Whether you’re planning a short trip with your family, a relaxing escape with friends, or a romantic getaway with your significant other, Pennsylvania offers plenty of opportunities for embarking on adventures and viewing extraordinary natural spaces. Book a stay at a vacation rental in Pennsylvania to enjoy a weekend of outdoor recreation and relaxation. Check out a few of the state’s most exciting cities.

1. Langhorne

Located just 25 miles northeast of Philadelphia, Langhorne is a popular vacation destination for families, especially those with little ones, thanks to one exciting attraction: Sesame Place. Spend a day exploring the theme park, or cool down in the water park area. Kids get to meet their favorite Sesame Street characters throughout the park, so be sure to bring your camera.

If you’re visiting in the warmer months, Core Creek Park is a great spot to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Pack a picnic lunch, take the kids fishing, or let your dog run off some energy in the off-leash dog park. If you’re looking for indoor fun to whittle away an afternoon, consider taking the kids to BounceU to jump in the various bounce houses.

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2. Hershey

Plan a weekend getaway to Chocolatetown, USA, otherwise known as Hershey, Pennsylvania, to experience the Sweetest Place on Earth. Located just 15 miles east of Harrisburg, the state capital, Hershey is home of Hersheypark. Spend a day or two here, riding roller coasters, splashing at the water park, seeing the animals at ZooAmerica, and learning how chocolate is made. Visit Indian Echo Caverns for a guided underground tour of a limestone cave.

If you’re looking for relaxation during your trip, get pampered at The Spa at Hotel Hershey. Opt for a Chocolate Sugar Scrub or Cocoa Massage. Do some shopping at Tanger Outlets, and sample some vino at Cullari Vineyards and Winery. Check out a performance at Hershey Theatre, take a tour at Troegs Brewing Company, and have lunch at The Chocolate Avenue Grill.

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3. Pocono Mountains

Source: Flickr/Atomische * Tom Giebel

Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, the Ponoco Mountains serve as the ultimate vacation destination to suit everyone in your group. Located about 50 miles southeast of Scranton, this PA region is rich in natural beauty. If you have skiing in mind, check out the snow conditions at Camelback Mountain Resort. Kalahari Waterpark offers plenty of wet and wild fun for the kids, while Fairview Lake Miniature Golf lets you play a friendly family game of putt-putt.

Outdoor enthusiasts love exploring the various waterfalls throughout the Pocono Mountains. Visit Bushkill Falls to enjoy a peaceful hike with gorgeous, picturesque views of the falls. Book a weekend vacation rental in the fall to see the incredible foliage in the area.

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4. Lancaster

Source: Flickr/Ken Lund

Just 40 miles southeast of Harrisburg, Lancaster is one of the oldest inland towns in the United States, and it’s rich with history. Known as Pennsylvania Dutch Country, this is the place to experience the Amish way of life. Plain & Fancy Farm offers buggy rides along with a 4-mile Amish-guided tour, which goes through a covered bridge and around the farm. Visit Amish Village to tour an 1840’s farmhouse, a one-room schoolhouse, and an animal barn. Drop by the local shops to check out crafts and handmade furniture, or visit Tanger Outlets to shop at Under Armour, Disney Store, Brooks Brothers, and more.

Dutch Wonderland provides a fun day out for the kids. The amusement park boasts rides for all ages, and Duke’s Lagoon water play area is the perfect place to cool down on a hot summer day. If you want to sample the Dutch home cooking, make the 20-minute drive from your Lancaster vacation rental to the Shady Maple Smorgasbord in East Earl.

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5. Philadelphia

Source: Flickr/Xiquinho Silva

Philadelphia is brimming with history, letting you disguise an educational trip with the kids as a fun family getaway. See the Liberty Bell, learn about the Declaration of Independence and Constitution at Independence Hall, and grab a bite from Carmen’s Famous Italian Hoagies & Cheesesteaks in the Reading Terminal Market. Walk the trails at Valley Forge National Park, or run up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps like Rocky.

If you’re a sports fan, score tickets to a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Zoo is a great way to spend the day looking at animal exhibits, and kids love the Please Touch Museum, which offers more than 60,000 square feet of interactive exhibits to keep your brood entertained for an afternoon.

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6. Pittsburgh

Source: Flickr/Matthew Paulson

A weekend visit to the Steel City gives you a multitude of options to keep the family busy. Sports fans can catch the action in Pittsburgh nearly any time of the year. Head to Heinz Field to cheer on the Steelers, catch a Pirates game at PNC Park, or visit the PPG Paints Arena to root for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Carnegie Science Center has something for everyone, and you can spend a day checking out all the exhibits. The Andy Warhol Museum is ideal for art buffs, and the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium lets you see polar bears, fish, monkeys, and more. Meat & Potatoes, a local gastropub, is a great place for food, cocktails, and ambiance. Burgatory, a more kid-friendly option, specializes in burgers and shakes.

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7. Erie

Source: Flickr/Jimmy Emerson, DVM

Situated in northwestern Pennsylvania, Erie has it all. Those looking for a relaxing weekend getaway can start their trip by watching the sun set from Presque Isle State Park. Walk the trails throughout the park, or relax on the beach if the weather’s right. Make sure to visit the gorgeous and historic lighthouse, which is open to the public. Asbury Park is a serene location for a nature walk. If you want to try snowshoeing in the winter, this is the place to go. Complete your relaxing Erie vacation with a visit to some of the area’s popular wineries, including 6 Mile Cellars and Brix Winery. In the evening, place your bets at Presque Isle Downs and Casino.

If you have the kids in tow and you’re looking for excitement, head to Waldameer Park & Water World, which has rides, games, food, and entertainment. Spend a day with the animals at the Erie Zoo, or let the kids explore the exhibits at Experience Children’s Museum.

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8. Easton

Source: Flickr/Wally Gobetz

Book a vacation rental in Easton, just 18 miles east of Allentown, to delight everyone in your group. Kids love the Crayola Experience, where every activity centers around crayons. Plan to spend the afternoon here, making drip art, creating your own crayon, or running through the Color Playground. Spend an afternoon mini golfing at Two T’s Golf Course, then head to Klein Farms Dairy and Creamery for ice cream.

If you’re embarking on an adults-only weekend, sample the selection of beers at Weyeracher Brewing Company, play a round of golf at The Club at Morgan Hill, or browse the wares at Easton Antiques Emporium. Drinky’s Pub is a fun place for an evening out with friends. Choose between the quiet, sophisticated bar side and the DJ spinning club side depending on your mood.

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