Find Out Which Pennsylvania Small Towns Are the Best Vacation Destinations

Johnstown PA from atop inclined planeImage via Visit Johnstown PA

Traveling to small towns for vacation has been gaining popularity in the last few years – and it is easy to understand why! Small towns provide an authentic experience, far from the hustle and bustle of big cities. Their tight-knit communities and lovely rural landscapes afford visitors a more relaxed pace of life, while allowing them to create special memories with their family. But if you’re looking for ideas on where to go this year, recently surveyed 3,000 family units and compiled a list of the top 150 small towns they’d love to visit in 2023. Whether you decide on a beachfront or inland getaway, these locations can provide a range of fun activities for travelers of all ages.

“Visiting small towns has become increasingly popular as travelers seek authentic and personalized experiences that provide a break from the fast-paced, commercialized world. These hidden gems offer a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the local culture, connect with friendly communities, and escape the stress of everyday life,” says Rose Ackermann of

Johnstown, Pennsylvania: A Hidden Gem Full of History and Adventure

In 14th place came the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Nestled in the beautiful landscape of Western Pennsylvania, the charming town of Johnstown offers a unique blend of history, culture, and outdoor adventure. From the Johnstown Flood National Memorial to the beautiful Laurel Hill State Park, there’s something for everyone in this hidden gem of a destination. Whether you’re a Pennsylvania native or just passing through, make sure to add Johnstown to your must-visit list. In the following, let’s discover the plethora of nearby attractions and activities that make Johnstown the ideal destination for families and adventurers alike.

1. The Johnstown Flood National Memorial

One of the most significant events in Johnstown’s history is the devastating flood of 1889, which claimed the lives of over 2,200 people. The Johnstown Flood National Memorial provides a fascinating and sobering look at this tragic event, featuring interactive exhibits, artifacts, and educational programs. Visitors can also walk along the remains of the South Fork Dam, which burst and unleashed 20 million tons of water upon the city.

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2. Laurel Hill State Park

Just a short drive from Johnstown, Laurel Hill State Park offers a serene escape into the natural beauty of Pennsylvania. This 4,062-acre park features a beautiful 63-acre lake, perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming. Families can also enjoy the park’s numerous hiking trails, picnic areas, and playground facilities. For those looking to extend their stay, campsites and cabins are available for overnight trips.

3. The Johnstown Inclined Plane

As one of the steepest vehicular inclined planes in the world, the Johnstown Inclined Plane whisks visitors up the hillside to provide a panoramic view of the town and surrounding countryside. Originally built in 1891 as a means to transport people and goods between the city and the hilltop neighborhoods, the inclined plane has been restored and continues to serve as a unique mode of transportation as well as a popular tourist attraction.

4. Johnstown Children’s Museum

A perfect destination for young explorers, the Johnstown Children’s Museum offers hands-on exhibits and interactive displays designed to entertain and educate children of all ages. The museum features various themed areas, such as the “The Rooftop Garden,” “Water Room,” and “The Steel Mill Manager Game,” allowing kids to express their creativity, explore the basic principles of physics, and learn about the world around them.

5. Johnstown Symphony Orchestra

For those looking to add a touch of culture to their Johnstown visit, the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra provides the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in a world-class musical experience. Established in 1929, the orchestra has become a vital part of the local community, offering a variety of concerts and events throughout the year. From classical masterpieces to family-friendly performances, the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra is sure to delight music lovers of all ages.

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With its rich history, breathtaking natural landscapes, and diverse cultural offerings, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, proves to be a hidden gem worth discovering. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a family-friendly adventure, Johnstown has something for everyone. So, plan your visit today, and immerse yourself in the unique blend of heritage and excitement that this charming Pennsylvania town has to offer.

Exploring the Beauty of Jim Thorpe and Lititz, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is no stranger to interesting history, with a robust selection of towns that offer a glimpse into the past. Two additional towns, in particular, stand out as especially noteworthy – Jim Thorpe and Lititz. They were both also ranked in the top 150 best small towns in America, but what makes them so special? Let’s explore what these two towns have to offer.

Jim Thorpe (72nd)

Located in Carbon County, Jim Thorpe is a small town with big charm. Many families flock here to enjoy attractions like the Old Jail Museum, which was built in 1871 and houses exhibits on local history from the late 19th century up through today. There is also the Asa Packer Mansion that offers guided tours and an insight into the life of one of Pennsylvania’s most important figures. Finally, there is Lehigh Gorge State Park for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a unique experience. With its breathtaking views and a wide array of activities, it has something for everyone!

Lititz (78th)

The small borough of Lititz is located in Lancaster County and showcases many historic landmarks that make it special. For example, it is home to the oldest continuously operated farmers market in America since 1730! The market features fresh produce from local farms as well as homemade goods such as candies and baked treats. Along with shopping options like antique stores and other unique boutiques, Lititz stands out as a great place to visit for those who love exploring local culture and history.

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When considering all that these small towns have to offer – both historically and today – it’s easy to see why they have been included on this list of best small towns in America. Whether you are looking for outdoor activities or just some leisurely sightseeing at museums or shops, Johnstown, Jim Thorpe, and Lititz provide unique experiences full of culture and history that can be enjoyed by everyone! So next time you find yourself looking for something fun to do around Pennsylvania, consider checking out one (or all three!) of these top-rated small towns!

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This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.