Information and Tourism
Pennsylvania is known as the 'Keystone State', although nobody is quite sure where the nickname comes from. It may originate from the leading role that Pennsylvania has played in American history, as one of the original 13 colonies founded in the 17th and 18th centuries. On the other hand, it may simply say a lot about its central location in the US.
The state of Pennsylvania lives and breathes American history. It is widely regarded as being the birthplace of American independence and the Constitution. Top of the list of 'must do' state sights is the Gettysburg National Battlefield, the setting of a bloody conflict that was to prove to be a major turning point in the American Civil War.
The southeastern part of the state is known as the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. This name is something of a misnomer, because the people who settled here in the 17th century actually came from Germany, not Holland. The word Deutsch obviously lost something along the way. Today, the area is still home to several Amish and Mennonite religious communities. The people who live here are known as the 'Plain People' because of their simple choice of dress and lifestyle.
Pennsylvanian cities offer plenty of entertainment. Philadelphia in particular boasts a thriving cultural scene that includes theaters, museums and galleries a plenty.
Millions of tourists come to Pennsylvania to enjoy gentle outdoor pursuits. Head out of town and the state offers up a world of natural delights, including the Allegheny Mountains and Lake Erie.
Pennsylvanians have earned themselves a reputation as enthusiastic snack-food eaters. When it comes to the manufacture of potato crisps and pretzels, for example, the state beats most others in the US. Big names in the American food world include the famous Hersey chocolate bar, which comes from Hershey in Pennsylvania, and Heinz tomato ketchup, which is still based in Pittsburgh.
Pennsylvania Information and Fast Facts
- Country: USA
- Population: approximately 12.7 million
- Capital city: Harrisburg
- Biggest city: Philadelphia
- Biggest urban area: Delaware Valley
- Language: American English
- Area: 46,050 square miles / 119,280 square kilometers
WORLD GUIDES TO PENNSYLVANIA
World Guide to Harrisburg, PA, USA|
Sitting next to the Susquehanna River, Harrisburg functions as the capital of Pennsylvania and is a fairly compact city, meaning that many of its attractions are just a short walk away from the grand Pennsylvania State Capitol.
World Guide to Lancaster, PA, USA
Lancaster is an appealing town, on the western side of Pennsylvania's verdant Amish country. Centered around the Penn Square, Lancaster offers a number of museums, including the Heritage Center Museum of Lancaster County.
World Guide to Philadelphia, PA, USA
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was once the nation's capital and while this is a major, bustling city, it still retains a certain charm and quaintness, with numerous cobbled streets, historic buildings and period colonial houses.
World Guide to Pittsburgh, PA, USA
The industrial heritage of Pittsburgh seems firmly in the past when you arrive in this modern, clean and attractive city. Pittsburgh enjoys many scenic riverfronts and is overlooked by Mount Washington, where a funicular railway awaits.
Map of Pennsylvania