Best Small Towns In Pennsylvania

Discover The Hidden Gems: Best Small Towns In Pennsylvania To Explore

Best Small Towns In Pennsylvania

Planning your next getaway can feel like a daunting task, especially when you’re itching to escape the hustle and bustle of crowded cities. Trust us, we know the feeling all too well.

That’s why, after diving deep into some serious research, we’ve crafted the ultimate guide for you. This article is your gateway to discovering Pennsylvania’s quaintest small towns, brimming with charm and teeming with hidden treasures just waiting for you to uncover them.

So pack your bags and prepare yourself for an adventure that promises to be nothing short of unforgettable!

Key Takeaways

  • Visit Benezette to watch wild elk and explore nature trails through forests and creeks.
  • Enjoy Eagles Mere in summer for boating and fishing on the lake, or visit in winter for sledding and snowshoeing.
  • Ohiopyle offers thrilling whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River and beautiful waterfalls to discover.
  • St. Peters Village is great for hiking, fishing, and enjoying local shops amidst historic buildings.
  • Bedford has healing mineral springs at Bedford Springs Hotel, cozy restaurants, and outdoor adventures like hiking in Shawnee State Park.

Best Small Towns In Pennsylvania Under 1,000 Residents

A peaceful river flows through a charming small town surrounded by lush greenery.

Discover quaint towns in Pennsylvania with under 1,000 residents – Benezette, Eagles Mere, Ohiopyle, and St Peters Village.

Each town offers unique charm and scenic beauty, perfect for a quiet getaway or outdoor adventure.


Benezette stands out as a must-visit for nature lovers. We find the town’s setting in Pennsylvania perfect for those looking to escape the city buzz. It’s famous for its wild elk population.

Visitors often get a chance to watch these majestic creatures, especially during fall.

Exploring Benezette surprises many with its quiet charm and scenic views. Outdoor adventures await at every turn, including hiking trails that lead through lush forests and past sparkling creeks.

For us, it’s like stepping into a storybook version of Pennsylvania’s great outdoors.

Eagles Mere

Eagles Mere is a hidden gem nestled in the mountains. This small town takes pride in its serene lake, charming downtown area, and lush forests. It feels like stepping back in time with its vintage shops, cozy bed and breakfasts, and friendly locals greeting you at every turn.

Summer brings the best out of Eagles Mere. The lake becomes a hub for boating and fishing. Hikers love exploring nearby trails that offer breathtaking views. In winter, the town transforms into a snowy paradise perfect for sledding and snowshoeing adventures.

For history enthusiasts, the local museum shares stories of Eagles Mere’s past, from grand hotels to ice harvesting on the lake. Every visit promises fresh air, stunning scenery, and relaxing moments away from the hustle of city life.


Ohiopyle is a charming small town tucked away in Pennsylvania. It’s famous for the Ohiopyle State Park, a premiere destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Here, you can dive into activities like whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River, hiking scenic trails, or simply enjoying nature’s beauty.

The park features stunning waterfalls and over 20,000 acres of pristine wilderness waiting to be explored.

We find ourselves drawn to this picturesque town not just for its natural wonders but also for the sense of peace it offers. Imagine biking along the Great Allegheny Passage trail that runs through Ohiopyle or capturing the perfect sunset from one of its many overlooks.

This place truly captures the essence of Pennsylvania’s hidden gems – offering both thrill and tranquility within its borders.

St Peters Village

St. Peters Village, nestled in southeastern Pennsylvania, offers a serene escape for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. This charming village, located near the French Creek State Park and the Hopewell Big Woods, invites visitors to explore its historic buildings and picturesque landscapes.

With opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing in French Creek, or taking leisurely strolls along quaint streets lined with local shops and restaurants, St. Peters Village provides a delightful retreat from bustling city life.

Surrounded by lush greenery and scenic views of the rolling hills, St. Peters Village is a hidden gem that promises a peaceful getaway while still offering captivating cultural events throughout the year.

Best Small Towns In Pennsylvania Under 5,000 Residents

A charming small town main street with historic buildings and bustling storefronts.

