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'''Pennsylvania''' [http://www.state.pa.us/] is a state in the eastern [[United States]]. It is known for its Revolutionary War-era historical sites like [[Valley Forge]], its large cities like [[Philadelphia]] and [[Pittsburgh]], its farming regions, some occupied by the Amish, and a (once)-strong industrial history.  With equally large swaths of cities and towns as fields and mountains, Pennsylvania is a rich and varied state, as well as a worthy travel destination.  Pennsylvania is bordered by the states of [[New Jersey]], [[New York (state)|New York]], [[Delaware]], [[Maryland]], [[West Virginia]], and [[Ohio]].  The main cities are the aforementioned Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, along with other smaller cities such as [[Allentown]], [[Erie]], [[Reading]], [[Bethlehem]], and [[Scranton]].
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'''Pennsylvania''' [http://www.state.pa.us/] is a state in the eastern [[United States]]. It is known for its Revolutionary War-era historical sites like [[Valley Forge]], its large cities like [[Philadelphia]] and [[Pittsburgh]], its farming regions, some occupied by the Amish, and a (once)-strong industrial history.  With equally large swaths of cities and towns as fields and mountains, Pennsylvania is a rich and varied state, as well as a worthy travel destination.  Pennsylvania is bordered by the states of [[New Jersey]], [[New York (state)|New York]], [[Delaware]], [[Maryland]], [[West Virginia]], and [[Ohio]].  The main cities are the aforementioned Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, along with other smaller cities such as [[Allentown]], [[Erie]], [[Reading (Pennsylvania)|Reading]], [[Bethlehem (Pennsylvania)|Bethlehem]], and [[Scranton]].
  
 
==Regions==
 
==Regions==
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*[[Lancaster (Pennsylvania)|Lancaster]] — a relatively large city right at the heart of Amish country; the birthplace of the battery-powered watch, and a good shopping destination for Amish goods
 
*[[Lancaster (Pennsylvania)|Lancaster]] — a relatively large city right at the heart of Amish country; the birthplace of the battery-powered watch, and a good shopping destination for Amish goods
 
*[[Philadelphia]] — "The City of Brotherly Love," with lots of history and cheesesteaks
 
*[[Philadelphia]] — "The City of Brotherly Love," with lots of history and cheesesteaks
*[[Pittsburgh]] — "The Steel City," a scenic, multicutural, major city
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*[[Pittsburgh]] — "The Steel City," a scenic, multicultural, major city
 
*[[Scranton]]/[[Wilkes-Barre]] — coal region towns perhaps best known for TV's ''The Office''
 
*[[Scranton]]/[[Wilkes-Barre]] — coal region towns perhaps best known for TV's ''The Office''
 
*[[Williamsport]] — host to the annual Little League World Series
 
*[[Williamsport]] — host to the annual Little League World Series
  
 
==Other destinations==
 
==Other destinations==
 +
<!-- Please limit this list to nine, and discuss changes on the talk page. -->
  
 
*[[Altoona (Pennsylvania)|Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site]]
 
*[[Altoona (Pennsylvania)|Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site]]
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The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a geographically diverse state with a Great Lake on one shore and a major seaport on the other. The climate of Pennsylvania is pleasant, with cold, often snowy winters, mild to hot, humid summers, and gorgeous green springtimes, and most notably, spectacular displays of colorful autumn foliage.
 
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a geographically diverse state with a Great Lake on one shore and a major seaport on the other. The climate of Pennsylvania is pleasant, with cold, often snowy winters, mild to hot, humid summers, and gorgeous green springtimes, and most notably, spectacular displays of colorful autumn foliage.
  
Pennsylvania hosts a number of vital cities, from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. The city of Philadelphia houses the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, two major national historical landmarks. The interior of the state has a number of subcultures worth exploring, including the famous Amish countryside, a religious community based in Christian Anabaptist dogma.
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Pennsylvania hosts a number of vital cities, from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. The city of Philadelphia houses the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, two major national historical landmarks. The interior of the state has a number of subcultures worth exploring, including the famous Amish countryside, a religious community.
  
 
Pennsylvania is also home to a diverse group of people, with ethnic enclaves of black, Hispanic, and Southeast Asian populations in its major cities.
 
Pennsylvania is also home to a diverse group of people, with ethnic enclaves of black, Hispanic, and Southeast Asian populations in its major cities.
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===By car===
 
