When you think “honeymoon,” you might think of a tropical island dotted with palm trees, or a European city steeped in history and filled with lively cafes. You probably don’t think of Pennsylvania, but perhaps you should—especially if you live on the East Coast and are looking for a nearby destination!
“With its diversity of offerings, Pennsylvania is a great place for a honeymoon,” says Michael Chapaloney. “We have options for those looking for museums, but we also offer fantastic—and very accessible—outdoor destinations that are paired with luxury.”
Meet the Expert
Michael Chapaloney is the executive director of tourism for the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development.
That variety is precisely what makes the state such a delightful, albeit unexpected, option for a post-wedding vacay. From the world-class cultural centers and restaurants of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to the shoreline of Lake Erie to the serene woodland settings of the Laurel Highlands and the Pocono Mountains, there’s an option for every kind of traveler.
Read on for what to know when planning your honeymoon in Pennsylvania, including average cost, unique and seasonal attractions, and the best hotels and resorts in the state.
Pennsylvania Honeymoon Cost
The cost of a Pennsylvania honeymoon will vary greatly based on duration, accommodations, activity choices, travel methods, and more. Accommodations can range from around $50 to over $1,500 per night. In Pennsylvania, you’ll pay a state tax of 7% on your hotel room, plus an additional tax depending on the city or county you’re in.
Unique Pennsylvania Attractions
Per Chapaloney, Pennsylvania is home to 22 ski resorts and 21 state parks. Additional bucket list-worthy sites in the state include:
- Fallingwater: Architecture buffs know this is the only remaining Frank Lloyd Wright house with its original furnishing and artwork fully intact. For a fully immersive experience, book an overnight excursion in nearby Polymath Park.
- Cherry Springs State Park: Does it get any more romantic than stargazing? At the first International Dark Sky Park in the eastern United States, over 30,000 celestial bodies are on display each night.
- Pine Creek Gorge: Often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, Pine Creek Gorge is a 47-mile gorge carved into the Tioga State Forest. At its deepest point, it measures 1,450 feet from river to hilltop.
Pennsylvania Honeymoon Ideas by Season
Now’s the time to hit up one of those 22 ski resorts, which are predominantly located in the Pocono mountain region of Northeastern Pennsylvania and in the Laurel Highland region of Southwestern Pennsylvania. “Our mountains are great to learn on,” says Chapaloney, who notes that dog-sledding and snowshoeing are also popular winter activities in the state. “If you’re going to try something new like skiing together, Pennsylvania is definitely the place for that experience.”
With gardens such as Longwood Gardens and Chanticleer, the countryside of Philadelphia is the place to be come spring. Hershey, Pennsylvania—home of, you guessed it, the headquarters of Hershey Chocolate and Hersheypark—is also an excellent springtime destination. “They call it ‘the sweetest place on earth’ for a reason,” says Chapaloney, who suggests visiting for golf, the manicured gardens, and the decadent spa at Hotel Hershey (more on that later.)
Come summer, you really can’t go wrong in any region of the state. If it’s a waterfront destination you’re after, head northwest to Lake Erie and visit Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania’s only “seashore.”
“Vermont gets a lot of credit for their fall foliage, but Pennsylvania actually has a longer season, and more diversity of trees,” says Chapaloney. For the best leaf-peeping opportunities, visit the Pennsylvania Wilds in the north-central part of the state for long, scenic drives and the chance to see wildlife in its natural element. You can also head to the Laurel Highlands or the Pocono Mountains.
Ahead, the 13 best hotels for a Pennsylvania honeymoon.
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Philly’s newest luxury hotel is also its tallest—the lobby sits a full 60 floors above the city. But the best way to take in the views is with a romantic late-night couples’ massage courtesy of the Forbes Travel Guide five-star-rated spa on the 57th floor. The treatment happens at the glass-walled, infinity-edge pool, which will be decked out with flowers and champagne, and you’ll be granted exclusive, private use from 10:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. Dining options at the hotel are just as luxurious, with the 59th floor's Jean-Georges serving French-inspired fare, and ground level's Vernick Fish, which serves elevated mid-Atlantic seafood dishes from beloved Philadelphia chef Greg Vernick.
Feminist couples will appreciate the history behind this new invisible service boutique hotel in Philadelphia. It began in 1882 as The New Century Guild, a women’s club where abolitionists, suffragists, and working professionals gathered for activism, education, meals, and entertainment (the building is a National Historic Landmark!). Freshly revamped by Rohe Creative, the female-led hospitality design firm behind some of Philly’s most eye-catching restaurants (think: Louie Louie, Irwin’s, and Harp & Crown), each of the 12 suites features its own bold look, plus coffee, tea, and bath products sourced from female-owned companies. Reservations open this summer.
If you’re looking for a wellness-focused, adults-only honeymoon destination, look no further than Hawley's Lodge at Woodloch. One of the more luxe options in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountain region, Woodloch offers a robust selection of outdoor activities (archery, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, golf, tennis), plus daily exercise classes including yoga, barre, TRX, and more. The real draw, though, is the spa, where you’ll begin your session with a soak under the hydromassage waterfalls, then head to one of the 27 treatment rooms for reiki, Thai-inspired herbal massage, sound therapy, hydrafacials, and more. All overnight stays include three meals per day, which focus on organic vegetables and naturally-raised meats and can accommodate a wide range of dietary preferences.
