Offbeat Sites in Pennsylvania You Have To See
Pennsylvania is often referred to as, “Philadelphia and Pittsburg, with the deep south in between”.
While Pennsylvania may not have the hospitality and vegetation of the Deep South, it has many of its own charms you have to experience.
Here are 6 hidden gems sequestered away in little known areas of Pennsylvania.
1. Lake Tobias Wildlife Park
Lake Tobias may not boast the best zoo in the area, but they’re top notch as far as safaris go. Get a ticket and spend some time visiting the animals in the zoo -- lions and tigers and bears, of course, but also a variety of monkeys, zebra, and sheep.
There’s a petting zoo with pygmy goats and camels for kids, but save your anticipation for the safari ride.
Every 15 minutes, during the summer season, a bus takes off to show you around. You can reach over the side to feed alpacas, deer, bison and elk, among other hoofed animals.
If you’re lucky, some of the taller animals like the elk may stick their heads right into your seat to try and get the food. Don’t be shy -- the guides are there to keep you safe!
2. Rickett’s Glen
If you’re into hiking, there is nowhere more challenging or beautiful than Rickett’s Glen. With a series of waterfalls, the tallest of which is over 90’, the area is popular for hiking, picnics, and children. There are a total of 22 named waterfalls, with many other smaller, unnamed ones.
The hike is arduous, and not for small children in a stroller. However, there is a beach and lake that’s perfect for swimming during warm weather. Even during the winter, there are still activities. You can sign up to go icepick climbing up the falls once they freeze during the winter. Just don’t forget your gloves.
3. Eastland Alpacas
A 30 acre farm in Lancaster County, this is the best place in PA to meet some alpacas up close and personal.
Although the farm is mainly geared towards selling and buying alpacas, they’ve realized that people might also like to come take a look.
They have a small store, where they sell products made with alpaca fur, and you can call or e-mail the farm to set up a tour.
All in all, it’s a lovely way to spend the day, and learn about a slightly less common farm animal.
4. Amish Experience VIP Tour
In this case, VIP doesn’t stand for “very important person” but for “visit in person”.
For each in person tour, 14 people are allowed to come and see how the Amish live from day to day. It works very well to dispel many of the stereotypes surrounding the community, but it’s also important to keep in mind that they do have a different culture.
For many people, living without technology may be impossible, but some aspects of their lives may even help make your life easier. The tour ends with a hearthside conversation with an Amish family, where you’re invited to ask questions about their way of life.
The whole thing is exclusive, but amazingly eye-opening.
5. Wolf Sanctuary of PA
Driving up to this animal sanctuary in Lititz, PA, you might hear a significant amount of howling.
This family owned sanctuary features 80 acres of woodland for a variety of rescued wolves to run free over. The only way to see them is by scheduling a tour, so it’s a good thing they have them a lot!
Because this sanctuary takes both wolves and wolf hybrids, there are several different packs. Some have as few as two or three wolves, while “The Big Pack” consists of a group of nine wolves.
They’re familiar with tour groups and are often excited to see the people come through. Since the last wild wolves in PA died out over 100 years ago, this is the best place to go get a feel for how wild this land once was.
6. Hogwart’s Festival
For Harry Potter fans, Chestnut Hill, PA is the place to be for the fall. Each year, the town turns its self into Hogsmeade, and entertains fans of all ages for two days straight.
There are classes to learn Defense Against the Dark Arts, the Dementor’s Dance, an educational show about owls, Quidditch games, and a sorting ceremony.
There’s even a train that spends the next two days acting as the Hogwart’s Express! This is an event that’s for people 0-100, so bring your family and friends to get lost in the magic.
Pennsylvanian life doesn’t exist solely in the big cities.
There are fun things to do, and beautiful country all over the state.
So the next time you come for a visit, make sure to try the path less travelled. You’ll certainly notice the difference.
Read more from Kacey on her site, The Drifter Collective.