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Happy Day Road Trips

Happy Day Road Trips

In 2016, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office launched a new slogan and challenge to travelers — “Pennsylvania. Pursue Your Happiness.” This mantra captures the spirit of the Keystone State, echoing the famous call to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” from the Declaration of Independence penned in Philadelphia in 1776.

The new slogan says that in Pennsylvania, a vacation or getaway is an active, self-styled adventure — a pursuit. Where should you begin? Explore a sampling from 11 new” Happy Day” road trips to discover off-the-beaten path stops and only-in-PA attractions. Pack a bag or two as miles of smiles await you in Pennsylvania!

Pittsburgh and Its Countryside

Whether you approach Pittsburgh by road, river, or sky, the city makes an entrance. Standing tall amid the wooded countryside and iconic three winding rivers is the city’s bustling downtown,, packed with opportunities for everything from biking and boating to brew pubs and ballet.. Pittsburgh offers an exploding food scene, thrilling sporting events, and tranquil outdoor experiences for adventurers of all ages. If you're seeking anything from robots to raptors, you'll find it nestled in one of Pittsburgh's 90 neighborhoods.

Pennsylvania Wilds

The constellations are often crystal clear here, where it’s so dark you can see the stardust of the Milky Way. Its exceptionally dark skies mean this is where dreams begin – to glide above the mountain ridges on wind currents, learn to fly airplanes and hit monster home runs to win the game. Watch for the wild things: elk in the fields, owls in the forest, trout in the dark streams. Don’t miss the canyon, whether by bike, foot, or horseback.

Upstate PA

Majestic, endless mountains and the mighty Susquehanna River define the landscape. Overlooks abound. Rebirth is well underway in places that were old industrial centers and their rich, historic buildings are finding new lives as museums, colleges, and hotels. Old pieces await new uses at flea markets. The tame waters of the Delaware River invite a quiet paddle or lazy float on an inner tube. Explore wineries and breweries, and the charms of quaint towns.

Pocono Mountains

If you are nostalgic for the experience of summer camp – of peaceful days and starry nights in an outdoor playground – the Pocono Mountains promises the right amount of fishing, hiking, or relaxing on the porch. Come fall or winter, rolling mountain terrain plays host to an autumn canopy of color, a sanctuary for the senses and an adventure course for winter sports enthusiasts. Lace up your snow boots, rev up your engines, or roll the dice – you can’t go wrong.

Lehigh Valley

The threads of Pennsylvania’s past are woven into the tapestry of the Lehigh Valley – the power of the industrial revolution, the spirit of Christmas, and a music scene that spans from Bach to ZZ Top. The charm of this region is how seamlessly you can move from the pastoral fields of a nature preserve to an afternoon stop-and-sip along the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail, and finally to a fun-for-all night out rooting for a spirited minor league baseball team.

Philadelphia and Its Countryside

Philadelphia is having a moment. Recently designated the nation’s first World Heritage City and ranked the best U.S. destination to visit in 2016 by Lonely Planet, the city will welcome the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. Located outside of the city, travelers can find rolling hills of neighborhoods to experience some of the best food in the area. Named as one of the hottest places to visit by USA Today, Philadelphia and its countryside has it all. 

Dutch Country Roads

For every slice of shoo-fly pie in Dutch Country Roads, there’s a soufflé with lemongrass essence and kaffir lime crème anglaise. The region’s time-honored attractions pair nicely with their contemporary counterparts. Shop Amish Country and the Lancaster arts scene. Check out Civil War sites and Corvette car shows. Eat your way through Hershey’s sweet family fun and the farm-to-fork dining scene. Work it all off with a hike on the Appalachian Trail, watch the fall raptor migration, or row yourself out on the glassy, flat waters of the Susquehanna.

The Alleghenies

The Allegheny Mountains take center stage in this historic region. These hills, and the towns between them, offer a feast for your senses, from the crackling leaves along wooded trails to the screeching rails of trains winding along mountain curves. Whether you're seeking a lazy day by the lake, a challenging backwoods hike or a thrilling day at the races, the Alleghenies are here to serve you. 

Valleys of the Susquehanna

Views from the rolling country roads of these valleys summon artists, and for generations, farmers have treasured their fertile land. This region features the funky, historic towns surrounding small colleges, antique shops off the beaten path, and romantic covered bridges. Waterfalls, riverbanks, and forests beckon to be explored by footpath – or enjoyed with a picnic on lazy summer days. Revisit timeless pleasures here, like riding a carousel, traveling by train, and leisurely pedaling a bicycle.

Great Lakes Region

Pennsylvania's lake coast features everything you'd want from a beach: gentle waves, ice cream stands, flat trails, and even a lighthouse. But the Great Lakes region boasts more than Lake Erie's shore. Hit the links and then rest in luxury in Mercer County or search for wildlife in Hell's Hollow. The state parks and wooded lakes teem with hiking, hunting, history and heritage, offering something exciting for visitors of all ages. 

Laurel Highlands

It's hard to look away from the Laurel Highlands. The roaring Youghiogheny River draws you in, whether you're gazing down from the rail trail that parallels it or riding along its rapids. These mountains host architectural marvels, amusement parks, and art museums – in addition to world-class hiking. Come for the culture and the great outdoors, and soak up the charm with a dazzling backdrop every season of the year.

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