Explore charming small towns like Bedford, Jim Thorpe, and New Hope that offer a blend of history, outdoor activities, and unique local experiences – there’s so much to discover beyond the big cities.


Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, Bedford exudes quaint charm and rich history. This town is home to the historic Bedford Springs Hotel, a renowned resort with healing mineral springs.

Visitors can stroll along charming streets lined with local shops and dine at cozy restaurants offering hearty Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the abundant natural beauty surrounding Bedford, including opportunities for hiking in Shawnee State Park or exploring the nearby lakes and forests.

Additionally, history buffs will enjoy visiting Fort Bedford Museum to learn about the area’s colonial past and its role during the French and Indian War. In addition to these attractions, visitors can indulge their sweet tooth at Bedford Candies while taking in views of stunning covered bridges scattered throughout the countryside.

Bryn Athyn

Bryn Athyn, a small town with under 5,000 residents, offers a blend of history and natural beauty. The Fonthill Castle and the Glencairn Museum are must-visit attractions for art and history enthusiasts.

Situated in Montgomery County, this charming town is surrounded by serene landscapes ideal for leisurely walks or picnics at the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust. Additionally, Bryn Athyn provides opportunities to explore scenic views and cultural events unique to this quaint Pennsylvania gem.

With its captivating historical sites and idyllic setting, Bryn Athyn stands ready to enchant visitors seeking an authentic small-town experience away from the bustling city life.

Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe, known as the “Switzerland of Pennsylvania,” attracts visitors with its historic downtown and the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. This charming town offers a mix of captivating history and picturesque scenery, making it an ideal destination for those seeking tranquility and beauty.

With its nickname paying homage to scenic Switzerland, Jim Thorpe stands out as a must-visit gem among Pennsylvania’s smaller towns.

The mention of this idyllic town in our collection showcases the diversity of attractions waiting to be explored in quieter corners of Pennsylvania. The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway is just one example of the unique experiences awaiting curious travelers in the tranquil embrace of Jim Thorpe.


Kittanning, a charming small town in Pennsylvania, offers a peaceful retreat for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. With its rich history and scenic beauty, Kittanning provides a glimpse into the state’s lesser-known treasures.

Visitors can explore local shops, enjoy outdoor activities at nearby state parks, and soak in the town’s historic charm. A visit to Kittanning promises a unique blend of cultural experiences and natural wonders that are sure to captivate any traveler seeking tranquility and hidden gems.


Mifflinburg offers a delightful blend of history and charm, with its well-preserved Victorian buildings and tree-lined streets. The town is home to the acclaimed Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, the first commercial pretzel bakery in America.

Visitors can savor a hands-on tour and learn about the art of pretzel-making while indulging in warm, freshly baked treats. Furthermore, Mifflinburg hosts various cultural events throughout the year, including an Oktoberfest celebration that showcases live music, traditional German cuisine, and craft beer.

The quaint shops lining Main Street invite exploration for unique finds, making Mifflinburg a hidden gem for those seeking picturesque landscapes and a taste of local history.

New Hope

Nestled along the picturesque Delaware River, New Hope invites with its charming streets and vibrant arts scene. In this small town of under 5,000 residents, one can stroll through the quaint shops, art galleries, and antique stores that dot the bustling downtown area.

The town also offers scenic views of the river and a variety of cultural events throughout the year. Notably, New Hope is among the must-visit small towns in Pennsylvania for those seeking an eclectic mix of historic charm and artistic flair.

Additionally, it’s known as one of the best hidden gem attractions in Pennsylvania due to its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness.


Wellsboro, a picturesque town in Pennsylvania, boasts the stunning Pine Creek Gorge, often called the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.” The Leonard Harrison State Park offers breathtaking overlooks with panoramic views of the gorge.

Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the Pine Creek Rail Trail for an invigorating biking or hiking adventure surrounded by natural beauty. Additionally, visitors can take in Wellsboro’s charming downtown area with its quaint shops and local eateries.

