Historic row homes with shops on Race St. in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, USA. Editorial credit: Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock.com

11 Ideal Destinations For A 3-Day Weekend In Pennsylvania

As one of the original colonies, Pennsylvania houses a treasure trove of historic sites and landmarks. But it also boasts a charming diversity of landscapes, from the Pocono Mountains and the Great Lakes to the Appalachian Plateau, drawing visitors from within and outside the state. The Keystone State packs a punch of touristy delights, making it one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the Midwest. 

While most tourists gravitate towards famous cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, there is no shortage of pleasant places to explore. A weekend in Pennsylvania may not be enough to explore the best that the state has to offer, but it allows you to tick off some boxes on your bucket list. Whether you plan to discover rare historical markers, sample unique cuisines, or indulge in captivating local traditions, here are hidden gems to spend a 3-day weekend in Pennsylvania.

River House At Odette’s, New Hope

New Hope, Pennsylvania, USA: A popular travel destination where many drive exotic motorcycles and cars down Main Street.

New Hope, Pennsylvania, USA: Main Street. Editorial credit: JWCohen / Shutterstock.com

If you are going to spend a fun weekend in the charming town of New Hope, why not make a splash by staying in one of the most luxurious inns in the region? River House provides a cozy accommodation experience, boasting plush décor with a sophisticated mix of color, texture, and woodwork. The pristine guestrooms are fitted with lavish linens and duvets, perfect for snuggling up at night. From the private balconies, you can enjoy exquisite views of the Delaware River and New Hope’s skyline. 

When you are not sleeping, eating, or hanging out in the elegant piano lounge, spare some time to explore the beautiful town. A buzzing arts and culture landscape invites visitors to explore local art at the New Hope Arts Center. You don’t want to miss out on the Salt House, a rustic 18th-century tavern serving wholesome local dishes and pub fair in an old stone building. 

The Lodge At Glendorn, Bradford

Autumn daze car show in Bradford, Pennsylvania, USA.

Autumn Daze car show in Bradford, Pennsylvania, USA. Editorial credit: michasekdzi / Shutterstock.com

Set in the picturesque scenery of the Allegheny forest on a sprawling 1,500-acre property, the Lodge at Glendorn provides the ultimate accommodation experience in Pennsylvania. This luxurious resort features a serene atmosphere away from the town noise, with plenty of comforts and experiences to keep guests happy and entertained. The surrounding woodlands let you immerse yourself in recreational activities like fly fishing, hiking, biking, paddle boarding, winter hiking, and cross-country skiing. 

When you are exhausted from the adventure, a soothing massage at the Forest Spa comes in handy to help your muscles heal and rejuvenate. For meals, you can look forward to chef-prepared continental breakfasts and other fine dining options. The establishment also organizes thrilling jeep tours, taking guests through 18 miles of rugged trails with historical narrations about the land.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Seven Springs

Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Somerset, Pennsylvania.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Somerset, Pennsylvania. Editorial credit: Bambi2020 / Shutterstock.com

If you plan a winter weekend getaway in Pennsylvania, a ski lover’s paradise awaits in the beautiful borough of Silver Springs. Sitting at a 3,000-foot elevation, this popular recreation hub offers 33 slopes and trails across 285 acres of terrain, drawing skiers, snowboarders, and tubers from around the state. But the fun doesn’t stop with the end of the snow season; this year-round resort features scenic equestrian trails, zipline adventures, and a 24-foot rock wall for family-friendly climbing fun. After a tedious day jam-packed with activity, you can retreat to the cozy Trillium Spa and enjoy a range of relaxing treatments, from caviar facials to hot stone massages. The cuisine at the resort's several restaurants is scintillating, with buffet breakfasts, gourmet lunches, and dinners mixing all kinds of flavors. 


Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. 

Spend a fun weekend embarking on an immersive journey back in time in the historic town of Gettysburg. This tiny Adams County hamlet houses a treasure trove of historical sites, highlighted by the actual location of the Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg. You can visit the preserved grounds inside the Gettysburg National Military Park, where a guided tour lets schools you in on intimate American history. There are endless venues to check out, including the Gettysburg Museum of History, Devil’s Den, and the Eisenhower National Historic Site, former home of the 34th president of the United States.

When peckish, stop by the 1776 Dobbin House to enjoy delicious period and contemporary dishes inside a historic landmark that survived the Battle of Gettysburg. While there are numerous B&Bs, Federal Pointe Inn is a particular favorite among tourists, combining historic charm with luxurious comfort. 


Horseshoe Curve in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Horseshoe Curve in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

If you are a fan of railroad history, you should consider a weekend escape to this bustling borough in Blair County. Many tourists visit Altoona to tour the Railroaders Memorial Museum, which provides a unique look into the history of the Pennsylvania Railroad through a vast collection of artifacts, relics, and other memorabilia. But history isn’t the only thing that makes Altoona tick. The town notably houses the Peoples Natural Gas Field, home to the Altoona Curve of Minor League Baseball. The 7,200-seater arena hosts entertaining baseball games in an electric atmosphere akin to a Major League Baseball game. 

Downtown Altoona is a vibrant corridor with an eclectic mix of restaurants that you can pop in for a tasty meal. Tom & Joe’s Restaurant is among the most recognized joints in the area and has been operating since 1933. For accommodation, the Courtyard by Marriott serves good food while guaranteeing a cozy night’s sleep. 

