There may be no better place to experience American history than Pennsylvania, where the First Continental Congress met to sign the Declaration of Independence; where battles were fought and lost and fought and won to carve out this crazy country of mutts that we call home; where the very first intercontinental highway literally set the wheels of progress in motion. The Keystone State, so named for its central location among the original 13 colonies, has quite a lot to offer visitors. Of course, save for the Steelers in Pittsburgh, it is most famous for the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. And Philly is indeed a great town full of all the excitement, struggle, creativity, ambition, and history that exists in any good center of urban life. Within a small radius of a few blocks, you can see the Liberty Bell in all its cracked glory, traipse down the same cobblestone streets where Benny Franklin himself set his buckle-shoed feet, and then slide on over for just about the most anti-Colonial meal you could find at the massive, modern Buddakan restaurant, with its great golden Buddha and outrageous and much-lauded Asian fare.
But Pennsylvania is more than history lessons and Philly cheese steaks. Driving the red-barn-dotted Pennsylvania Turnpike through the state's farming heartland is an easy-on-the-eyes tonic for loosening up the shoulders and forgetting whatever stresses are plaguing you, as are the bucolic sights in Lancaster County and the babbling waters of the pretty Delaware River. And cities like Pittsburgh are dusting off their party dresses and adding some much-needed shine and shimmer by throwing a little coin into revitalization, which has grabbed the attention of airlines like JetBlue who are now flying directly into the city, which, in the interest of fascinating cocktail party factoids, has more bridges than the beautifully bisected Venice.