The town also hosts notable events such as the Dickens of a Christmas celebration during the holiday season. Furthermore, history buffs can visit attractions like the Arcadia Theater and experience its rich cultural heritage.

Best Small Towns In Pennsylvania Under 10,000 Residents

Discover charming small towns across Pennsylvania with under 10,000 residents. You’ll be captivated by Bellefonte’s historic charm and Lititz’s vibrant community spirit.


Nestled in Centre County, Bellefonte offers a charming blend of history and natural beauty. With its Victorian-style homes and tree-lined streets, the town exudes a quaint ambiance that beckons visitors to explore its hidden gems.

Visitors can delve into history at the Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County or take a leisurely stroll through Talleyrand Park, admiring the tranquil waterfront and vibrant flora.

For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s plenty to discover at nearby attractions such as Fisherman’s Paradise and Spring Creek Park. Additionally, the town hosts cultural events throughout the year, from arts festivals to historic reenactments, ensuring there’s always something new to experience.


Nestled in McKean County, Bradford is a charming town with around 8,000 residents. It’s known for the beautiful Allegheny National Forest and the breathtaking Kinzua Bridge State Park nearby.

One of the top attractions is the Zippo/Case Museum where you can explore the history and craftsmanship behind these iconic American brands. Moreover, if you’re into outdoor adventures, don’t miss out on hiking through the stunning natural beauty of Marilla Reservoir or taking a scenic drive along Route 6 to appreciate Pennsylvania’s picturesque landscapes.

The abundance of recreational activities such as fishing, kayaking, and camping makes Bradford an ideal spot for nature lovers looking for a peaceful getaway. Additionally, with its rich history tied to oil production during the late 19th century and proximity to fantastic state parks like Allegheny National Forest and Kinzua Bridge State Park, Bradford holds a perfect blend of historical significance and natural beauty that beckons exploration.


Doylestown, nestled in Bucks County, is a charming town known for its Mercer Mile. The area features three unique buildings by artist Henry Chapman Mercer, offering a blend of history and artistry.

Exploring the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works, Fonthill Castle, and the Mercer Museum is a must for those seeking an enriching cultural experience amidst scenic landscapes in this Pennsylvania gem.

This small town near Philadelphia beckons with its quaint shops and eateries – perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in local charm. With scenic views and rich historical significance, Doylestown promises a delightful visit for anyone seeking to uncover hidden gems off the beaten path.


DuBois, with a population under 10,000 residents, offers a blend of natural beauty and historical charm. Visitors can explore the DuBois Area Historical Society to delve into the town’s rich past and cultural heritage.

The area also provides opportunities for outdoor activities in nearby state parks, such as hiking in Quehanna Wild Area or exploring the scenic landscapes at Parker Dam State Park.

Moreover, those with an interest in art can visit local galleries featuring works by talented regional artists.

The quaint shops and restaurants of Downtown DuBois cater to both locals and tourists seeking unique experiences within this small Pennsylvania town. Additionally, the historic downtown area is adorned with architectural gems that offer a glimpse into DuBois’ storied history.


Gettysburg, with its population under 10,000 a town steeped in history. Known for the infamous Civil War battle that took place there, this small Pennsylvania gem offers visitors intriguing historical sites and museums.

At Gettysburg National Military Park, explore the battlefield and witness where President Abraham Lincoln delivered his iconic Gettysburg Address. The quaint downtown area features charming shops and eateries to enjoy after immersing oneself in the town’s rich past.


Lititz, located in Lancaster County, is a charming small town known for its rich history and vibrant community. Home to the Wilbur Chocolate Company and Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, it offers delightful treats for visitors to savor while exploring its picturesque streets.

With unique shops and cozy cafes lining Main Street, Lititz provides an inviting atmosphere for strolling and discovering local crafts and artisanal goods. Additionally, the Lititz Springs Park hosts various events throughout the year, making it a perfect destination for those seeking relaxation amidst nature’s beauty.

Moreover, Lititz is famous for hosting one of the oldest continuous Fourth of July celebrations in America at the Lititz Springs Park. This event attracts numerous tourists who come to enjoy live music performances, delicious food vendors selling traditional American fare, and a spectacular fireworks display over the expansive park grounds – a true testament to this small town’s enduring spirit and charm.


