Pennsylvania Vacationing in Your Wheelchair
"Philly cheese steaks" aren't the only delicious or fantastic thing Pennsylvania has to offer. Check out these hot spots for handicap travel in Pennsylvania!
Hersheypark is a chocolate-themed amusement park! What could be sweeter than that? Milton S. Hershey originally opened the park for his employees as a leisurely escape away from work. Now, the park is open to the public and packed full of exhilarating rides--in fact, the park has more than 65 attractions!
Not only can you enjoy the rides, but you can even make your own chocolate bar! Meet larger-than-life Hershey Bars and see an award-wining show at the Hersheypark Amphitheatre. The only problem you might face while visiting Hersheypark is keeping that sweet tooth of yours under control.
Visit the Ride Accessibility Program to receive an exit clearance for attractions. The team there can provide a list of attractions that are suitable for wheelchair users. You can view the rider guidelines and fill out the questionnaire here, View Rider Safety & Accessibility Guide, and here, View Ride Accessibility Questionnaire, to plan your trip ahead of time. And so many visitors have used wheelchair vans to get to this chocolate paradise, they've made plenty of handicap parking available!
Kennywood Park, West Mifflin
The Pennsylvania National History Landmark, Kennywood Park, is the oldest amusement park in America! The park was founded in 1898 and, to this day, has continued to keep smiles and entertainment a-rollin'.
With more than 40 attractions, there are fun activities for any age group! Good times are waiting to be had--with rides that will make your heart skip a beat, action-packed shows, and scrumptious Kennywood eateries! Kennywood Park has kept an "old tradition" alive and is proud to be one of the last amusement parks to allow guests to bring their own picnics!
Stop by the Rider Safety Center for an informational access guide.
Independence National Historic Park, Philadelphia
Independence National Historic Park spans more than 55 acres and covers 20 city blocks. The park is home to many reserves that are associated with the origin of the United States. Important sites at the park include the First and Second Banks of the United States, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Liberty Hall Center, and others!
The foundation of our country can be traced back to Independence Hall--with the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution both on display. Learn about Philadelphia's most famous citizen, Benjamin Franklin, or get up close and personal with the Liberty Bell--it's almost unbelievable how much history is packed into this park!
Immersing yourself in the founding of our nation isn't the only reason to visit Independence National Historic Park--people come here to enjoy the green oasis within the city, play games, or simply relax!
Most buildings are wheelchair accessible, including the Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, Congress Hall (first floor), Great Essentials Exhibit, the Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank, Carpenters' Hall, Old City Hall, Declaration House (first floor), and the National Constitution Center.
Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh
Documentation of Andy Warhol's life is uniquely displayed--at the Andy Warhol Museum. The seven-floor museum holds artwork developed by Warhol--drawings, paintings, sculpture, film, video, ephemera, source materials, and miscellaneous documents of his inspiring work.
Warhol's creations aren't the only thing to see at the museum! Other artists are featured, as well as art series, special exhibitions, film screenings, lectures, concerts, and more! Hungry? Grab a bite to eat at the Warhol Café or splurge at the Warhol Store! Capture some silly moments in the vintage photo booth, and film your own Warhol Screen Test! You can even work with artist educators to create your own Andy Warhol-inspired art piece!
The museum is handicap accessible.
Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Zoo is 42 acres of Victorian gardens and is also considered "America's First Zoo." It provides a safe home to more than 1,300 animals (many animals found in the zoo are endangered). The 14 zoo habitats provide opportunities to come face-to-face with a gorilla, just inches away from a lion, and super close to giant river otters! You can even feed magnificently colored birds from Australia.
Why wouldn't you want to spend an exciting day with intriguing animals?! The Philadelphia Zoo and facilities are wheelchair accessible. There are some rides that are not. For instance, the Channel 6 Zooballoon takes you above the zoo and provides an awesome perspective of the wildlife--however, the attraction is only accessible for standard-size, non-powered wheelchairs. For more information regarding accessibility, check out the zoo's website.
