Tasty treats, breathtaking views, and centuries of history - Central Pennsylvania has tons to offer when it comes to pursuing any of these interests on a budget. Check out this list of cheap and free things to do in Central PA to get inspired for your next day trip or staycation.
Whether you've got a sweet tooth or a taste for something salty, you can learn about how many of your favorite snacks are made in free or affordable factory tours throughout Central PA. Highlights include Hershey's Chocolate World, which features a free ride, and the glass observation gallery where you can see Utz Potato Chips being made.
If you're in the State College area, the Arboretum at Penn State offers free admission, though there may be a parking charge associated with your visit. Further south, the Hershey Gardens offer affordable admission rates (with discounts available to certain groups) and free parking. The Five Senses Gardens are along the Capital Area Greenbelt that circles the city of Harrisburg.
Whether you're into watersports or simply like splashing in the water, there are tons of totally tubular opportunities to get out on the water in Central PA. For instance, you can set sail on the Pride of the Susquehanna in Harrisburg or take your kayak or canoe to a state park - just make sure you have a launch permit on your boat, if required!
Beautiful hiking spots are abundant in Central PA, and the plethora of state parks and trails makes it easy to find one that matches your ability level. You can check out trails near your travel destination in the commonwealth by searching the zip code you'll be visiting.
History buffs have tons of opportunities to learn about the past in Central PA. Whether it's visiting Gettysburg, stopping by Fort Hunter, or traveling to the Taber Museum, there's plenty of history to be discovered at these sites that are all within a few hours of each other.
While many of these ideas are fee-free, there may be times you have to pay to take advantage of all that Central PA has to offer. For those situations, use a rewarding credit card, like our Founder's Rewards Card, to earn cash back on every purchase*. The money you earn can be used to help fund a future adventure.
*Some exclusions may apply. See the Visa® Founder's Card and Visa® Alumni Rewards Card Rewards Program Terms and Conditions for full details.