25 Famous Pennsylvania Landmarks You Must See

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A city skyline with trees and a lake in front of it under a blue sky with some clouds
Pennsylvania has many landmarks to see, with lots of them in Philidelphia

If you are wondering what Pennsylvania is known for, you've come to the right place! Pennsylvania is primarily known for its array of historical landmarks.

Many of these sites relate to the Revolutionary War and the creation of the United States of America. On top of historical sites, Pennsylvania is filled with beautiful forests and parks that feature scenic trails, waterfalls, and lots of wildlife.

If you want to discover famous Pennsylvania landmarks to visit, keep reading! A Pennsylvania map is also included below to help you see where all the landmarks are located.

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  • 25 Pennsylvania landmarks

25 Famous Landmarks in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Landmarks Map

A map of Pennsylvania landmarks. Use the map to explore all of the points of interest.

Two cannons on the grass next to a stone monument on a clear day
Gettysburg was the sight of one of the most deadly Civil War battles

Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg is one of the most famous historic sites in PA. Now known officially as Gettysburg National Military Park, this historical site is where one of the most prolonged and deadly battles of the American Civil War was fought.

The National Park Service operates the park and even hosts an annual historical reenactment of the famous Battle of Gettysburg in early July.

One of the most famous Pennsylvania landmarks is the Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell is one of the most famous Pennsylvania landmarks

Liberty Bell in Independence Hall

Whether you're a history buff or not, visiting Independence Hall in Philadelphia and seeing the historical Liberty Bell is a must.

The bell and its inscription, which summarized means "liberty for all," was a source of inspiration for abolitionists and the movement to end slavery in America.

Despite the centuries that have passed, this North American landmark and its message remain symbols of freedom and patriotism.

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A redbrick building with a white tower and windows, next to grass, trees & buildings
The Declaration of Independence was signed at Independence National Historical Park

Independence National Historical Park

During your visit to the Liberty Bell, you should also make time to see the rest of Independence Hall within the Independence National Historical Park. This park is one of the most important historical sites in Pennsylvania and the United States.

Independence National Historical Park is where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the US constitution was decided. It is also recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. Do note that entry is by tour only.

The inside of an old and abandoned prison with white stone walls and wooden doors
You can go on ghost tours at the spooky Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is a very different sort of historic Pennsylvania landmark! The former prison now offers tours and not just daytime tours but also special creepy night tours for those who enjoy a bit of a fright.

When the Eastern State Penitentiary operated as a prison, it held some of the most notorious criminals in America, including Al Capone and the famous bank robber Slick Willie.

Marsh Creek State Park

If you are willing to travel a little further from Philadelphia, you can experience the lovely Marsh Creek State Park, just an hour's drive away.

Located on Marsh Creek Lake, this state park offers boating, fishing, and swimming in addition to regular park activities, such as hiking and biking. However, the lake is very popular, and launch permits sell out quickly.

A stone arch in a park with autumn trees and blue sky around it
The National Memorial Arch is one of the things to see in Valley Forge

Valley Forge & the National Memorial Arch

Valley Forge National Historical Park was the site of an important military camp for the Revolutionary Army. It is another of the most significant historical landmarks in Pennsylvania.

Under the command of George Washington, the troops wintered here as they prepared to fight (and eventually defeat) the British. As you explore Valley Forge, make sure to stop at the National Memorial Arch, set up in honor of George Washington and his troops.

A stone building entrance with Andy Warhol prints in the windows
The Andy Warhol Museum is an iconic attraction in Pittsburgh, PA

The Andy Warhol Museum

If you're into art and visiting Pittsburgh, check out the Andy Warhol Museum. This art gallery houses the largest number of art pieces, archives, and Warhol memorabilia in the world.

The museum regularly hosts events, like independent art shows and "Good Fridays," with late-night hours and reduced entry fees. Going to the Andy Warhol Museum also makes for a fun date idea for Pittsburgh!

A waterfall with many streams of water flowing into a river surrounded by greenery
Ohiopyle State Park has many waterfalls, like Upper Jonathan Run Falls

Ohiopyle State Park

Ohiopyle State Park offers outdoor adventures year-round and is only a one-hour drive from Pittsburgh. Interestingly, it is one of the most-visited state parks in Pennsylvania due to its breathtaking scenery and stunning waterfalls.