JR's Last Laugh, Erie
Who doesn't like to laugh? At JR's Last Laugh you'll find your stomach aching from laughter! Clever jokes and sometimes watching a comedian bomb make this joint a hilarious place. Either way, you're sure to have some good laughs at the comedy club and restaurant! Check out JR's website to see who's performing when you're in town! Remember, JR's is open Thursdays--Saturdays!
Be aware, this isn't a place for the easily offended. Occasionally, a joke might be told at your expense. Don't take it personally--it’s all in good fun! Grab some friends, drinks, and grub, and get ready to have a great time at the fully wheelchair-accessible JR's!
Gateway Clipper Fleet, Pittsburgh
Want to learn about Pittsburgh and see great sites all at the same time? Take a sightseeing cruise with the Gateway Clipper Fleet! The fleet takes you down the Monongahela, Allegheny, and the Ohio Rivers. Narrators share interesting facts and tales that make Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania such a special place!
The Gateway Clipper Fleet provides many different types of cruises-pick one that caters to you. Start your night off or end your day with a one-of-a-kind evening tour. Or tour and dine on one of the many dining tours. Some of the tours are designed with children of all ages in mind--like the Ice Cream Social, Good Ship Lollipop, and Princess Tour!
All cruises are handicap accessible with wheelchair rampways, which accommodate all types of wheelchairs and scooters, along with accessible ground-level restrooms and bars. For people using manual wheelchairs, the crew is happy to bump you up a flight or two, though you might not find that necessary--the views from all decks are spectacular!
America On Wheels, Allentown
Come see the vehicles that were literally the beginnings of America's automotive transportation! Not only will you see rare automobiles, but the museum also showcases extraordinary trucks and bicycles. Celebrate the United States' motor heritage with America On Wheels.
Interactive exhibits describe the stories of gorgeous vehicles and their creators. And if you thought that was cool, prepare to be blown away! You can even get your picture taken in the driver's seat of a mini-Indy racecar!
Striking vehicles from hotrods, sport cars, and emergency vehicles to unique forms of personal transportation are just waiting to captivate you with their innovative designs. The museum is accessible for wheelchair travelers. There are two wheelchairs available on a first come, first served basis.
Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square
Whether you're an outdoorsy person or simply looking for a place to relax, Longwood Gardens is the place to be! Exquisite plant life, sparkling fountains, scenic views, and superb architecture make up the 1,077 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens. Find yourself immersed in an enchanting world--surrounded by natural beauty!
Explore Longwood's conservatories, which shelter 20 gardens and 5,500 different types of plants! The 20 outdoor gardens cover 325 acres and are overflowing with magnificent flowers and fountains. The Peirce-du Pont House is a Longwood Heritage Exhibit. View historic photos, artifacts, home movies, and videos and learn about the story of the land and the development of the property.
The gardens are accessible and can be enjoyed by wheelchair or scooter. Handicap parking is reserved at the lot closest to the visitor center. There are no shuttles within the gardens. For a small fee, non-motorized wheelchairs and electric scooters are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis.
Kitchen Kettle Village, Intercourse
Prepare to be fascinated by the genuine Lancaster County experience. Learn about local Amish culture, absorb the beauty of the Lancaster County farmland, learn how to hand-stitch a quilt, or make your own jar of jelly! The opportunities are endless at the Kitchen Kettle Village!
Once, this town was a garage-based jelly business, but it's now a village full of charming shops, restaurants, and lodging. However, the buzz of the day can be heard at the family-run Canning Kitchen. Locals gather here to cook homemade Pennsylvania Dutch sweets like jelly, jam, butter, pie, cookies, and goods like relish, salsa, and pickles! What more could a food lover ask for?
Take advantage of the quaint village luxuries and wheelchair accessibility!
Regardless of your reason to visit Pennsylvania--whether it's to see America's birthplace, to simply to get away from the norm, or to chow down on some fantastic Hershey Bars or Philly cheese steaks--Pennsylvania has something to appease your appetite with many wheelchair accessible attractions!