Shhh…Pennsylvania’s chock full of amazing things to do and places to go. And we Pennsylvanians are typically bursting with pride, and eager to share all that our beautiful state has to offer with others. But, let’s be honest. We just want to keep some of those gems to ourselves, right? With the height of the travel season just around the corner, however, now’s a pretty fine time to take a peek at some of the hidden attractions in Pennsylvania that we native Pennsylvanians might want to visit again.
1. George W. Childs Recreation Site – Dingmans Ferry, PA 18328
Most people have probably heard of Dingmans Falls. But, not too far from the spectacular falls sits George W. Childs Recreation Site. Nestled among forest trees, the park boasts three breathtaking waterfalls and a picturesque hiking trail that's perfect for hikers of all ages and skill levels. Explore the spectacular recreation site daily between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
2. Pennypacker Mills – 5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, PA 19473
Walk in the footsteps of early Pennsylvanians at Pennypacker Mills. The historic site provides a unique glimpse into life in PA in the early part of the 20th century. Tour the country estate that boasts a collection of antiques from as far back as the Civil War. Pennypacker Mills welcomes guests Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The final tour of the day begins at 3 p.m.
3. Seven Tubs Natural Area – 900 Bear Creek Boulevard, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Discover one of Pennsylvania's most spectacular natural wonders. Embark on the two-mile loop trail that will take you to the seven tubs of the Seven Tubs Natural Area. Wheelbarrow Run, perhaps the masterpiece of the natural area, is a tranquil stream that flows through the tubs. Seven Tubs Natural Area also features several small waterfalls, a stone tunnel, and a charming bridge.
4. Haines Shoe House – 197 Shoe House Road, York, PA 17406
There was an old lady who lived in a shoe...that old nursery rhyme just might come to mind when you arrive at The Haines Shoe House. Visitors can tour the fairy tale shoe house. But, that's not the best part. After your tour, indulge in a delicious treat. That's right. Haines Shoe House sells delectable ice cream, drinks, and goodies like cake pops. Stop by Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Memorial Day. Summer hours begin after Memorial Day.
5. Nixon Park Nature Center – 5922 Nixon Drive, York, PA 17403
Get a peek at local wildlife at Nixon Park Nature Center and Park. Explore some of the 187 acres of the park, home to snapping turtles and ducks, before visiting the nature center. Spanning 14,000 square feet, the Nature Center features a collection of taxidermy animals, drawings, and other educational materials. Visit the Nixon Park Nature Center Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
6. Crystal Cave – 963 Crystal Cave Road, Kutztown, PA 19530
Go underground at Crystal Cave, a Pennsylvania attraction since 1871. Join a guided tour that kicks off with a brief introductory film. The tour, which lasts approximately an hour, takes you through caves that are filled with stalagmites, stalactites, and drip stone formations. Dress warmly as the cave maintains a year round temperature in the low 50s. Crystal Cave welcomes visitors daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
7. Elmwood Park Zoo – 1661 Harding Boulevard Norristown, PA 19401
Elmwood Park Zoo promises much more than a day among the animals. You can also play at Treetop Adventures, an adventure park that offers zip lining and a ropes obstacle course above the zoo. The zoo itself is home to a spectacular array of animals, including birds, fish, mammals, and amphibians. Explore the Elmwood Park Zoo daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors will only be admitted until 4:30 p.m.
8. Chanticleer Garden – 786 Church Road, Wayne, PA 19087
Step into a fairy tale when you visit Chanticleer Garden. The 27-acre garden boasts enchanting footbridges, tranquil brooks, and an elevated walkway. Stroll through the Asian garden, the teacup garden, and the pond garden. A bit hungry? Bring lunch for a delightful picnic in the picture-perfect glass house. Chanticleer Garden welcomes visitors Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
9. Rock Ford Plantation – 881 Rockford Road, Lancaster, PA 17602
Also known as the General Edward Hand House, the Rock Ford Plantation provides visitors with a glimpse into the home of General Hand, who served under George Washington during the American Revolution. The magnificent mansion sits on 33 manicured acres. Enjoy a guided tour of the mansion and the grounds every Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The touring season runs through October 31, 2018.
10. Pittsburgh Botanic Garden – 799 Pinkerton Run Road, Oakdale, PA 15071
Walk along stepping stones as you cross a picturesque pond at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. The spectacular garden typically takes two hours to explore. Discover lily pads floating on ponds, benches for drinking in the breathtaking beauty, and Bookworm Glen, a fairy garden. Plan to spend at least two hours if you want to see the whole garden. Pittsburgh Botanic Garden welcomes visitors Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What other hidden attractions in Pennsylvania would you add to the list? Join the conversation below. Then,
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