Pennsylvania is one of the thirteen original colonies. Years later, this state has grown and now offers several cities that hostel backpackers may be interested in visiting. The state's terrain changes in different parts of Pennsylvania, from flat hills to the Appalachian Mountains. Pennsylvania enjoys all four seasons, with cold, icy winters and pleasantly warm summers.
Philadelphia is a a good city to start from, or to include as a part of any journey through New England. This is where you will find historical sites and information. The famous cracked Liberty Bell is on display across the street from the Independence Hall, the state house where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Betsy Ross's home and other sites that helped shaped the foundation of the US are within walking distance. For more modern entertainment, check out the park and steps featured in the Rocky movie, or enjoy your favorite sport with the Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, or Flyers. End the day with a Philly Cheesesteak from Geno's or another famous sandwich shop before heading back to your hostel. Philadelphia has the widest selection of hostels in Pennsylvania.
From Philadelphia, you can head west. Other than State College, a city that exists due to the university, there aren't many cities in the middle of the state. However, Amish Country is worth a visit. Go to Lancaster County to learn how this group of people go without electricity, internet access, and cars, and instead choose old-fashioned farm work, plain modest dress, and buggy-hitched horses. Many of the Amish value their privacy, which is why they ask not to be photographed, but many do work in the tourism industry to allow you to explore typical Amish homes and activities.
Stop in Pittsburgh for more big-city feel. Pittsburgh also has hostels, though limited, to go with their museums, night life, parks, and sports. From there you can complete your trek across Pennsylvania by heading north to Erie. This is a lakeside town overlooking the great Lake Erie, and both Ohio and New York are just a short drive away from this point. Finish the Pennsylvania route by heading into one of these neighboring states, or if you have a sweet tooth, head east to Hershey, the chocolate capital.
Hi, I'm Jessica Lippe,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Pennsylvania hostels. Welcome.