Officially known under the name of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of America. It is home to the Appalachian Mountain Range and has borders with several other states, namely Ohio, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland. The Canadian province of Ontario also has a border with Pennsylvania, and pat of the state is situated on the shores of Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes of North America.
Nicknamed the 'Keystone State', Pennsylvania is the 33rd biggest state in terms of area but has the sixth highest population, making it one of the top ten most densely populated states of America. Pennsylvania covers an area of 46,055 square miles and has an estimated population of 12.8 million. The capital city of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg, but the biggest and best-known city in the state is Philadelphia. Here are some important facts and overviews of the largest cities in Pennsylvania. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
3 of the Largest Cities in Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia, Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com
- Pittsburgh, Photo: checubus/stock.adobe.com
- Allentown, Photo: mandritoiu/stock.adobe.com
- Erie, Photo: Jacob/stock.adobe.com
- Reading, Photo: jonbilous/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of mandritoiu - Fotolia.com
More Ideas: Chanticleer Botanical Garden
Located in Wayne, Pennsylvania, Chanticleer Botanical Garden is a 47-acre public garden facility located on the former grounds of the estate of pharmaceutical manufacturer Adolf G. Rosengarten, offering a variety of landscaped gardens and open lawn space for public relaxation. The Chanticleer estate was originally constructed in 1912 as the summer home for the family of Adolph G. Rosengarten, the owner of the Philadelphia-based Rosengarten and Sons pharmaceutical company.
Founded in 1822, Rosengarten and Sons originally formed as a company for the production of quinine and became a major pharmaceutical distributor on the American East Coast before merging with Merck in 1927. Due to the large number of rooster carvings and references throughout the estate, including a carved stone crest on its entrance gate, Chanticleer was named after the French word for rooster. In 1984, the Chanticleer property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
After inheriting his parents’ estate upon their deaths, Adolph G. Rosengarten, Jr. set out with a vision to develop the property into a public garden space, hiring British landscape designer Christopher Woods to create botanical gardens on the property’s grounds. Following Rosengarten, Jr.’s death in 1990, Woods was appointed as the facility’s Executive Director and developed the facility further according to a master plan, tearing down the estate’s stone house for further landscaping purposes. In 1993, Chanticleer was completed and opened to the public.
Permanent Attractions and Gardens
Today, Chanticleer spans more than 47 acres, offering more than 35 acres of public garden and relaxation space, open seasonally between April and October. It is owned and operated by the Chanticleer Foundation, which employs seven horticulturalists to oversee the development, creative direction, and maintenance of each individual section of the gardens. As a botanical garden facility, Chanticleer has been celebrated as one of the most innovative and imaginative public garden facilities in the United States, utilizing a variety of textures, forms, and sculptural elements to create unique public park spaces.
Chanticleer’s gardens include a variety of open lawn spaces, tree-lined areas, and landscaped botanical gardens, focusing on creative, environmentally-sustainable landscape designs. The original Chanticleer House is preserved, open to the public for guided tours by appointment. The home’s open-air sun porch is open to the public with admission to the gardens, serving as a link between the home and garden spaces and showcasing a small garden of pink cherry, hydrangea, and phlox beds along a red gravel circle and a small area of bear’s breeches, purple gas plants, and Grosso lavender plantings. A swimming pool, several small fountain sculptures, and a public entertainment lawn are also offered as part of the house’s grounds.
The facility’s Teacup Garden serves as the property’s entrance courtyard area, showcasing an Italianate fountain and seasonal tropical plants such as bananas, gingers, pineapple lilies, apricot devils, and succulents. A mile-long circular main path connects the facility’s other gardens, which are accessible from the main house via an elevated walkway with two viewing platforms. At the end of the walkway, a Serpentine Garden living sculpture is constructed of juniper and ginkgo trees, evoking pagan natural imagery.
A hillside Bulb Meadow contains displays of daffodils, Spanish bluebells, autumn colchicum, and naked ladies, while an Asian Woods area was developed in 1995 as a woodland dedicated to native Chinese, Japanese, and Korean plant species. Several traditional woodland areas are showcased throughout the facility, including the Minder Woods stone pathway, which winds through red oak, green pine, fir, cypress, and hemlock plantings, and Bell’s Woodland, which connects to the Bell’s Run Creek and waterwheel. A Pond Garden, originally constructed in the 1970s, showcases ornamental grasses, daisies, and black-eyed susans, serving as an ecosystem for herons, frogs, and hummingbirds.
The facility’s Ruin Garden uses the ruins of the estate’s Minder House as its foundation, divided into three landscaped garden “rooms,” including a Great Hall, a Library, and a Pool Room. The estate’s former tennis court facilities have also been transformed into a Tennis Court Garden, showcasing summer and fall herbaceous plants in five beds, and a Cutting Garden uses the facility’s cottage to create a traditional four-quadrant garden with arches. Other gardens on the facility include an American-style Vegetable Garden, a Gravel Garden showcasing rare native plants, and an open Orchard lawn.
