It’s National Pennsylvania Day, the perfect time to highlight some of the things that make the commonwealth such a great place to call home.
Pennsylvania is hardly perfect. The minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009.
Recreational marijuana remains a pipe dream here despite neighboring states legalizing it. Doug Mastriano is still serving in the state legislature. And don’t get us started on the potholes and incessant road construction.
That said, Pennsylvania is still undeniably a great state, rich with culture and history, countless natural wonders, amazing food, buzzing big cities and unique smaller towns, great things to do, and so much more.
Seeing as today is National Pennsylvania Day (it’s not an officially recognized holiday, mind you, more of a marketing thing… but we’re still playing along) let’s take a few moments to recognize some of the places, people, foods, and more that make Pennsylvania such a great place to call home. After all, there wouldn’t even be a union without us.
In no particular order…
Pennsylvania Is Home to Great Cities, Big and Small
Some of the best small and large cities in America are in Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia is the cradle of liberty, and it has great food, awesome arts, America’s oldest zoo, and Reading Terminal Market.
Pittsburgh has great museums, a fantastic zoo, and good food, as well. Don’t miss a ride on the Duquesne Incline.
Jim Thorpe is a quaint little hamlet that features shopping and entertainment. Millions of people visit Gettysburg for the history every year only to fall in love with the downtown area and surrounding community. Wellsboro is a popular holiday destination, but features fun events year-round. Of course, there’s Lancaster and Bethlehem, too.
We Have So Much Good Beer
Pennsylvania’s 531 craft breweries (the second-most of any state) produced more than 3 million gallons of beer last year, according to the Brewers Association.
D.G. Yuengling & Sons in Pottsville is the oldest craft brewery in the US and the largest by sales volume.
We Make Tons of Potato Chips
Move a bit north into central Pennsylvania and you have Middleswarth and Hartley’s. Northeastern Pennsylvania lays claim to Wise. Let’s not forget Dieffenbach’s in Berks County and Good’s in Adamstown
No state has more potato chip companies. Those businesses produce more than $50 million annually in chip sales.
We Also Make (Almost) All of the Pretzels in the US
This state makes a lot of things, but nothing as well as the pretzel, whether you like it crunchy or soft.
You can get so many different types of great pretzels in Pennsylvania.
That’s because we make 80% of the nation’s pretzels.
“The Office” Is Set Here
This comedic cultural phenomenon is set not in New York or Los Angeles, but Scranton. The Electric City.
As Michael Scott once said, “Ain’t no party like a Scranton party ‘cuz a Scranton party don’t stop.”
We Have Beautiful State Parks
Pennsylvania’s greatest treasure might be its beauty. The Keystone State has 124 state parks that display those natural wonders.
From Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon in Colton Point State Park and the magnificent waterfalls at Ricketts Glen State Park, to the shores of Presque Isle State Park, the views are spectacular.
The parks also offer plenty of activities. You can camp, hike, and bike at many parks. There’s hunting and fishing, too. Some offer lakes or pools you can swim in. Others offer amenities like paddle boats, disc golf, and even a riverboat ride.
Our State Is Rich With History
Pennsylvania turned the colonies into states in 1776, then it formed the United States in 1787, it stopped the Confederacy in 1863. It helped save the country again in 2020.
You don’t have to travel far in Pennsylvania to encounter an interesting historical marker. So many fascinating people and important events have occurred here.
Hang out in Old City Philadelphia and you’ll wander the same streets our founders walked as they argued over declaring independence in 1776, or building a new central government 11 years later.
You can also find important locations in the battle for workers’ rights, spots along the Underground Railroad, and locations from the civil rights movement as well.
We Have Great Colleges and Universities
Whether you want an Ivy League diploma, experience in a small liberal arts college, or a degree from a respected public university, Pennsylvania has opportunities for you.
The University of Pennsylvania, Pitt, Temple, and Penn State might be the marquee names, but the state also has prestigious liberal arts institutions like Carnegie Mellon, Bucknell, and Lehigh, as well as powerhouse public schools like Shippensburg and Bloomsburg. We also have religious schools like Villanova, the University of Scranton, and Messiah.
Pennsylvania actually has the fourth highest number of colleges and universities in the country.
The Biggest Pop Star in the World Is From Here
Taylor Swift is from Berks County. NBD.
It’s not just that Swift is the musical voice of her generation. Her “Eras” tour is bolstering local economies everywhere she plays.