Group of kayakers going over Ohiopyle Falls in Ohiopyle, PA. Image credit Marked Imagery via Shutterstock.

13 Small Town Getaways In Pennsylvania Perfect For Families

Pennsylvania offers a variety of small towns each with unique attractions, making them perfect destinations for families to spend quality time together. Ranging from historic communities dotted with centuries-old architecture to outdoor playgrounds surrounded by natural beauty, the following towns ensure something memorable for everyone. Experiences can include shopping and exploring small-town charms, beloved landmarks, artistic treasures, and the great outdoors through hiking, biking, boating, and more! With accommodations ranging from quaint bed and breakfast inns to cozy vacation rentals, families can enjoy time together while creating lasting memories in a variety of landscapes. Visit Lancaster, known for its agricultural heritage, or the forested mountain escape of Wellsboro, bordering a spectacular natural gorge. Whether visitors are interested in history, arts, entertainment, or adventure, Pennsylvania provides picturesque backdrops for making family getaways truly meaningful.

New Hope

 View of the New Hope and Ivyland rail road in New Hope, PA
 View of the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad in New Hope, PA. Image credit EQRoy via Shutterstock.

Located along the scenic Delaware River, the small town of New Hope in Bucks County eagerly awaits visitors! home to the celebrity-frequented Bucks County Playhouse and known for its eclectic and delicious restaurants for dining, such as The Landing Restaurant and Stella. New Hope is an ideal destination for families. Art enthusiasts will adore making a stop by the New Hope Arts Center, local woodworker George Nakashima Woodworkers, or take a ride on the vintage New Hope and Ivyland Railroad to the nearby town of Lahaska. Overnight accommodations include the Harvest Moon Farm (starting at $300 per night for up to 4 people), and a Luxury Private Entrance Master Suite (starting at $289 per night for 2 people).


Incline Plane in Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Incline Plane in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

When wandering Johnstown, PA, there is an array of activities waiting to be delved into. There is much to discover about the town's poignant history of the area at the Johnstown Flood Museum, where history enthusiasts can learn about the catastrophic flood that devastated Johnstown in 1889. For those who appreciate the arts, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art near Pittsburgh offers a captivating experience, and the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra presents delightful performances! For thrill-seekers, the Johnstown Inclined Plane is a funicular that dates back to 1891 and earned its place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "steepest vehicular inclined plane in the world." This is an especially unique attraction in Johnstown! When it comes to accommodations, options such as Home In Johnstown (From $100), Historic Johnstown Vacation Rental ($116), and Cozy 2 Bedroom Home ($105) provide comfortable stays at affordable rates.


Sign for Allegheny National Forest, Kinzua Point, PA
Sign for Allegheny National Forest, Kinzua Point, PA.

Ridgway, located near Allegheny National Forest, is known for its local businesses and artistic ambiance. Despite its small size, the town hosts annual events like the Tasting in the Wilds Festival and the famed Ridgway Chainsaw Carving Rendezvous. Its proximity to Allegheny National Forest provides incredible opportunities for families to indulge in a wealth of outdoor activities including hiking, boating, horseback riding, and camping. In the fall, the Clarion-Little Toby Trail is a popular spot to admire Pennsylvania's fall foliage. For accommodation, there is The Church Loft, starting at $73 per night and sleeping three. Lily of the Valley is another option, starting at $74 per night for three guests. Larger groups can opt for Bear Creek Cabins, accommodating eight guests at $149 per night.


Rafters on Lower Youghiogheny River at Cucumber Rapid in Ohiopyle.
Rafters on Lower Youghiogheny River at Cucumber Rapid in Ohiopyle. 

While visiting Ohiopyle, PA, there are a variety of activities and amenities to enjoy. Exploration is encouraged for the wonders of Ohiopyle State Park, which offers 20,500 acres of pristine wilderness, including the Ferncliff Trail leading to Ohiopyle Falls. Adventurous family? Take time to do some white-water rafting here! For hiking and biking enthusiasts, the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage travels through the town.

If a quiet retreat is preferred, tranquility can be found at Ohiopyle Luxury Treehouse, accommodating six guests starting at $375 per night, or Hidden Gem, also for six guests, with rates from $207 per night. Additionally, Ohiopyle Getaway offers a cozy stay for four at $129 per night. Tourists often visit the iconic Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpiece built over a waterfall, making it a perfect escape for those seeking serenity in the woods, found between Ohiopyle and Mill Run.