===By car===
  
Interstate highways lead most traffic into the state. Clockwise from east:
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Pennsylvania is a densely populous state in a densely populous part of the country, with many roads in and out.  Interstate highways lead most traffic into the state. Major national interstate highways leading to Pennsylvania include I-95 S from New England, I-95 N from the American South, and I-70 E, I-80 E & I-90 E from the American West and Midwest.  Specifically, clockwise from north of Harrisburg:
* from Boston: I-84 W.
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* from New York City to Scranton, Allentown, Philadelphia: I-80 W, I-78 W, I-95 S.
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* from Montreal & Ottawa to Scranton & Harrisburg: I-81 S.
* from Washington and Baltimore to Philadelphia, Harrisburg: I-95 N, I-83 N.
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* from the Appalachian Mountains to Harrisburg, Pittsburgh: I-81 N, I-79 N.
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* from Boston to Scranton: I-90 W to I-84 W.
* from St. Louis and Indianapolis: I-70 E.
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* from Boston to the Lehigh Valley & Harrisburg: I-84 W to I-91 S to I-95 S to I-287 W to I-78 W.
* from Chicago: I-80 E.
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* from Boston to Philadelphia: I-84 W to I-91 S to I-95 S.
* from Cleveland to Erie: I-90 E.
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* from Toronto: I-90 W.
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* from New York City to Scranton: I-80 W.
* from Montreal: I-81 S.
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* from New York City to the Lehigh Valley & Harrisburg: I-78 W.
 +
* from New York City to Philadelphia: I-95 S.
 +
 
 +
* from Baltimore to Philadelphia: I-95 N.
 +
* from Baltimore to Harrisburg: I-83 N.
 +
* from Baltimore to Pittsburgh: I-70 W.
 +
 
 +
* from Washington, DC  to Philadelphia: I-95 N.
 +
* from Washington, DC to Harrisburg: I-95 N to I-83 N.
 +
* from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh: I-270 W to I-70 W.
 +
 
 +
* from West Virginia to Pittsburgh: I-79 N.
 +
 
 +
* from Columbus & Indianapolis to Pittsburgh & Harrisburg: I-70 E.
 +
* from Cleveland to Pittsburgh: It's close, but complicated.
 +
* from Cleveland & Chicago to Erie: I-90 E.
 +
 
 +
* from Toronto & Buffalo to Erie: I- 90 W.
  
 
Also, U.S. Routes 219, 15, and 220 (soon to be I-99) all enter the state at alternative points from both the north and south.
 
Also, U.S. Routes 219, 15, and 220 (soon to be I-99) all enter the state at alternative points from both the north and south.
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There also exists a wide network of state highways and municipal roads that reach into the mostly forested and farmed rural areas. The more mountainous of these areas should be traversed with caution by visitors as they can be drastically winding, narrow, or steep (or all three!) in parts.
 
There also exists a wide network of state highways and municipal roads that reach into the mostly forested and farmed rural areas. The more mountainous of these areas should be traversed with caution by visitors as they can be drastically winding, narrow, or steep (or all three!) in parts.
  
Speed limit signs are almost exclusively posted in miles per hour, "mph". Seatbelts use is mandatory, and a second ticket and fine will be issued to those who are pulled over for speeding, etc. if not worn. Pennsylvania has not yet enacted a ban on hand-held cell phone usage while driving, as some neighboring states have.
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Speed limit signs are almost exclusively posted in miles per hour, "mph". Seatbelts use is mandatory, and a second ticket and fine will be issued to those who are pulled over for speeding, etc. if not worn. Pennsylvania has not yet enacted a ban on hand-held cell phone usage while driving, as some neighboring states have, although the cities of Philadelphia, Allentown, Bethlehem, Erie, Harrisburg, and Wilkes-Barre have enacted bans.
  
 
As conditions go, Pennsylvania has two seasons according to an old joke: winter and construction. In the rural majority of the state, large snowfalls render the most minor of roads impassable, but the major thoroughfares like Interstates are comparatively well plowed and salted. Still, car travel anywhere should be done with extreme care in the winter, especially by those unfamiliar with the visited area.
 
As conditions go, Pennsylvania has two seasons according to an old joke: winter and construction. In the rural majority of the state, large snowfalls render the most minor of roads impassable, but the major thoroughfares like Interstates are comparatively well plowed and salted. Still, car travel anywhere should be done with extreme care in the winter, especially by those unfamiliar with the visited area.
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===Amusement parks===
 
===Amusement parks===
 
Pennsylvania is home to some of the country's well-known amusement parks, such as:
 
Pennsylvania is home to some of the country's well-known amusement parks, such as:
*'''Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom''', [[Allentown]], [http://www.dorneypark.com/]
 
 
*'''Kennywood''', [[Pittsburgh]], [http://www.kennywood.com/]
 
*'''Kennywood''', [[Pittsburgh]], [http://www.kennywood.com/]
 
*'''Hersheypark''', [[Hershey]], [http://www.hersheypark.com/]
 
*'''Hersheypark''', [[Hershey]], [http://www.hersheypark.com/]
 +
*'''Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom''', [[Allentown]], [http://www.dorneypark.com/]
 
*'''Sesame Place''', [[Philadelphia]], [http://www.sesameplace.com/]
 
*'''Sesame Place''', [[Philadelphia]], [http://www.sesameplace.com/]
*'''Knoebels''', The largest free-admission theme park in America, [http://www.knoebels.com/]
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*'''Knoebels''', The largest free-admission theme park in America, [[Elysburg]] [http://www.knoebels.com/]
 +
*'''Sandcastle Water Park''', [[Pittsburgh]], [http://www.sandcastlewaterpark.com/]
 +
*'''Waldameer Park and Water World''' [[Erie]] [http://www.waldameer.com/]
 +
*'''Dutch Wonderland''', [[Lancaster]], [http://www.dutchwonderland.com/]]
  
 
===Casinos===
 
===Casinos===
 
Pennsylvania recently legalized casino gambling. Some of the following casinos are also horse-racing facilities, while others stand alone.
 
