Road Trip in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania's vast territory is often overlooked because of the common focus on Philadelphia. Although a great city with terrific choices for food, activities and sight-seeing, the whole state has a great deal to offer, not just the Philadelphia area.
Driving in Pennsylvania
State Traffic Rules
While Pennsylvania follows the same general driving rules as in other states, each state has its own variances. Therefore, it's wise to take a look at the Pennsylvania Driver's Manual before hitting the road
Additionally, you may want to check out Pennsylvania's safety laws to ensure you're up to speed on regulations regarding car seats, cell phones, motorcycles, and more.
As a U.S. resident visitor, you can drive in Pennsylvania with your valid out-of-state driver's license.
Major Pennsylvania Roads
Some of the major highways and state routes in Pennsylvania are:
- Pennsylvania Turnpike—Toll road traversing the state from east to west, and made up of a number of interstate highways, including I-70, I-76, and I-276.
- Interstate 80—From the New York border to Ohio, I-80 cuts straight though the state.
- Interstate 79—Runs north-south near the Ohio border.
- Interstate 95—Runs north-south along the New Jersey border
- US 1—Runs southwest to northeast, from Maryland through Philadelphia to the New Jersey state line near Trenton.
- US 19—Runs parallel to I-79, through Pittsburgh, and ends in the city of Erie.
- US 20—Runs east-west through Erie County.
PA Sights & Attractions
Philadelphia is often referred to as New York's “6th borough," to its residents' great displeasure. It's filled with great food, historic sights—and, of course, homages to fictional boxer Rocky Balboa. Any way you look at it, Philadelphia is a fun place to visit with a great deal of choices in what to do.
- Learn a history lesson with a visit to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, or the Betsy Ross House—and be prepared to get your fill of Benjamin Franklin sightings!
- Take a Segway tour of the city to see just how well the colonial architecture in Society Hill mixes with the post-war and modern constructions in the Rittenhouse Square area.
- Nature walk—Philadelphia has the country's largest inner-city park system. With bubbling streams plus ducks and geese galore, this is a great activity to get your exercise in.
- Museums—Philadelphia is home to world-class art collections found at both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation. And don't forget to take a run up the Museum of Art's Rocky steps!
- Food—For many, a Philly cheesesteak is a must. Swing by Pat's or Gino's and join the debate on which is the best.
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From Philly to Pittsburgh
It's a long and beautiful drive down Route 76 from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, though the train is also an option. Pittsburgh is one of Pennsylvania's gems and filled with a culture all its own.
Between the two is a tremendous farming community, the striking culture and scenery of the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside, and state parks are a wonderful destination for anyone looking to get away from the intensity of East Coast cities.
If that wasn't enough, Pennsylvania is home to famous Civil War and Revolutionary War battlegrounds that deserve a visit. Washington's Crossing, just across the river from New Jersey, is a beautiful area with quaint towns, stores, and a thriving restaurant scene.
The Gettysburg National Military Park is part of the National Parks system and preserves the area around the famous battleground and “Gettysburg Address."
Both of these sites are short drives from Philadelphia.
Travel a short ways north on the PA Turnpike and you'll soon hit the Pocono Mountains, with good skiing in the winter and temperate summers. Farther north, and much farther west, you'll make it to Lake Erie for breathtaking views in any season.
Other Places of Interest
- Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece is located in Mill Run and is a treasure for architecture lovers.
- Longwood Gardens.
- Situated over a thousand acres of land in Kennett Square, this collection of gardens, meadows, and woodlands is filled with picturesque scenery.
- Presque Isle State Park.
- This peninsula jets out into Lake Erie and offers visitors the chance to lounge on the beach, take a kayak out into the water, fish, and much more.
- Flight 93 National Memorial.
- Built on the site of the September 11, 2001 crash in Stoystown, this memorial pays tribute to the victims and heroes of Flight 93.