Great Vacation Spots in NJ and PA That You Might Not Have Heard Of

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With their prime location on the shores of the Atlantic, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have many great beach towns to take your family on the next vacation. However, you can only do so many beach days before the novelty wears off. Thankfully, there are tons of gems tucked away into the Garden and Keystone States that will make for a memorable vacation.

High Point State Park

If you and the family want to use your vacation as a way to reconnect with nature, why not set some high expectations? High Point State Park is nearly 15 thousand acres of trees, lakes, and wildlife, and it’s home to the highest point of elevation in New Jersey. There are a few different hiking paths to take throughout the park, and if you so please, you can summit the mountain. At the top of the peak is a 20-story monument that you can enter to get a better view of your surroundings.

Pine Creek Gorge

If heights aren’t your thing, go for some lows instead. Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania,” Pine Creek Gorge is a 50-mile-long ravine through the immense Tioga State Forest. Rich with American (and pre-American) history, the natural vista is a prime location for taking a long hike through. If you want to seek out the lowest part of the gorge, head to Waterville, where the ravine reaches nearly 1500 feet deep.


If your kids are going through a construction phase, or you’ve got a particular interest in heavy machinery, Diggerland in West Berlin, NJ is the theme park to visit. Don’t expect the typical roller coasters and costumed characters, though. At Diggerland, you get to sit behind the wheel of heavy-duty construction equipment and control it yourself! Or, see how the pros do it at the daily equipment stunt shows, which sees the operators whipping around backhoes in ways you’ve never seen before.

Lancaster County

For a mix of relaxation and sightseeing, it’s worth taking a drive–or horse and buggy–through Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County, home to one of the largest Amish populations in the world. Slow down and see first-hand how the Amish live their day-to-day lives with tours through homesteads and buggy rides that will take you around the sights. Perhaps some insight into this interesting lifestyle will give you some insight into your own.

Please Touch Museum

Too often, museums are strictly hands-off experiences. For kids who want a little excitement, this is a nightmare. Not so at the aptly-named Please Touch Museum, where children (and their parents) are encouraged to learn through play. Attractions include a mock city, an historic carousel, and the Statue of Liberty’s arm recreated with found objects. If you’ve got some fidgety kids on your trip to Philadelphia, the Please Touch Museum will provide them with an outlet for all that energy. They might just learn a thing or two as well.

These are all some prime locations if you and your family are looking for something a little different on your vacation. It’ll surely beat another day at the beach!

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