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21 of the Best Small Towns in Pennsylvania (and What to Do in Each)

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Pennsylvania has some amazing cities, but the state is more than its large metropolitan areas. In fact, there are many incredible small towns in Pennsylvania that are worth visiting.

Over the time I’ve been running this site, I’ve spent nearly an entire year traveling to every corner of Pennsylvania and have visited over 1,000 different spots in the state. All that is to say that I’ve visited some really special small towns in my travels.

To qualify for this list, I only looked at small towns in PA with a population under 10,000 (per the 2010 census, the last official numbers available at the time of publication). I’ve organized them below into places with under 1,000 residents, under 5,000 residents, and under 10,000 residents.

So, without further ado, here are my personal picks for the best small towns in Pennsylvania.

(Note: Yes, I’m aware that there is officially only one “town” in Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg (which is too large for this list). All of the places on this list are actually townships, boroughs, or cities.)

Under 1,000 Residents

Ohiopyle – Population: 59

Falls Market in Ohiopyle PA
Ohiopyle is a small community, but there are a ton of great spots to visit nearby.

We’ll start off with the smallest town on this list: Ohiopyle. Ohiopyle is located in Fayette County in southwestern PA and is home to only 59 residents. However, this community at the heart of the incredible Ohiopyle State Park has a lot to offer, including many great restaurants, activities, and white-water-rafting tour operators.

The 19,000-acre state park that surrounds the town of Ohiopyle features several beautiful waterfalls, including Ohiopyle Falls, which is right in town. There are also several great vistas and the fantastic Great Allegheny Passage rail trail.

Fall at Ohiopyle Falls in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania
There’s a lot of fun and beauty within steps of the town of Ohiopyle.

Just outside of town, you’ll find two Frank Lloyd Wright homes (Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob), Fort Necessity National Battlefield, and Laurel Caverns.

There are many great spots to stay nearby including Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and the Summit Inn. You can find more spots on VRBO and Booking.com.

Benezette – Population: 207

Elk at the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette, Pennsylvania
Benezette is the perfect place to see Pennsylvania’s famous elk herd.

Benezette is located in Elk County and is the best place in Pennsylvania to visit PA’s famous elk herd. In fact, the fabulous Elk Country Visitor Center is located just outside of town.

After visiting the visitor center, take the center’s driving tour, which takes you past several viewing areas where seeing elk is quite common, though not guaranteed since they are wild animals.

The beauty of Elk County, Pennsylvania
Beautiful scenery near Benezette, PA

In town, you can visit several small shops and restaurants, as well as a local winery.

Close to Benezette, you’ll find other great spots like the Marion Brooks Natural Area, Table Falls, and the popular Fred Woods Trail.

Nearby Wapiti Woods is a great spot to stay. You can also find other nearby places to spend the night on VRBO and Booking.com.

St Peters Village – Population: Under 1,000

The main road through St Peters Village, PA
The charming St. Peters Village in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

St. Peters Village is a former company town in Chester County, PA. To be honest, I couldn’t find a specific population for the village, but given that it’s only a small portion of a relatively small township, this seemed like the best place to include one of my favorite day trips from Philadelphia.

St. Peters Village features a small commercial area that is home to several restaurants (including a delicious bakery), several shops, an arcade, and a winery.

Hiking at St Peters Village
French Creek runs through St. Peters Village and is an amazing place to explore.

In town, there is also great hiking along a beautiful portion of French Creek. Sadly, there are no solid maps for his area, but there are many great loops and hikes that you can do here. You can also head to the nearby French Creek State Park and Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, both of which are nearby.

In town, you’ll find the Inn at St. Peters Village. There are also several nearby places to stay that you can find on VRBO.

Eagles Mere – Population: 120

Clock in Eagles Mere a Small Town in Pennsylvania
Eagles Mere is a quaint town nestled in the Endless Mountains.

Eagles Mere is a charming community in northeastern PA’s Sullivan County and one of my favorite small towns in Pennsylvania.

Eagles Mere is surrounded by Loyalsock State Forest and is only a short drive from the popular Worlds End State Park. This means that there are many great outdoor things to do here, including beautiful waterfalls like Dry Run Falls, Cottonwood Falls, and Rusty Falls.

Cottonwood Falls in Worlds End State Park
Cottonwood Falls is one of several waterfalls near Eagles Mere.

