Buckle up and get ready for an epic adventure as we take you on a journey through the charming and historic Route 76 in Pennsylvania. Known as one of the most scenic highways in the United States, this iconic road boasts breathtaking landscapes, world-class attractions, and quirky roadside stops that will leave you in awe. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or seeking a thrilling adventure, we've rounded up 12 of the most amazing things to do along Route 76 that will keep you entertained every mile of the way. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and let's hit the road!
What You'll Learn
- Visit Hershey's Chocolate World
- Explore Gettysburg National Military Park
- Take a scenic hike at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
- See the colorful Fallingwater house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
- Enjoy a foodie tour in Lancaster
- Admire the art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Ride the thrilling roller coasters at Kennywood Park
- Learn about Pennsylvania Dutch culture at the Kutztown Folk Festival
- Take a brewery tour in Pittsburgh
- See the beautiful views from Mount Washington in Pittsburgh
- Learn about American history at Valley Forge National Historical Park
- Explore the eerie Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia
Visit Hershey's Chocolate World
Route 76 in Pennsylvania is a scenic drive that takes you through some of the state's most impressive landscapes, including rolling hills, lush forests, and quaint towns. Along the way, there are plenty of things to see and do, but one attraction that you won't want to miss is Hersheys Chocolate World.
Located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Hersheys Chocolate World is a theme park that's all about chocolate. Here, you can tour the Hershey's chocolate factory, shop for souvenirs, and sample some of the world-famous chocolate treats that the company is known for.
One of the highlights of a visit to Hersheys Chocolate World is the Chocolate Tour. This free tour takes you on a ride through the Hershey's factory, where you learn about the chocolate-making process and see how Hershey's chocolate is made. Along the way, you'll see animatronic characters, smell the rich aroma of chocolate, and even experience a simulated rollercoaster ride.
After the tour, you can check out the other attractions at Hersheys Chocolate World. Visit the Chocolate Tasting Experience, where you can sample different types of chocolate and learn how to taste chocolate like a professional. Or, head to Create Your Own Candy Bar, where you can design and make your own chocolate bar with your choice of ingredients.
If you're traveling with kids, don't miss the HERSHEY'S Kitchens attraction, where little ones can decorate their own chocolate creations. You can also take a ride on the Hershey's Chocolate World Trolley, which takes you on a tour of the town of Hershey and gives you a glimpse into the history of this famous chocolate company.
Finally, don't forget to stock up on chocolate souvenirs before you leave. The Hershey's Chocolate World gift shop offers a wide variety of Hershey's products, from chocolate bars to clothing and accessories.
In conclusion, a visit to Hersheys Chocolate World is a must for anyone driving along Route 76 in Pennsylvania. It's a fun and interactive way to learn about the history of one of America's most beloved chocolate companies, and to sample some of the world's best chocolate treats. So, plan your visit today and get ready to indulge in the sweetest place on earth!
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Explore Gettysburg National Military Park
One highlight along Route 76 in Pennsylvania is the opportunity to explore Gettysburg National Military Park. This historic site offers visitors a chance to step back in time and learn about one of the most important battles of the Civil War.
At the park, visitors can take guided tours of the battlefield or explore on their own using the park map. There are also several museums and exhibits to visit, including the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center, the Cyclorama, and the David Wills House.
In addition to the historical significance of the park, there are also plenty of outdoor activities available. Visitors can take a hike or bike ride on one of the many trails through the park, or even participate in a ranger-led program or living history demonstration.
One of the most popular times to visit the park is during the summer months, when the park hosts a variety of events and programs. From battle reenactments to live music performances, there is always something happening at Gettysburg National Military Park.
Whether you are a history buff or just looking for a fun and educational activity along Route 76, a visit to Gettysburg National Military Park is definitely worth considering.
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Take a scenic hike at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
If you are planning a road trip along Route 76 in Pennsylvania, make sure to make time for a stop at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Known for its breathtaking views and rich biodiversity, this sanctuary is a perfect spot for both nature enthusiasts and hikers. One of the best things to do at the sanctuary is to take a scenic hike. Here’s why.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is located in Kempton, Pennsylvania, about 2 hours and 15 minutes from Philadelphia and 3 hours from Pittsburgh. It is spread over 2,600 acres and features over 8 miles of hiking trails that are open year-round. The trails offer various difficulty levels, ranging from easy to challenging, making it the perfect destination for hikers of all skill levels.