Pennsylvania recently legalized casino gambling. Some of the following casinos are also horse-racing facilities, while others stand alone.
*'''Harrah's Chester Casino & Racetrack''', [[Chester]] ([[Philadelphia]] area), [https://www.harrahschester.com/casinos/harrahs-chester/hotel-casino/property-home.shtml]
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*'''Harrah's Chester Casino & Racetrack''', [[Chester (Pennsylvania)|Chester]] ([[Philadelphia]] area), [https://www.harrahschester.com/casinos/harrahs-chester/hotel-casino/property-home.shtml]
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*'''SugarHouse Casino''', [[Philadelphia]], [https://www.sugarhousecasino.com]
 
*'''Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course''', [[Harrisburg]], [http://www.hcpn.com/]
 
*'''Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course''', [[Harrisburg]], [http://www.hcpn.com/]
 
*'''The Meadows Racetrack, Casino & Bowling''', [[Pittsburgh]] area, [http://www.meadowsgaming.com/]
 
*'''The Meadows Racetrack, Casino & Bowling''', [[Pittsburgh]] area, [http://www.meadowsgaming.com/]
 
*'''Mohegan Sun''', [[Wilkes-Barre]]/[[Scranton]], [http://www.poconodowns.com/]
 
*'''Mohegan Sun''', [[Wilkes-Barre]]/[[Scranton]], [http://www.poconodowns.com/]
 
*'''Mount Airy Casino Resort Golf''', [[Poconos and Endless Mountains|Poconos]], [http://www.mountairycasino.com/]
 
*'''Mount Airy Casino Resort Golf''', [[Poconos and Endless Mountains|Poconos]], [http://www.mountairycasino.com/]
*'''Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack''', [[Philadelphia]], [http://www.philadelphiapark.com/]
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*'''Parx Casino & Racetrack''', [[Philadelphia]], [http://www.philadelphiapark.com/]
 
*'''Presque Isle Downs & Casino''', [[Erie]], [http://www.presqueisledowns.com/]
 
*'''Presque Isle Downs & Casino''', [[Erie]], [http://www.presqueisledowns.com/]
 
*'''Rivers Casino''', [[Pittsburgh]], [http://www.theriverscasino.com/]
 
*'''Rivers Casino''', [[Pittsburgh]], [http://www.theriverscasino.com/]
*'''Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem''', [[Allentown]]/[[Bethlehem]] ([[Lehigh Valley]] area), [http://www.pasands.com/]
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*'''Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem''', [[Allentown]]/[[Bethlehem (Pennsylvania)|Bethlehem]] ([[Lehigh Valley]] area), [http://www.pasands.com/]
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
*A cheesesteak, this well-known American food found its roots in [[Philadelphia]] and is prepared differently (and almost all would say preferably) here than in any other part of the country.
+
*'''Hoagie''' — A sandwich made of a long loaf of bread filled with various meats, cheeses, vegetables, seasonings, and sauces.  Commonly referred to as a "hero" or "submarine sandwich" beyond the [[Philadelphia Region]].
*A weber (like a cheesesteak, but may be made with ground chicken, and is topped with hoagie fixins).
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*'''Cheesesteak''' — A famous sandwich famously native to [[Philadelphia]] — A hoagie roll filled with chopped steak, melted cheese, and (optionally) onions.
*Any sandwich (topped with fries and cole slaw) from Primanti's (around Pittsburgh).
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*'''"Primanti's" Sandwich''' — A sandwich of hot meat, french fries and vinegar cole slaw on sliced italian bread, local to the [[Pittsburgh Region]]. A common offshoot is putting french fries on your salad, as well.
*Birch beer or sasparilla soda.
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*'''Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine''': scrapple, funnel cake, shoofly pie, whoopie pie, apple butter, soft pretzels, etc.
*Chicken with waffles.
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*'''Hershey's Chocolate'''.
*Hershey's chocolate.
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*'''Tastykakes''' — Prepackaged pastries and cakes, local to the [[Philadelphia Region]].
*Pennsylvania Dutch whoopie pies or apple butter.
+
*'''Birch beer''' and '''Sasparilla''' (softdrinks).
*Pennsylvania Dutch funnel cakes (deep fried sweet dough sprinkled with powdered sugar).
+
*Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Pie (molasses and spice pie).
+
*Scrapple.
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*Teaberry ice cream.
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*Waffles and ice cream.
+
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
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However, Pennsylvania is home to many other beers.  It is birth place of Rolling Rock — "#33".  Serious beer drinkers probably know Pennsylvania for its wide selection craft breweries.  Hundreds of fine ales are produced each year.  Some great labels that every visitor should try include Yards, Sly Fox, Victory, Lancaster, Troegs, Philadelphia Brewing Company, and Stoudts.
 