If you prefer museums and history, there are several great spots in and around town including the Eagles Mere Museum, the Eagles Mere Air Museum, the Eagles Mere Auto Museum, and the Sullivan County Historical Society.

In town, you’ll also find several quaint restaurants and shops. In the winter, a large toboggan run is set up on the community’s lake.

There are no hotels in Eagles Mere, but there are plenty of places you can rent on VRBO.

Under 5,000 Residents

Jim Thorpe – Population: 4,777

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania in Fall
Fall is a beautiful time to visit the quaint town of Jim Thorpe.

Jim Thorpe is located in Carbon County, PA, and has often been called the “Switzerland of America” due to its incredible setting surrounded by mountains.

Once known as Mauch Chunk, the town was renamed after early 20th-century athlete Jim Thorpe. Thorpe, who had no connection to the area, is still buried on the edge of town. Also just outside of town is the incredible Glen Onoko. While the main portion of the glen has been closed, there are still open trails to the uppermost waterfall and several great views.

Jim Thorpe from Flagstaff Mountain Overlook Park in PA
From Flagstaff Park Mountain Overlook, you can see the charming community of Jim Thorpe.

In town, there are some great shops in the heart of the downtown area and several tasty restaurants. The Old Jail Museum and the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway are also popular local spots to check out.

The Inn at Jim Thorpe is a historic hotel that’s a perfect choice for spending the night. There are also other nearby options on VRBO and Booking.com.

Wellsboro – Population: 3,263

The charming shops of downtown Wellsboro, PA.
The charming shops of downtown Wellsboro, PA.

Wellsboro is a charming small town in Pennsylvania’s Tioga County. This is often a popular jumping-off point for visits to the spectacular Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, but it’s a worthwhile spot to spend some time in on its own.

Wellsboro is home to one of the most quaint Main Streets in Pennsylvania. This strip features many great small stores, restaurants, and even a historic movie theater. Along the street, you can also find gas-powered street lamps, possibly the last such lamps in the state.

Viewing area Leonard Harrison State Park near Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon is located a short distance from downtown Wellsboro.

Just outside of town, you’ll find great attractions like the Pine Creek Rail Trail, the Tioga Central Railroad, Highland Chocolates, and a ton of great outdoor activities.

There are many great hotels in Wellsboro. There are also some unique spots to find on VRBO.

New Hope – Population: 2,531

Shopping is one of my favorite things to do in New Hope ,PA
New Hope is a fantastic place to do some shopping.

New Hope is a charming Delaware River town in Bucks County, PA.

The community is very well known as a destination for artists and not surprisingly features many incredible galleries, as well as other great shops that you can explore in the quaint downtown area. Scattered throughout the area are also many delicious local restaurants.

One highlight of the town is the Bucks County Playhouse, which is self-dubbed “America’s Most Famous Playhouse.” They have been putting on fantastic shows since the 1930s and many future stars have graced its stage including Dick Van Dike, Liza Minnelli, John Lithgow, and Alan Alda.

The waterfall and the Bucks County Playhouse from a bridge in New Hope.
The Bucks County Playhouse is a great place to see a show and maybe a future star.

There are also some great spots only a short distance outside of town including Washington Crossing Historic Site, Ringing Rocks County Park, and Delaware Canal State Park

If staying overnight, the Aaron Burr House is where Burr fled to after shooting Alexander Hamilton. There are also many other great options on VRBO and Booking.com.

Bedford – Population: 2,841

The exterior of the Fort Bedford Museum in Bedford County PA
Bedford was a frontier town and has recreated their French and Indian War-era fort as a museum.

Bedford, Pennsylvania is located in the state’s Alleghenies Region and provides nice small-town charms and nearby areas to get into the outdoors.

At one point in history, this was a frontier town, as noted by the presence of Fort Bedford, and this was even a stopping point by President George Washington during the Whiskey Rebellion. On the site of the town’s French and Indian War-era fort, you can visit the Fort Bedford Museum to learn more about the fascinating history of the area.

The Koontz Coffee Pot in Bedford Pennsylvania
The Koontz Coffee Pot sits just west of downtown Bedford.

In and around the town, you can also visit Olde Bedford Brewery (one of my favorite breweries in PA), several beautiful and historic covered bridges, and the little-known Coral Caverns. The Koontz Coffee Pot, one of PA’s strangest roadside oddities, is also worth taking a few minutes to see.

