We’ve selected five towns with great shopping districts across Pennsylvania, highlighting communities that deserve a visit.
Taking a day or weekend trip to a Pennsylvania town usually means a visit packed with local culture and great food. It can also mean fantastic shopping opportunities, as many towns in the commonwealth boast shopping districts filled with local specialty stores or cool boutiques. We’ve selected five such towns in different regions across the state, highlighting the town business districts that deserve a visit.
Once you’re done shopping, you can explore the rest of the town, seeking out museums or other fun cultural experiences. And of course, the end of one excursion creates the opportunity for another, as long as you exit through the gift shop.
Adamstown is an ideal shopping destination if you’re in search of nostalgia; many people call it the Antiques Capital of the U.S., and for good reason. The town and its surrounding area are home to dozens of antique malls and storefronts, flea markets, and antique dealers. Some markets are outdoors, meaning they are only set up in the warmer months, while other markets may only be open on certain days of the week. But in all likelihood, on any given day in Adamstown, you’ll have more than a thousand antique vendors from which to browse home décor, collectibles, toys, clothing, and more.
Adamstown is located in Lancaster County, just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike between the city of Lancaster and Reading. Besides antiquing, Adamstown’s Lancaster location means that you’ll have access to the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside and all that the county offers.
The town square in Ligonier, a charming town in the Laurel Highlands that’s just an hour from Pittsburgh, is affectionately called “the Diamond” by locals. The center of the Diamond features a bandstand, a promise of summer weekends with live music, and dozens of small shops that showcase local Ligonier—and international Ligonier!—surround the Diamond.
Celtic Culture is a local boutique which specializes in goods from Ireland and the British Isles, including jewelry, clothing, and even some snacks you can’t often find in the U.S. There’s Second Chapter Books for the literary-minded, which sells both new and used books. And you’ll find more than 60 other stores to meander through on a trip to Ligonier. When it’s warmer, you have even more variety, since the town regularly hosts the outdoor Ligonier Country Market which includes more than 130 vendors selling food, arts and crafts, gifts, and more.
New Hope has its own shopping district that attracts both locals and visitors, but it’s also minutes from Peddler’s Village, a shopping destination in and of itself! Peddler’s Village, with its quaint brick paths, is home to more than 65 specialty stores selling all sorts of items and gifts: jewelry, fashionable clothing, cooking tools, clocks, toys, new age items, art, wine, pajamas, books, magic-themed gifts…and more! Besides the shopping experience, Peddler’s Village regularly hosts events, especially those related to the seasons. For instance, the holiday season welcomes Santa as well as a bevy of twinkling light displays.
In New Hope proper, the downtown area is home to unique stores and boutiques for the shopper looking for a more classic downtown shopping experience, whether that’s seeking designer clothes at Savioni Designer Boutique or buying homemade gifts at UpMade.
Known for being the home of Penn State University, it shouldn’t be any surprise that this college town also has some cool and eclectic shops to satisfy all those visitors coming in to see the Nittany Lions play. While you’ll find local stores like Ethereal (a boutique selling home goods and women’s clothing) and Webster’s Bookstore Café (both a bookshop and café) in the business district off campus, there are also national chains like Urban Outfitters and even a Target. And if you’re in State College for a PSU game, you may want to pick up some gear to show your loyalty by stopping at a shop downtown like The Family Clothesline.
Just outside downtown State College, you’ll also find plenty of vendors selling vintage and antique goods at Apple Hill Antiques.
Honesdale is a small town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, less than an hour from Scranton. Surrounded by the Pocono Mountains, Honesdale is a perfect launching point for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking. But Honesdale is also ideal for shopping distinctive local stores, as numerous shops line Honesdale’s attractive Main Street. While you may struggle to find a slew of big box options in tiny Honesdale, you won’t want for local gift options.
Gather is a boutique specializing in women’s clothing. We really like their selection of Honesdale-specific goods, especially the shirt that reads “Anything Goes in the Poconos.” Maude & Main sells homewares and gifts—some made locally, some from around the world.
Honesdale is known as “The Birthplace of the American Railroad” because the first steam locomotive used commercially in the U.S.—the Stourbridge Lion—took its first journey in the town. You can book a scenic train trip through the Poconos on the Stourbridge Line, riding on a railroad with roots in 1829.