Pennsylvania is undoubtedly one of the best states to live in or visit during the autumn months. Admittedly, with so many great things to do and see, choosing the best among them can be overwhelming; so we've done all the hard work and narrowed down the list for you, highlighting the top 22 things you need to add to your fall bucket list this year. Oh and I suggest you bookmark this page because you will not want to lose it! 

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Take a fall foliage train ride

Where: Multiple locations

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You can't beat the scenic fall foliage in Pennsylvania, and there is certainly no better way to enjoy it than by taking a train ride through the mountains and valleys. There are several rail lines throughout Pennsylvania offering fall foliage tours, so with a simple Google search, you should have no problem finding one within a reasonable distance from you. 

Personal recommendation: try to find a tour that takes you on an old steam train for a really unforgettable experience!

Glide through the woods on this Poconos mountain coaster

Where: 243 Resort Drive, Tannersville

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Stop dreaming about riding one of these mountain costers you keep seeing videos of on Facebook and just do it. The Appalachian Express Mountain Coaster cruises you down the Camelback Mountain in a sled-like car that you have some control over. It is the only mountain coaster in Pennsylvania, making it a pretty popular attraction, so getting your ticket ahead of time is definitely recommended.


Watch a movie at the drive-in

Where: Multiple locations

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Forget going to a boring old cinema to see the new horror flicks this fall, head to your local drive-in theater instead. Pack your truck full of blankets and snacks (some places allow you to bring booze) and enjoy the last of the nice weather before winter hits.

Try your hand at some punkin' chunkin' 

Where: Multiple locations

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Think you could beat this grandma's score? I have to admit, one of my favorite unofficial sports of the season is punkin' chunkin', there's just something oddly satisfying about watching a 25+lb pumpkin being catapulted through the air.

The hilarious sport has been gaining in popularity, now several pumpkin patches and farms throughout the state offer it, but if you really want the full experience you should go to the Punkin' Chunkin' Festival

Fly the skies in a hot air balloon 

Where: Multiple locations

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Why enjoy the fall foliage from only the ground level? Take a hot air balloon ride for a really unique way to appreciate the surrounding autumn beauty. Here is a list of companies to book a flight with. 

Attend a weekend at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival

Where:  2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim

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Mermaids, swashbucklers, and pickles on sticks! Located in Lancaster County, this is Pennsylvania's biggest and most commercial renaissance festival; admittedly it's hard to see it all in one day. It runs from August to the end of October, featuring different themes, like Oktober Fest, Dog Days, etc, each week. Coming from personal experience, the best weekend to go is the Halloween celebration weekend where everyone is encouraged to wear their Halloween costume and there is an extra special joust tournament that evening. 

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Tour the battlefields of Gettysburg on horseback

Where: Gettysburg Battle Field

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Sure you could tour the battlefield during the summer in 90-degree heat, but doesn't a nice leisurely ride through the park on horseback in a comfortable 75-degree temperature sound much better? Luckily that is an option, and there are several ranch tours to choose from. Click here to browse the list of options and book the one that suits your needs.

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Wine/Cider Tastings

Where: Multiple locations

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'Tis the season for fresh apple cider and wine. Besides the typical Oktoberfest, plenty of breweries and wineries throughout the state host tasting events during the fall. Here are some to choose from. 

Harvest some apples at a local orchard

Where: Multiple locations

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It doesn't get much more natural than straight off of the tree. Whether you need apples to make a pie with or you would just like to bite into some fresh, crisp fruit, now is the time to avoid buying them at the grocery stores and instead go to a local orchard to pluck your own straight from the source. 

Investigate some of Pennsylvania's most haunted locations

Where: Multiple locations

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Hill View Manor, the Eastern State Penitentiary, and Carrie Furnace are a few of many supposedly haunted locations in the state that you can pay to spend a night investigating — if you dare.