Colorful buildings on the Main Street in Honesdale
Colorful buildings on the Main Street in Honesdale. Image credit Nina Alizada via Shutterstock.

Honesdale, PA, nestled in the heart of the Poconos, welcomes all for a memorable escape. Trips to the Wayne County Historical Society Museum are where visitors can explore local history. To experience a unique adventure ride on the Stourbridge Line Train journeys along the scenic Lackawaxen River Valley. This slower-paced town is ideal for families who want a trip away to do some bonding. When it comes to lodging, there are options to check out The Overlook, accommodating up to 6 guests and starting at $305 per night. For a more budget-friendly stay, Wonder Honesdale offers rooms from $123 per night for up to 6 guests. A stroll through downtown is surrounded by 19th-century buildings housing shops, restaurants, and cafes, and you might even catch a glimpse of Dick Smith's boyhood home, the composer of "Winter Wonderland."


Stone bridge spans the Delaware River near Yardley, Pennsylvania.
A stone bridge spans the Delaware River near Yardley, Pennsylvania.

Yardley, with its rich history, is a town worth exploring. Walk in the footsteps of George Washington, who crossed the Delaware River here on Christmas Night in 1776. The town's charm is encapsulated in Macclesfield Park. Yardley's historic town center is a treasure trove of boutiques, taverns, and old-fashioned architecture, perfect for a day out with the fam. When it comes to accommodations, there are many choices. Consider the Historic Tiny Cottage, starting at $177 per night and accommodating three guests, is a great option for its home-feel atmosphere. Alternatively, the 3-bedroom River House is available for $195 per night and accommodates up to five people. If you're looking for a cozy stay, the Centrally Located Cottage is another contender at $150 per night for two guests.


Multi-level waterfalls flow gently over rocks adorned with Autumn leaves at Raymondskill Falls near Milford, PA
Multi-level waterfalls, Raymondskill Falls, near Milford, PA.

Discoverable are a range of activities to enjoy in Milford, PA, located in Pike County. Travelers can begin by exploring historical gems such as the Grey Towers National Historic Site and the Columns Museum, where the historical Lincoln Flag is housed. For some nature, check out the gorgeous Raymondskill Falls. Milford offers a variety of accommodations, including Forest Cottage (starting at $166 per night for 6 guests), and Poconos – Views – Streams (from $339 per night for 8 guests). 

Leisurely walks through the charming downtown are filled with shops and dining options like Bar Louis in the stylish Hotel Fauchère. There is also the annual Black Bear Film Festival and the Milford Music Festival to catch. For those seeking adventure, Kittatinny Canoes offers canoes and kayak rentals, as well as exciting activities like zip-lining and paintball! Perfect for some friendly competition with family. 


 The Wellsboro Diner: a landmark on Route 6
 The Wellsboro Diner: a landmark on Route 6. Image credit George Sheldon via Shutterstock.

If planning a trip to Wellsboro, it is encouraged to explore Leonard Harrison State Park, with a peaceful ride on the Pine Creek Rail Trail, and to catch a performance at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts. Explorer types will certainly want to embark on an adventure with Tioga Trail Rides. Pennsylvania harbors its very own Grand Canyon—the 62-mile-long and 1,000-foot-deep Pine Creek Gorge. Even if hiking is not a preferred activity, this town's visitors will be captivated by its beauty. Wellsboro, with its Victorian charm, serves as the gateway to this natural wonder, offering a glimpse into Pennsylvania's scenic treasures. A stay at Nature's Edge starts at $135 per night and accommodates up to six guests and Sunrise Ridge at $200 per night for up to eight guests.


Penn Square in the downtown area of the city.
Penn Square is in the downtown area of the city. Image credit George Sheldon via Shutterstock.

Lancaster, once the capital of the U.S. for one day, thrives on local farms, reflected in the delectable offerings at Lancaster Central Market, the oldest public market in the U.S. The Lancaster County Art Gallery Trail begins in this Dutch community hub, leading you through neighboring towns. The magic of Dutch Wonderland can be explored and relished by the historical charm of Lancaster Central Market, stepping into the past at the Amish Farm and House. For evening entertainment, the American Music Theatre or the intriguing history of President James Buchanan's Wheatland awaits. The Fulton Theatre adds to the cultural allure. For an overnight stay, visitors may opt for the Quiet Cottage and Cozy Cottage, each hosting four guests, with rates beginning at $171 and $191 per night.