However, Pennsylvania is home to many other beers.  It is birth place of Rolling Rock — "#33".  Serious beer drinkers probably know Pennsylvania for its wide selection craft breweries.  Hundreds of fine ales are produced each year.  Some great labels that every visitor should try include Yards, Sly Fox, Victory, Lancaster, Troegs, Philadelphia Brewing Company, and Stoudts.
  
Pennsylvania has some of the nation's most restrictive liquor laws.  If you want to bring back a beer (especailly a local beer) it is recommended that you buy it at a beer distributor.  Although they only sell 24 packs and larger (as required by law), it is much cheaper than buying beer to go from a restaurant or bar.  To provide an example of this a 6 pack of Miller Lite costs under $6 in neighboring Ohio, whereas the same 6 pack will cost around $9 in Pennsylvania.  Bars are only allowed to sell up to 12 beers to go to any individual (although technically you can buy the beer, take it outisde to your car, and return to buy another 12).  Wine and liquor are available at only state stores or wineries and they can be expensive because of high taxes.
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Pennsylvania has some of the nation's most restrictive liquor laws.  If you want to bring back a beer (especially a local beer) it is recommended that you buy it at a beer distributor.  Although they only sell 24 packs and larger (as required by law), it is much cheaper than buying beer to go from a restaurant or bar.  To provide an example of this a 6 pack of Miller Lite costs under $6 in neighboring Ohio, whereas the same 6 pack will cost around $9 in Pennsylvania.  Bars are only allowed to sell up to 12 beers to go to any individual (although technically you can buy the beer, take it outside to your car, and return to buy another 12).  Wine and liquor are available at only state stores or wineries and they can be expensive because of high taxes.
  
 
==Stay safe==
 
==Stay safe==
  
Outside of Greater Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the Lehigh Valley, crime is not a major problem in Pennsylvania. Gang activity is high in the larger cities, [[Philadelphia]], [[Pittsburgh]], [[Allentown]] and [[Reading]]. You know you are in a rough area when you see graffiti, abandoned houses and vehicles, and shoes tossed over telephone wires, known as shoefiti, to mark that drugs are for sale. Street drag racing and prostitution are also problems in the state's urban areas.
+
Outside of Greater Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the Lehigh Valley, crime is not a major problem in Pennsylvania. Gang activity is high in the larger cities, [[Philadelphia]], [[Pittsburgh]], [[Allentown]] and [[Reading (Pennsylvania)|Reading]]. You know you are in a rough area when you see graffiti, abandoned houses and vehicles, and shoes tossed over telephone wires, known as shoefiti, to mark that drugs are for sale. Street drag racing and prostitution are also problems in the state's urban areas.
  
 
As with most locations in the United States, a major cause of injury and death in Pennsylvania comes from automobile accidents. Drivers can be down-right hostile on some of the more notorious urban freeways, such as the Schuykill  Expressway in Philadelphia, route 22 in Allentown, the 376 in Pittsburgh and on the Interstate 95 corridor in the southeast section of the state. The roads in Pennsylvania are notoriously bad, so be careful.
 
As with most locations in the United States, a major cause of injury and death in Pennsylvania comes from automobile accidents. Drivers can be down-right hostile on some of the more notorious urban freeways, such as the Schuykill  Expressway in Philadelphia, route 22 in Allentown, the 376 in Pittsburgh and on the Interstate 95 corridor in the southeast section of the state. The roads in Pennsylvania are notoriously bad, so be careful.
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Motorcyclists are not required to wear helmets in Pennsylvania, but it is still advised.
 
Motorcyclists are not required to wear helmets in Pennsylvania, but it is still advised.
  
Rural '''mountain roads''' can sometimes be steep, and impassable in times of '''heavy snowfall'''. When traveling in the central to western part of the state, it is best to stay on main roads and highways. If you're canoeing, skiing, or doing any other outdoor activity, take necessary precautions.
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Rural '''mountain roads''' can sometimes be steep, and impassable in times of '''heavy snowfall'''. In many parts of the state, especially around Pittsburgh, steep cliffs reside next to major roads, and rock slides can occur, though rare. When traveling in the central to western part of the state, it is best to stay on main roads and highways. If you're canoeing, skiing, or doing any other outdoor activity, take necessary precautions.
  
Be sure to stay out of '''abondoned mines and quarries'''. As this industry falls out of the state's economy, mines and quarries are left abandoned. If you explore one, you risk the dangers of unstable supports, unstable ground, rats, snakes and other animals, forgotten explosives, blasting caps, explosive methane gas, and pockets of "blackdamp" or air without enough oxygen to support life.  
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Be sure to stay out of '''abandoned mines and quarries'''. As this industry falls out of the state's economy, mines and quarries are left abandoned. If you explore one, you risk the dangers of unstable supports, unstable ground, rats, snakes and other animals, forgotten explosives, blasting caps, explosive methane gas, and pockets of "blackdamp" or air without enough oxygen to support life.  
  
Exploring the woods alone can be dangerous, due to the large deer and other wild animal population. Use insect repellant to avoid disease, wear long clothing, and do not wander onto someone's property.
+
Exploring the woods alone can be dangerous, due to the large deer and other wild animal population. Use insect repellent to avoid disease, wear long clothing, and do not wander onto someone's property.
  