If staying overnight, the Bedford Springs Hotel is both historic and luxurious. There are also places you can book on VRBO and modern hotels on Booking.com.

Mifflinburg – Population: 3,530

Reasons to visit PA in December: Mifflinburg Christkindl Market
The Mifflinburg Christkindlmarkt is one of Pennsylvania’s most authentic Christmas markets.

Mifflinburg is located in Union County and is one of the most charming Pennsylvania small towns to visit any time of the year.

However, Mifflinburg is probably best known for its annual and very authentic German Christkindl Market that is held every December. This is a great chance to pick up holiday gifts, delicious treats, and to simply enjoy the beauty of Christmas in PA.

Outside of December, there are other great spots to visit in town including the incredible Rusty Rail Brewing Company, Hassenplug Covered Bridge (the oldest covered bridge in the state), and the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum.

For overnight stays, the accommodations at Rusty Rain Brewing are well-rated. There are also other places to stay nearby on VRBO.

Bryn Athyn – Population: 1,368

View from the tower of Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
Overlooking Bryn Athyn from the top of the Glencairn Museum.

Bryn Athyn is a charming suburb of Philadelphia located just to the north of the city.

Much of Bryn Athyn is centered around Bryn Athyn College and other buildings that are part of The New Church. Bryn Athyn Cathedral is one such building and looks like a cathedral plucked from a European city. Tours of the interior are well-worth taking to learn more about this incredible structure.

Interior of Bryn Athyn Cathedral in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
Inside the nave of Bryn Athyn Cathedral.

Just up the hill from the cathedral is the Glencairn Museum. This museum is located inside a castle and highlights religious art from around the world that dates back thousands of years. It’s easily one of the country’s best collections of religious art and paraphernalia.

Nearby, you can also go for a walk or bike ride on the Pennypack Trail or visit the Ryerss Museum

There are many nearby places to stay that you can find on VRBO and Booking.com.

Kittanning – Population: 4,021

Stores in downtown Kittanning, Pennsylvania
Downtown Kittanning, PA.

Kittanning is in Armstrong County in western Pennsylvania.

It is located along the banks of the Allegheny River, where you’ll find a beautiful riverfront park. This is also a popular area for kayaking along the river.

In town, there is a historic downtown area along Market Street that features several small shops and restaurants. The view of the Armstrong County Courthouse at the end of the road is especially impressive.

Allegheny River in Kittanning, Pennsylvania
Kittanning sits along a beautiful stretch of the Allegheny River.

At the Armstrong County Historical Society Museum, you can learn about the history of the area. In particular, the display on journalist Nellie Bly, a native of the county, is especially interesting.

Other great spots to visit nearby include Check’s Radio Museum, the Saxonburg Museum, and Yellow Dog Village.

If you are looking for somewhere to stay, there are some nice options on VRBO and Booking.com.

Under 10,000 Residents

Doylestown – Population: 8,377

Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania
The Mercer Museum appears like a giant European castle on the outskirts of Doylestown, PA.

Doylestown is located in Bucks County a short distance north of Philadelphia. It is also only a few miles from New Hope, another of the great small towns in Pennsylvania that I’ve already mentioned.

If you love art and history, Doylestown’s Mercer Mile is a great area to visit. Here, you’ll find three unique buildings built by artist Henry Chapman Mercer in the early 20th century. Tour his castle-like home, Fonthill, and his Spanish monastery-inspired workshop, The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, before heading to his castle-like museum, the Mercer Museum.

Fonthill in Doylestown as seen on a day trip from Philadelphia
Doylestown is home to several incredible European-style buildings that you can tour.

Also in town, there is fantastic shopping and dining in the downtown area, great local art at the Michener Museum, and a neat Civil War museum.

Stay the night in the Highland Farm Bed and Breakfast, once the home of playwright Oscar Hammerstein, or check out other great spots to stay on Booking.com and VRBO.

Gettysburg – Population: 7,597

Downtown Gettysburg PA at sunset
There’s a lot to do in Gettysburg, PA.

There are few small towns in Pennsylvania that are more well know than Gettysburg. Site of one of the most important battles of the Civil War, there is a lot to do in this south-central PA community.

No visit is complete without touring the Gettysburg Battlefield. There are also many great museums that highlight the events here including the Gettysburg Museum of the Civil War, the Seminary Ridge Museum, and the Gettysburg Heritage Center.