Punxsutawney, nestled in Jefferson County, offers more than just Groundhog Day fame. This small town exudes charm with its Victorian architecture and the intricate murals adorning the buildings.

The Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center engages visitors with interactive exhibits on meteorology and weather folklore related to the famous groundhog. Additionally, explore nearby areas like Mahoning Shadow Trail for scenic walks amidst nature’s beauty or make a stop at Barclay Square to witness the town’s community events and gatherings.

With its rich history, including notable mentions in films such as “Groundhog Day,” Punxsutawney holds a unique appeal for those seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences. Whether you’re exploring local traditions or enjoying outdoor activities around this small Pennsylvania town, there’s an undeniable allure to uncover within this gem of a destination.


Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, Stroudsburg offers a blend of scenic beauty and small-town charm. Visitors can explore the charming downtown area with its boutique shops and diverse dining options.

The town also hosts several art galleries, cultural events, and historic sites for those interested in immersing themselves in local culture. Additionally, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as hiking in nearby state parks or exploring the striking landscapes surrounding the Delaware Water Gap.

With its rich history and natural beauty, Stroudsburg provides an ideal escape for those seeking a peaceful retreat amidst picturesque surroundings.


Nestled in the heart of Pennsylvania, Titusville offers hidden gems waiting to be explored. With fewer than 10,000 residents, this small town boasts a rich history and picturesque charm.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the historical significance of Drake Well Museum and Park, where the modern oil industry began. The scenic Oil Creek State Park provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking and birdwatching amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Don’t miss out on experiencing the quaint local shops and restaurants that add to Titusville’s unique appeal.

This informative piece also highlights that Titusville is among the must-visit small towns in Pennsylvania, offering an off-the-beaten-path experience with a blend of cultural events, historic sites, and natural beauty.


Warren, with its population under 10,000 residents, offers a charming retreat for history enthusiasts and nature lovers. Visit the Pennsylvania Wilds where you can explore the Allegheny National Forest or enjoy outdoor activities at Kinzua Bridge State Park.

You can also delve into local history at the Warren County Historical Society and Museum.

Warren is known for its scenic beauty which includes picturesque views of the Allegheny River and lush greenery. Engage in cultural events such as the Warren County Fair and discover hidden gems like the Struthers Library Theatre showcasing performing arts.

Top Things to Do in Each Town

Hike through scenic trails and indulge in wildlife watching at Benezette. Explore the quaint village of Eagles Mere, known for its pristine lake and charming cottages. Discover Ohiopyle’s outdoor paradise with whitewater rafting, biking, and rock climbing.

Stroll through St. Peters Village to admire its historic architecture and enjoy local artisan shops. Immerse yourself in Bedford’s rich history with visits to Fort Bedford Museum and the National Museum of the American Coverlet.

Step back in time at Jim Thorpe, where you can explore Victorian architecture, ride a scenic train, or hike along beautiful trails in Lehigh Gorge State Park.

Outdoor activities

Discover a plethora of outdoor activities in Pennsylvania’s small towns. Delight in scenic hikes at Worlds End State Park, marvel at the breathtaking beauty of Fallingwater and Knoebels Amusement Resort, and explore the tranquil landscapes around Presque Isle State Park.

Embrace nature with remarkable adventures tailored for every outdoor enthusiast, from serene park strolls to awe-inspiring natural wonders such as boardwalk trails and picturesque viewpoints.

Relish memorable moments amidst the charming surroundings that epitomize Pennsylvania’s hidden gems.

Indulge in invigorating adventures across lakes, forests, and mountains nestled within these quaint towns. Engage in waterfront leisure at Bushkill or savor riveting historical insights while wandering through the age-old paths of Harry Packer Mansion grounds near Jim Thorpe.

Historic sites

In Pennsylvania’s small towns, historic sites abound. From the Mercer Mile in Doylestown to Jim Thorpe’s scenic railway, there is much to explore. Gettysburg’s battlefield and Washington Crossing Historic Park offer glimpses into the state’s rich history.