Stargazing at Cherry Springs State Park

Where: Cherry Springs State Park, Coudersport 

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The low humidity and decently warm temperatures in autumn make it the perfect time to go stargazing. One of the only places in Pennsylvania with low enough light pollution to clearly see the Milky Way is at Cherry Springs State Park, so you might want to plan this as a weekend trip since anyone from Pennsylvania knows that weather conditions can change pretty quick. There is a whole portion of the State Park's website dedicated to stargazing information, so be sure to check it out.


Rent a cabin in the woods

Where: Multiple locations

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Get away from the real world and surround yourself with nature by renting a cabin in the woods. I recommend a rental with a fireplace to keep you warm and cozy during those chilly fall nights. Check out this article on super cheap waterfront cottage rentals in Pennsylvania. 

Eat your heart out at the Philly Cheesesteak and Food Festival

Where: 2300 Arena, Philadelphia

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Mark your calendars because a date has been announced! The Philadelphia Cheesesteak and Food Festival will be taking place on October 13, from 1-6 p.m. There will be dozens of vendors, samples, live entertainment, a cheesesteak eating contest, and, of course, beer! 

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Learn about Philadelphia's haunted history while eating

Where: Philadelphia

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If you are in Philadephia for the Cheesesteak and Food Festival, clearly you're a foodie and should also consider partaking in a haunted food tour. You will get to try six different autumnal tastings while touring the city and learning about the local haunted history. 


Join in on the undead fun at the Pittsburgh Zombie Fest

Where: Pittsburgh

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For one day of the year, a portion of the city gets infested by zombies (an official location has yet to be announced). Like any good festival, there will be food, entertainment, and merchants — as well as plenty of picture opportunities. So, will you be dressing up as a zombie or survivor?

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Hunt some zombies

Where: Multiple locations

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While we are on the topic of zombies, you can fight for your survival during a staged zombie infestation at one of these many locations. If you're in the Pittsburgh area or willing to travel, I highly recommend Zombies of the Corn — it was a lot of fun, reasonably priced, and well put together.

Get lost in a corn maze

Where: Multiple locations

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Corn mazes aren't just for kids. There are tons of mazes that span for several acres, making it a real challenge to complete even for adults, well, as long as they don't cheat. Have a look on this map for one near you. 

Book your stay at Seven Springs for their Autumnfest weekends

Where: 777 Waterwheel Dr

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Enjoy the fall festival activities, relax at the spa, or do something a little more adventurous like ziplining or riding the alpine slide down the mountain — no matter if you are looking for a relaxing getaway or excitement filled vacation, there is so much to do at Seven Springs Resort, especially during their Autumnfest weekends.


Get spooked at one of these terrifying scare houses

Where: Multiple locations

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If you love being scared to death, almost literally, then you should go to one of the scare houses that make you sign a waiver before entering. Some people say the waivers are just an added scare tactic to make you assume it will be "so scary you might die," but I guess the only way to truly know is by finding out yourself. Two best-rated scare houses in PA: Scarehouse (Pittsburgh) and Field of Screams (Lancaster).

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Appreciate the indie films featured at the Black Bear Film Festival 

Where: 109 W Catharine St, Milford

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If you enjoy a good indie film now and again then you are going to love the Black Bear Film Festival. This popular event showcases the hard work of talented indie film producers by premiering their movies at this public event. More information will be announced this month, so keep an eye on their website for more details. 


Commemorate the battle of Fort Ligonier during Fort Ligonier Days

Where: 120 East Main Street, Ligonier

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Calling all history buffs, Fort Ligonier Days is an annual celebration commemorating the Battle of Fort Ligonier, fought on October 12, 1758. There will be war reenactments, 200 craft and food booths, a top-ranked community parade, wine tasting, a 5K race, sidewalk sales, live entertainment, and more!


Watch the Ohio Regatta in Pittsburgh

Where: Allegheny River, Pittsburgh

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You gotta regatta! This year the 32nd annual Head of the Ohio Regatta will be taking place during Saturday, October 6th, and Sunday, October 7th, on the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh. This is always a well-attended event featuring plenty of water sports entertainment. 

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