Catching sunset from the top of Little Roundtop in Gettysburg Pennsylvania
Sunset from the top of Little Roundtop on the Gettysburg Battlefield.

If you want to explore Gettysburg beyond the battlefield, there are several beautiful covered bridges nearby, the state’s largest apple-picking region, and delicious food tours.

The Federal Pointe Inn is a historic and beautiful place to stay. There are, of course, also many great spots to spend the night on VRBO and Booking.com.

Punxsutawney – Population: 5,950

Visiting Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania for Groundhog Day
Punxsutawney is best known for Groundhog Day but is a great small town throughout the year.

If you know one thing about Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, it’s likely their famous Groundhog Day celebration held every February. However, there are reasons to visit this neat small town during the other 364 days of the year.

Because of Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney is known as the “Weather Capital of the World” and is home to the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center and its Weather Hall of Fame. You can also visit the home of Punxsutawney Phil outside of the borough’s library.

Phil's Burrow in Punxsutawney, PA
Check out Phil’s Burrow at the town’s library and you might even get to see his wife, Phyllis.

Nearby, visit Scripture Rocks ParkBWP Bats, and McGee’s Mill Covered Bridge.

While it can be hard to get a place to stay around Groundhog Day, there are some great places to stay that you can easily find on VRBO and Booking.com throughout the remainder of the year.

Bellefonte – Population: 6,190

Historic buildings in Bellefonte Pennsylvania
The charming and historic downtown Bellefonte.

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania is located smack dab in the middle of PA, and I mean that quite literally as the geographic center of the state is just outside of town.

This charming community features a quaint downtown with many spots to eat. The beautiful Talleyrand Park along Spring Creek is a great spot to relax and enjoy this historic town. A short distance upstream, you’ll find the converted Match Factory complex that features, among other spots, Big Spring Spirits and the American Philatelic Society.

Match Factory in Bellefonte PA
Looking across Talleyrand Park towards the Match Factory.

A bit outside of town, you’ll find several great breweries, Curtin Village at Eagle Ironworks, and Penn’s Cave.

There are many great spots to stay nearby on VRBO and Booking.com, but note that you might have trouble getting a room on weekends that Penn State Football is playing in nearby State College.

Bradford – Population: 8,778

Downtown Bradford Pennsylvania
The beautiful downtown area of Bradford, PA.

Located in northern Pennsylvania, Bradford was once one of the state’s richest and most influential places when it was the center of the worldwide oil industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Today, it’s a charming town that features a neat downtown area and several fun things to do including the Zippo/Case Museum and the Penn-Brad Oil Museum.

Covered Bridge on the Marilla Bridges Trail
The Marilla Bridges Trail is a beautiful spot just outside of Bradford, Pennsylvania.

Just outside of town, there are several other great spots including Kinzua Bridge State Park, the Marilla Bridges Trail, and Rock City Park.

For those staying overnight, there are several nicely-appointed hotels in Bradford that you can book on Booking.com as well as options on VRBO.

Lititz – Population: 9,164

Olio Olive Oil & Balsamics in Lititz, PA
There are many great shops and restaurants in downtown Lititz.

Lititz is a popular small town to visit in northern Lancaster County and is considered by some to be the best small town in Pennsylvania.

The main draw here is the downtown area, which features some great shops and dining options in the heart of town. Nearby, you can also stop to visit the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, which was the first place in the world to sell hard pretzels. Lititz Springs Park is also a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.

Julius Sturgis pretzel twisting
The Julius Sturgis’ Bakery was the first place to commercial-produce hard pretzels in the world.

Near Lititz, you can visit the county’s popular Amish Country, see some historic covered bridges, and visit the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania.

Hotel Rock Lititz sits just north of town and not only offers nice accommodations but also offers the chance to catch a glimpse of one of the many musical icons that come to the city to practice their concerts at Rock Lititz. Of course, there are also many other spots to stay on VRBO and Booking.com.

DuBois – Population: 7,794

Downtown DuBois Pennsylvania
There are some great shops, galleries, and restaurants in downtown DuBois.

DuBois is located in Clearfield County and has a lot of neat spots to offer both in town and nearby.

One of the major draws to the city is Doolittle Station. Located just outside of the city limits, this site features a ton of different attractions including animatronic dinosaurs, a caboose motel, a brewery, fine dining, and more.

