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Your family can’t go wrong on a road tour of Pennsylvania, whether you amble through downtown Harrisburg, dip into chocolate at Hersheypark, or munch a slice of Lebanon’s storied bologna. Kutztown’s caves, Allentown’s wineries, and the crayons and canals of Easton set the stage for a perfect Pennsylvania getaway.
We prefer to start things off in the central region around Pennsylvania’s state capital of Harrisburg. Walk around the vibrant downtown district and browse through Broad Street Market among bright flowers, fresh veggies, and tempting bakery treats. See thousands of classic toys in an amazing full-scale “doll house” setting at – where else? – the Doll House Museum. The impartial National Civil War Museum, also in Harrisburg, is credited as both the largest and least subjective among Civil War centers in America.
A quick show of hands: Who’s in the mood for chocolate? Yep, just like we thought. Good thing Hershey is just down the road on US-422. Stroll, ride, and smile your way around a sweet and entertaining escape at Hersheypark, Chocolate World, and bountiful Hershey Gardens. Be sure to include a visit to Hershey’s big-time Antique Auto Museum, where a laudable collection of antique cars and buses steers you through 80 momentous years of transportation history.
From Hershey, pick up US-422 east to Lebanon. Hopefully, it’ll be nearing lunchtime when you enter the town limits, where you’ll find Weaver’s Famous Lebanon Bologna store ready to fill you up on some wonderful local grub. With a full belly, continue your drive east into Reading. Just a few miles south of here, on US-422, is the town of Birdsboro and the Daniel Boone Homestead, the legendary Pennsylvanian’s 18th-century birthplace.
From Reading, follow US-222 east through Kutztown, where you can participate in an underground cave tour, go panning for gems, and check out the Rock Shop at Crystal Cave. Before you leave the area, spend a memorable hour rolling past tidy Mennonite farms on an East Penn Scenic Railroad ride.
In the town of Allentown, also on US-222, tour and taste-test at acclaimed local wineries, pedal your way through a day of scenic cycling, or learn to fly-fish on the Delaware River in Allentown. Lost River Caverns outside Bethlehem offers guided explorations of local limestone caves that contain curious stalagmite, stalactite, and flowstone formations with names such as “Crystal Chapel” and the namesake “Lost River.”
From Bethlehem, follow US-22 east into Easton, where our gas-tank trip ends. First stop: the Crayola Factory, production site for the ever-popular crayons and markers. Next, take a historic cruise on a mule-drawn canal boat at the National Canal Museum. Both stops are located at Two Rivers Landing in Easton.