25 Things Pennsylvania is Known and Famous For

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If you’re looking for an amazing travel destination that offers a little bit of everything, look no further than Pennsylvania. From its rich native and modern American history to its world-famous Hershey chocolate factory, Pennsylvania is known for many things that make it an extremely interesting state to discover.

What Is Pennsylvania Known For?

Pennsylvania is known for being the origin of Hershey’s chocolate, the birthplace of American democracy, as well as the famous Liberty Bell. From rolling hills and picturesque farms to dense forests and soaring mountains, the state is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country.

Pennsylvania is also famous for many historical events like the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Battle of Gettysburg. These are just a few of the things that Pennsylvania is known for.

Famous Food In Pennsylvania


Philly Cheesesteaks

You can’t go to Pennsylvania and not try a Philly cheesesteak. This sandwich consists of thinly sliced steak, onions, and melted cheese on a long hoagie roll.

It’s believed that the first Philly cheesesteak was made in the 1930s by a hot dog vendor named Pat Olivieri who decided to put some steak on his grill. The sandwich quickly caught on and has since become one of the most iconic foods in Pennsylvania.

You can find Philly cheesesteaks all over the state, but if you want to try the original, head to Pat’s King of Steaks in South Philadelphia. Other popular spots include Geno’s Steaks and Jim’s Steaks, also in Philadelphia.

Philly Soft Pretzels

Pennsylvania is also home to the Philly soft pretzel, a delicious snack that can be found all over the city of Philadelphia. It’s believed that the first Philly soft pretzel was made by German immigrants in the early 1700s.

Since then, Philly soft pretzel has become a staple of the Philadelphia food scene and can be found at most street corners. If you want to try the best of the best, some of the popular ones are Center City Pretzel, Philly Pretzel Factory, and Miller’s Twist.

Shoo-Fly Pie

Shoo-Fly Pie is a Pennsylvania Dutch dessert that is made with molasses and brown sugar. The pie is usually made in a 9-inch pie dish and has a crumb topping.

Shoo-Fly Pie is a popular dessert in Pennsylvania and can be found at many bakeries and restaurants throughout the state. The pie is also a common sight at farmers’ markets and roadside stands.

The Pennsylvania Dutch are a group of people who settled in the state of Pennsylvania in the 1700s. They are known for their hard work, simple lifestyle, and traditional food.


Primanti Sandwiches

A Pittsburgh institution, Primanti Brothers is a restaurant chain known for its sandwiches piled high with meat, cheese, and French fries. The sandwiches are so big that they have to be eaten with your hands!

Primanti Brothers was founded in 1933 and now has locations all over the state of Pennsylvania. If you’re ever in Pittsburgh, be sure to try one of their famous sandwiches.

History, Culture, And Traditions

Original Colony

The Colony of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn in 1681 as a place of religious tolerance. The colony quickly became an important center of commerce and politics. In 1776, the city of Philadelphia, which was part of the colony, was the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Pennsylvania is one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States of America. The state’s capital, Harrisburg, is located in the central part of the state. The others were Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

The Mason-Dixon Line

The Mason-Dixon line, which was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, is the traditional boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The line is named for the two surveyors who were hired by the Penn and Calvert families to settle a land dispute. The Mason-Dixon line is significant because it was one of the first attempts to demarcate a boundary between two colonies.

The line originally ran from the Delaware River to what is now the town of Hancock, Maryland. Today, the line is considered the boundary between the Northern and Southern states.

The Pennsylvania Dutch

The Pennsylvania Dutch are a group of German-speaking people who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s. Today, there is a good population of Pennsylvania Dutch people living in the state.

The Pennsylvania Dutch are known for their traditional foods like shoo-fly pie and chicken pot pie, as well as their unique dialect which is a mix of German and English. You’ll often see the Pennsylvania Dutch referred to as the “Amish” but this is a misnomer as the Amish are just one of many subgroups within the Pennsylvania Dutch community.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Pennsylvania Dutch, head to Pennsylvania Dutch County where you’ll find a large concentration of Amish people. You can also visit Hershey, which has a significant Pennsylvania Dutch population, or other counties in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Declaration of Independence

One of the most important documents in American history, the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. The document announced that the thirteen colonies were free and independent states and set the stage for the American Revolution.

The Declaration of Independence is on display at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia along with the original drafts of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. You can also see the document at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., or at Independence Hall in Philadelphia where it was signed.

