• Noe Heivanui

Pennsylvania - Mainly the Poconos

Updated: Aug 6

Photo by Cameron Sanborn

HAPPY NATIONAL PENNSYLVANIA DAY!!!


National Pennsylvania Day on July 20th recognizes the second state to join the Union. Once the home of the temporary capital of the United States in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is also known as the Keystone State. While the source of the nickname has been forgotten, the meaning is not lost. Bridge builders know leaving the vital keystone out of their structure would be folly, leading to collapse.

Pennsylvania played many roles that could be considered keystones. To begin with, its vote for independence split between eight delegates. Because of this, the split played a vital role in deciding to move toward independence and cementing the union of the newly formed country.

Photo by Chris Murray

Throughout military operations, Pennsylvania provided forces to support the cause. In fact, Valley Forge tells the story of leadership and sacrifice of a young, developing army and citizenry. As we know, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed in Philadelphia during its tenure as the temporary capital. It was geographically centered among the 13 original colonies.

We can eat our way through history, too! To understand Pennsylvania’s flavor profile. We start in Lancaster County, which is the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country. German and Swiss immigrants brought with them a wide range of hearty recipes that they incorporated into the fresh ingredients available in Pennsylvania countryside. From pork and sauerkraut, to pot pies and scrapple, these dishes filled the tables with the bounty of the land.

Much of more of the sweeter side of Pennsylvania, Dutch flavor finds its way into restaurants than the savory flavored foods. For example, the whoopie pie, shoofly, and funnel cake are tourist and fair favorites found everywhere. Unfortunately, the home-cooked seasoning of chicken corn chowder or stuffed cabbage rolls are often not found in a restaurant.

For the best and original Philly Cheesesteak, there is only one place to go. Philadelphia, of course! Made with thinly sliced beef rib eye, sauteed onions, peppers and mushrooms, melted cheese, on a long, crusty Italian roll. A hot dog vendor, Pat Olivieri, created the cheesesteak in the 1930s. One cab driver caught a whiff and soon after Olivieri opened a restaurant. It’s still there with competition across the street, a 24-hour a day rivalry for tourists and cheesesteak lovers to choose along with several others in the area.

Head on over to Hershey to pick up all variety of chocolate and adventure. Don’t stop there! Pennsylvania’s sweet tooth has deep roots. From Twizzlers to Peeps, confectioners love Pennsylvania. Candy isn’t the only sweet treat on the menu, though. In 1904, the banana split was invented in Latrobe, PA.



If your preference is more on the salty side, Pennsylvania has that covered, too. They’ve mastered soft and hard pretzels. They also have a terrific competition between four regional potato chip brands.

Photo by Cameron Venti

Full of regional festivals and local cuisine, Pennsylvania is also home to Kennett Square, otherwise known as the Mushroom Capital of the United States. Every year, in celebration, they shut down the town square for a mushroom festival. It’s no wonder Pennsylvanian mushrooms make it into dishes around the world, even into your very own house.


Along with all the iconic food, sweets and historic landmarks, there are also three very romantic places to go for a getaway with your significant other. All adult-only ;) Definitely worth looking into and maybe planning a trip, I think.


1. Cove Haven

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack, Cove Haven Resort is famous for being not the only the birthplace of the heart-shaped hot tub and the seven-foot-tall Champagne Tower, but for also being the home to countless recharged romances over the course of 61+ years. Delicious dining options with 5 different bars and lounges and 2 restaurants,a nightclub, an endless list of indoor and outdoor activities all over the property, the ever-changing seasonal beauty of the Pocono Mountains, and nightly entertainment are just some of the reasons Cove Haven is beloved by guests for so many decades.


2. Pocono Palace

Exuding the relaxed atmosphere of a private club, Pocono Palace Resort is a romantic retreat on private Echo Lake in the heart of the Pocono Mountains – only an hour drive from the George Washington Bridge. A favorite of couples and honeymooners, this four-season resort property features 188 suites, two restaurants, a bar and the Applause Nightclub. With recent upgrades made around the property, including updates made to all 7 suite-types, guests are finding the Pocono Palace experience even more exciting than ever-before.


3. Paradise Stream

Located in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, Paradise Stream Resort is a romantic retreat on private Lake Eden. A honeymoon hotspot, this four-season resort property features 143 suites, two restaurants, two bars and the Red Apple Nightclub, a hot spot for live entertainment every single night. All day long, guests enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor activities and amenities when they’re not relaxing in one of our signature suites, featuring amenities like heart-shaped hot tubs and our world-famous seven-foot-tall Champagne Tower.



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