Next time you get into an argument with your out-of-state cousins, you can use this list as ammo to prove to them that Pennsylvania is leagues better than Ohio, or West Virginia, or the moon, or wherever. There’s truly no place else we’d rather be.
1. Hershey, PA is the chocolate capital of the country.
How could you make s'mores without the famous Hershey's bar, or hot chocolate without their cocoa?
2. Pennsylvania cities have amazing parks.
Fairmount Park in Philadelphia is one of the largest parks in the country, and Schenley and Frick Parks in Pittsburgh are massive. Allentown, PA has more square footage of parks than any other similar-sized city in the country.
3. Western PA cranks out all-star quarterbacks.
Some call the Pittsburgh area the "cradle of quarterbacks" due to the number of NFL athletes it produces, including Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Jim Kelly, and Johnny Unitas, among many more. Is it something in the water?
4. There's something here for everyone.
Like cities? We have Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Like countryside? We have an endless supply of rolling fields and farms. Like mountains, waterfalls, and hiking? We have 151 state parks, all with free admission. Like swimming? We have rivers, lakes, and quarries galore.
5. Pennsylvania is home to Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhogs Day.
Only a special state would have a groundhog with mystical weather-predicting powers, and only a truly magical place would make a massive party out of it every year.
6. Bethlehem is home to the Crayola Factory.
The crayons, colored pencils, and paints that every American child plays with hail from Eastern PA.
7. Musikfest is held in Bethlehem every summer.
Musikfest is one of the largest free non-gated music festivals in the country. (Meaning you can hang out there for free, but still have to buy tickets to see the concerts themselves.) Each year since 1984, big names come to perform for ten days and every person in the region inevitably ends up going to Musikfest for at least one night.
8. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in particular, is full of U.S. history.
Above is the Betsy Ross house in Philadelphia, where the first American flag was sewn. Philly was the nation's capital for ten years while the capital was being constructed in Washington, DC.
9. Kennett Square is the mushroom capital of the world.
Also the home of the famous Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square produces over a million pounds of mushrooms every week and holds an annual mushroom festival. We know what's on the menu for dinner.
10. Pennsylvania is home to the first zoo, among other things...
PA holds many firsts: library, zoo, high-speed multi-lane highway, all-motion picture theater, zoo, newspaper, baseball stadium, radio... And this list isn't even scratching the surface. It is a truly innovative place.
11. Pennsylvania has all four seasons.
People travel to Pennsylvania to admire the fall foliage, yet winter, spring, and summer are also enduring forces here. We usually experience all four in equal amounts.
12. There are farmer's markets everywhere.
Pennsylvania's strong agricultural streak means that you can't travel more than a few miles without coming across a roadside stand or farmer's market selling delicious, affordable, and organic produce and other goods. Yum.
13. Pennsylvania is the home of America's oldest brewery and a plethora of wineries.
Yuengling is brewed in Pottstown, PA and proudly sold across the state. Many wineries are hidden throughout the state's countryside. Though we can't buy alcohol in grocery stores or on Sundays, there's no shortage of home-brewed and fermented booze here.
14. Location, location, location.
When Pennsylvanians get bored, what do they do? They hop on a bus or train, or grab some friends and jump in the car to make an out-of-state trip. New York City and the Jersey shore are only a few hours away from those in Eastern PA, while those in Western PA enjoy close proximity to the Great Lakes, Ohio, and Chicago.
15. Pennsylvania is its own best kept secret.
California and New York get all the hype, but oftentimes people are disappointed to find them expensive, unattainable, and not quite all they're cracked up to be. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is not typically lauded as The Place Everyone Wants To Go, yet most people who come here don't want to leave. Pennsylvania is a livable state, full of culture and adventure and some of the most down-to-earth people you'll ever meet.
There you have it- the top ten reasons we love Pennsylvania more than any other state. What have we left out?