Pennsylvania Visitors Guide, (800) 847-4872, www.experiencepa.com.
Pennsylvania Wine Association, 411 Walnut St., Harrisburg, (877) 472-9463, www.pennsylvaniawine.com.
Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau, 501 Greenfield Road, Lancaster, (800) 723-8824, www.padutchcountry.com.
Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau, 1004 Main St., Stroudsburg, (800) 762-6667, www.800poconos.com.
Amish Country Homestead Plain and Fancy Farm, 3121 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, (717) 768-8400, www.amishexperience.com. Curiosity attracts many to this Amish paradise near Lancaster. Experience the charms of a simpler life while you stay in a house with running water and toilets and gorge yourself on homemade breads, apple butter, egg noodles, and signature shoo-fly pie.
Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., Pittsburgh, (412) 237-8300, www.warhol.org, $4-$8. One of four Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh, the Andy Warhol Museum hosts 900 of Warhol's paintings, hundreds of drawings, film clips, and archived material roughly laid out in decades to reflect Warhol's growth as an artist. Fixed installations and continually changing exhibitions from related artists represent Warhol's artistic legacy. Campbell's soup cans and so much more.
Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-2700, www.brandywinemuseum.org, $3-$6. The 19th century grist mill houses American illustrations, still life and landscape paintings, and three generations of works by local painters the Wyeths,
Clyde Peeling's Reptiland, 18628 U.S. Route 15, Allenwood, (570) 538-1869, www.reptiland.com, $7-$9.Crikey! This AZA-certified zoo is crawling with crocodiles, alligators, lizards, and frogs. Take the kids to one of four daily shows for a close encounter of the reptilian kind. Steve Irwin, eat your heart out.
Crayola Factory at Two Rivers Landing, 30 Centre Square, Easton, (610) 515-8000, $7-$9, www.crayola.com/factory. See how those famous crayons and markers are made and let the little ones run wild with the interactive exhibits, such as a giant sidewalk (for those who can't seem to find any concrete in Baltimore City).
Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, 2249 Route 30 East, Lancaster, (717) 291-1888, www.dutchwonderland.com., $18.95-$39.95. Another prime spot for a family daytrip, Dutch Wonderland is a smaller-scale, less commercial megapark, containing charming attractions such as a castle, wooden roller coaster, stern-wheel riverboat, and botanical garden.
Elfreth's Alley, Philadelphia, (215) 574-0560, www.elfrethsalley.org. If you've ever complained about how old your rowhouse is, you should check out the real deal for a reality check. Elfreth's Alley, the oldest continuously inhabited street in the United States, was established in 1702, before even the formation of the United States. During the June Fete Days, residents open their doors to the public and there is live entertainment.
Fallingwater, Mill Run, (724) 329-8501, $6-$15, www.wpconline.org/fallingwater.htm. Admire one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most acclaimed architectural feats: a house perched atop a waterfall. Constructed from natural materials, the edifice appears to grow out of the boulders. Bring a picnic to enjoy the beauty of Laurel Highlands, rife with mountain peaks, lush valleys, rushing waterfalls, and rich forests. Reservations suggested.
Farm Vacations, (888) 856-6622, www.pafarmstay.com. Awake to the crow of the rooster instead of the blare of car horns and police sirens. A variety of trips include horseback riding in the Appalachian Mountains, tending animals down on the farm, and watching the wild bison and elk roam free.
Franklin Institute Science Center Museum, 222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia, (215) 448-1200, www.fi.edu, $8-$19.75. The Franklin Museum pioneered the development of hands-on science exhibits in the '30s. Today it includes an IMAX, planetarium, and science demonstrations such as a walk-through human heart and an indoor physics playground.
Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, (717) 334-1124, www.nps.gov/gett. Walk around Little Round Top and see the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, where 51,000 soldiers were killed within 2 days of fighting 140 years ago. Because you haven't gotten your fill of death and carnage on CNN, right?
Hershey Park, Hershey, (800) 437-7439, www.hersheypa.com, $15.95-$35.95. Visit the chocolate town as it celebrates its Centennial. Take the Hershey's chocolate factory tour, visit Zoo America, check out the dolphin and sea lion show, or aim to hit all nine roller coasters.
Houdini Museum, 1433 N. Main Ave., Scranton, (570) 342-5555, www.houdini.org. So Houdini was born in Budapest, not Scranton. But he performed his magic act here, so the folks have put up a museum to honor his memory. The two-hour tour culminates in a magic show featuring two of the museum's founders, Dorothy Dietrich and John Bravo (live animals included).
