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    If you're interested in outdoor attractions, small-town hospitality, rich history of hardworking peoples, or a blend of East Coast and Midwest cultures, these must-visit small towns in Pennsylvania offer up all this and more.

    First-timers in Pennsylvania may likely think of the state as primarily Philadelphia in the East, Pittsburgh in the West and a bunch of farmland in between. While the state certainly does have a lot of farmland across its 46,055 square miles, there’s also plenty of mountain ridges and ranges, lakes and rivers, and historic spots.

    1

    Jim Thorpe

    The Gateway to the Poconos

    • Fotografering
    • Spenning

    The small town of Jim Thorpe, named after the same legendary Native American athlete and Olympic gold medalist, sits in the eastern half of Pennsylvania. Considered the 'Gateway to the Poconos', it's a suitable spot to visit if you’re looking to explore these mountains, whether you’re interested in their amazing hiking in the summer or their equally enjoyable skiing in the winter. 

    Jim Thorpe’s mountain views and environment are so renowned, in fact, that the city is also called the Switzerland of America.

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    2

    Gettysburg

    See one of the United States’ most significant historical spots

    • Shopping
    • Fotografering
    • Mat
    • Historie

    For the mammoth role Gettysburg played in American history, you might think the town would be a little larger, but Gettysburg charms with its small stature and near overwhelming dedication to its history. Allusions to the Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg and President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address are everywhere you look, from downtown shop names to menu items at the many farm-to-table restaurants.

    Be sure to check out the historic battlefield, but also stroll along downtown and stop in the many boutiques and eateries. Don’t miss the locally crafted apple cider; Gettysburg is quickly growing a reputation for its cideries.

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    3

    New Hope

    Get a taste of Revolutionary War history

    • Fotografering
    • Historie

    New Hope is located just a short drive from Philadelphia, along the Delaware River and just across the river from New Jersey. Travellers enjoy the respite from the Philadelphia crowds that New Hope offers, as well as its abundant history.

    The town hosted many a famous historical figure over its lifetime, from George Washington to Aaron Burr, and played a role in not only the Revolutionary War but also the development of the rail industry on the East Coast. Historic homes are abundant and open to the public, including several built in the 1700s.

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    4

    Ohiopyle

    Enjoy the pristine natural surrounding

    • Fotografering
    • Historie
    • Spenning

    Ohiopyle, in the western portion of the state, is a must-visit for travellers seeking summertime jaunts out in these pristine natural settings just a short drive from Pittsburgh. Some of the more popular natural attractions include the Great Allegheny Passage bicycle trail, Ohiopyle State Park and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath trail.

    Those who are more inclined to explore history than hiking will enjoy the area’s connection to the French and Indian War, as well as the 18th-century Whiskey Rebellion.

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    5

    Bellefonte

    Travel back in time to the Victorian Era

    • Fotografering
    • Historie

    The Victorian ‘belle’ of Central Pennsylvania, Bellefonte may be most famously known for its historic district and Victorian architecture. Walking the streets provides you with views of plenty of Victorian residences, many of which have been converted into bed and breakfasts.

    The town’s most popular event is Bellefonte Victorian Christmas, during which the streets transform into an experience reminiscent of a scene from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. For the rest of the year, you can find plentiful local restaurants, watering holes and boutiques, as well as the headquarters of the American Philatelic Society and the society’s adjacent museum.

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    Foto: Jdbeard184 (CC BY-SA 3.0) retusjert

    6

    Boalsburg

    Explore a range of surprising historical titbits

    • Fotografering
    • Historie

    Boalsburg offers a range of historic attractions, touching on various eras throughout history, often in surprising ways. For example, the small town was home to a direct descendant of Christopher Columbus, and visitors can now tour that descendant’s mansion and see some of the inherited belongings of Columbus at The Columbus Chapel and Boal Mansion Museum.

    The town also claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, and holds a large celebration each year as such. One of the town’s most popular attractions is the Pennsylvania Military Museum.

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    Foto: Doug Kerr (CC BY-SA 2.0) retusjert

    7

    Marklesburg

    Take in the natural settings and historic appeal

    • Fotografering
    • Historie
    • Spenning

    Marklesburg is a small community that often surprises travellers headed to one of the more popular nearby natural attractions – Raystown Lake (known as the largest lake entirely located within Pennsylvania). The Marklesburg Historic District features a handful of wooden Gothic Revival buildings constructed in the mid-1800s, and visitors can still see previous hotels, schools, churches and the town hall, as well as a historic cemetery.

    While you won’t find a huge array of dining or shopping options in Marklesburg, the history and proximity of the many water activities make this town worth a spot on your itinerary.

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    Foto: Generic1139 (CC BY 3.0) retusjert

    8

    Stroudsburg

    Find art, history and culture in the middle of the mountains

    • Shopping
    • Fotografering
    • Historie

    Stroudsburg sits in the Pocono Mountains and was originally built up around Fort Hamilton, which was constructed to protect settlers from the local Native Americans. You’ll still see plenty of evidence of Stroudsburg’s historic past, including remnants showcasing the town’s commercial growth in the lumber and textile industries.

    Many of the historic structures have now been converted into shops, restaurants and more. Be sure to check out the many artisan boutiques to take advantage of the Stroudsburg's thriving craft culture.

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    Foto: Doug Kerr (CC BY-SA 2.0) retusjert

    9

    Ridgway

    Experience a destination formed by and dedicated to its forests

    • Fotografering
    • Historie
    • Spenning

    Ridgway got its start in hard work and industry, sprouting up around a lumber camp and then growing further thanks to the abundant natural gas, coal and other resources in the area. But beyond its history, the town is the gateway to the Allegheny National Forest, where there are plenty of opportunities for all kinds of outdoor activities, from hiking to horseback riding, fishing to camping.

    When not outdoors, travellers often find themselves perusing the small Ridgway's handful of independent shops, as well as the bed and breakfasts and restaurants. If you can, try to visit during the Ridgway Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous – the world’s largest chainsaw carving event.

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    Foto: Doug Kerr (CC BY-SA 2.0) retusjert

    10

    Punxsutawney

    See the home of the famous Punxsutawney Phil

    • Fotografering
    • Historie
    • Unikt

    Punxsutawney makes headlines once a year, every year, thanks to Punxsutawney Phil, the resident groundhog who predicts the weather to the waiting masses each February. The small town’s entire existence revolves around Phil, with much of its economy relying on that 1 day per year when thousands of people flock to its small streets.

    The rest of the year, you can see Phil up close and personal at his burrow in the local library, as well as explore the town’s many boutique souvenir shops, restaurants and even a brewery, all honouring Phil in some way or another. Keep your eyes peeled for the many varying Phil statues around town.

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    Foto: Andre Carrotflower (CC BY-SA 4.0) retusjert

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