Pennsylvania, United States

About Pennsylvania

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is located in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to the east. The state's four most populous cities are, respectively, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown and Erie. The state capital is Harrisburg. The bounds of the state are the Mason-Dixon Line (39° 43' N) to the south, the Delaware River to the east, 80° 31' W to the west, and the 42° N to the north, with the exception of a short segment on the western end, where a triangle extends north to Lake Erie. Pennsylvania borders six other states: New York to the north; New Jersey to the east; Delaware and Maryland to the southeast; West Virginia to the southwest, and Ohio to the west. Pennsylvania also shares a water border with Canada. It has the cities of Philadelphia, York, Reading and Lancaster in the southeast, Pittsburgh in the southwest, the tri-cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton in the central east (known as the Lehigh Valley), the tri-cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Hazleton in the northeast, and Erie in the northwest, with state capital Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River in the central region of the commonwealth.

Pennsylvania Tourism and Recreation

No less an attraction are the state's outdoor recreation areas. By far the most popular for both skiing and camping are the Delaware Water Gap and the Poconos, also a favorite resort region. The state park system includes 116 state parks, 20 state forests, one national forest, and 3 environmental education centers.

Philadelphia—whose Independence National Historical Park has been called the most historic square mile in America—offers the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Carpenter's Hall, and many other sites. North of Philadelphia, in Bucks County, is the town of New Hope, with its numerous crafts and antique shops.

The Lancaster area is ennsylvania Dutch country, featuring tours and exhibits of Amish farm life. Gettysburg contains not only the famous Civil War battlefield but also the home of Dwight D. Eisenhower, opened to the public in 1980. Among the most popular sites are Chocolate World and Hershey Park in the town of Hershey and Valley Forge National Historic Park. Annual parades and festivals include the Mummers Parade on 1 January in Philadelphia and the Kutztown Folk Festival, commemorating Pennsylvania Dutch life, held the first week of July.

Pennsylvania Climate

Pennsylvania experiences four seasons, although there are variations depending on the area and altitude. Summers tend to be hot and humid, while winters are cold with snow; the mountainous areas are typically cooler in summer, and receive a lot more snow in the winter months. July is usually the warmest month with temperatures averaging 80°F (27°C), although the south is often hotter. The coldest time of year is January. Spring and autumn are the best times to travel, as they are moderate in temperature. Peak tornado season in the eastern US is usually between May and July. Monthly average temperatures range from a high of 86.2 degrees to a low of 18.0 degrees.

Pennsylvania Transportaion

There are 69 railroads in the state and 5,100 miles of railways, 5th highest in the nation. There are 134 public-use airports and six international airports. Major aiports include Philadelphia International Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, Lehigh Valley International Airport, Harrisburg International Airport and Erie International Airport.

The state has an extensive network of Interstate highways. Interstate 80 runs from the Ohio line in the west to the New Jersey state line at the Delaware Water Gap in the east. The road is toll-free and crosses mostly rural and suburban areas, running far to the South of cities such as Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Williamsport. The Pennsylvania Turnpike consists of several routes crossing the state, including Interstate 76/Interstate 276 (which runs from the Ohio border north of Pittsburgh to the New Jersey state line north of Philadelphia) and Interstate 476, the Northeast Extension, which runs from the mainline in the Philadelphia metro area to Scranton in the North. Interstate 90 runs through Erie County in extreme Northwest Pennsylvania, connecting Ohio with New York. Interstate 86 connects with Interstate 90 in Erie County.