A photo of Amish buggy

Amish Culture

Pennsylvania is home to a large Amish community with over 300,000 Amish residents. The Amish are a religious group and part of the Pennsylvanian Dutch, who live simple lives without the use of modern technology.

The Amish culture is unique and fascinating. Visitors to Pennsylvania can learn about the Amish way of life by visiting an Amish farm, taking a buggy ride, or with a guided tour of the different farm areas.

The Lancaster Country is the area of the state where the Amish community is concentrated. The region is known for its beautiful farmland and quaint towns.

Steel Production

Pennsylvania has a long history of steel production dating back to the early 1800s. The state was home to many of the first steel mills in the United States and Pittsburgh was once known as the “Steel City.”

Today, Pennsylvania is still one of the largest steel-producing states in the country. The state is also home to the world-renowned Bethlehem Steel Corporation, which was once the largest steel producer in the world.

The state’s steel industry has had a major impact on the economy of Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The industry has also left a lasting mark on the state’s landscape with the many steel mills and factories that dot the state.

Historic cannon at Gettysburg Battle Field

Gettysburg Battle Field

The Battle of Gettysburg was a pivotal moment in the Civil War and one of the bloodiest battles ever fought on American soil. The battle took place in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania from July 1-3, 1863, and resulted in a Union victory that helped turn the tide of the war.

Over 50,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing in action in the three-day battle, making it one of the deadliest in American history. Today, Gettysburg is a popular tourist destination and the site of the Gettysburg National Military Park which commemorates the battle.

To dive deeper into a detailed account of this iconic historic event and visit all the related sites, hop on a Gettysburg Battlefield Guided Bus Tour.

Coal Mining

Coal was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 1760 and it became an important part of the state’s economy during the Industrial Revolution.

Today, coal mining is no longer a major industry in Pennsylvania but it has left behind a legacy that can be seen all over the state. This includes coal towns like Scranton and Pittston, as well as the Lehigh Valley which was once an important center for coal mining.

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s coal mining history, there are several museums and heritage sites dedicated to the topic. This includes the Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton, and you can also do a Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour in the town.

Sports Event In Pennsylvania


Little League World Series

The Little League World Series is an annual baseball tournament for 10 – 12 year olds. The tournament is held in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and features teams from all over the world.

The Little League World Series is one of the most popular sporting events in the world. Every year, millions of people tune in to watch the games on television. The tournament is also a big economic engine for the state of Pennsylvania, bringing in millions of dollars in tourism revenue.

Cities And Travel Destinations

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and also one of the largest in the United States. The city is home to numerous historical landmarks such as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the Betsy Ross House.

Philadelphia was founded by William Penn in 1682 as a place of religious tolerance. It quickly became an important center of commerce and politics. The city was the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

The Old City of Philadelphia is one of most iconic districts to witness the important sites pertaining to its history. Go on a popular Old City Historic Walking Tour to uncover the stories behind the key attractions and landmarks that have seen the city’s evolution.

Today, Philadelphia is a thriving metropolis with a vibrant arts and culture scene. The city is also home to several professional sports teams, including the Eagles (NFL), the Phillies (MLB), the Flyers (NHL), and the 76ers (NBA).

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


One of the state’s prominent cities, Pittsburgh is located in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania. The city is known for its steel industry, sports teams, and cultural institutions.

Pittsburgh is home to the NFL’s Steelers and the MLB’s Pirates. The city also has a rich history in the arts with several museums and theaters. There are lots of things to do in Pittsburgh. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Pittsburgh include the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the National Aviary.

The city also has several famous colleges and universities, including Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University.

Hershey – Hershey’s Chocolate

Hershey, Pennsylvania is known as the “Sweetest Place on Earth” and it’s no surprise that one of the things the state is most famous for is Hershey’s chocolate.

The town of Hershey was founded by Milton S. Hershey in 1903 and it was here that he built his famous chocolate factory. Today, the Hershey Company is the largest manufacturer of chocolate in North America and produces some of the most iconic chocolate brands in the world including Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s, and KitKat.

If you’re a fan of chocolate, Hershey is a must-visit. The town’s main highlight is Hershey Park, a chocolate-themed amusement park. It also has the Hershey Chocolate World attraction where you can take a tour of the factory and create your own candy bar.

Photo credit: georgesheldon/Depositphotos.com

Appalachian Mountains

The Appalachian Mountains are a mountain range that runs through the eastern United States from Alabama to Maine. The mountains are home to beautiful scenery and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities.

In Pennsylvania, the Appalachian Mountains include the Allegheny Plateau, which is known for its forests and rugged terrain. The state’s highest point, Mount Davis, is located in the Allegheny Plateau.