Ongoing Programs and Education
Guided tours of the Chanticleer House are offered seasonally by appointment for small groups and organizations, lasting approximately 90 minutes. A variety of educational programming is offered by the facility, including art and horticulture courses and workshops offered in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators, and the Wayne and Main Line Art Centers. Several internship and scholarship programs are offered, including a Chanticleer USA Christopher Lloyd Scholarship, which provides an opportunity for horticulturalists to study at Great Dixter in East Sussex, England. Chanticleer is also the host of the annual Perennial Plant Conference, held at nearby Swarthmore College.
786 Church Rd, Wayne, PA 19087, Phone: 610-687-4163
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More Ideas: Colebrookdale Railroad
We’re living in an age of super-fast jet planes, luxury cruise ships the size of cities, and state of the art electric cars, but there’s still something special and irreplaceable about traveling on a train. All over the world, the early railroads helped many societies and civilizations grow and evolve, carrying people and cargo long distances at a time when these kinds of journeys had previously taken days or even weeks to complete.
The history of train travel is highly significant, and trains remain essential to this day. A ride on a historic train along a scenic route can be a particularly enjoyable and relaxing experience and a wonderful way to escape from the high-speed nature of modern life. The Colebrookdale Railroad in Pennsylvania is a a perfect example. This incredible historic railroad lets passengers travel in multiple cars along a picturesque route on various themed tours all through the year.
All About the Colebrookdale Railroad
The Colebrookdale Railroad runs along the Secret Valley Line in Pennsylvania. The line itself was built way back in 1865 and used from 1869 onwards, but tourist travel along this historic route only began in 2014. Operated by the non-profit Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust, the Colebrookdale Railroad gives you a chance to enjoy luxury travel in historic cars along a very special route.
Come rain or shine, the railroad keeps running, with heated cars, high quality meals, friendly service, and beautiful cars to be enjoyed by all. A wonderful, family-friendly attraction in Pennsylvania, the Colebrookdale Railroad is a simply unmissable part of any trip to Pennsylvania, especially for those who enjoy heading off the beaten path and sharing unique experiences with their families and friends.
Examples of trips you can take aboard this magical railroad include:
- The Mudball Express - This fun, nature-themed railroad tour lets passengers toss mudballs with wildflower seeds inside them from out of the Colebrookdale Railroad's open car onto the sides of the tracks. The idea is that the seeds will then sprout and create beautiful, colorful scenes for future travelers to enjoy.
- The Easter Bunny Train - A special, Easter-themed train ride in which the actual Easter Bunny will be a very special guest on board, happy to meet the children and provide fun treats for all.
- The Secret Valley Expedition - A classic tour-hour journey along the iconic Secret Valley Line into the heart of the Secret Valley itself. Sometimes featuring fine dining meals or live entertainment, this journey is the core offering of the Colebrookdale Railroad.
- Mother's Day Dinner - Treat your mother to something extra special on Mother's Day by taking her for a ride on board the Colebrookedale Railroad. All moms will receive extra special care and some delicious food and drinks too.
- Eerie Limited - A popular tour with horror film fans and ghost story lovers, the Eerie Limited tour teaches you all about some of the spooky stories and ghostly goings-on throughout the Secret Valley.
- Reading on the Rails - A wonderful option for families with young children, this short journey lets kids aged 12 and under gather together for a very special story-time session while traveling along the tracks of the Secret Valley Line.
Riding On Board The Colebrookdale Railroad
Passengers aboard the Colebrookdale Railroad will be able to experience the wonders and magic of this journey across several different cars:
- The Secret Valley Explorer Open Car - Perhaps the most popular car of all, the Secret Valley Explorer Open Car offers a real 'fairy tale' experience for every passenger. This fully open car lets you enjoy almost 360-degree views all around you, taking in the scenic beauty of the Secret Valley Line from every possible angle. All passengers get full access to this car and it can provide some amazing views and wonderful photo opportunities.
- The First Class Parlor Car - Step back in time and feel like a real VIP in the Parlor Car. Truly setting the standard for first class travel, this car provides a quiet and cozy area, with authentic furnishings and regal design all around. This car is for adult passengers only and can only be accessed with a Parlor Car/First Class ticket. All visitors to this car will be served with a complimentary drink and can also enjoy some light bites.
- The Dining Cars - If you happen to start feeling a little hungry or are taking a dining-themed trip aboard the Colebrookdale Railroad, you'll be able to stop off at one of either the Dining Car or the Garden Cafe Car. The former is stylized to offer an authentic railroad dining experience, while the latter is designed to provide a cozy Edwardian garden setting. Many fine meals are dishes are served here, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.
- The Deluxe Coach - The Deluxe Coach is an authentic Edwardian-style car that has been beautifully restored and lovingly renovated with comfortable blue seats, warm lighting, elegant wooden carvings, and more. All Coach Class tickets offer access to this car and the Open Car.
