If you’re a Pennsylvanian, you’re well aware of the sheer awesomeness of Pennsylvania. But, what about the rest of Americans? There are just some things that others don’t know unless they’ve visited PA. Here are 15 things every Pennsylvanian wants the rest of the country to know.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. We live in an extremely diverse state.
Perhaps there's no better word to define PA than diverse. A drive across the state will take you past sprawling farms, the Amish countryside, through charming small towns, and to vibrant big cities. You can pretty much find whatever you're looking for in PA.
2. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh aren't exactly next door to each other.
It might be nice if Philly and Pittsburgh were side-by-side but the fact is we have quite a drive - about 300 miles over four hours - to travel from Philly to Pittsburgh and vice-versa. Oh, and Philly and Pittsburgh have a fierce interstate rivalry, thanks to our professional sports teams.
3. Pennsylvania is the Snack Capital of the United States.
Love snacks? You'll find no better place to visit than PA, which boasts a plethora of snack food companies, including Herr's, Utz, Hershey, Snyder's of Hanover, and Tastykake, to name just a few. If you've got a sweet tooth, PA's got you covered.
4. PA has some of the world's best chocolate.
Chocolate is PA's forte. Of course, PA boasts Hershey's chocolate, complete with a sprawling amusement park. But, Pennsylvania is also home to Sarris Candies and Wilbur Chocolate. It's pretty safe to say that PA is a chocolate lover's dream.
5. Pennsylvania boasts the oldest ice cream shop.
Head to Pennsylvania if you want to enjoy an ice cream cone, a sundae, or an old-fashioned milkshake from America's oldest ice cream shop. Bassett's Ice Cream dates back to 1861 and has been a permanent fixture at Reading Terminal Market since 1892.
6. As of January 1, 2017, Pennsylvania will have the highest gasoline tax in the United State.
And, most of us aren't happy about that. Pennsylvanians currently pay 50.3 cents a gallon in Pennsylvania gasoline tax. That's going to jump to 58.2 cents on January 1, 2017. Add the federal gasoline tax and Pennsylvanians will pay a whopping 76 cents tax per gallon of gasoline.
7. PA lays claim to the world's largest pothole.
While we may pay the country's highest gasoline tax and the turnpike tolls rise every year, we still have to deal with plenty of potholes on the roads. One, however, is a tourist attraction rather than a nuisance. Archbald Pothole, in Archbald Pothole State Park, is the world's largest pothole at 42 feet by 24 feet at its widest point.
8. We will soon find ourselves in quite a dilemma.
The Transportation Safety Administration's law, Real ID Act of 2005, asserts that a Pennsylvania driver's license is no longer sufficient identification to show when traveling by air. Unless the state issues new driver's licenses with better security, Pennsylvanians will soon (2018) be required to show an alternate form of identification, such as a United States Passport.
9. We have the original weather-predicting groundhog.
You've probably heard of Jimmy, the groundhog in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin who took a juicy bite out of the mayor's ear before predicting the weather. Cute as he may be, Jimmy's certainly not the original. Only Pennsylvania has the original Punxsutawney Phil who doles out his forecast (six more weeks of winter or an early spring?) every February. Phil shares his next prediction on February 2, 2017.
10. You'll always find something to do in PA.
Bored in PA? Impossible. Pennsylvania's got a full menu of activities, including professional sports, world class museums, top-notch colleges and universities, state parks, eclectic restaurants and...the list goes on.
11. Pennsylvania has its own Grand Canyon…
Sure, we travel outside of PA to see the world but the state also boasts some pretty impressive spots like Pine Creek Gorge, the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. Ride a horse drawn covered wagon to get a unique view of the gorge from the canyon floor or hike to the top for breathtaking panoramic views of the spectacular natural wonder.
12. Niagara Falls…
Bushkill Falls, with its eight waterfalls, has rightfully earned the title of the Niagara of Pennsylvania. And, if you're not willing to pay the entrance fee to the park, visit Ricketts Glen State Park, which features 22 stunning waterfalls.
13. Statue of Liberty…
Visit Dauphin to see a miniature version of the Statue of Liberty. The Dauphin Narrows Statue of Liberty, outside of Harrisburg, was originally built in the Susquehanna River in 1986. After it was destroyed in a violent storm, the mini Statue of Liberty was rebuilt in the 1990s.
14. A unique way of speaking and…
Well, if truth be told, Pennsylvanians have several ways of speaking. You've got Pittsburghers with yinz and jag-off and Philadelphians with youse. One side of the state, the Pittsburgh side, says pop, while the Philly side says soda. An out-of-towner can become pretty confused by the state and local lingo.
15. We're proud to be Pennsylvanians.
We live in Pennsylvania because we love our state. Many of us leave only to return while some stay their whole lives in beautiful PA. We're proud of PA and proud to welcome visitors from all over the world to our home state.