There’s more to Pennsylvania than Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Our quiz will help you find the perfect place to call home.
When it comes to lifestyle options, convenience and affordability, Pennsylvania is hard to beat. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are the areas people usually think of first, and there are plenty of reasons to check them out — but there’s a lot more to Pennsylvania than its two biggest cities.
Pennsylvania is dotted with tons of small cities and big towns that blend American history with modern cultural venues, all with access to outdoor pursuits and, thanks to the state’s agricultural bounty, plenty of farm-fresh food. Speaking of history, anywhere you go in Pennsylvania is guaranteed to have a story behind it, whether that’s Abe Lincoln addressing a nation, a family working the same farmland for generations, or a chocolate factory scenting the air for over 125 years.
Use this quiz to discover lesser-known spots waiting for you to find yourself right at home. Scroll through the following questions and keep track of your answers; your most frequently chosen answer will point you to your ideal place to live in Pennsylvania.
1. Which of the following itineraries describes your perfect Saturday?
A. Taking a horse and buggy ride to a farm stand for some homemade pie.
B. Putting on your hiking shoes and hitting the trails.
C. Shopping in trendy boutiques before grabbing a locally made beer at a brewpub.
D. Touring a history museum followed by dinner in a Colonial-era tavern.
E. Strapping on your skis for a day on the slopes.
2. What scenery is always a welcome sight outside your window?
A. A quaint street lined with shops and eateries.
B. Trees, trees, and more trees.
C. A row of lively bars with crowds enjoying a night out.
D. Green pastures dotted with farmhouses.
E. Snow-covered mountains.
3. The local radio station is giving away tickets to one of the following attractions. Which do you choose?
A. An overnight stay at a bed & breakfast.
B. A fishing trip.
C. A wine tasting.
D. A bluegrass music festival.
E. A white-water rafting excursion.
4. It’s time to eat. What’s on your ideal menu?
A. Wine and cheese at a sunny sidewalk café.
B. S’mores at your campsite.
C. Wood-fired pizza at a buzzing gastropub.
D. Farm-to-table fare in a historic inn.
E. Steak and fries in a wood-paneled pub.
5. One word that describes you well is:
If you answered mostly As:
Check out: Lititz
It doesn’t get more charming than the “Coolest Small Town in America.” Surrounded by farmland in Lancaster County, the quaint borough of Lititz embraces its nickname with a well-preserved downtown and a lineup of activities locals love, like Second Friday arts and entertainment events and the annual Fourth of July festival in Lititz Springs Park. Lititz dates back to the mid-1700s, with period architecture that lends a vintage vibe. Want a taste of history — literally? Lititz’s Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery is said to be the country’s first commercial pretzel bakery, and it’s still going strong today. You can even get a hands-on lesson in the art of pretzel twisting. Nearby, Wilbur Chocolate has been churning out sweets since 1894. But not everything feels like it’s from back in the day. Just outside town, you’ll find Rock Lititz, a high-tech 96-acre campus where stars like Taylor Swift come to rehearse for their concerts (it’s also where to start if you’re looking for a local job in live events and entertainment). For a change of pace, hop in the car and cruise past the region’s farms, stopping at an Amish shop for homemade root beer. Or take a quick jaunt into the nearby bigger city of Lancaster, where you’ll find trendy restaurants, shopping and a historic food market.
If you answered mostly Bs:
Check out: Wellsboro
Nature lovers will always find something new to explore in Wellsboro. The tranquil town is located in the forested north-central region of the state known as the Pennsylvania Wilds, with good reason: There are a whole lot more trees here than people. The scenic Pine Creek Gorge — the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania” — and the 60-mile Pine Creek Rail Trail offer endless opportunities for quiet nature walks, hikes, bike rides, fishing and camping. The area is especially captivating in the fall, when the trees are a riot of reds, yellows and oranges. A 45-minute drive will take you to one of the best spots for stargazing in the country at Cherry Springs State Park, a certified International Dark Sky Park. Back in town, Wellsboro is known for its retro Main Street lined with Victorian-style gas lights — they’re especially pretty in the winter when each lantern gets a wreath and bow ahead of the annual Dickens of a Christmas celebration
If you answered mostly Cs:
Check out: West Chester
The borough of West Chester is part of the Philadelphia metropolitan area — but you don’t need to drive into the city for urban amenities. West Chester has an energetic downtown of its own, with museums, restaurants, bars and shops, plus shows, concerts and sporting events at West Chester University. (It’s also home to one of the world’s premier chocolatiers, Eclat Chocolate.) The college scene is balanced by a family-friendly vibe, with state parks and a historic railroad nearby. For grown-up recreation, much of Pennsylvania’s flourishing wine scene surrounds West Chester, with several wineries offering tours of their vineyards, tastings, and warm weather activities like concerts and picnics. A dip down into nearby Delaware will lead you to local gems like the 175-room Winterthur estate and the Brandywine River Museum of Art. West Chester residents will want to pick up annual passes to Longwood Gardens, a renowned horticultural center that changes with the seasons.
If you answered mostly Ds:
Check out: Gettysburg
Gettysburg caters to history buffs with preserved battlefields, somber statues of heroic soldiers, a museum filled with Civil War artifacts, and even the spot where Abraham Lincoln himself reminisced back to four score and seven years ago. Every inch of this Pennsylvania town strives to bring a piece of the past to life — and that includes the nightly ghost tours. But that doesn’t mean modern-day residents are left behind. Shops, a restored 1920s theater, farmers markets, festivals, state parks and lakes, plus wineries and cideries, offer everyone something to do. Like any tourist destination, Gettysburg is quieter in the off-season (the colder months) and draws crowds other times of year for a livelier vibe that creates an enticing ebb and flow. And when you’re in the mood for a big-city weekend, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., are all just a drive away.
If you answered mostly Es:
Check out: Jim Thorpe
With its easy proximity to skiing in the winter and water sports in the summer, Jim Thorpe is perfect for any outdoor enthusiast. The picturesque town is located in the Pocono Mountains, a popular skiing destination that draws outdoor adventurers all winter long. When the weather warms up, it’s time to head to Lehigh Gorge State Park for white-water rafting or biking the rail trail, or venture a bit further to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area for a day of kayaking or lazily tubing down the river. In town, Jim Thorpe’s winding, hilly roads are lined with Victorian buildings, making it clear why its nickname is “The Switzerland of America.” The buildings house restaurants, independent shops, boutique hotels and the Mauch Chunk Opera House performing arts venue — Mauch Chunk was the town’s original designation before it was renamed for a Sac and Fox Nation Olympic athlete. An old-fashioned train departs from the center of town for scenic jaunts through the state park. When it’s time to venture further, Philadelphia is just 90 minutes away and you can reach New York City in about two hours.
This article was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.