The Appalachian Mountains are a popular destination for hikers, campers, and nature lovers. The region is home to several national parks, including the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Shenandoah National Park, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Famous People From Pennsylvania

Photo credit: A.Paes/Depositphotos.com

Taylor Swift

Yes, Pennsylvania is the home state of one of the biggest pop stars in the world, Taylor Swift. The singer was born in Reading and spent her early years living in Wyomissing before moving to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue her music career. Swift has achieved massive success both in the United States and around the world.

She released her first album in 2006 and quickly rose to fame with hits like “Our Song” and “Fearless.” Swift has since released six more albums, selling over 50 million copies worldwide. She is one of the best-selling music artists of all time and has won numerous awards, including 10 Grammy Awards.

While she may not live in Pennsylvania anymore, Swift still has a lot of love for her home state.

Mark Cuban

Another famous Pennsylvanian is entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban. Born in Pittsburgh, Cuban is the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and is also a popular television personality, appearing as one of the sharks on the hit show Shark Tank.

Cuban started his career in the tech industry and then co-founded Broadcast.com which he sold to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in 1999. He is now one of the richest people in the world with an estimated net worth of over $4 billion.

In addition to his business ventures, Cuban is also known for his philanthropy efforts and outspoken personality.

Photo credit: ChinaImages/Depositphotos.com

Kobe Bryant

One of the greatest basketball players of all time, Kobe Bryant was born in Philadelphia but raised in Italy. He started playing professionally in the NBA at just 17 years old and went on to have an incredible 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bryant won five NBA championships with the Lakers and was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player twice. He was an 18-time All-Star and scored a massive total of 33,643 points during his career.

Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash in 2020 but his legacy will live on forever. His impact on the game of basketball was immeasurable and he will be remembered as one of the greatest players to ever play the sport.

Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart is a comedian, actor, and producer from Philadelphia. Hart started his career by winning several amateur comedy competitions before landing his first major role in the movie Soul Plane.

Hart has since starred in several hit films including the Ride Along franchise, Get Hard, Central Intelligence, and The Upside. He has also released several successful comedy albums and has toured the world with his stand-up act.

In addition to his work in front of the camera, Hart is also a producer and has helped to bring shows like Real Husbands of Hollywood and The Next Level to television. He is also a prominent investor and entrepreneur.

Architecture And Landmarks

The Poconos


The Poconos are a mountain range located in northeastern Pennsylvania. The area is known for its scenic beauty and popular tourist attractions such as Camelback Mountain Resort and Great Wolf Lodge.

The Poconos were formed over millions of years by the collision of geologic plates, thus creating mountains. The name “Pocono” comes from the Native American word for “creek between two mountains.”

The Poconos are a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders in the winter and hikers and campers in the summer. The area is also home to several resorts, hotels, and restaurants.

Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens is a botanical garden located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. The gardens span more than 1,000 acres and feature over 9,000 different types of plants.

Longwood Gardens was founded by Quaker farmer Pierre S. du Pont in 1906. The gardens were built and expanded in different phases without a grand plan in mind. Nonetheless, it has developed into an impressive horticulture display garden.

Today, Longwood Gardens is open to the public and features a variety of gardens, greenhouses, fountains, and sculptures. The gardens also host several events throughout the year, including concerts, flower shows, and holiday celebrations.


Fallingwater is a world-famous house designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The house was built in rural Pennsylvania in 1935 and is considered one of Wright’s most iconic works.

Fallingwater is built over a waterfall and features a unique cantilevered design that allows the house to appear to be floating on the water. The house is opened as a museum in 1964 for public tours and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Pennsylvania.


The Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American freedom and one of the most famous bells in the world. The bell was commissioned in 1752 to hang in the Pennsylvania State House (now the Independence Hall).

It first rang on July 8, 1776, to call the citizens of Philadelphia together for the reading of the Declaration of Independence.

The bell was moved to several different locations in Philadelphia over the years before being placed in its current home at the Liberty Bell Center in 2003. It is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pennsylvania and a must-see for anyone visiting the state.

Many More Things Pennsylvania Is Known And Famous For

These are just some things that Pennsylvania is known for. From the important Declaration of Independence to the fun Hershey Park, Pennsylvania is a state with a lot of diverse offerings for visitors. Discover the Pennsylvania Dutch culture, marvel at the Liberty Bell, and sample delicious food, there’s a lot to love about this great state.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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