After the first few field trips to the same museums, it seems like your available selection of local road trips can grow a little stale. There are always new, exciting, and weird things to discover, however. In case you’ve grown bored with your typical haunts, here are some places to visit in Pennsylvania that will leave you wondering how you never knew they were there in the first place.
1. The Rose Gardens, Allentown
The beautiful Rose Gardens in Allentown are a pleasant surprise for anybody who's not from the area. The perfectly manicured rose bushes mimic a classical garden structure and lead you to idyllic ponds, streams, statues
2. Columcille Megalith Park, Bangor
Columcille's founders modeled it after the ancient Celtic Isle of Iona, a spiritual retreat off the coast of Scotland. The park, which consists of many stone structures built in the Pennsylvania woods, is meant to be a place of tranquility and reflection.
3. The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh
The Mattress Factory is truly one-of-a-kind as a necessary visit for all art lovers. The museum specializes in installations, featuring 17 permanent exhibitions and multiple rotating exhibitions. You will become immersed in room-size pieces of art that will stun you, amaze you, and sometimes creep you out.
4. Martin Guitar Factory and Museum, Nazareth
Martin Guitars is the oldest company to manufacture fine acoustic guitars in the country. At no charge, you may tour the large factory to learn all about how guitars are created. There is also a museum dedicated to the history of the company and the instrument that you can explore.
5. Joe's Bar, Ligonier
If you're in the mood for a truly unforgettable dining experience, check out Joe's Bar. Not particularly noteworthy from the outside, once you enter you might notice the many taxidermy animals that sit wherever there is room for them. Go upstairs and discover galleries of more taxidermy animals that never even stood a chance.
6. Trundle Manor, Swissvale
Located right outside of Pittsburgh in the residential Swissvale is Trundle Manor, the part-house, part-museum dedicated to all that is bizarre and creepy. Its owners enjoy giving enthusiastic tours of their home and chatting it up with guests.
7. Lehigh Valley Zoo, Schnecksville
There are many notable zoos in Pennsylvania, including the Philadelphia Zoo and the Pittsburgh Zoo. To escape the maddening crowds and to enjoy a peaceful day among well-kept animals, visit The Lehigh Valley Zoo, formerly known as the Lehigh County Game Preserve. This zoo is one of the few zoos in the country that houses the Mexican Wolf, which is North America's most endangered land animal. The Zoo participates in a program designed to re-introduce wolves back into the wild.
8. Mercer Museum & Foothill Castle, Doylestown
Henry Mercer was an anthropologist who collected preindustrial artifacts during his life from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries. He built the Foothill Castle, his home, and Moravian Pottery and Tile Works from concrete, in order to make them fireproof and to protect their contents. The Mercer Museum, located inside his gigantic castle-like structure, showcases his life's work.
We’re having a tough time deciding which place to visit first. What are some hidden gems that you know of in the state of Pennsylvania?