel that is standing strong in Pittsburgh for more than a century now (1906). It is noted as an inspirational landmark, a solid blend of contemporary and classic, and an architectural wonder. Renaissance can be reached in downtown Pittsburgh, and one can reach several tourist spots nearby like Rivers Casino (1.4 miles), Carnegie Museum of Natural History (3 miles), Point State Park (0.4 miles), Pittsburgh Cultural District (0.2 miles), Heinz Field (1.1 miles), the Andy Warhol Museum (0.4 miles) and endless other. With beautiful views of the Allegheny River and ultimate modes of relaxation, there’s a lot to do within the hotel itself.

2. Pocono Mountains

Every single Pennsylvanian has once been to the Pocono Mountains, and if not, then you are missing some great, great fun. Poconos is a hub of nature that allows one to soak into the peace and tranquillity, let out into the adventures, and learn a lot about what almighty has blessed us with. To begin your day with, you can tour the Pocono mountain’s museums and galleries; seeking them might include a hike through nature. To get some adrenaline rush, you can ride an ATV and ski down the slopes of Pocono. By chance, you are here during winters; the ski resorts are waiting for you. Ultimately at the end of the day, you can build your tent at one of the Pocono campgrounds and spend the night under a star-studded clear sky. Or else, you can plan your stay at some of the best hotels & resorts in Pennsylvania at Poconos.

3. Altoona

Altoona is a beautiful Pennsylvanian city nestled somewhere deep in the Alleghany Mountains, halfway between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. When overlooked from the sky, Altoona seems mesmerizing, all thanks to its splendid natural settings; however, on the land, there’s a whole lot of things to do. When in the city, you can cross the Allegheny via the Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark, tour the Railroaders Memorial Museum, watch some great shows at the Altoona Community Theatre or spend your quality time at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Also, do stop at Finelli’s Italian Villa and Gardners Candies for some lip-smacking treats. Altoona - Top-Rated Weekend Getaways to Explore in PennsylvaniaImage Source:

4. Lehigh Valley

If you belong to the Eastern region of the State, then there’s isn’t a better place than Lehigh Valley for a quick weekend getaway in Pennsylvania. Lehigh Valley is a small region with only two counties; however, even within the small area, there’s an array of things to do and places to visit. It is home to the thriving steel industries, Bethlehem Steel (one of the largest businesses in the World), along with Mack Trucks headquarters; thus, there’s always some or the other work going on welcoming a considerable crowd. For tourism, you can visit Allentown’s Liberty Bell Museum, Museum of Industrial History, of America on Wheels Museum. If you want to spend some time peacefully with nature, then the Burnside Plantation is a great place to visit. Or, for a celebration the time, try McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub and Whiskey Bar.

5. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a prominent part of Pennsylvania and New jersey encompassing 70,000 acres of the recreational region. Because the region experiences some of the heaviest snowfalls in Pennsylvania, the adventurous explorers choose it as their ultimate spot. You can hike all through the region via 50 marked trails, with Buchanan, Upper Ridge Road, Appalachian being popular amongst them. Some of the prominent attractions here include the Millbrook Village, Walpack Centre & Van Campen Inn, and the Foster Armstrong House & Neldon-Roberts Stonehouse. Along with that, if the timeline suits you, you can be a part of the Maple Sugar Day event in March.

6. Meadville

Meadville is noted as the first permanent settlement in Northern Pennsylvania, and this charming little town is all worth a visit. Beginning from the downtown area, there are a lot of historical attractions to explore, including the Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum, the Academy Theatre, and the Johnson-Shaw Stereoscopic Museum (which was once a church). Visitors can also head towards the Greendale Cemetery and infuse some sense of peace and life’s understanding. In the month of October, it also offers lantern tours, and during the rest of the year, over 1,500 rhododendrons decor the ground. Meadville teaches ways of life like it used to be in the late 1800s, and the simplicity of the town will surely fill your heart with love. Lastly, for dining, head to the Firehouse Tap & Grille.

7. Valley Forge

Valley Forge is another small city ideal for a weekend getaway in Pennsylvania. Even though the tourism attractions here are no more than a handful, the count is still more than enough for exploring within a short trip. The city preserves several notable sights, including the Washington Memorial Chapel dedicated to General and President George Washington, the United States National Memorial Arch, and the Freedoms Foundation. Though what catches the most attention in the city is the Valley Forge National Historical Park that also served as the third winter encampment for the Continental Army from December 1777 through June 1778. The Park comprises 3,500 acres of land featuring several monuments, a museum, and a visitors center, along with several seasonal walking and trolley tours. There are over 20 trails within the park that also connect you to the Schuylkill River’s boating and fishing area.

8. York

York is one truly historic town in Pennsylvania known for housing some of the oldest buildings of the State. Though York is much more than just history, and one can include a lot of outdoor recreation for a short but ultimate vacation. The 21 miles long York County Heritage Rail Trail offers you to explore the scenic side of the city, and if you want to extend the fun a notch higher, then Samuel S. Lewis State Park must be on your list next. For indoor fun and tours, the York County History Centre, Belmont Theatre, and York Galleria Mall are some of the best options. If baseball catches your attention, then you can head towards the Peoples Bank Park. There are several great eating and drinking options within the city, including the Liquid Hero Brewery, Victor’s Italian Restaurant, and the Roosevelt Tavern.

9. Hershey’s Chocolate Town

Hershey’s chocolate town is a part of Hershey Park, and this 23-acres is enough alone to attract you for the entire weekend. The chocolate town is huge and has a massive sweet world of its own. While you have explored most of Hershey Park, the chocolate town can be your next ultimate stop where you can come close to several historic architectural elements, get yourself clicked at the Kisses Fountain, or ride the Candymonium coaster. You will come across various Hershey characters who are ever ready to photo bombard your clicks. If you want to take your kids out for a quick weekend change, Hershey’s chocolate town can be your ultimate jam.

Special Mention: For exploring the cities outside Pennsylvania’s border, you can drive:

  • 200.4 miles, 3 hours, and 30 minutes to New York City.
  • 198.3 miles, 3 hours, and 18 minutes to New Jersey City.
  • 220.6 miles, about 4 hours to Washington.

Each of them can either be reached via a road journey or connecting trains and are ideal for a short weekend vacation.

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