Jim Thorpe

 Various landmark buildings within the historic town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.
 Various landmark buildings within the historic town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Editorial credit: Dan Hanscom / Shutterstock.com

A hidden gem in the Pocono Mountains, visitors to this charming eastern Pennsylvania town come for the breathtaking natural scenery and colorful history. A weekend in Jim Thorpe is enough to explore its rich mix of attractions, starting with the sprawling wilderness that surrounds the town. Hop aboard the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, which takes guests on a relaxed sightseeing trip into the heart of the Lehigh Gorge State Park. The scenes are especially magical in the fall as the leaves start changing color. 

Jim Thorpe’s rich past is intertwined with the legendary Native American athlete it was named after, and you can learn about this and more at the Mauch Chunk Museum & Cultural Center. Several inns in the town present numerous options for spending the night. You can find rustic charm with old-world opulence inside the historic Harry Packer Mansion or opt for the more modern and luxurious Inn at Jim Thorpe. 

Allegheny National Forest

Allegheny National Forest in northern Pennsylvania.

Allegheny National Forest in northern Pennsylvania. 

The Pennsylvania Wilds region inside the sprawling Allegheny National Forest promises a fun weekend full of outdoor adventures in the heart of Pennsylvania’s backcountry. There are over 200 miles of scenic trails cutting through the woodlands, inviting ardent hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers to explore the outdoors. The forest presents the ultimate playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for anglers, campers, cross-country skiers, winter hikers, and even skydivers. The Allegheny River, which meanders through the forest, lets you enjoy relaxed kayaking and canoeing tours. 

Fortunately, multiple local outfitters ensure that the uninitiated have all the gear and equipment to get on the water. Those who prefer less strenuous activities will find pristine picnic spaces in a laid-back environment. With over 1,000 campsites, you can rent a cabin for the complete outdoor experience of sleeping under the stars. 


 Panoramic aerial view of Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA.
 Panoramic aerial view of Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA. Editorial credit: Cascade Creatives / Shutterstock.com

A weekend in the beautiful town of Hershey lets you indulge all your sweet cravings in the “Sweetest Place on Earth.” Hershey offers an exciting mix of family-friendly attractions that promise a remarkable experience paying homage to the famous chocolate empire. One of the best sites to visit is Hersheypark, home to over 70 rides, rollercoasters, a scenic boardwalk, and various forms of live entertainment. However, what put the town of Hershey on the map lies just next to Hersheypark; a tour of Hershey’s Chocolate World immerses you into a fantasy-like world where you can sample various chocolate flavors, enjoy rides, and admire fun interactive exhibits. 

The best way to experience the town is to hop on the Hershey Trolley Works for a sightseeing tour through Chocolate Town, with stops and narrations about the top spots. After a day full of activity, you can cap off the day with a comfortable night’s sleep at The Spa at Hotel Hershey.

Laurel Highlands, Farmington

Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, Pennsylvania.

Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, Pennsylvania.

Plan an unforgettable romantic weekend in Pennsylvania in the stunning Laurel Highlands, which charm with countless recreation opportunities. But before you even start your itinerary, check into the luxurious Nemacolin to experience everything from dogsledding tours to a championship golf course and a luxury spa. The Laurel Highlands are also home to exciting white water rafting, biking, camping, hiking, hunting, and wildlife viewing adventures, proving to be an outdoor adventurer’s dream come true. 

If you fancy spelunking and caving excursions, more off-the-beaten-path adventures are waiting in the Laurel Caverns, allowing you to explore dramatic natural caves with stunning rock formations. 

Worlds’ End State Park, Forksville

Worlds End State Park Visitor Center and Park Office building in Forksville, Pennsylvania.
Worlds End State Park Visitor Center and Park Office in Forksville, PA. Editorial credit: Rosemarie Mosteller / Shutterstock.com

If you manage to look beyond the melodramatic name, you will realize that there are great memories to be made in this hidden Pennsylvania gem in Forksville. Worlds’ End State Park is enveloped by Loyalsock State Forest, thrusting you into the middle of the wilderness with infinite outdoor opportunities to explore. The 780-acre park harbors at least 200 miles of undisturbed nature trails traversing a pristine countryside, ideal for hikers of all skill levels. Walking the routes reveals a range of natural wonders, from scenic outlooks to gorgeous waterfalls. 

The rugged terrain also provides fishing, swimming, and wildlife-viewing recreation, with over 200 bird species making a habitat inside the park. During winter, the hiking trails transform into beautiful cross-country skiing routes, and several campsites ensure that your night stays are taken care of. 


Aerial view of the Susquehanna River in the fall near Marietta, Pennsylvania, at dusk.

Aerial view of the Susquehanna River in the fall near Marietta, Pennsylvania, at dusk.

Nestled along the scenic Susquehanna River, the idyllic town of Marietta offers a perfect rural retreat for those seeking tranquility and seclusion. This modest community with about 3,000 residents features abundant green spaces beckoning outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in nature. At Chickies Rock County Park, hikers can make the most of an exceptional opportunity to discover breathtaking geological formations through easy trails. After a full day of exploring Marietta's wildernesses, weary travelers can recharge at Shank's Tavern. This historic 19th-century watering hole impresses with its laidback rustic charm and pleasant outdoor seating area. 

Inside, guests will find a welcoming yet refined ambiance, the perfect place to sip a freshly crafted beer and recount tales of adventure along the riverbanks. Finally, be sure to check into the Railroad House Inn to spend your nights. 

Discover Pennsylvania's Underrated Towns This Weekend

Pennsylvania offers no shortage of delightful destinations perfect for a brief 3-day escape from everyday life. From the vibrant culture and culinary scenes of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to the tranquil natural beauty of places like Erie and the Poconos, the Keystone State packs an impressive variety of attractions and activities into a compact area. Whether your interests lie in history, outdoor recreation, arts, or simply relaxing, an escape to any of the hidden gems discussed above will make for a magnificent weekend in Pennsylvania.

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