In the downtown area, DuBois has some delicious restaurants and nice shops. Personal favorite stops of mine include Winkler Gallery and Hockman Candy.

Mini golf course at Doolittle Station in DuBois, PA
There are a lot of unique things to do at Doolittle Station.

Near DuBois, great spots to visit include Bilger’s Rock, Starr Hill Winery, and Parker Dam State Park.

In addition to the caboose bed and breakfast at Doolittle Station, there are great spots to stay that you can find on VRBO and Booking.com.

Titusville – Population: 5,592

Tarbell home in Titusville, Pennsylvania.
The Tarbell House is a historic home in Titusville, PA.

Titusville, PA might be a small town today, but in the mid-1800s, it sparked one of the largest and most impactful industries in the world: the oil industry. Today, visitors can still see evidence of the money generated by this world-changing industry in the beauty of downtown Titusville.

The Drake Well Museum sits just south of town and allows visitors to see the world’s first oil well and tour a museum dedicated to the oil industry. The museum’s property is directly adjacent to the fantastic Oil Creek State Park, which is a great spot to go hiking and bike riding.

Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad
Riding the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad through Oil Creek State Park.

Another great activity in Titusville is riding the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad through the forested hillsides south of town. This allows you to see both the beauty of the area and to learn more about the amazing history that happened in this corner of northwestern PA.

In addition to these activities, downtown Titusville features some great shops and restaurants, as well as some incredibly maintained historic homes from the town’s heyday, making it the perfect place for a self-directed walking tour.

If you are looking to spend the night, the Caboose Motel offers fun accommodations. There are also places to stay on VRBO.

Stroudsburg – Population: 5,576

Shops in downtown Stroudsburg in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Stroudsburg is a charming town in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Stroudsburg is located in the Poconos Mountains on the southern end of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

The borough features a charming downtown area that has some delicious restaurants and unique local shops. Those wanting to learn more about the area can visit the Stroud Mansion.

Bushkill Falls in the Poconos
There are many beautiful waterfalls near Stroudsburg, including Bushkill Falls.

The main draw to the area, however, is the many great recreational opportunities just to the north in the Delaware Water Gap. Here, you’ll find dozens of great waterfalls, including the popular Bushkill Falls and the tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania. The area is also known for its many ski resorts.

The Poconos were once a popular honeymoon destination, so there are many unique spots near Stroudsburg that can be booked on Booking.com and VRBO.

Warren – Population: 9,710

Visiting downtown Warren, Pennsylvania
The beautiful downtown of Warren, Pennsylvania.

Warren is located in northwestern PA and is largely surrounded by the Allegheny National Forest, as well as Allegany State Park in New York.

This is another community that once thrived during PA’s industrial heyday and has an incredible downtown area that still showcases this past. In Warren’s downtown, you’ll find some great shops and restaurants to enjoy during your visit.

View from Rimrock Overlook in Warren, PA.
The view from Rimrock Overlook is very beautiful.

Outside of the city, the Allegheny Reservoir and Allegheny National Forest are incredibly popular attractions. Great spots to check out include the museum at the Kinzua Dam, Bent Run Falls, and Rimrock Overlook. There is also great mountain biking at Jake’s Rocks.

Near the city, there are several great VRBOs and hotels on Booking.com to pick from.

Do you have a favorite small town in Pennsylvania that is or isn’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for more places to explore in Pennsylvania? Check out our PA Bucket List, the 7 Natural Wonders of Pennsylvania, and our favorite PA state parks for history lovers.

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Map of things to do in Pennsylvania"

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44 thoughts on “21 of the Best Small Towns in Pennsylvania (and What to Do in Each)”

  1. I grew up in Kane, PA. A small, quaint town with fresh air & a lot of outdoor activities in the northwestern part of the state. It’s the top of the Allegheny National Forest and is absolutely beautiful. Seriously fresh air and clean water. A gem!

  2. This was great! I now have lived in California for 40 years but grew up in Warren, PA. I have also visited several of these towns on your list. Thank you for the trip down memory lane! All the best – Be well.

  3. Thanks for this trip down Memory Lane. I grew up in Tioga County, went to college in western PA, taught in Williamsport, and traveled much of the state through the years. After grad school in NJ, I have lived in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and thoroughly love the Midwest but my heart still goes back to PA. I have been in many of these towns.