The Michener Museum in Doylestown and Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford provide cultural insights. Additionally, mauch chunk switchback railway and Kentuck Knob showcase Pennsylvania’s unique heritage further worth exploring.

Local shops and restaurants

In each of these charming towns, there are delightful local shops and restaurants waiting to be discovered. From quaint boutiques offering one-of-a-kind crafts and antiques to cozy cafes serving up delicious homemade treats, there’s something for every taste and preference.

Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely stroll through unique stores or craving a mouthwatering meal made with locally sourced ingredients, these small towns have it all.

Philadelphia area offers an array of shopping villages and cute little towns that are perfect for those seeking hidden gems. With its rich history and diverse culture, Pennsylvania is brimming with opportunities to explore local businesses while enjoying delectable dining experiences across its many picturesque small towns.

Scenic views

Each of these small towns in Pennsylvania offers breathtaking scenic views that will leave you in awe. From the majestic mountains and serene rivers of Jim Thorpe to the charming cobblestone streets and vibrant foliage of New Hope, there is no shortage of natural beauty to behold.

Lititz boasts picturesque rolling countryside dotted with Amish farms, while Wellsboro’s iconic Grand Canyon offers panoramic vistas that are simply mesmerizing. In Gettysburg, the historic battlefield landscapes provide a peaceful backdrop for reflection, and the lush greenery surrounding Bradford creates a tranquil atmosphere perfect for unwinding.

As we explore these hidden gems, it becomes clear that Pennsylvania’s small towns hold a treasure trove of scenic wonders just waiting to be discovered. Whether it’s the quaint charm of Bellefonte or the sweeping vistas from Punxsutawney’s hilltops, each town has its own unique allure that promises unforgettable views at every turn.

Cultural events

In these small towns, we can find a range of cultural events throughout the year. From heritage festivals celebrating local traditions to art fairs showcasing the talents of regional artists, there’s always something to discover.

Music concerts, theater performances, and community gatherings also provide opportunities to immerse ourselves in the unique cultural fabric of each town. Additionally, historical reenactments and living history demonstrations offer fascinating insights into the past, allowing us to connect with the rich heritage of Pennsylvania.

Venturing into these small towns reveals an array of cultural events that celebrate the local way of life. Whether it’s traditional folk music festivals or modern art exhibitions that capture our interest, these events provide an authentic and enriching experience.

Best Small Towns In Pennsylvania Conclusion

Discover the rich history and natural beauty of Pennsylvania’s small towns. From the tranquil streets of Bellefonte to the cultural hub of Lititz, each town offers a unique experience.

Explore art, history, and stunning scenery in these hidden gems. Uncover the charm and character that make these small towns destinations worth visiting. Pennsylvania’s small towns are waiting to be explored by those seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures!

Best Small Towns In Pennsylvania FAQs

1. What makes Jim Thorpe, PA a hidden gem to explore?

Jim Thorpe, nestled in Carbon County, is known for its rich history with Asa Packer and stunning views of the Poconos Mountains. It’s a place where history meets natural beauty.

2. Can I find any unique small towns in Dutch Country, Pennsylvania?

Yes! Places like Lancaster offer a peek into America’s heartland with its deep roots in coal mining and Dutch heritage. It’s where tradition and charm come alive.

3. Are there any small towns near the Poconos worth visiting?

Certainly! Towns like Stroudsburg offer cozy getaways close to the scenic Poconos Mountains, perfect for those looking to explore nature and enjoy local hospitality.

4. What can I expect when visiting Boalsburg or Zelienople?

Boalsburg boasts historic significance tied to American heritage while Zelienople blends quaint town vibes with unique cultural experiences… both are must-visits for anyone exploring Pennsylvania!

5. Where should I look for charming accommodations in these small towns?

Websites like list various options from bed-and-breakfasts in Honesdale to comfy lodges in Bedford, Pennsylvania—there’s something special about staying in these hidden gems that adds to the experience.

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