The sanctuary is famous for its impressive raptor migration every fall, but a hike during the summer months is a treat as well. You can expect to see a variety of songbirds, warblers, and wildflowers on your hike. Keep an eye out for the vibrant cardinal flower, which is found along the streams and wetlands of the trail.
One of the best hikes at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is the Skyline Trail. This moderate 4.5-mile hike offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. As you ascend the trail, you’ll notice the landscape changing from deciduous forests to rock outcroppings and open fields. The trail can be steep in some areas, so make sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water.
Another popular hike at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is the Golden Eagle Trail. This challenging 8-mile hike takes you through the heart of the sanctuary and offers the opportunity to spot one of the most sought-after raptors in the area, the golden eagle. The trail is also home to some of Pennsylvania's most rare and threatened plants, including the mountain goldenrod and the American ginseng.
Before you hit the trails at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, make sure to stop by the Visitor Center to learn more about the sanctuary’s history, wildlife, and conservation efforts. The Visitor Center features interactive exhibits, live animal displays, and educational programs for all ages.
In conclusion, taking a scenic hike at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a must-do when traveling along Route 76 in Pennsylvania. With its stunning vistas, diverse wildlife, and varied hiking trails, the sanctuary is the perfect destination for a day trip or a longer stay. So grab your hiking boots, fill up your water bottle, and take a stroll through one of Pennsylvania's most beautiful natural treasures.
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See the colorful Fallingwater house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
If you're planning a road trip along Route 76 in Pennsylvania, there are plenty of interesting things to see and do along the way. One attraction that should definitely be on your list is the Fallingwater house, designed by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Located in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, Fallingwater is considered one of Wright's most famous works and a masterpiece of 20th century architecture. Built in the 1930s, the house was originally intended as a weekend retreat for the family of Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr., a prominent Pittsburgh businessman.
What makes Fallingwater so unique is its integration with the natural landscape. The house is built over a waterfall, which cascades down the rocks below. Wright designed the house to blend seamlessly with its surroundings, using natural materials like stone and wood to create a sense of harmony between the built environment and the natural world.
The interior of the house is just as stunning as the exterior, with many of the original furnishings and artwork still in place. Visitors can take guided tours of the house and learn about its history and design philosophy. There are also self-guided tours of the surrounding grounds, which feature several hiking trails and stunning views of the waterfall and surrounding forest.
In addition to the main house, Fallingwater also has several other buildings on the property, including a guest house and a four-bedroom cottage. These structures were also designed by Wright and feature many of the same design elements as the main house.
If you're interested in architecture, design, or just appreciate beautiful natural settings, a visit to Fallingwater is definitely worth your time. It's a unique and unforgettable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
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Enjoy a foodie tour in Lancaster
If you're driving along Route 76 in Pennsylvania and are looking for something to tantalize your taste buds, make sure to make a pit stop in Lancaster. This charming town is a foodie's paradise, offering a wide range of delicacies, from the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine to innovative farm-to-table creations. Here are some must-try food experiences in Lancaster:
- Start with a hearty breakfast at the Lancaster Central Market. This historic farmers' market has been serving the community since 1730 and is one of the oldest continuously operated markets in the country. Here, you'll find a plethora of mouth-watering breakfast options, including fresh pastries, artisanal bread, homemade jams, and local cheeses.
- For lunch, head to the Lancaster Beer and Wine Gallery. This cozy spot offers a rotating selection of local craft beer and wine, along with a menu of elevated pub fare. You can't go wrong with the crispy fried chicken sandwich or the loaded tater tots.
- For a mid-afternoon snack, swing by the Lancaster Sweet Shoppe. This family-owned candy store has been satisfying sugar cravings since 1904 and is known for its homemade fudge, chocolate truffles, and seasonal treats. Be sure to pick up some creamy peanut butter fudge for the road.
- End your foodie tour with dinner at Luca. This modern Italian restaurant sources ingredients from local farms and producers to create dishes that are both flavorful and sustainable. Try the wood-fired pizza with house-made sausage or the tagliatelle with foraged mushrooms and truffle cream.
Other notable mentions for foodies in Lancaster include the Lancaster County Coffee Roasters, where you can sip on a cup of freshly roasted coffee with a side of freshly baked pastries, and the Lancaster Cupcake, where you can indulge in a selection of gourmet cupcakes and desserts.
No matter what your taste preferences are, Lancaster is sure to satisfy your food cravings along Route 76.