    • I have been to forksville and w Warren and a few of the others Smethport pa and I live in Bradford pa and lived near Kane and also mt Jewett pa

  4. Yatesboro 10 miles from Kittanning small old coal mining town 2 NFL players came from Bob Pelligrini played about 10 yrs all American Maryland 1954 Doug Buffone line backerfor the Bears played 13 years MLB player Steve Souchuck played Yankees Mike GOLIYAT PLAED
    PHILLIES All 4 came from same hill in Yatesboro I was raised in NUMINE FEW miles up the road

  5. I was happy to see Bedford, PA was included, and your mention of Washington’s troops passing there to quell the Whiskey Rebellion. Deeter’s Gap is just west of Bedford and the troops marched through the Gap. Deeter’s Gap was part of my ancestor’s holdings and history, dating back to just after the Revolutionary War. There is a meadow there that I understand the troops camped at. A bit further west is Berlin, PA, another quaint small town. The troops had some activity in Berlin and arrested a man named Philson for his leadership in resistance to the whiskey tax.

    • i agree!!! the fort,town square, area surrounding it,the history!!! our family had a cottage on rte 30,that goes thru town,with rte.711 crossing thru in other side of square.was between town & ligonier beach complex. camp nicely was where our cottage was,mostly steelworking familes . behind us was the crick ,where on that side ROONEY FAMILY[steelers] had their SUMMER HOME. spent lot of time with their kids. memories.

  6. You forgot Berwick and the Christmas Boulevard that runs a mile along Market Street every year for the last 74 (Yes, 74 years!).

  7. Thank you for including DuBois, but as there is only Winkler’s Gallery that put our beloved city on the visitor’s list, you could have mentioned the historic Rumbarger Cemetery, The American Legion tribute to veterans, the John DuBois Memorial, Penn State DuBois Campus, Shower’s field, and the biggie, Treasure Lake with all the outdoor amenities for outdoors lovers including two golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer…

  8. Love this I grew up a short distance from DuBois a small town named Sykesville and it is know for being called Pancake town as they serve Pancakes during deer hunting season
    and loved reading the article on DuBois as that is where I graduated from and my mothers family was from my Uncle Russ Love was chief of police many many years ago
    Nancy Zimmerman Hamilton

  9. Strasburg, PA is the most historically kept town in Lancaster County. This charming town offers the Strasburg Rail Road, Sight and Sound Theatre, Scooter Rides of Strasburg, Ghost Tours and many other fun family events. You feel like your stepping back in time. With a few shops, mainly antique shops and quaint farm to table restaurants and coffee shops there is something for everyone. They also offer multiple campgrounds as well as wonderful B&b’s. Too much to list. Lancaster County is known for their fresh foods with farmers markets and wonderful down town artisan community. Come and enjoy!

  10. All these towns have fabulous commercial districts -Lewisburg – home of Bucknell University. Off rt 15 south of I 80; lewisburg hotel is gistoric
    Sunbury – inflatable dam turnd the susquehanna river into a lake in the summertime
    Danville – home of geisinger medical center. Pine barn inn is quaint
    Bloomsburg – Bloomsburg University oldest cty fair in the country
    Pottsville – home of yuengling oldest brewery in us. Disputed 1925 nfl champs the pottsville maroons

  11. Bedford also has the National Coverlet Museum. Learn about weaving on the first computer, the Jaquard loom, and see historical textiles and tools.

  12. Franklin, PA. All of the well-to-do Pittsburghers and oil magnets had their summer homes in Franklin. The courthouse is stunning and Elm Street has some of the most beautiful homes. Sitting in a valley, there isn’t a more beautiful place in the fall. Franklin is also home to The Dibeience Music Museum and the beautiful Barrow-Civic Theater

  13. Jim Thorpe is not just located in Carbon County, it’s the county seat!

    Listed on the US National Register of Historic Places, the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway was America’s first permanent railroad over 5 miles in length. The rail ran from 1827 until the middle of the Great Depression. The right-of-way is now the Lehigh Switchback Railroad Trail. Originally a brakeman controlled the gravity rail 9 miles down a 936 foot drop and draft animals pulled the cars back to the top. The hike (at least the downhill) is on my bucket list.