Want to experience all the perks of Philly’s homegrown version of Soho House? The secret workaround to that whole “members only” thing is to book one of their 14 spacious hotel rooms. As an overnight guest, you’ll be granted access to the rest of the club, which includes restaurants, a private movie theater, a coworking space, a game room kitted out with ping pong, bowling, and old-school arcade games, and the Field House, a 25,000-square-foot gym complete with Pelotons, golf simulator, a lap pool, and a climbing wall. Need help planning the rest of your time in Philly? Fitler’s on-site concierge will fill your agenda, then call the house Tesla to whisk you to your next destination.
Stylish rooms, delicious farm-to-table cuisine, beautiful water views—there’s a whole lot to love about this peaceful new destination in eastern Pennsylvania’s bucolic Bucks County. Fun fact: the Hadid family—as in Bella and Gigi—keeps a horse farm nearby. Here, you’ll pass the days walking along the Delaware River and shopping the world-famous antique and vintage halls in nearby Lambertville, then hit Odette’s piano lounge for whiskey cocktails and live music at night. There’s also an alfresco rooftop bar! When live entertainment returns, book tickets for a show at the nearby Bucks County Playhouse.
Former Essence magazine EIC Monique Greenwood now runs Akwaaba Inns, a host of adorable B&B’s situated up and down the east coast (“Akwaaba” means “welcome” in the Ghanaian Twi language). The grandest of the bunch is perhaps this 25,000-square-foot manor in Northeastern Pennsylvania, which was originally built in 1903 as a country estate for one of the founders of the Woolworth five-and-dime empire. These days, you’ll enjoy lawn games, a pool and spa, cooking classes, and on Friday nights, champagne and s’mores. The Mansion at Noble Lane is also an excellent jumping-off point for exploring nearby Lake Wallenpaupack, the charming town of Honesdale, and New York’s Sullivan County.
F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald would have been right at home at this Old World-esque escape in the woods. The 5,500-acre resort includes a golf course, ropes course, skiing slopes, a rock wall, and a spa, along with accommodations ranging from streamside cottages to spacious suites in the recently renovated main inn. After a day spent out in the nearby natural beauty (the Delaware Water Gap, Bushkill Falls, Hickory Run Boulder Field, and Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail are all within an hours’ driving distance), cozy up with cocktails and tasty appetizers at an alfresco fire pit.
A stay at this Cumberland Valley resort is not complete without trying the bath ritual at the world-class spa, which includes a series of soaks, scrubs, and steams in rejuvenating natural spring water. Continue the R&R in the spa garden or at the resort’s indoor and outdoor pools (private cabana rentals are available), or get out and get adventuring. On-site activities include tennis, golf, fishing, hiking, and even off-roading in UTVs. Added bonus: the dog you adopted during quarantine is more than welcome to come along with. In fact, your pup will be welcomed with a gourmet room service menu created specifically for pets.
Fans of The Bachelor will recognize this sprawling Laurel Highlands resort—so big it has its own airstrip!—from Matt James’ season. There are plenty of reasons it was deemed a suitable host for the ultimate in romance reality TV: from dog-sledding and horseback riding to couples massages and art collection tours, great date activities abound. The resort also boasts the largest working wine cellar in the state and a restaurant where the chef will design a multi-course fine-dining menu according to your favorite ingredients. Want to really live like the show? Book a room at Falling Rock, the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired lodge where the contestants stayed.
What better way to experience Steel City than with a hotel directly inspired by the town’s rich history in manufacturing and steel fabrication? Just opened in early May and dubbed one of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2021 by Hospitality Design, The Industrialist is a Marriott Autograph Collection property situated in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. Rooms lean moody and masculine, while the lobby-level bar and restaurant boasts a strong mixology program and modern American fare. The hotel also offers a rotating roster of DIY projects (think: leather-tooling, candle-making) alongside cocktails in its second-floor lounge. During your stay, take in a Pirates game at PNC Park (frequently rated one of the best baseballs stadiums in the country), and be sure to schedule time for the Andy Warhol Museum (the iconic pop artist was born in Pittsburgh) and the interactive installations of the Mattress Factory.
There’s something kind of perfect about honeymooning in the home of Hershey’s Kisses, don’t you think? Located just outside of Harrisburg, Hersheypark is Pennsylvania's answer to Disney World—except instead of animated movie characters, the star of the show is all things chocolate. Though lodging options are plentiful, the most honeymoon-worthy is the Hotel Hershey, a AAA Four-Diamond award-winning resort with manicured gardens, croquet and bocce courts, a gorgeous outdoor pool, and six restaurants. Don’t miss the spa, which specializes in chocolate-infused treatments such as a hydrating cocoa body wrap and an (edible!) chocolate facial.
For fans of rustic luxury, this Relais & Châteaux property in Bradford is the perfect hidden gem. Located just below the northwestern border of the state along the edge of the Allegheny National Forest in the Pennsylvania Wilds, Glendorn offers four main lodge suites and 12 private cabins, all of which are outfitted with antique furniture, lush monogrammed linens, and Molton Brown bath products. Your meals will feature fresh ingredients grown in the on-site garden, which is home to more than 60 varieties of vegetables, and activity options include canoeing, skeet shooting, Jeep tours, curling and cross-country skiing, or simply just relaxing in the spa or on the four-season sun porch.
“For years, Lancaster has been known solely as a destination to experience Amish heritage, but downtown Lancaster will knock your socks off,” says Chapaloney. He’s not wrong: As the county seat of Lancaster County, located in the south-central part of the state, the city of Lancaster is rich in the time-honored Mennonite traditions and modern arts and dining options. (i.e. Fulton Theater and the Italian restaurant Luca, which received rave reviews from the New York Times.) With the ideally located Cork Factory Hotel as your home base, you’ll find it easy to explore both. You’ll also enjoy exposed brick in the rooms and elevated Pennsylvania Dutch-inspired meals at the on-site restaurant.