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Pennsylvania Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home

Image: Pennsylvania Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home
Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Friday, 27 Feb 2015 10:42 AM

For many people, a vacation means taking a trip to another state or country, but that doesn't always have to be the case especially in Pennsyvalnia. Planning a family staycation can cost less, produce memories and uncover fun activities close to home.

Here are seven fun things to do in Pennsylvania:

1. Gettysburg: The site of the famous Civil War battle, which took place July 1-3, 1863, remains one of the most visited places in the United States. History buffs can tour the battlefields and recreate the bloody three-day siege that took thousands of American lives. You can see the spot from where President Abraham Lincoln delivered his enduring "Gettysburg Address," as well as hear ghost stories and walk around the sleepy historic city.

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2. The Liberty Bell: Weighing nearly 2,100 pounds, the Liberty Bell remains one of the most enduring symbols of American freedom. Commissioned from a London foundry in 1752, and famously cracked when first rung after arriving in Philadelphia, the bell now sits in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park, in Philadelphia. While in the area, it's a short stroll to visit the historic home of Stars & Stripes seamstress Betsy Ross.

3. Bushkill Falls: First opened to the public in 1904, with a lone path and a rickety bridge over the main waterfall, Bushkill Falls has become one of the state's most scenic destinations. Called the "Niagara of Pennsylvania," Bushkill Falls boasts eight unique waterfalls, nestled within the Pocono Mountains, as well as hiking trails and bridges for breathtaking views and photo opportunities families on a staycation can enjoy.

4. Pittsburgh isn't just the home of the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins. It is an area rich in culture, museums and industry. For the best view of the Steel City, ride The Duquesne Incline, a century-old cable car that opened May 20, 1877. Restored in 1963, the car powers up a mountain to the upper station house, where visitors walk through a museum of Pittsburgh history, including that the city wasn't always spelled with an "h" at the end.

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5. Fallingwater: Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright had many noted accomplishments, but few if any are greater than Fallingwater, the world's most unique home. Constructed for the Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh, the owners of the successful Kaufmann's department store, the Bear Run, Pennsylvania, home stretches out over a 30-foot waterfall, and seems suspended in air. It was on the cover of Time magazine in 1938, and walking tours are given regularly, though the schedule varies during the year.

6. Hershey Park: Can any two things be more perfect for each other than sweet-tasting chocolate and the thrills of an amusement park? Families on staycation can tour the factory where the billion-dollar company founded by Milton Hershey makes it treats then spend the day riding roller coasters and water rides.

7. The Pennsylvania Capitol: The state capitol building, located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is a public building owned by the "Citizens of the Commonwealth," according to the website. Former President Theodore Roosevelt attended the building's dedication on Oct. 4, 1906, and said, "This is the handsomest building I ever saw." Philadelphia architect Joseph Huston (1866-1940) designed the five-story structure, in which a 272-foot, 52 million-pound dome evokes comparisons to Michelangelo's St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

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For many people, a vacation means taking a trip to another state or country, but that doesn't always have to be the case especially in Pennsyvalnia. Planning a family staycation can cost less, produce memories and uncover fun activities close to home.
Pennsylvania Staycation, Travel, Family, Fun
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Friday, 27 Feb 2015 10:42 AM
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