Cheap Romantic Getaways in Pennsylvania

Cheap Romantic Getaways in Pennsylvania

by Sally Barber

About Sally Barber

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Sally Barber is a 20-year veteran of the publishing industry. A specialist in business, travel, sustainable tourism and the environment, she has written for Virgin Atlantic Airways, the "Detroit Free Press," "Great Lakes Seaway Review" and various websites. Barber is also the author of three books.

Free venues and hotel discounts sweeten Pennsylvania's romantic escapes throughout the seasons. From the forested Pocono Mountains to expansive Lake Erie beaches to the "City of Brotherly Love," the state's romantic side sets the stage for romance.

Chocolate and Roses

Escape with your honey to the sweetest place on Earth -- where the aroma of chocolate fills the air and the lampposts look like candy kisses. The town of Hershey, home to the Hershey Chocolate Company, offers a free Great American Chocolate Tour Ride showcasing the chocolate-making process. Couples save money by bundling admission to a series of Hershey attractions, including chocolate tastings, a make-your-own candy bar experience, a 4D movie and historic town trolley tours. Romance blossoms at Hershey Gardens, a 23-acre site overlooking the city. The gardens contain 5,600 roses, 30,000 tulips and themed gardens, including a Japanese Garden. Save on admission fees by purchasing a combo pass for the gardens and the downtown Hershey Museum where the Hershey story is documented. For budget-friendly lodging, choose from several inexpensive chain hotels or campgrounds located in the area.

Romantic Beaches

Spark the fires of love walking hand-in-hand along the sandy shores of Lake Erie, the state's only seashore. Presque Isle State Park at Erie has 11 beaches for strolling, sunning, swimming and exploring. Couples can also enjoy exploring 11 miles of hiking paths or biking the 14-mile paved waterside trail. Pack a picnic for two or your kayaks for open-sea adventures. Cross-country skiing provides winter recreation. Access to the day-use park is always free. Innkeepers at Spencer House, a landmark Victorian mansion in Erie, will help create a romantic mood. With advance notice and for an extra fee, staff will toss rose petals on the bed and provide chocolates and a bouquet of roses. While prices at the inn are reasonable, weekday rates are especially budget-friendly and include a hearty breakfast of the inn's signature pancakes and homemade sausage.

Waterfalls and Woods

Bushkill Falls's reputation as a romantic destination is linked to its nickname, "The Niagara of Pennsylvania." Located in the Pocono Mountains at Bushkill, the series of eight waterfalls surrounded by forest competes with Niagara's famous honeymoon site. The tallest fall tumbles dramatically from a height of 100 feet. Each scenic fall is accessible from the park trail system. Rent paddleboats built for two for a small fee to explore Twin Lakes. The park is open April through November, and day park passes are available. Spring and fall weekday Hike and Stay packages make the getaway adventure easy on the wallet. Packages include two Bushkill Falls tickets and overnight lodging at nearby Fernwood Resort. Enjoy the resort's indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, massage services and live entertainment.

Art and Poetry

Launch a romantic Philadelphia getaway with a visit to LOVE Park, formally named John F. Kennedy Square. Home to the iconic LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana, LOVE Park offers a great photo opportunity for couples. Stop at the square's visitor center for tourist information and LOVE Park souvenirs and sample a taste of Philly at the food trucks. Philly offers a wide selection of free cultural venues for stretching the getaway budget and inspiring romance. Visit poet Edgar Allan Poe's House, a National Historic Landmark. Explore the free Institute of Contemporary Art or the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which accepts whatever admission fee you offer. Twelve hotels offer the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, including several inexpensive chain hotels and the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District hotel near the free Independence Hall and Liberty Bell venues. Visit Philly Packages available at visitphilly.com include lodging for two consecutive nights, free hotel parking and a "With Love, Philadelphia XOXO" gift package.

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