Pennsylvania’s Best Kept Secrets: Unforgettable Small Towns

There is more to see in Pennsylvania than in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. There’s actually a lot more. Pennsylvania is home to hundreds of tiny little towns.

It would be impossible to list all of the great towns in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It’s a little-known fact that Pennsylvania actually refers to itself as a Commonwealth instead of a state because.

The name proves that this is a place with a lot of colonial history. Here are just a few of the small towns you should visit in this Commonwealth.

  1. Gettysburg

Gettysburg isn’t really a secret.

Anyone who’s taken an American history class has heard of it. This was the site of the famous Battle of Gettysburg.

This was one of the largest battles of the Civil War. And it is where Abraham Lincoln recited his famous Gettysburg Address.

However, it’s on this list because it’s one of those places that people forget to go. It often gets overlooked in favor of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

That’s a shame because the town is quite lovely. There are lots of antique shops, good restaurants, and nice people.

It’s worth staying the night here, or it’s on the way to some of these other charming Pennsylvania towns.

  1. State College

This might sound like an odd name for a town.

But once you realize State College is the home of Penn State, you won’t be that surprised. This small town is great for visiting your favorite college student or catching a sporting event.

It’s also a great place to just wander around and feel like you’re in college again. Be careful not to party too hard. Remember that marijuana is only legal for medical purposes in Pennsylvania.

Here’s an article from Veriheal on the legalization of cannabis in Pennsylvania. Some cities, like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, have delegalized marijuana for recreational use in small amounts.

State College is one of those, but it has a heavier fine than other cities. The fine for having marijuana in Philadelphia is $25. In State College, the fine can be as high as $250.

Make sure to always check the local rules before enjoying marijuana on your vacation. And always buy from a licensed dispensary.

Reliving your college days can be fun. But it’s best not to buy weed on a college campus or off the street in a campus town.

  1. Jim Thorpe

This little town has been called the Switzerland of Pennsylvania.

It’s nestled into a valley and has some great examples of Victorian architecture. The church looks like it came straight out of a postcard.

There are several museums, a cultural center, and a beautiful river with scenic views. You can even hop on the historic railroad for a trip through the countryside before seeing some Victorian manors.

It’s close to Pittsburgh and makes a great day trip from there. But it’s worth spending the night to get away from the city.

  1. Ohiopyle

Ohiopyle doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

But the views are incredible. You’ll feel like you’re in another world here. Ohiopyle is a destination for nature lovers.

There are waterfalls, woods, and Fallingwater. Fallingwater is also called the Frank Lloyd Wright House and is one of the most influential pieces of twentieth century architecture.

Check out this list from the Modern House and you’ll see immediately the influence this house has had on other contemporary homes.

Visitors are allowed. The house is no longer privately owned. It’s a great destination even if you aren’t that interested in architecture.

You will be interested once you leave.

  1. Strasburg

Strasburg is located in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

Unfortunately, there aren’t that many speakers of Pennsylvania Dutch, which is actually a dialect of German, still around.

But if you want to brush up on your German, you can give it a try. Good luck understanding the dialect!

This is also a great place to see some of the Amish country. You can even go on a horse and buggy ride if you don’t feel like hopping on the historic railroad and riding along the river.


Pennsylvania has lots of tiny towns just waiting to be visited. Skip the big cities and enjoy a more relaxed destination.

Last Updated on by alishbarehman


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