There is no shortage of things to do in Pennsylvania. Opportunities are rich and varied for anyone fortunate enough to travel here. History is never far away with such significant sights as the world famous Liberty Bell and of course, the Gettysburg Battlefield. Or you might like the plentiful verdant vistas and forests which are always a draw for nature lovers.
The world-famous Liberty Bell tells a story 250 years old going back to the days of British rule, but perhaps that communicates a message of the human liberty that transcends time. Remember that to see the bell you don't need tickets, whereas you do for Independence Hall. It was originally forged in Whitechapel, London in 1751 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Charter of Pennsylvania in 1701. The bell made the long transatlantic journey on board the Myrtilla along with eight other bells. It has turned into an instantly recognizable symbol of freedom. According to tradition, the bell rang out on July 8, 1776, calling the citizens to gather and hear the reading of the Declaration of Independence which outlined the rights and freedoms held up as a universal standard of decency today for all freedom-loving nations.
In Central City Philadelphia, take a look around the Old City neighborhood where you can soak up the historic ambiance as you walk by the Colonial buildings and cobblestone streets generating an atmosphere that will transport you back to the 18th-century. Take a carriage ride through the historic streets lined with trees. Plenty of tours are available such as the Founding Fathers Tour which will guide you to such sites as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Independence Hall, and Franklin Court and Betsy Ross House where the first American flag was sewed. The Old City offers a great opportunity to relax and unwind in one the of the many eateries and wash it down with a local craft beer.
Take a balloon ride across the beautiful Pennsylvania landscape and burst open a bottle of champagne as you go. The two or three hours you spend sailing across the sky is often described as an unforgettable experience by those who have tried it. Unforgettable for all the best reasons, it's the perfect way to get a bird's eye view of Lancaster, Gettysburg and other scenic parts of Pennsylvania's open, majestic spaces and vast and pleasant farmland.
Explore the winding passages and tunnels of Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks with its array of stalactites and crystals. You even have the opportunity to pan for genuine gems in the sluice. Discovered by a works crew building the highway back in 1930, the cave has been an attraction ever since. The site consists of two separate cave systems, that of Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks where you will find some spectacular rock formations.
The Gettysburg Battlefield plays an important role in American history. The 6,000 acres of the Civil War military park offers an insight into the Battle of Gettysburg and significance. Take time to listen to the 30-minute video A New Birth of Freedom narrated by Morgan Freeman. Beyond the battlefield, you can visit some historic buildings such as David Wills House where Lincoln finalized one of history's most famous speeches, the Gettysburg Address.
One of the most scenic places you could find yourself in Pennsylvania is Ricketts Glen State Park. Hiking opportunities are plentiful in this 13,000 acre of parkland. Named after Robert Bruce Ricketts, the park is perhaps most famous for its 22 stunning waterfalls with the largest cascading down from a 94 feet drop. In addition, the park is home to 245 acre Lake Jean. It's best to make sure you are equipped with decent walking shoes. Some terrain may prove a little difficult in lighter footgear.
An atmospheric hill dappled with boulders, Devil's Den is a place resonating with history. Not only did it play a key role in the great battle but also plays host to numerous ghost stories. Kids love the place as there are many opportunities for climbing and clambering over the rocks, which are relatively easy to climb for all the family. Devil's Den offers a serene and inspiring landscape that belies the story of lives lost.
Step back in time at the Amish settlement in Lancaster County. Enjoy a tour around on a traditional horse and buggy, which is not just for show here but continues to be a highly practical form of transport. The gentle pace of yesteryear is in the air as the windmills gently turn. They provide energy the old-fashioned way for the inhabitants. Take a look around the famous Bird-in-Hand bakery offering not only delicious bread products but also Amish crafts which, of course, make great souvenirs.
Knoebels Amusement Resort is America's largest free amusement park and perfect for family excursions. With over 60 rides, including roller coasters and carousels, there is a ride for everyone. Not only has the park been voted America's Number One Amusement Park but some of its rides have won individual awards from such organizations as Amusement Today and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. On a hot day, the Crystal Pool is the perfect place to splash around and cool off.
Arguably America's most famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright was the mastermind behind this unique and historic house. He is famous for incorporating almost mystical mathematical sequences of nature into his designs; in 1991, the American Institute of Architects voted Fallingwater as the “best all-time work of American architecture” in a poll held by its members. Built in 1935, Fallingwater embodies much of what was at the core of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture. Namely, a sublime mix of nature and art.
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