Not only is it a scenically beautiful place, but the fast-flowing Youghiogheny River means you can enjoy whitewater rafting in this park. Visitors can also go horseback riding, rock climbing, hiking, and more.

If you're looking for fun outdoor activities near Pittsburgh, going to Ohiopyle State Park has to be on your list!

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A sign that says "Redding Terminal Market" with a tree to the left of it
Reading Terminal Market has lots of vendors selling all kinds of food goods

Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market is one of the historical places in PA that is a must-visit for foodies! The market has been in operation since 1893 and has been called 'the best public market in America' by USA Today.

Visitors can spend the afternoon sampling the local produce, cheeses, and pastries for which this market is known. Come hungry and bring your own bag so you can take some edible souvenirs home, too!

A Greek-style building with columns under a blue sky with some white clouds
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has works by Georgia O'Keeffe and Pablo Picasso

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Located on the iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philly is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Visitors can peruse numerous works of art, from pieces like Grace Kelly's Wedding Dress, photographs by Paul Strand, and paintings by famous artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Pablo Picasso. Visitors can also enjoy study rooms and a library within the museum to make a visit a full-day event.

Tioga State Forest

Tioga State Forest is a famous landmark in Pennsylvania because the forest covers over 150,000 acres of land and is home to Pine Creek Gorge.

It's worth a visit not only for the Gorge but also because of the activities offered within this DCRN-run State Forest. Fun activities to partake in include horseback riding, mountain biking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing, to name only a few!

A canyon covered in greenery with a river running through it
Pine Creek Gorge is called the "Pennsylvania Grand Canyon"

Pine Creek Gorge

This Pennsylvania landmark is found within the Tioga State Forest and is known as the "Pennsylvania Grand Canyon." Pine Creek Gorge comprises a green canyon with picturesque views.

Twelve miles of the canyon have even been designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Parks Service. The park additionally offers four miles of hiking trails that offer breathtaking views.

A tall stone tower surrounded by other rooftops, under a blue sky
Philadelphia City Hall was built in 1901 and is the US' largest municipal building

Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia City Hall is an architectural feat and a National Historic Landmark. At the time of its completion in 1901, it was the tallest building in the United States.

Today, it remains the largest municipal building in America and is the largest masonry-built structure in the world to not use a steel frame for support.

You can also see a statue of Philadelphia's founder, William Penn, standing at the top of this building. Visitors can take tours and admire the building's architecture.

A sandy beach with a wooden lifeguard's chair and greenery next to the ocean
Presque Isle State Park has lots of beautiful beaches

Presque Isle State Park

Just a few miles from downtown Erie is the lovely Presque Isle State Park that sits along Presque Isle Bay. This day-use park is open every day until dusk but does not offer overnight camping.

There are 11 beaches within the park, where visitors can enjoy water activities, including kayaking, surfing, pontoon boat rides, and even scuba diving.

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A modern home with a waterfall next to it and greenery surrounding it
Fallingwater is an architectural masterpiece by Frank Lloyd Wright

Fallingwater

If you're driving through PA, make a stop at one of the most famous landmarks of Pennsylvania, Fallingwater. This landmark is the former home of the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and is located approximately one hour from Pittsburgh.

It is known as "Fallingwater" due to a waterfall built into the design. Visitors to the structure can take a tour and learn more about the design and Frank Lloyd Wright's career.

Ridley Creek State Park

While Ridley Creek State Park might be one of the smaller parks maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), it is only 16 miles from the Philadelphia city center, making it the perfect place to get away from the bustle of Philly. The park is open year-round and offers overnight camping, horseback riding, hiking trails, and more.

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A sign in a park that says "Flight 93 National Memorial" with greenery behind it
The Flight 93 National Memorial commemorates those who died on Flight 93 on 9/11

Flight 93 National Memorial

On September 11, 2001, the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 risked their own lives to intervene against hijackers who attempted to crash the plane into the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Their heroic efforts thwarted the plan but resulted in their deaths. The passenger's and crew's sacrifice is immortalized at this monument in Somerset County, PA. To pay respects, you can visit the Tower of Voices and see the Memorial Plaza.