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Admire the art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Pennsylvania’s Route 76 is one of the iconic roads that wind through the state, connecting the east to the west. Along the way, travelers will discover a wealth of cultural landmarks and attractions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The museum has an outstanding collection of art from around the world, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the creative masterpieces that have defined many cultures over centuries. Located at the end of the Ben Franklin Parkway, the museum overlooks the Schuylkill River and provides an awe-inspiring experience that is a must-see for anyone traveling along Route 76.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is known for its impressive array of art from across the globe. The museum’s expansive collection includes works from European, American, Asian, and Middle Eastern artists. It is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in fine art, and its prime location on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway means visitors can easily access the historic site.
What sets the museum apart from other art institutions is its unique approach to showcasing art. It not only displays world-class works of art but also hosts events, workshops, and cultural programs, giving visitors a chance to learn about the art, its creators, and the museum itself.
One of the museum’s most iconic attractions is the “Rocky Steps,” a set of steps leading to the gallery in which the famous run-up occurs in the movie, Rocky. Most visitors can’t resist the urge to recreate the scene, which is a fun trip down memory lane for fans of the film.
In addition to the vast collection of artwork, the museum also features a sculpture garden, an outdoor terrace, and a restaurant, providing visitors with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the space.
If you’re looking for a truly unique cultural experience while on Route 76, a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must. It is a historic landmark with a dynamic approach to its exhibits, which will leave both novice and seasoned art enthusiasts in awe. Visitors will leave with a new appreciation for art and culture, making it a stop that should not be missed.
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Ride the thrilling roller coasters at Kennywood Park
Route 76 is a major interstate highway that runs through Pennsylvania, connecting the cities of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Along the way, there are plenty of attractions and activities that you can enjoy. One of the highlights of the route is Kennywood Park, an amusement park located just outside of Pittsburgh. If you're looking for a thrilling experience, be sure to ride the roller coasters at Kennywood Park.
Kennywood Park is one of the oldest amusement parks in America, with a history dating back to the late 1800s. Over the years, the park has grown and evolved, but it has always remained a popular destination for thrill seekers. Today, there are several exciting roller coasters to choose from, each offering its own unique thrills and excitement.
One of the most popular roller coasters at Kennywood Park is the Phantom's Revenge. This coaster is known for its steep drops and high speeds, reaching up to 85 miles per hour. The ride begins with a thrilling 228-foot drop, followed by several twists and turns that will leave you breathless. At the end of the ride, you'll drop down into a tunnel and fly out of it, feeling weightless and exhilarated.
Another great coaster at Kennywood Park is the Sky Rocket, which features a series of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With a launch that accelerates from 0 to 50 miles per hour in just three seconds, this coaster is an adrenaline rush from start to finish. Be sure to ride it at night, when the coaster is illuminated with colorful lights that make the experience even more thrilling.
For those who love classic wooden coasters, Kennywood Park has you covered as well. The Thunderbolt is a classic coaster from the 1960s that has been renovated and updated to provide a more thrilling ride. With steep drops and sharp turns, this coaster is a great option for those who love old-school thrills.
In addition to these roller coasters, Kennywood Park has plenty of other rides and attractions to enjoy. You can take a spin on the classic carousel, try your luck at carnival games, or cool off on the park's water rides. And of course, there are plenty of food stands and restaurants to satisfy your hunger after a day of thrills.
Overall, Kennywood Park is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling along Route 76 in Pennsylvania. With its thrilling roller coasters and other attractions, it's a great place to let loose and have some fun. Whether you're a thrill seeker or just looking for a fun day out with family or friends, Kennywood Park is sure to provide plenty of excitement and memories that will last a lifetime.
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Learn about Pennsylvania Dutch culture at the Kutztown Folk Festival
If you find yourself traveling along Route 76 in Pennsylvania and are looking for a unique cultural experience, the Kutztown Folk Festival is a must-visit attraction. This festival highlights the Pennsylvania Dutch culture, which is a unique blend of German and American traditions. The festival takes place every year in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, and lasts for nine days from the end of June to the beginning of July.
The Kutztown Folk Festival is one of the oldest folk festivals in the United States, having started in 1950. It is a place where you can learn about the Pennsylvania Dutch culture through demonstrations, crafts, music, and food. Over 200 craftsmen come to the festival each year to sell their handmade goods, and over 2,000 Pennsylvania Dutch delicacies are available to taste.