Johnstown Inclined Plane, 711 Edgehill Drive, Johnstown, (814) 536-1816, www.inclinedplane.com, $2.50-$6. Because you can't die without seeing the world's steepest vehicular inclined plane. History buffs will appreciate that the incline, created in 1841, provided transportation up Yoder Hill and carried people to safety in times of flood.
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 260 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, (215) 790-5800, www.kimmelcenter.org. The monumental structure dwarfs the Meyerhoff, but hosts the same sort of night-time fare: Broadway plays, symphonies, ballets and operas.
Knoebels Amusement Park, Elysburg, (570) 672-2572, www.knoebels.com, $16.25-$28.50. You've got your standard amusement park stuff-roller coasters, flume rides, etc. But Knoebels is in the Susquehanna Valley, so you can also hear big band music, country performed in the park's Saloon, and partake of buckwheat cakes for breakfast.
Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, (610) 388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org, $2-$14. Calling all green thumbs. If you're looking for ideas on how to spruce up your garden, check out industrial giant Pierre du Pont's collection, which boasts 1,050 acres of 11,000 types of plants. The Festival of Fountains until Aug 30 features illuminated fountain displays accompanied by music and fireworks.
Mattress Factory Museum, 500 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh, (412) 231-3169, www.mattress.org, $5-$8, children free. The contemporary art museum displays room-sized environments created by select international in-house residence artists. No, you can't sleep there, so make other arrangements.
Penn's Cave, Centre Hall, (814) 364-1664, www.pennscave.com. Motorboats take visitors through the country's only all-water cavern tour. The one-mile tour coasts through the glittering limestone caverns--watch rainbow trout cavort underneath--and for a ride on Lake Nitanee.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, (215) 763-8100, www.philamuseum.org. Home to a Japanese ceremonial teahouse, a Chinese palace hall, a 13th century French cloister, medieval sculptures, Renaissance paintings, and a whole bunch of contemporary works in other media as well.
Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine, 19th and Oak streets, Ashland, (570) 875-3850. Follow your experienced miner guide 1800 feet into a real horizontal drift mine that follows an anthracite vein 200 feet thick in some places. Get some insight into the dirty, dangerous business of coal mining. For a darker historical account, we suggest renting John Sayles' Matewan.
Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat, Harrisburg, (717) 234-6500, www.harrisburgriverboat.com, $2.50-$4.95. Take this authentic paddlewheel boat to City Island, where you can watch a minor league baseball game, hit the green, and let the kids cavort around the nautical themed playground. In case you had any educational intentions, the State Museum exhibits Susquehannock Indian artifacts.
Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, (215) 752-7070, www.sesameplace.com, $33.25-$36.95. Big Bird and the gang can be found at dance concerts, musical revues, and an alphabet parade throughout this children's dream park. The park emphasizes physical activity, so let your kids run around in one or more of the 50 play areas and then kick back that night as they sleep like the dead.
Strasburg Railroad, Strasburg, (717) 687-7522, www.strasburgrailroad.com. A trip to Pennsylvania would be remiss without visiting a railroad, given the state's history--it had the first coal-burning locomotive in the United States in 1832. Ride the pump car with an attendant--you provide the power--or enjoy the scenery from the comfort of your wooden passenger car as you pass by 11 Amish and Mennonite farms.
Valley Forge National Historic Park, Valley Forge, (610) 783-1077, www.valleyforge.org. Along with purchasing and displaying more flags on your car bumper, windows, and front lawn, it is your patriotic duty as an American in this time to visit the place where George Washington forged his frontier volunteers into an effective military force after their defeat at Brandywine.
Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania, Elm, (570) 626-4617, www.paonline.com/wolfsanc, $3-$5. The wolves of Speedwell roam free in their woodland habitats--taking mates, raising offspring, and associating as a pack. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to see wolves in their natural environment, because.
Yuengling Brewery, Fifth and Mahantongo streets, Pottsville, (570) 622-4141, www.yuengling.com, free. All the way from Aldingen, Germany to Pennsylvania, America's oldest brewery allows visitors to learn about the history of Yuengling--like how the brewery survived during Prohibition--and sample four beers. There are a few caveats, however: no sandals allowed, no beer can be purchased on the premises, and--get this--you must be 21 to participate in the post-tour beer sampling.
Adams County Irish Festival, 10:30 a.m-8 p.m., July 19, Gettysburg Moose Park, Gettysburg, (717) 632-8627, www.adamscountyirishfestival.com, $8, children and parking free. Who needs Riverdance when you can travel to Gettysburg and get your fill of Irish bands, step dancers, harpists, and bagpipers. The one-day festival also includes a Civil War encampment and vendors selling gifts directly from Ireland.
Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Food and Wine Festival, noon-6 p.m. June 28-29, Split Rock Resort, Lake Harmony, (800) 255-7625, advance tickets $20, www.splitrockresort.com/winefest.html. Can't distinguish a merlot from a cabernet sauvignon? Head up to the Pocono Mountains for the Pennsylvania Wine Festival, which features continual music on three stages, 20 wineries selling their vino, food vendors, and educational seminars.
Kutztown German Festival, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., June 28-July 6, Kutztown, (888) 674-6136, www.kutztownfestival.com, $9-$18, ages 11 and under free. Lots of crafts, including America's largest quilt sale, fiddling music, storytelling, and folklore things. And where else can you witness a 19th century hanging?
140th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 4-6, Gettysburg, (717) 338-1525, www.gettysburgreenactment.com. Check out what is anticipated to be the largest battle re-enactment of the decade, with 15,000 participants all done up in Civil War dress.
State Crafts Fair, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 25-26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 27, Alumni Center, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, (215) 579-5997, $7, ages 11 and under free. This "granddaddy of Pennsylvania's craft fairs" is in its 57th year. And in case you're tired of your lawn flamingos, seek out new and inspired decorations for the home, yard, patio, roof, or porch.
Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, June 6-22, (412) 281-8723, www.artsfestival.net. If you can't wait until July for Baltimore's Artscape, drive a few hours to downtown Pittsburgh for this two-week celebration of visual and performing arts. The festival includes a juried contest, bands performing at Point State Park, and an Artists Market featuring 330 artists.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Allegheny National Forest Pennsylvania's only national forest contains 500,000 acres in which to hike and camp. The Heart's Content wilderness area, with 300 year old virgin hemlock and white pines, is highly recommended (but bring your own toilet paper, hee).
Blue Knob State PArk, Imler, (814) 276-3576. Located on the second highest mountain in PA, Blue Knob is ideal for all the things you'd expect to be able to do at a park: picnic, camp, hike, bike, fish, and swim. Just beware the black bears.
Gateway Stable, 949 Merrybell Lane, Kennett Square, (610) 444-1255, www.gatewaystables.com. Guided trails rides, lessons, and certification programs are offered at this Brandywine Valley equine stomping ground. Also ideal for summer camps and pony parties for the kids. Ponies!
Kittatinny Canoes, Dingmans Ferry, (570) 828-2338, www.kittatinny.com. To explore the stretch of the Delaware River wild near the Pocono and Catskills Mountains, you have your choice of kayak, canoe, whitewater raft, or tube. Camping and paintball sessions are also offered.
Pennsylvania Phillies, Veterans Stadium, 3551 Broad St., Philadelphia, (215) 685-1500, www.phillies.com. Catch a game at Veterans Stadium in its last season before Major League Baseball's oldest continuous one-name, one-city franchise moves to a new ballpark in April 2004.
Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, (800) 722-3929, www.poconoraceway.com. The raceway aims to be the prettiest, friendliest, and cleanest racetrack--no small feat. The 2.5-mile track features three turns and three straights that allow 250 mph racing.
Choo Choo Barn and the Shops of Traintown, Strasburg, (717) 687-7911, www.etrainshop.com. The place to go for model train enthusiasts, the Choo Choo Barn contains a working 1700-square-foot miniature display and lots of detail parts and tools.
Fetishes Boutique, 704 S. Fifth St., Philadelphia, (215) 829-4986, www.fetishesboutique.com. Head near South Street if you're jonesing for a new cat suit or dildo. And if you can't make it all the way to Philadelphia, there is a thriving online ordering service to suit all your fetish needs. Also provides consultation for bachelorette parties.
Green Dragon Farmers Market and Auction, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays, 955 N. State St., Ephrata, (717) 738-1117, www.greendragonmarket.com. If you feel the need to venture beyond Baltimore's Waverly for produce, the Green Dragon market hosts over 400 local growers, craftsmen, and merchants. As the local saying goes, "if you can't buy it at the Green Dragon, it chust ain't fer sale."
Mister Ed's Elephant Museum, 6019 Chambersburg Road, Orrtanna, (717) 352-3792, www.mistereds.com. Founded in 1975 at the request of Mister Ed's wife to get his 6,000 elephants out of the house, the museum contains such oddities as elephant hair dryers and elephant toilets. Mister Ed is quite the world traveler, but to see his elephants from all over the world you only have to travel to Orrtanna, 12 miles west of Gettysburg.
Peddler's Village, Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, (215) 794-4000, www.peddlersvillage.com. The 18th century style setting of the Bucks County shopping center contains 75 shops, eight restaurants, and a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, and boasts personal service and old-fashioned hospitality--you sure won't find that at Towsontown Center.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201