Sign in National Wildlife Refuge in Stroudsburg, PA.
Sign in to National Wildlife Refuge in Stroudsburg, PA. Image credit Here Now via Shutterstock.

Stroudsburg, located in the heart of the picturesque Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, offers delightful wineries for adult family members, such as RAW Urban Winery & Hard Cidery and Tolino Vineyards. Nature enthusiasts can enjoy the Levee Loop Trail for hiking and biking alongside the scenic Brodhead Creek. For family-friendly visits, the Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm promises adventures with pumpkin carving and baking. For trips in August, tourists are in for a treat with StroudFest, a vibrant and free festival featuring shopping, live music, and delicious food. Plus, visits during the winter have access close to ski resorts like Shawnee Mountain Ski Area, ensuring enjoyment for all ages! There are options to stay at places like the Cozy Guest Cottage, starting at $99 per night for three guests, or the spacious BrickStone Lodge, which sleeps eight and begins at $96 per night.


 Interior of the Dining Room of Fonthill Castle
 Interior of the Dining Room of Fonthill Castle. Image credit via Shutterstock.

If groups yearn for a taste of European castle charm but cannot venture across the ocean, there is no need to look further than Doylestown, PA. Captivating the culture of Bucks County, this vibrant town offers a wealth of historic and cultural experiences, including a visit to Allentown's Fonthill Castle, an architectural marvel blending Gothic, Medieval, and Byzantine elements, that awaits exploration with daily tours. Art enthusiasts will revel in the Michener Art Museum, where Pennsylvania Impressionist masterpieces grace the walls, and the Mercer Museum, a fascinating repository of historical artifacts.

During the summer months, locals and tourists make a beeline for the blooming Peace Valley Lavender Farm. And when it's time to rest, families can rely on the Guest Cottage or 1949 Borough Bungalow, both offering a unique and comfortable stay.

Jim Thorpe

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway during autumn in Jim Thorpe
Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway during autumn in Jim Thorpe. Image credit PT Hamilton via Shutterstock.

Jim Thorpe, known as the "Switzerland of Pennsylvania," beckons with its historic downtown and the magnificent Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, offering enchanting journeys along the Lehigh River. A deeper dive into the region's coal mining history is available at the Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center, or stepping back in time to explore the opulence of the Asa Packer Mansion, a grand house museum dating back to 1861, is also possible. As for lodging, choices range from the inviting Historic Home housing up to six guests from just $175 per night to the spacious Bear Foot Lake House, perfect for groups of eight starting at $279 per night. Alternatively, tourists may opt for the charming Whimsical Home, suitable for four guests at a rate of $256 per night.


 Once known as "Buggy Town" the community of Mifflinburg includes a Buggy Museum.
 Once known as "Buggy Town" the community of Mifflinburg includes a Buggy Museum. Image credit George Sheldon via Shutterstock.

When visiting Mifflinburg, the adventure begins in the heart of the Susquehanna River Valley. This charming borough, steeped in history dating back to the 1700s, invites travelers to delve into its rich heritage and picturesque 19th-century architecture. The town comes alive with annual events such as the Christkindl Market and Oktoberfest, offering a taste of tradition and merriment. For outdoor enthusiasts, there is the chance to explore Raymond B. Winter State Park or fish in the serene Penns Creek. At night, overnight choices range from cozy accommodations, such as Creek Valley Cove (starting at $250 per night, sleeps 14), to the Log Cabin With Spa (starting at $171 per night, sleeps 6), or Scotty’s Cottage (starting at $119 per night, sleeps 2).

It is easy to see that the state of Pennsylvania has many charming small towns that are perfect for families to escape to. Whether your group is interested in history, outdoor adventures, arts, and culture, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, these towns have something unique to offer. From the Delaware River trails in New Hope to the architectural wonders in Doylestown and the natural beauty of Ridgway, travelers will find scenic landscapes and attractions to keep everyone entertained. The range of accommodations ensures visitors can find comfortable lodging, featuring budget-friendly cabins and cottages to luxury treehouses and inns. The small-town charm and hospitality of Pennsylvania welcomes all for an enjoyable experience, creating the perfect family getaway.

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