What. A. Ride. That’s the only way I can describe my 3 day trip in partnership with Visit PA! I had no idea there were so many incredible things to do and see in Pennsylvania. Even though I visited a ton of interesting and fun places (google Kitchen Kettle Village when you get the chance), I’ve narrowed down my top 4 places every art and design lover must see in Pennsylvania.
1. The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh
The Andy Warhol Museum left me feeling so inspired, I don’t even know where to begin! As someone who’s watched every documentary on the man, it somehow slipped my mind that he was originally from Pittsburgh. The museum is the largest collection of one artist’s work in North America. The seven floor museum houses Andy’s paintings, drawings, commercial illustrations, sculptures, prints, photographs, wallpapers, sketchbooks and books. It also includes his film and video collection which includes approximately 350 preserved Warhol films, and it houses the entire collection of the artist’s work in video, comprised of more than 4,000 videotapes! They even have a room in the museum full of Warhol’s personal belongings- the skincare bottles he used, the medication he kept in his medicine cabinet, the girdles he wore for the rest of his life after being shot in June of 1968-they’ve got it all. If you’re traveling to Pittsburgh, this museum is not to be missed.
2. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater
When we arrived at Fallingwater it felt like something out of a dream. The crisp mountain air and the sound of rushing waterfalls allows you to slip into this trance of tranquility. All this happens before you even see the house. If you’re a architecture and design freak, you’ve no doubt heard about the genius architect behind this house. For design newbies (like myself), allow me to fill you in! Frank Lloyd Wright designed this house for the Kaufmann family in the 1930’s. To date, Frank Lloyd Wright is America’s most famous architect. The home appears to be floating on top of a waterfall- it’s such a surreal sight. The house is just as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the outside. The interior is a minimalist’s dream.
3. Mural Arts Tour in Philadelphia
I had the pleasure of taking a private tour with Mural Arts and I’ve got to say, it was the highlight of my entire trip. Philadelphia is internationally known as the “City of Murals” and it lives up to its name. I was blown away by all of the beautiful murals we saw and the stories behind them. Some of those murals were there when I lived in Philly, and although I always thought they were beautiful, it wasn’t until this tour did I understand what they truly represented. Our tour guide Nancy was incredible! Not only did she explain the history behind the murals, she was also able to tell us about how each mural was created. It’s amazing to learn how many different ways there are to create a mural. Philadelphia has done a great job of promoting art initiatives throughout their community and this tour is the perfect way to see and experience it firsthand!
4. The John Wanamaker Building
When I found out we were going to be visiting Philadelphia, I knew I had to go by the John Wanamaker building. When I was a kid it was a Strawbridges Department Store. We used to go into the city to shop occasionally and whenever we went to the Wanamaker building, it felt like I was in a castle out of a Disney movie. What makes the John Wanamaker building (it’s now a Macy’s) so stunning is that it house the world’s largest playing organ. The Grand Court Organ became a National Historic Landmark in 1978. As you can see from the photo I took above, it is truly breathtaking. Today, the organ weighs in at 287 tons, incorporates an astounding 28,500 pipes, six ivory keyboards, 729 color-coded stop tablets, 168 piston buttons (under the keyboards) and 42 foot controls. The largest pipe, made of three-inch-thick Oregon sugar pine, is more than 32 feet long and the smallest is a quarter-inch long. On your next visit to Philadelphia be sure to check it out. You will not regret it!
These are hands down my favorite things to do and see in Pennsylvania! I also enjoyed checking out the Johnstown Incline. Although I couldn’t muster up the courage to ride it, the view from the top of the mountain was breathtaking! I’ve teamed up with VisitPA to give one lucky follower a swag bag full of goodies (the same awesome treats I unboxed in my Facebook Reveal, and the winner is Ashley Joseph! A big thank you to everyone who entered and for the Visit PA Tourism board for this incredible opportunity!
Thinking about visiting PA soon? If so, are you planning on checking out any of the places I visited?