The population hubs in Pennsylvania are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, located at the eastern and western ends of the state, respectively. Philadelphia is full of history, where Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams shaped a new nation. Millions of visitors annually retrace the founding fathers' steps through Independence National Historical Park.
Pittsburgh, located where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers form the Ohio River, is America's renaissance city. The Golden Triangle, best viewed from atop Mount Washington via the Duquesne Incline, is a magnificent symbol of urban redevelopment. East of Pittsburgh, the roadway gently winds upward to the picturesque Laurel Highlands, an amalgam of tiny towns, country restaurants, antique shops, and resorts.
Gettysburg, scene of the bloody Civil War battle, is now dotted with hundreds of monuments and cannons in silent tribute to the fallen soldiers. Hershey presents a varied lineup of Hersheypark, Zoo America, Chocolate World, and more. The Pennsylvania Dutch Country, where the Amish have shunned modern conveniences like automobiles and electricity, radiates from Lancaster to quaint villages like Bird-in-Hand and Paradise. The area is spiced with intriguing Amish markets and farms.
The area surrounding Philadelphia offers such diversity as the Brandywine Valley, site of the world-famous Longwood Gardens; Valley Forge, where Washington's army braved the bitter winter of 1777-78; Bucks County, noted for its country inns, artists' colonies, and fun-filled Sesame Place; and the Lehigh Valley, where Moravian culture flourishes.
Pennsylvania's northern tier represents the state's great outdoors. Hiking, fishing, hunting, swimming, camping, and winter sports are all enjoyed from the miles of beaches along the Lake Erie shoreline to the Pacini Mountains. The Poconos area boasts many honeymoon retreats, family-style resorts, attractions, and excellent skiing. Northwestern Pennsylvania is highlighted by the 500,000-acre Allegheny National Forest, while the eastern portion is dominated by the Appalachian Mountains and the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, near Wellsboro.