    A number of the Molly Maguires conspirators were held at the county jail, which is now a museum. The handprint that Alexander Campbell left to proclaim his innocence is still visible despite efforts to cover it up. Portions of the 1970 movie, The Molly Maguires” were filmed in Jim Thorpe.

    A National Historic Landmark, the Asa Packer Mansion is an excellent tour. I saw it in 1970, and if I recall correctly, Mauch Chunk was known as the city of millionaires and Asa Packer, railroad magnate and founder of Lehigh University, was among the richest men in the US.

  14. You listed Mifflinburg as one of the 21 best. Perhaps you better take another look at Lewisburg and compare the two again.

      • Thank you. I think you did a wonderful job. I lived in Bradford, DuBois, And Curwensville and Bloomington which were not mentioned. I still have a lot of relatives in Bloomington but it is tiny I know. That was nice to read all about places to visit. Right now it is difficult but it leaves a lot of places to look at for the future. I visited Gettysburg 7 times and would love to go back. Yes, wonderful place to go for the reenactments also. We did go a few times. My heart is still in PA though I live in NY state.

  15. Loved this tour. I was familiar with only eleven. My dad’s family was from DuBois. We often visited Allegheny National Forest from Erie. We also visited the oil well in Titusville. I’m sorry that I didn’t visit Wellsboro on my two trips to The PA Grand Canyon. I’ve been to Bushkill falls and Bradford. Of course, Gettysburg and Punxsutawny are familiar. Doylestown was only familiar from your post about the castle.

  16. Although I have not lived in Pa. since 1954 I still consider it my home. I was born in Lemont Furnace Pa, just outside Uniontown, in Fayette County. Still visit there often. The cross on Jumonsville Mountain is a beautiful place to visit.

  17. Marietta, population around 2,500, sits along the Susquehanna River and a large part of town is on the National Register of Historic Places. This is partly because the streetscapes have remained intact since the 19th century when it had a bustling lumber and iron industry and elegant iron masters’ homes dotted the landscape. Today, a wonderful, paved, 13.5 mile bike trail runs between the town and the scenic river offering a variety of views of the water, woods and surrounding fields. It has triggered a surge of investment in businesses and historic houses. The charming downtown area and Front Street have popular bars and restaurants, an amazing variety of historic buildings, a smattering of interesting businesses, (like a world-class recumbent bike shop), an art gallery, and a very hip courtyard cafe. On the edge of town is the Musselman/Vesta Furnace building, an award winning museum that tells the story of the iron business in the area. Just beyond is Chiques Rock, a dramatic outcropping known nationally by rock-climbers and also by geologists impressed with the story this formation tells. And all this is near Lancaster and Columbia, two other places with a remarkable inventory of historic buildings and interesting businesses and restaurants.

  18. Oh, my goodness! I think every town in PA is special and in some way should be on this list! But, I’m partial to Beaver, the county seat of Beaver County. Would you make your next list the best town in every PA county? Thank you for my trip down memory lane and I look forward to reading more! Blessings, B

  19. You forgot Washington Crossing, PA. Where Washington and his rag-tag army crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Night in 1776. and turned the tide of the Revolutionary War.

  20. Wow! What a great article this was!
    My husband and I are turning 40 & have lived in NY/NJ our whole lives. We’re looking to move to a quiet PA neighborhood, & checking Real Estate apps don’t tell you anything about the area. This was really helpful & fun because you took the time to add the links to every place you referenced! I enjoyed the little History lesson & the mini virtual adventure!
    I signed up for your newsletter & I can’t wait to see what you write about next! Very cool keep it up!

      • Can’t find where to comment, just places to reply. Just wanted to add that I have learned much from every town I have visited by going to the Historical Society of the town/area. Some are only open certain days/hours, but worth a visit. Love PA!

      • I always love visiting local historical society museums. Even if you aren’t from the area, they really help you learn more about PA and always have at least a handful of unique and interesting pieces.

  21. Wonderful article ! Lived in Minersville, Pa..Not one of the prettiest little towns but a great place to grow up in the forties.always enjoy going back to Pa.

  22. I am impressed with the obvious pride in Pennsylvania shown by those leaving notes about their hometowns. Community is what makes these towns great and the community spirit is on display.

  23. I was born and raised in a small WV town (Benwood) but my mom was born and raised in a tiny town in PA called Grassflat in Clearfield Co. I spent many summers there and the family still has property there. Loved being out in the summer,spring, fall and winter.


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