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A horse and buggy trundles through the Lancaster fog before it is overtaken by a Philadelphia-bound sports car driven by a young tech entrepreneur. In Pittsburgh, children of immigrants who work as nurses in the city's burgeoning hospitals start breaking into experimental contemporary art. In Gettysburg, descendants of Union soldiers proudly fly Confederate flags. This is Pennsylvania, which contains within her 46,000 sq miles some of the Eastern seaboard's most striking landscapes, culture clashes and contradictions.

Here you'll find massive elk herds loping across forested ravines in the Pennsylvania Wilds; former steel towns embracing wine-fueled arts walks; cities populated by the descendants of America's founders living side-by-side with immigrants; Mennonites who eschew modern tech but run agribusiness empires. This is a state that never fails to fascinate, and while it's wowing you with its culture, it's feeding you great food and awesome landscapes at the same time.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Pennsylvania.

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