 
'''Flooding''' and '''snow''' are the most common '''natural disasters'''. Flash flooding can be a problem. Tornadoes are rare but experienced, and earthquakes are almost unheard of. Hurricanes coming up the Atlantic can strike, so be prepared. Temperatures in the summer can reach 100 degrees in places, so bring water and sunscreen. Thunderstorms are common in the summer.
 
'''Flooding''' and '''snow''' are the most common '''natural disasters'''. Flash flooding can be a problem. Tornadoes are rare but experienced, and earthquakes are almost unheard of. Hurricanes coming up the Atlantic can strike, so be prepared. Temperatures in the summer can reach 100 degrees in places, so bring water and sunscreen. Thunderstorms are common in the summer.
  
If you are not from Pennsylvania, you can buy any '''fireworks''' from an outlet and bring them home with you ONLY with a permit. Yet, it is illegal for residents of Pennsylvania to shoot off fireworks that leave the ground. For this reason, fireworks outlets are often near state bordersYet, fireworks tents, whether they are legal or not, can be found across the state.
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If you are not from Pennsylvania you can buy any 1.4g (Class C / Consumer Grade) '''fireworks''' from an outlet for transport out of state, however, Pennsylvania residents can only purchase "Safe and Sane" fireworks (those that do not leave the ground or explode) without a permitAll brick and mortar stores will have additional information, but tents and other temporary sales locations may or may not have correct information. Local laws vary greatly and many campsites prohibit their use outright, so you will need to check before you use them in-state. Fireworks stores and tents tend to be located in border areas but can be found throughout the state.
  
 
You do not need a permit to carry a firearm openly throughout the state, except in the city of [[Philadelphia]]. '''Gun laws''' are fairly loose compared to other states.
 
You do not need a permit to carry a firearm openly throughout the state, except in the city of [[Philadelphia]]. '''Gun laws''' are fairly loose compared to other states.
 +
 +
Drugs, including '''marijuana''' are illegal in Pennsylvania.  In [[Philadelphia]], the punishment for under 30 grams is only a $200 fine.  Elsewhere, you can expect a heightened punishment.
  
 
During periods of '''hunting season''', persons entering the woods are advised by the PA Game Commission to wear "blaze orange".
 
During periods of '''hunting season''', persons entering the woods are advised by the PA Game Commission to wear "blaze orange".
 
Beware of '''wild dogs.''' In Pennsylvania dogs roam around unchained. They can be especially aggressive and are not tamed.
 
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
Pennsylvania has borders with [[New Jersey]], [[Delaware]], [[Maryland]], [[New York (state)|New York]], [[Ohio]],and [[West Virginia]]. Connections to major cities such as [[Baltimore]], [[Washington, DC]], [[New York City]], [[Cleveland]], [[Columbus]], and [[Buffalo]] are easy by car and air travel. Amtrak offers service on its high-speed northeast corridor line from [[Boston]] to Washington, DC.
 
  
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* '''[[New York (state)|New York]]''' - The Empire State borders Pennsylvania to the north and west, making the [[Catskills]] and [[New York City]] easy daytrip options.
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* '''[[New Jersey]]''' - The Garden State borders Pennsylvania to the east, offering everything from the glitz of [[Atlantic City]] to the migratory birds of [[Cape May]].
 +
* '''[[Delaware]]''' - Pennsylvania's southeastern neighbor was the first state to ratify the Constitution (hence its nickname of the "First State") and offers an urban experience in its northern parts while providing a rural experience to the south.
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* '''[[Maryland]]''' - Located to the south of Pennsylvania, Maryland offers "America in Miniature" with everything from history to nature to modern cities.
 +
* '''[[West Virginia]]''' - Pennsylvania's southwestern neighbor is the only state in the USA to lie completely within a mountain range (in this case, the [[Appalachian Mountains|Appalachians]]).
 +
* '''[[Ohio]]''' - The Buckeye State is Pennsylvania's western neighbor, offering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in [[Cleveland]] and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in [[Canton (Ohio)|Canton]].
  
  
 
{{usableregion}}
 
{{usableregion}}
{{isIn|Mid-Atlantic}}
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{{isPartOf|Mid-Atlantic}}
 
{{stateguide}}
 
{{stateguide}}
  
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[[ca:Pennsilvània]]
 
[[ca:Pennsilvània]]
 
[[de:Pennsylvania]]
 
[[de:Pennsylvania]]
[[es:Pensilvana]]
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[[es:Pensilvania]]
 
[[fi:Pennsylvania]]
 
[[fi:Pennsylvania]]
 
[[fr:Pennsylvanie]]
 
[[fr:Pennsylvanie]]
 
[[it:Pennsylvania]]
 
[[it:Pennsylvania]]
 
[[ja:ペンシルバニア州]]
 
[[ja:ペンシルバニア州]]
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[[ko:펜실베이니아]]
 
[[nl:Pennsylvania]]
 
[[nl:Pennsylvania]]
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[[pl:Pensylwania]]
 
[[pt:Pensilvânia]]
 
[[pt:Pensilvânia]]
 
[[ru:Пенсильвания]]
 
[[ru:Пенсильвания]]
 
[[sv:Pennsylvania]]
 
[[sv:Pennsylvania]]
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[[zh:宾夕法尼亚州]]

Revision as of 22:43, 28 November 2012

Pennsylvania [1] is a state in the eastern United States. It is known for its Revolutionary War-era historical sites like Valley Forge, its large cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, its farming regions, some occupied by the Amish, and a (once)-strong industrial history. With equally large swaths of cities and towns as fields and mountains, Pennsylvania is a rich and varied state, as well as a worthy travel destination. Pennsylvania is bordered by the states of New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio. The main cities are the aforementioned Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, along with other smaller cities such as Allentown, Erie, Reading, Bethlehem, and Scranton.