One of the highlights of the festival is the traditional hex sign painting demonstration. Hex signs are colorful circular patterns used to ward off evil spirits, and they have been a part of Pennsylvania Dutch tradition for over 150 years. You can watch as the artists paint these intricate designs and learn about their history and significance.
Another popular attraction at the festival is the barn-raising demonstration. You can watch as skilled craftsmen assemble a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch barn, using only hand tools and traditional methods. The process takes several days, and you can watch the progress every day.
Of course, no visit to the Kutztown Folk Festival would be complete without sampling some of the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch food. Some of the most popular dishes include shoofly pie, chicken pot pie, chow chow, scrapple, and sausage. You can also try refreshing drinks like root beer and birch beer.
In addition to the demonstrations and food, the Kutztown Folk Festival features live music performances every day. The music ranges from traditional Pennsylvania Dutch music to bluegrass and country, and you can join in on the dancing if you feel so inclined.
In conclusion, the Kutztown Folk Festival is a great way to learn about Pennsylvania Dutch culture and history. With its demonstrations, handmade crafts, delicious food, and live music, it offers a fun and unique experience for anyone traveling along Route 76 in Pennsylvania. Be sure to mark your calendar for the end of June and early July, so that you do not miss out on this cultural celebration.
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Take a brewery tour in Pittsburgh
If you're planning a road trip along Route 76 in Pennsylvania, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to take a brewery tour in Pittsburgh. The city is home to a rich beer-loving culture, with over 30 craft breweries and counting. Taking a brewery tour is not only a chance to taste some of the finest and freshest beers around, but it's also an opportunity to learn about the brewing process, the history of beer, and the local culture.
One of the best breweries to start your tour is the Church Brew Works, located in the historic Lawrenceville neighborhood. This unique brewery is located in a beautiful restored church with stained-glass windows and an elegant interior. Here you can try their signature Belgian-style ales and lagers, along with delicious pub fare like wood-fired pizzas and burgers.
Another excellent spot is the East End Brewing Company, located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Larimer. This one-room, no-frills brewery is known for their award-winning Big Hop IPA and Pit Boss Smoked Porter. They offer a variety of tasting flights and tours to show visitors how they brew their beers.
If you're interested in learning more about the brewing process, you can visit the Penn Brewery on the North Shore. This historic brewery dates back to 1848 and has been producing traditional German-style beers for over a century. On the tour, you can see the brewing process in action and learn about the history of the brewery. After the tour, you can sample some of their classic beers, including the Penn Pilsner and Oktoberfest Lager.
For a truly unique experience, try the Wigle Whiskey and Threadbare Cider House in the Strip District. Here you can try their award-winning whiskey, made from Pennsylvania-grown grains, and their seasonal ciders. They offer guided tours and tastings that cover the art of distilling, the history of whiskey, and the revival of the cider industry.
No matter which brewery you visit, you're sure to have a great time and enjoy some fantastic beer along the way. So, take a break from your road trip along Route 76 and discover Pittsburgh's thriving craft beer scene. Cheers!
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See the beautiful views from Mount Washington in Pittsburgh
Route 76 in Pennsylvania is full of hidden gems that can make your journey more exciting. One of the must-see places along the way is Mount Washington in Pittsburgh. The area is famous for its scenic views that are guaranteed to take your breath away. So, if you ever find yourself cruising down Route 76 in Pennsylvania, here are the reasons you should check out Mount Washington.
First off, the view from the top of Mount Washington is simply stunning. From an elevation of 367ft, you can see the entire Pittsburgh skyline with its towering skyscrapers. It’s a perfect spot for taking panoramic pictures, and its scenic overlooks are a great place for relaxation. The breathtaking views are simply awe-inspiring, and visitors can spend hours taking in the magnificent sites.
Another exciting way to experience Mount Washington is through the Incline. It’s one of Pittsburgh's oldest and iconic attractions, offering visitors a unique experience like no other. The Incline is a railroad that travels up and down Mount Washington and provides a picturesque view of the scenic surroundings. During the ascent to the summit, you'll get a beautiful view of downtown Pittsburgh, the Monongahela, and Duquesne Inclines. The ride is an experience not to be missed and is sure to provide lasting memories.
Moreover, the area offers stunning views at night, with the city skyline being illuminated in lights. It's a beautiful sight to behold, the towering skyscrapers lighting up the sky, and the Incline runs until late at night, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy a romantic evening ride. The night view is incredibly scenic and creates a beautiful backdrop making it an ideal place to visit for a couple.
