Pennsylvania was the second state admitted to the U.S., behind only Delaware, on December 12, 1787. One of the thirteen British colonies, and granted to William Penn, it is categorized within the country's Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. It is one of four Commonwealth states, alongside Kentucky, Massachusetts and Virginia. Pennsylvania's two largest cities are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, while its capital is Harrisburg. The Commonwealth's eastern and western halves form a distinct cultural divide, with Philadelphia and eastern Pennsylvania being part of the Northeast megalopolis and heavily white-collar in nature, and Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania being associated with Appalachia and blue-collar ethics. Pennsylvania contains several "valley" regions, such as the Delaware Valley (Philadelphia and vicinity), Allegheny Valley (Pittsburgh and vicinity), Lycoming Valley (Williamsport-Lock Haven), Susquehanna Valley (Harrisburg, York and Lancaster), Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton), and Wyoming Valley (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre).
Pennsylvania is largely rectangular in nature, but has two natural borders: Lake Erie in the far northwest, with Ontario in Canada on the other side, and the Delaware River, which forms its border with New Jersey. Furthermore, a separate man-made border, the Wedge, separates it from Delaware. Aside from those two states, Pennsylvania borders New York, Ohio, West Virginia and, via the Mason-Dixon Line, Maryland. Pennsylvania contains important elements of American history: Philadelphia was a capital of the Continental Congress, and it was where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776; today, this is immortalized at Independence Hall and particularly the Liberty Bell. Further west, Gettysburg was the site of a Civil War battle in 1863 as well as Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.
In other realms of tourism, the Pocono Mountains of the state's northeast provide plenty of outdoor recreation, including state parks, skiing, bear sightings, and NASCAR's Pocono Raceway. Several state forests line the Commonwealth's northern tier, and three additional ski resorts are located further south. The Lehigh Valley contains the Crayola Experience and candy maker Just Born's headquarters. Lancaster County is Amish Country, with horses and buggies aplenty, and attractions such as Dutch Wonderland and the Turkey Hill Experience. Hershey, just east of Harrisburg, is home to the chocolatier of the same name along with the popular Hersheypark. Pittsburgh sits at the confluence of the Youghiogheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers and contains Carson Street.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike is regarded as one of America's first superhighways and runs mainly across the Commonwealth's south, from the Ohio line somewhat near Pittsburgh, through mountainous areas, the Harrisburg region, and into Philadelphia's northern suburbs, before crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey and connecting with that state's own turnpike. The Turnpike's mainline is designated as Interstate 76 from Ohio to Valley Forge, Interstate 276 to Bensalem, Interstate 95 the remaining few miles into New Jersey, and as both I-76 and Interstate 70 over an 86-mile stretch between New Stanton and a notorious gap in Breezewood. The Turnpike system also includes the Northeast Extension, which comprises the majority of Interstate 476 and connects the suburbs south of Philadelphia to the Lehigh and Wyoming valleys.
In other Interstates, I-95 serves Philadelphia itself, as does a free portion of I-76 via the Schuylkill Expressway. I-70 has two free non-tolled segments, from the West Virginia line to New Stanton and from Breezewood to the Maryland line, totaling 84 miles. Interstate 80 runs east-west across the middle of the state, serving DuBois, Clearfield, Bloomsburg-Berwick and the Stroudsburg region of the Pocono Mountains, totalling 311 miles between the Ohio and New Jersey borders. Interstate 81 runs north-south through Chambersburg, Harrisburg, a junction with I-80 at Hazleton, and the Wyoming Valley, where it receives the north end of I-476 near Scranton. The eastern iteration of Interstate 84 connects Scranton with the northern reaches of the Poconos and, ultimately, southern Upstate New York and Hartford, Connecticut. Interstate 78 is a Harrisburg-New York City corridor, while the misnumbered Interstate 99 connects the Turnpike with I-80 via Altoona and State College, Interstate 79 connects Pittsburgh with Erie out west and Interstate 90 has 53 miles within Erie County. Three-digit Interstates in the Commonwealth, aside from those mentioned above, include Interstates 176 (Reading), 376 (Pittsburgh-New Castle) and 676 (Philadelphia) from I-76, 279 and 579 from I-79 in Pittsburgh, 180 (Williamsport) and 380 (Scranton-Mount Pocono) from I-80, 283 from I-83 south of Harrisburg, and Interstate 295, which assumed I-95 around Trenton, New Jersey and through much of Bucks County in 2018.
In the vein of U.S. routes, U.S. Route 1 serves the commonwealth's southeast, as a freeway through Chester County and on into Philadelphia's western suburbs, Philadelphia itself, and through Bucks County into New Jersey. U.S. Routes 11 and 19 largely and respectively parallel Interstates 81 and 79. U.S. Route 15 serves Gettysburg, runs along the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg to Williamsport, and forms part of the future I-99 corridor into New York. U.S. Route 6 runs along Pennsylvania's Northern Tier. U.S. Route 322 has an unusually long northwest-southeast path through Clearfield, State College, Lewistown and from Harrisburg on toward Philadelphia and Atlantic City, New Jersey. U.S. Route 422 has two disjoint segments across the center of the Commonwealth, while U.S. Route 222 links Lancaster, Reading and Allentown. U.S. Route 30 runs as part of the Lincoln Highway from Pittsburgh to Somerset, Chambersburg, Gettysburg, York, Lancaster and Philadelphia in the Commonwealth's south, while U.S. Route 40 cuts Pennsylvania's southwest corner and U.S. Route 20 the northwest. U.S. routes 22 and 220 are respective functional predecessors to Interstates 78 and 99.