• Accessing Civil War History Online: Using Google Earth technology and GigaPan images to provide high-definition, panoramic images, and views of historic sites. Stories are told through 40 “story stops,” which are living history presentations, and at historic sites in and between the communities of Carlisle, Chambersburg, Gettysburg, Hanover, Harrisburg, Wrightsville and York. Details at pacivilwartrails.com.
• Three New Marriott properties: TownePlace Suites Scranton Wilkes-Barre features 110 studio, one- and two-bedroom suites, fully equipped kitchen, complimentary hot breakfast, and is close to Sno Mountain Ski Resort and Sno Cove Waterpark; the 110-suite SpringHill Suites Pittsburgh Bakery Square has separate eating and sleeping areas and a microwave in the guestrooms, meeting facilities, full service gym, heated pool and complimentary hot breakfast; Residence Inn Pittsburgh North Shore offers 180 suites with fully equipped kitchens including stove and dishwasher, lap pool, exercise room and complimentary hot breakfast.
• Civil War Library and Museum: The oldest chartered Civil War institution in the U.S. Three floors of exhibits include original uniforms, weapons, photographs and images, flags and other artifacts. Philadelphia.
• Crayola Factory: Family-friendly hands-on discovery centre providing live demonstrations on how Crayola Crayons and Markers are made. Easton.
• Independence National Historical Park: Covers several blocks of Olde City Philadelphia. Major attractions include the Liberty Bell, Christ Church, Independence Hall, National Constitution Center and City Tavern.
• Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural Life: 15,000 thousand years ago the very first Americans made their camp under a rock overhang that protected them from the elements. Avella.
• The Hershey Story: Museum tracing the rags to riches legacy of Milton S. Hershey. Interactive hands-on experience with the Chocolate Lab and Apprentice Program. Hershey.
• Mummers Parade (New Year’s Day), Philadelphia.
• Philadelphia Flower Show (March).
• Pittsburgh Folk Festival (May).
• Three Rivers Arts Festival (June), Pittsburgh.
• Kutztown Pa-German Festival (late June-early July).
• Musikfest (August), Bethlehem.
• Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (weekends, August to October), Manheim.
• Drake Day Extravaganza (August), Great Lakes.
• Philadelphia Fringe Festival (September).
• Holiday Lights on the Lake (late November to early January), Altoona.
• Pittsburgh: Home to champion pro sports teams, a host of cultural amenities and the first T. Rex fossils ever discovered.
• Philadelphia: The “City of Brotherly Love” and the “Birthplace of America”, Philadelphia is crammed with attractions, restaurants and events.
• Heritage School At The Conservancy: Offers courses from blacksmithing to Native American storytelling in a tranquil, native environment. Butler County.
• Martin Guitar: Its most famous factory tour features a showcase of guitars produced for musical luminaries such as Elvis, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton and John Mayer. Nazareth.
B Krist/GPTMC• Mutter Museum: Contains preserved anatomical specimens, medical instruments, memorabilia of famous scientists and physicians, a wild assortment of medical oddities and more than 20,000 other strange artifacts. Philadelphia.
• Hawk Mountain Sanctuary: World-class raptor observation site where an average 18,000 hawks, eagles and falcons fly past its ridgetops, often at eye-level each season. Allentown.
Did You Know?
State Motto: Virtue, Liberty and Independence
State Flower: Mountain Laurel
State Bird: Ruffed Grouse
America’s Byways: Historic National Road, Seaway Trail.
Direct Flights: Air Canada, US Airways
Sales Tools: Pennsylvania Travel Guide, e-newsletter, online discount centre
Info: Pennsylvania Tourism Office
1-800-A Friend (1-800-237-4363)