When you think about visiting a state for its art and entertainment lifestyle, Pennsylvania isn’t typically one of the top places on your list. But if you skip this beautiful and culturally rich location, you’ll be missing out on some of the most impressive visual arts and entertainment in the country.
Pennsylvania has made significant strides to strike a balance between its traditional, historical past and the technological innovations of today. While the state isn’t quite as progressive as other arts-and-entertainment places (for instance, you still need a medical marijuana license to buy and use weed, which you can sign up for at Veriheal and similar sites), it has made leaps and bounds.
Where amidst the sprawling mountains and scenic countryside can you find cultural art and entertainment gems? Here, we’ll deep-dive into how the Keystone State has become a must-see destination for culture lovers.
In general, Philadelphia is known for its significant role in the history of America. As the meeting spot of our Founding Fathers, it was the birthplace of the US.
Today, that history continues to shine through in the art visible throughout the city. It’s easy to find famous museums, murals and sculptures on the streets, and majestic architecture.
Philadelphia holds the top spot for the largest collection of public art in the country. A trip to this city affords you plenty of opportunities to check out performing arts companies, dine at unique restaurants and bistros, and explore spacious open gardens.
Music lovers can immerse themselves in the plethora of theater, ballet, and orchestra performances at well-known establishments such as the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia Ballet, or Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
But possibly holding “pride of place” in the heart of the city is the world-famous sculpture, Rodin’s “The Thinker,” attracting tourists from around the globe.
If your goal is to visit a culturally-packed city, you can’t go wrong with Philadelphia.
2. Lehigh Valley
Lehigh Valley is comprised of three cities, Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, and the towns surrounding them. This history-centric location hosts a replica of the Liberty Bell in Allentown, situated at the same place where the original symbol of freedom was kept hidden throughout the Revolutionary War. The same site was also where the reading of the Declaration of Independence occurred.
Over the past few centuries, the area has become known for more than its Colonial history, however. Today, these small towns are the home of many tourist attractions, such as the C.F. Martin & Co. factory, a producer of acoustic instruments for 175 years.
If you plan your visit right, you can be in Bethlehem for Musikfest, a free music festival, or visit DeSales University for its long-running Shakespeare Festival.
The smaller names that make up Lehigh Valley may not be as well-known as Philadelphia, but you’ll easily find things to do to fill up your day while you’re visiting.
Are your travels taking you further west? Be sure to plan a layover for a day or two in Pittsburgh, a city situated on the juncture of three rivers, for breathtaking scenic views. There, the Allegheny River and Monongahela River unite to form the Ohio River, and you can be at the tip of the junction when you visit Point State Park.
Outside of this natural wonder exists a thriving community of theaters, visual arts, and music. Within the 14 blocks that make up the heart of the Cultural District, you’ll find nine performance venues, including Heinz Hall, the O’Reilly Theater, and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
Looking for something besides music? Check out the Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie’s Museums of Art and Natural History, and the Senator John Heinz History Center.
Aviation aficionados will enjoy a stop at Pittsburgh International Airport, where you can learn about the history of flying and see more art from all over the world showcased as part of the Art in the Airport program.
Between the art and entertainment culture and the extensive dining options, there is more than enough to keep you busy in Pittsburgh!
The art and entertainment lifestyle fills much of Pennsylvania, from the east to west sides. You might be tempted to explore the charming small towns and breathtaking mountain vistas, but don’t miss the many opportunities that surround you to enjoy art, music, and history.