In conclusion, if you find yourself cruising along Route 76 in Pennsylvania, be sure to check out Mount Washington. Its scenic views, iconic Incline, and night view create an unforgettable experience that you'll cherish forever. The area is a must-see for tourists, photographers, and anyone looking for breathtaking scenery. Make sure to check it out, and you won't regret it.
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Learn about American history at Valley Forge National Historical Park
If you're planning a road trip along Route 76 in Pennsylvania, there are plenty of things to do and see. One of the most significant and interesting stops along the route is Valley Forge National Historical Park. The park is a must-visit for anyone interested in American history, offering a glimpse into the past that helped shape this great nation.
Valley Forge National Historical Park is located just a short drive from Philadelphia, making it an easy day trip destination. The park encompasses over 3,500 acres of woodlands, meadows, and hillsides, and features a wealth of historical sites and attractions to explore.
At the heart of the park is the history-rich Valley Forge Encampment Area. This is the spot where General George Washington and his Continental Army spent the harsh winter of 1777-1778 during the Revolutionary War. Visitors to the site can take a self-guided tour along the 10-mile loop road, which loops through the encampment area and past a number of significant sites, including the Muhlenberg Brigade and Varnum's Quarters.
Another highlight of the park is the Visitor Center, which offers a fantastic introduction to the park's history and attractions. The center is home to an interactive museum, a theater, a bookstore, and a gift shop. You can learn more about the life and times of these revolutionary soldiers and their experiences at Valley Forge.
If you're looking to stretch your legs and take in some fresh air, you can try out some of the park's hiking trails. These trails range from easy to moderate difficulty, and there are a number of scenic overlooks along the way. Popular trails include the Valley Creek Trail and the Mount Joy Trail.
Finally, if you're interested in learning more about the history of the park and its significance in American history, consider taking a guided tour. The park offers a range of tours throughout the year, including battlefield hikes, musket demonstrations, and candlelight tours.
In conclusion, if you're traveling along Route 76 in Pennsylvania, be sure to make a stop at Valley Forge National Historical Park. This fascinating and educational destination offers a glimpse into the past, allowing visitors to connect with the history of this great nation in a unique way. Plan your visit today, and you'll return home with a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices and struggles of our country's early days.
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Explore the eerie Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia
If you're planning a road trip along Route 76 in Pennsylvania, there are plenty of exciting things to see and do along the way. One of the most intriguing stops is the Eastern State Penitentiary, located in Philadelphia. This eerie prison was once one of the most notorious correctional facilities in the country, and today it offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of crime and punishment in the United States.
First opened in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary was designed to be an experimental facility that would reform prisoners through isolation and reflection. Inmates were confined to individual cells for 23 hours a day, with only a small exercise yard and chapel to provide a respite from the solitude. The prison's imposing architecture, designed to evoke the feeling of a medieval castle, helped to enforce the sense of isolation for the inmates.
Over the years, Eastern State Penitentiary saw its share of famous prisoners, including notorious gangster Al Capone, who was locked up in the prison's relatively plush cells from 1929-1930. The prison was also the site of numerous riots, escapes, and other violent incidents throughout its history.
Today, Eastern State Penitentiary is open to the public for tours and special events. Visitors can explore the cellblocks, see Al Capone's cell and the cell of other famous inmates, and learn about the history of the prison and its impact on the American justice system. For those interested in the paranormal, the prison is also reputed to be one of the most haunted places in the country, with numerous reports of ghostly sightings and eerie noises.
Whether you're a history buff, a true crime enthusiast, or just looking for a unique and spooky experience, a visit to Eastern State Penitentiary is a must when traveling along Route 76 in Pennsylvania. Just be prepared to be creeped out – this old prison has a way of getting under your skin.
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Frequently asked questions
Along Route 76, visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and biking. Places like Valley Forge National Historical Park and French Creek State Park offer amazing trails and camping areas.
Yes! Along the route, there are several cultural attractions to visit such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Please Touch Museum. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is also located in Philadelphia, and visitors can learn about the state's history and culture.
Absolutely! Along the route, there are several family-friendly activities visitors can participate in such as visiting the Philadelphia Zoo, Sesame Place, and Hersheypark. In Valley Forge National Historical Park, kids can participate in ranger-led programs and learn about American history.