A grand state capitol building with columns and a domed roof and trees in front
The Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex is located in the state capital of Harrisburg

Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex

The Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex is an impressive building to see! This massive complex is located in Pennsylvania's state capitol of Harrisburg.

Visitors can take tours and even watch a live senate session, as long as they follow proper etiquette. In 1977 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the top National Historic Landmarks in Pennsylvania.

A lake surrounded by green, red, and orange fall trees under a clear sky
Allegheny National Forest is a beautiful place to visit, especially in the fall

Allegheny National Forest

The Allegheny National Forest is Pennsylvania's only National Forest. It is located approximately two and a half hours from Pittsburgh and one and a half hours from Erie, PA.

Visitors can spend the day, or the weekend, enjoying the beauty of this forest. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy at this landmark, including hiking, camping out under the stars, or riding ATVs on designated trails throughout the forest.

Bald Eagle State Park

In the heart of Pennsylvania, you'll discover Bald Eagle State Park, named after Bald Eagle Mountain. The park was established in 1971 and covers 5,900 acres.

Aside from hiking Bald Eagle Mountain, the park also has a large lake, Foster Joseph Sayers Lake. Visitors can hike, boat, kayak, and camp overnight at this beautiful state park.

Small boulders covering the ground with green trees and blue sky at the back
Hickory Run State Park features a unique Boulder Field, plus scenic hiking trails

Hickory Run State Park and Boulder Field

Hickory Run State Park and Boulder Field are two of the Pennsylvania state landmarks that nature lovers won't want to miss. The boulders strewn about the Hickory Run Boulder Field are highly unique.

The park is famous for its many trout streams that draw fishing enthusiasts as well. Visitors can also enjoy the over four miles of trails for hiking, or spend the night camping in the beautiful state park in the foothills of the Poconos.

Cherry Springs State Park

Want to sleep out under the stars? Then visit Cherry Springs State Park! Campers can sleep at the top of a 2,300-foot mountain with an incredible view of the stars.

This park offers only the bare essentials for campers, with a focus on the astronomy observation field. If you plan to look at the stars and galaxies, you're welcome to bring your own telescope, and overnight camping is allowed from April through October.

A waterfall flowing into a pool with greenery around it
Bushkill Falls is often called the "Niagara of Pennsylvania"

Bushkill Falls

Bushkill Falls is a family-owned area that was previously a working mine. It's been open to the public as a recreation site for over 100 years. Visitors can tour the "Niagara of Pennsylvania," which comprises a series of majestic waterfalls.

Kids and adults alike can also pan for gold and gemstones or wander through a fun maze. There is a wildlife rehab center that animal lovers will enjoy visiting as well to see a range of woodland animals.

Rivers of Steel: Carrie Blast Furnaces

Pittsburgh was once the biggest steel-producing city in the United States and played an essential role in America's industrial revolution. As a result, even today, Pittsburgh has the nickname "Steel City!"

A renowned landmark relating to this industrial history is the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark. It is truly a testament to Pittsburgh's history and the importance of steel to the state of Pennsylvania.

Visitors to the site can take guided tours. In addition, Rivers of Steel hosts regular workshops throughout the year where you can learn to cast metal or create art with steel.

A waterfall flowing over rocks surrounded by greenery
Ricketts Glen State Park is known for its beautiful waterfalls, like Ganoga Falls

Ricketts Glen State Park

Within Ricketts Glen State Park is the beautiful Glens Natural Area that's filled with forests and waterfalls. Visitors are encouraged to hike to the many falls, the tallest of which is nearly 100 feet high! Visitors can also camp overnight or just stay for the day. The park is open year-round.

Conclusion

There are many important historical places in Pennsylvania to see, as well as natural landmarks and other significant attractions.

Pennsylvania has something for everyone, from adventure-seekers to history buffs and art lovers. No matter what you enjoy doing, you won't leave PA disappointed!

This article was edited by Alli Sewell and was first published on Oct 4, 2022 17:53 UTC.

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Written by Loredana Elena

loredanaelena STAFF Since leaving Vancouver, Canada in January 2015, I have visited almost 45 countries. Currently based in London, UK and enjoying exploring Europe with my camera. I am also passionate about mental and physical health (fitness) and photography.


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