- The Locomotive - If you've ever dreamed of operating a train yourself or seeing what it looks like up in the locomotive and engine room, you may want to consider booking a spot in the Locomotive car. Only one ticket is available for this experience on each trip, so it's a very exclusive and unique opportunity to see the inner workings of a historic locomotive, perfect for true train lovers.
No matter which car you happen to be traveling in, the Colebrookdale Railroad offers a truly special experience for every passenger. This is the place where magical memories are made, never to be forgotten, and there’s something particularly soothing, charming, and inspiring about taking a trip along such a beautiful and historic line.
All tickets can be reserved online with ease, and you can also view the full calendar of upcoming excursions and unique trips via the official Colebrookdale Railroad site. So, start planning your trip today and see just why so many people have fallen in love with this iconic Pennsylvania railroad.
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More Ideas: Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Located in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania commemorates the history of railroading in Pennsylvania, showcasing more than 100 classic locomotives, railroad cars, and other railroad industry memorabilia. Many of the collections showcased at the Railroad Museum of PA date back to collections amassed by the Pennsylvania Railroad for the 1939 World’s Fair, which were stored in a roundhouse facility in Northumberland, Pennsylvania following the event.
In 1963, the Pennsylvania state legislature chartered the creation of a railroad museum to display the collection, selecting a site for the museum two years later in Strasburg, a city in Lancaster County. The PRR collection was moved to the Strasburg site throughout the late 1960s, and additional collections were acquired piecemeal over the following years. Throughout the early 1970s, a Reading Company turntable, yard tracks, and museum building were constructed at the Strasburg site. When the museum opened to the public in 1975, it was the first museum in America specifically dedicated to the history of the railroad industry. In 1983, the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania nonprofit organization was created to support the museum and its restoration efforts and programming, and throughout the late 20th century, the museum was expanded several times to accommodate its growing collections.
Permanent Exhibits and Collections
Today, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is owned by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, operated in conjunction with the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. The museum encompasses 18 acres, including 100,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space, and showcases more than 100 historic locomotives, railroad cars, and other pieces of railroad industry equipment. As a Smithsonian Affiliate museum, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania strives to document the history of the railroading industry in Pennsylvania through a variety of exhibits, educational programming, and public events.
In addition to locomotives and cars formerly used by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the museum showcases cars and equipment from a number of historic Pennsylvania-area railroads and rail businesses, including the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Pittsburgh and Erie Railroad, and Baldwin Locomotive Works. Notable holdings from the original World’s Fair collection include the former Strasburg Railroad cars PRR #1223, famously used in the 1969 feature film Hello, Dolly!, and PRR #7002, the 1905 land speed record holder for its speed of 127.1 miles per hour. Other historic locomotives include the PRR #460, also known as the “Lindbergh Engine,” the PRR #3750, which pulled President Warren Harding’s funeral procession, and two PRR GG1 locomotives. Rare locomotive holdings include the Bethlehem Steel #111 and Pennsylvania Power and Light #4094-D fireless steam engines and the Chicago Mill and Lumber #4 Heisler locomotive. Modern locomotives include the Amtrak AEM-7 number 915.
In addition to locomotive holdings, the museum showcases a collection of more than 500,000 historic images and documents related to the railroad industry, as well as 17,000 artifacts, such as railroad tickets, uniforms, train station signs, and railroad equipment. More than 100,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space is offered, including a second-floor gallery for temporary rotating exhibits and an observation bridge which allows visitors to view the museum’s rolling stock from above. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to climb aboard a railroad caboose, steer a simulated freight locomotive, and examine a vintage locomotive from underneath. Closed-circuit television feeds allow visitors to watch restoration efforts in real time from the museum’s restoration shop. A Reading and Research Room library and archives are also accessible by appointment, and a gift shop, opened in 2007, sells railroad-themed apparel and souvenirs.
Ongoing Programs and Education
Guided and self-guided tours are available for small groups and organizations, including specialized tours customized according to individual group needs. All group tours receive a 20-minute orientation tour and a coupon redeemable at the museum’s gift shop. Self-guided tour groups may use scavenger hunt materials provided by the museum upon request. A variety of tour packages are also offered for elementary and secondary school groups, incorporating Pennsylvania curriculum standards in the areas of history, math, science, language, and the arts. All school tours incorporate elements of interactive role play and critical thinking in tour activities. Traveling educational programming is also offered, bringing museum artifacts directly into the classroom for 90-minute presentations.
A variety of educational workshops are offered through the museum, including merit badge programs for scouting groups. Semiannual scouting Saturday workshops are also offered for individual scouting members to work on badge requirements. Annual summer camps are offered in July for students ages 9-12, offering hands-on activities such as model train building and field trips traveling on historic trains. The museum’s educational center, Stewart Junction, is also open daily for young visitors, offering interactive exhibits and free play with two model train tracks and a LEGO building zone.
300 Gap Rd, Strasburg, PA 17579, Phone: 717-687-8628
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