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I had been to Pennsylvania a couple of times, but never got to explore the East side of the rectangle before – aka Philly. So, as I crossed the state border on my 48 state solo road trip, I was ready to see all things Punxsutawney Phil [he’s so fluffy!], pretzels [and now I’m dreaming of Philly preztels], Ben Franklin [one of the greatest] and hairy icebergs [let me explain]…

In 5th grade my teacher had us do a memory exercise for the state capitals. For Pennsylvania, she had us draw a hairy iceberg with a large pencil full of veins stuck on top. Although quite ridiculous to me at the time, I have never forgotten that Harrisburg [hairy-iceberg] is the capital of Pennsylvania [veiny-pencil]. #brainsareweirdandgreat

Map of Pennsylvania

Courtesy of

Woo hoo! I made it to the 23rd state of my U.S. road trip…good ol’ Pennsylvania! After exploring Pittsburgh, Gettysburg & Philly, here are my 5 MUST DOS when visiting Pennsylvania:

5 Must Dos When Visiting Pennsylvania

#1: Visit Old City Philly

Old City Philly is definitely worth checking out. It is a historic district with Independence National Historical Park [home of Independence Hall & the Liberty Bell], City Tavern [Set in the 18th century complete with costumes, craft ales and recipes from the 1700’s including Colonial Beef Pie and Braised Rabbit], Elfreth’s Alley [the Nation’s oldest residential street] and more.

The Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania

Liberty Bell – Courtesy of

Did you know? The crack in The Liberty Bell is 24 1/2″? This is what I call U.I. #uselessinformation

Elfreth’s Alley is a must do when visiting Pennsylvania

Elfreth’s Alley – Courtesy of

Independence Hall is a must do when visiting Pennsylvania

Courtesy of J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Make sure to walk around Independence National Historical Park where you will find Independence Hall, you know just the place where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were created and signed. So. Much. History!

#2: Eat Your Way Around Philly 

Reading Terminal Market in Philly is a must do when visiting Pennsylvania

Courtesy of

Oh my goodness, the food in Philly is soooo tasty! Make sure to visit Reading Terminal Market [enclosed public market in downtown] to get your grub on! Also, nearby is the oldest continuously operating tavern McGillin’s Olde Ale House.

Chinatown in Philly is a must do when visiting Pennsylvania

Philly Chinatown – Courtesy of

Philly’s Chinatown has tons of delish restaurants too BUT obviously, you MUST eat a cheesesteak [and a soft pretzel] while in town. Here is a video on how to order a Philly cheesesteak properly:

Top 10 Philly Cheesesteaks

#3 Stop At My Fav Philly Photo Spots

The John F. Kennedy Plaza in Philly is home to the cute must-take-a-photo love statue that symbolizes the city. Stop at the Love Park in any season for a great photo opp!

Love Park is a must do when visiting Pennsylvania

Love Park – Courtesy of

And have a famous movie moment of your own with the nearby Philadelphia Art Museum aka the Rocky Balboa steps. The view from the top [once you catch your breath teehee] isn’t too shabby!

The Rocky Steps in Philly are a must do when visiting Pennsylvania

Courtesy of

And then be SURE to visit the colorful Philadelphia Magic Gardens. Created by Zagar, this outdoor art installation [and indoor galleries] creates colorful art out of nontraditional items. A must see!

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens are a must do when visiting Pennsylvania

Courtesy of

#4: Drive The Battlefields of Gettysburg

Gettysburg is home to the National Military Park of Gettysburg where you can do a driving tour of the battlefields. It is a 24 mile self-guided drive which you can do at your own pace but it is recommended to give yourself at least 2-3 hours. Get your map here.

The battlefields of Gettysburg are a must do when visiting Pennsylvania

I did this years ago and it was an eerie, yet fantastic, experience that I will never forget. It’s crazy to look at a beautiful, peaceful landscape and know the violent history that took place there.Such a great learning experience for the whole fam!

Boyd's Bear Country on the way to Gettysburg Pennsylvania

Flashback to 2005 @ Boyd’s Bear Country

On the way to Gettysburg we got a bit distracted by this teddy bear barn and HAD to stop to see what all the hype was about. If you love teddy bears make sure to stop by Boyd’s Bear Country.

#5: Ride the Incline in Pittsburgh

Ride a century-old cable car up to gorgeous views of Pittsburgh. The Duquesne incline and the Monongahela incline both take you to the top of Mount Washington. At the top, be sure to visit the Mount Washington observation deck for awesome photo opportunities and a bite to eat [or drink] at the Summit restaurant.

Amazing views of Pittsburgh from the inclines a must do when in Pennsylvania

Courtesy of

For more Pennsylvania travel inspiration, check out this awesome video of Philadelphia:

Philadelphia – Colors Of Old City from Tomas Likar on Vimeo.

Have any favorite spots in Pennsylvania? Any must dos that I missed? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below. Thanks for reading! 

P.S. Read about Amy’s solo 48 state road trip [on a small budget] here.

My solo 48 state road trip route - I can't recommend more that you explore as many states as possible! :D

Amy’s 48 state road trip route [starting @ home = Southern California] to: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming [again], Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada & UTAH!

Shop Amy’s Pennsylvania Inspired Favs Here: 


After exploring Philly, Pittsburgh & Gettysburg, here are my top 5 must dos when visiting Pennsylvania

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find me grammin' at @amyhatescarrots

find me grammin' at @amyhatescarrots

Lots of: inspiration, adventures + shenanigans!