Contents

Regions

Cities

  • Harrisburg — the state capital
  • Allentown — largest city of the Lehigh Valley, third largest city in state
  • Erie — home to Pennsylvania's slice of Lake Erie, great for boating and beaches
  • Hershey — Birthplace of Hershey's chocolate
  • Lancaster — a relatively large city right at the heart of Amish country; the birthplace of the battery-powered watch, and a good shopping destination for Amish goods
  • Philadelphia — "The City of Brotherly Love," with lots of history and cheesesteaks
  • Pittsburgh — "The Steel City," a scenic, multicultural, major city
  • Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — coal region towns perhaps best known for TV's The Office
  • Williamsport — host to the annual Little League World Series

Other destinations

Understand

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a geographically diverse state with a Great Lake on one shore and a major seaport on the other. The climate of Pennsylvania is pleasant, with cold, often snowy winters, mild to hot, humid summers, and gorgeous green springtimes, and most notably, spectacular displays of colorful autumn foliage.

Pennsylvania hosts a number of vital cities, from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. The city of Philadelphia houses the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, two major national historical landmarks. The interior of the state has a number of subcultures worth exploring, including the famous Amish countryside, a religious community.

Pennsylvania is also home to a diverse group of people, with ethnic enclaves of black, Hispanic, and Southeast Asian populations in its major cities.

Pennsylvania is also diverse in that the Eastern and Southeastern parts of the state are urban and densely populated, while much of the rest of the state is rural and/or mountainous.

Talk

Most Pennsylvanians speak American English, although many subtle regional accents and 'dialects' do exist. There are large Latino, Spanish-speaking populations in Reading, Allentown, and Philadelphia, and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have their share of Asian, European, and other languages. There will be no problem communicating with people who live in Pennsylvania, except, of course, if they resort to the famous Pennsylvania Dutch "Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch" dialect of German. Although widescale non-Amish use of the language faded circa 1950, there are pockets of young people who are learning the language as a way to preserve their heritage. The Pittsburgh area and the anthracite coal region of northeast Pennsylvania are known for their colorful regional accents.

Get in

By car

Pennsylvania is a densely populous state in a densely populous part of the country, with many roads in and out. Interstate highways lead most traffic into the state. Major national interstate highways leading to Pennsylvania include I-95 S from New England, I-95 N from the American South, and I-70 E, I-80 E & I-90 E from the American West and Midwest. Specifically, clockwise from north of Harrisburg:

  • from Montreal & Ottawa to Scranton & Harrisburg: I-81 S.
  • from Boston to Scranton: I-90 W to I-84 W.
  • from Boston to the Lehigh Valley & Harrisburg: I-84 W to I-91 S to I-95 S to I-287 W to I-78 W.
  • from Boston to Philadelphia: I-84 W to I-91 S to I-95 S.
  • from New York City to Scranton: I-80 W.
  • from New York City to the Lehigh Valley & Harrisburg: I-78 W.
  • from New York City to Philadelphia: I-95 S.
  • from Baltimore to Philadelphia: I-95 N.
  • from Baltimore to Harrisburg: I-83 N.
  • from Baltimore to Pittsburgh: I-70 W.
  • from Washington, DC to Philadelphia: I-95 N.
  • from Washington, DC to Harrisburg: I-95 N to I-83 N.
  • from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh: I-270 W to I-70 W.
  • from West Virginia to Pittsburgh: I-79 N.
  • from Columbus & Indianapolis to Pittsburgh & Harrisburg: I-70 E.
  • from Cleveland to Pittsburgh: It's close, but complicated.
  • from Cleveland & Chicago to Erie: I-90 E.
  • from Toronto & Buffalo to Erie: I- 90 W.

Also, U.S. Routes 219, 15, and 220 (soon to be I-99) all enter the state at alternative points from both the north and south.

State-operated Welcome Centers and Comfort Facilities are located just inside the borders at all major crossings into Pennsylvania.

By train

Amtrak offers a total of nine different passenger train lines in or across the state of Pennsylvania. A fair amount of these run between New York and Philadelphia, continuing to points south, such as Charlotte, and New Orleans. The Pennsylvanian crosses a large swath of the state during its journey from New York to Pittsburgh, and the Keystone travels from New York to Harrisburg. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are also each connected to Chicago and Washington D.C.

By air

The two major airports in Pennsylvania are Philadelphia International Airport (IATA: PHL, ICAO: KPHL) and Pittsburgh International (IATA: PIT, ICAO: KPIT). Philadelphia is a major hub for US Airways and Pittsburgh is a large focus city for the same carrier. Both are served by all major carriers and have low fare service by Southwest and AirTran Airways. Philadelphia is also one of the Northeast's major international termini, with flights to an array of European destinations.

Regional airports in Pennsylvania include Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. All of these airports are served by US Airways, US Airways Express, Delta, Northwest and Continental.

Get around

By car

In addition to the Interstate highways that enter Pennsylvania and travel throughout:

  • The Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) is a toll freeway that is the main east-west route between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with state capital Harrisburg along the way. Take note of the four tunnels through Appalachian ridges.
  • The Turnpike's "Northeast Extension" (I-476, also toll) reaches north from Philadelphia to Allentown and Scranton. Another tunnel is found along it.
  • U.S. Route 322 travels diagonally from the Philadelphia area to just below Erie. Many portions have been converted to freeway, but numerous small towns still lie directly on the way.
  • U.S. Route 22 is an alternative, more mountainous path west through Altoona and Johnstown to Pittsburgh.
  • U.S. Route 6 is a long, rural, scenic drive across Pennsylvania's "Northern Tier". Go west from the northern Poconos through the valley of Scranton and its suburbs, follow the Susquehanna River through the "Endless Mountains", spend three hours through state and national forest land, and end near Lake Erie.
  • U.S Route 30, also named the Lincoln Highway, is a section of the first coast-to-coast paved road in the United States. The highway is especially nice in the central part of Pennsylvania where it passes agricultural areas and is the main street of many small historic towns. Many of these towns have attempted to capitalize on their location on the Lincoln Highway by preserving original structures and opening them as visitors' centers.
  • Interstate 80 runs east and west throughout the northern area of the state.

There also exists a wide network of state highways and municipal roads that reach into the mostly forested and farmed rural areas. The more mountainous of these areas should be traversed with caution by visitors as they can be drastically winding, narrow, or steep (or all three!) in parts.

Speed limit signs are almost exclusively posted in miles per hour, "mph". Seatbelts use is mandatory, and a second ticket and fine will be issued to those who are pulled over for speeding, etc. if not worn. Pennsylvania has not yet enacted a ban on hand-held cell phone usage while driving, as some neighboring states have, although the cities of Philadelphia, Allentown, Bethlehem, Erie, Harrisburg, and Wilkes-Barre have enacted bans.

As conditions go, Pennsylvania has two seasons according to an old joke: winter and construction. In the rural majority of the state, large snowfalls render the most minor of roads impassable, but the major thoroughfares like Interstates are comparatively well plowed and salted. Still, car travel anywhere should be done with extreme care in the winter, especially by those unfamiliar with the visited area.

Likewise, the jest rings true in the remainder of the year. Look out for occasional paving, line painting, or road widening projects on freeways that restrict travel to a single lane. Bridge repair or any major redesign may force detours that are typically marked clearly. Speed limits in work zones are always reduced and State Police will impose double fines for breaking them. Proceed carefully around PennDOT (state transportation department) crews, who are easily visible in fluorescent yellow attire.

Wild animals, most notably deer, can be a problem when driving on rural Interstates and highways. Pennsylvania currently has an overpopulation of deer, so try to avoid them crossing the road.

By thumb

Although uncommon, hitchhiking is fairly well-received, especially in more rural areas. Keep in mind that it is always illegal to hitchhike on highways closed to pedestrians, so it's better to find a rest stop or a gas station right off the highway. I-80 in particular has many good hitchhiking spots and is the recommended route for someone trying to thumb their way across the state.

Do

Pennsylvania has many attractions throughout the state, from amusement parks, historic sites, beaches along Lake Erie, world-class casinos, campgrounds and more!

Amusement parks

Pennsylvania is home to some of the country's well-known amusement parks, such as:

Casinos

Pennsylvania recently legalized casino gambling. Some of the following casinos are also horse-racing facilities, while others stand alone.

Eat

  • Hoagie — A sandwich made of a long loaf of bread filled with various meats, cheeses, vegetables, seasonings, and sauces. Commonly referred to as a "hero" or "submarine sandwich" beyond the Philadelphia Region.
  • Cheesesteak — A famous sandwich famously native to Philadelphia — A hoagie roll filled with chopped steak, melted cheese, and (optionally) onions.
  • "Primanti's" Sandwich — A sandwich of hot meat, french fries and vinegar cole slaw on sliced italian bread, local to the Pittsburgh Region. A common offshoot is putting french fries on your salad, as well.
  • Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine: scrapple, funnel cake, shoofly pie, whoopie pie, apple butter, soft pretzels, etc.
  • Hershey's Chocolate.
  • Tastykakes — Prepackaged pastries and cakes, local to the Philadelphia Region.
  • Birch beer and Sasparilla (softdrinks).

Drink

  • Yuengling The oldest brewery in the United States still produces this eponymous, locally-cherished beer. Yuengling is available in almost every bar and beer distributor in the state, but is seldom found outside of the Mid-Atlantic region. Tours are available at the brewery in Pottsville. The locals traditionally order a Yuengling Lager with the term, "Lager." It is one of the best domestic macro beers you can get in the US. Yuengling also produces several other beers that are worth trying.

However, Pennsylvania is home to many other beers. It is birth place of Rolling Rock — "#33". Serious beer drinkers probably know Pennsylvania for its wide selection craft breweries. Hundreds of fine ales are produced each year. Some great labels that every visitor should try include Yards, Sly Fox, Victory, Lancaster, Troegs, Philadelphia Brewing Company, and Stoudts.

Pennsylvania has some of the nation's most restrictive liquor laws. If you want to bring back a beer (especially a local beer) it is recommended that you buy it at a beer distributor. Although they only sell 24 packs and larger (as required by law), it is much cheaper than buying beer to go from a restaurant or bar. To provide an example of this a 6 pack of Miller Lite costs under $6 in neighboring Ohio, whereas the same 6 pack will cost around $9 in Pennsylvania. Bars are only allowed to sell up to 12 beers to go to any individual (although technically you can buy the beer, take it outside to your car, and return to buy another 12). Wine and liquor are available at only state stores or wineries and they can be expensive because of high taxes.

Stay safe

Outside of Greater Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the Lehigh Valley, crime is not a major problem in Pennsylvania. Gang activity is high in the larger cities, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown and Reading. You know you are in a rough area when you see graffiti, abandoned houses and vehicles, and shoes tossed over telephone wires, known as shoefiti, to mark that drugs are for sale. Street drag racing and prostitution are also problems in the state's urban areas.

As with most locations in the United States, a major cause of injury and death in Pennsylvania comes from automobile accidents. Drivers can be down-right hostile on some of the more notorious urban freeways, such as the Schuykill Expressway in Philadelphia, route 22 in Allentown, the 376 in Pittsburgh and on the Interstate 95 corridor in the southeast section of the state. The roads in Pennsylvania are notoriously bad, so be careful.

Road rage can be a problem during rush hour, so if you aren't familiar with the highway system, stay out of the left hand lane. The key to safe driving is to stay defensive, you are in unfamiliar areas and while you may feel wronged, it may be the norm.

Motorcyclists are not required to wear helmets in Pennsylvania, but it is still advised.

Rural mountain roads can sometimes be steep, and impassable in times of heavy snowfall. In many parts of the state, especially around Pittsburgh, steep cliffs reside next to major roads, and rock slides can occur, though rare. When traveling in the central to western part of the state, it is best to stay on main roads and highways. If you're canoeing, skiing, or doing any other outdoor activity, take necessary precautions.

Be sure to stay out of abandoned mines and quarries. As this industry falls out of the state's economy, mines and quarries are left abandoned. If you explore one, you risk the dangers of unstable supports, unstable ground, rats, snakes and other animals, forgotten explosives, blasting caps, explosive methane gas, and pockets of "blackdamp" or air without enough oxygen to support life.

Exploring the woods alone can be dangerous, due to the large deer and other wild animal population. Use insect repellent to avoid disease, wear long clothing, and do not wander onto someone's property.

Flooding and snow are the most common natural disasters. Flash flooding can be a problem. Tornadoes are rare but experienced, and earthquakes are almost unheard of. Hurricanes coming up the Atlantic can strike, so be prepared. Temperatures in the summer can reach 100 degrees in places, so bring water and sunscreen. Thunderstorms are common in the summer.

If you are not from Pennsylvania you can buy any 1.4g (Class C / Consumer Grade) fireworks from an outlet for transport out of state, however, Pennsylvania residents can only purchase "Safe and Sane" fireworks (those that do not leave the ground or explode) without a permit. All brick and mortar stores will have additional information, but tents and other temporary sales locations may or may not have correct information. Local laws vary greatly and many campsites prohibit their use outright, so you will need to check before you use them in-state. Fireworks stores and tents tend to be located in border areas but can be found throughout the state.

You do not need a permit to carry a firearm openly throughout the state, except in the city of Philadelphia. Gun laws are fairly loose compared to other states.

Drugs, including marijuana are illegal in Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, the punishment for under 30 grams is only a $200 fine. Elsewhere, you can expect a heightened punishment.

During periods of hunting season, persons entering the woods are advised by the PA Game Commission to wear "blaze orange".

Get out

  • New York - The Empire State borders Pennsylvania to the north and west, making the Catskills and New York City easy daytrip options.
  • New Jersey - The Garden State borders Pennsylvania to the east, offering everything from the glitz of Atlantic City to the migratory birds of Cape May.
  • Delaware - Pennsylvania's southeastern neighbor was the first state to ratify the Constitution (hence its nickname of the "First State") and offers an urban experience in its northern parts while providing a rural experience to the south.
  • Maryland - Located to the south of Pennsylvania, Maryland offers "America in Miniature" with everything from history to nature to modern cities.
  • West Virginia - Pennsylvania's southwestern neighbor is the only state in the USA to lie completely within a mountain range (in this case, the Appalachians).
  • Ohio - The Buckeye State is Pennsylvania's western neighbor, offering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.


This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!





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