The Best Places in Pennsylvania to Clear Your Mind and Recharge

Written By: Jennifer Scott (

Sometimes the best way to improve mental health is to get away. Whether you have anxiety or depression or everyday stress is simply piling up and keeping you from living your best life, getting away can be what you need to leave it all behind and reset. Pennsylvania has some of the best spots to do just that. From stepping back to a quieter time to relaxing by the water, Pennsylvania has the best mix of beautiful countryside and historic towns for your ultimate relaxing getaway.

Step Back in Time

People are more stressed than ever these days, and a lot of that comes from our fast-paced lives. The easiest way to let go of all those worries is to travel somewhere historic and revisit a time when life was simpler.

Visit a Historic Site

To truly immerse yourself in another time, visit Eckley Miners’ Village, a museum that preserves a “village frozen in time.” In the 19th century, mining companies built towns around the coal fields of northeastern Pennsylvania where families could live and work. Often called “patch towns,” these communities were built to provide basic needs all in one place as a way to attract miners and their families. The miners’ lives may have been simple, but they weren’t always easy. Visiting Eckley lets you experience these families’ everyday lives, both the joys and the hardships, giving you a whole new perspective on life in another time.

Dutch country

Visiting Dutch country gives you a new perspective in a different way, by visiting Amish country where modern families still live a simpler life today. Vacation Rentals lists Pennsylvania Dutch country as the #3 place to rent a cabin, with good reason. If you’re looking to escape from everyday life to a place that is as beautiful as the pace is slow and relaxing, Dutch country is the way to go. This area harkens back to a time before the constant connectedness of the 21st century, so it’s the perfect place to live like the locals and disconnect from technology to reconnect with yourself. To get an even richer experience, check out the Huffington Post’s top offbeat sites to visit in Dutch country.

Explore the Outdoors

Another great way to break from the stress of daily life is to get outdoors and experience the serenity of nature. Add in some outdoor adventure, and you’ll get an extra mental health boost from being active.

Lake Erie

To experience the soothing effects of being near water, rent a cabin for a relaxing retreat on Lake Erie, where nature is at your doorstep, and outdoor adventure opportunities abound. Lake Erie’s Presque Isle State park was ranked as the #1 freshwater beach in North America, making it a nature lover’s dream escape for relaxation. Rent a boat to explore the water, and don’t miss the many migrating birds that can be seen in the area. Once you’re back on land, hit the hiking trails to get your heartrate up while getting back to nature.

Pocono Mountains

The Pocono mountains are another ideal spot to rent a cabin retreat and enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings. In the Pocono mountains, you can go hiking and see beautiful waterfalls, like the popular Bushkill Falls. Seeking to improve your mental health doesn’t always have to be relaxing, though. Outdoor adventures that give you a rush of adrenaline, like rafting and mountain biking, can be just as therapeutic as meditating by a waterfall. Whether you seek calm or adventure, or a little of both, at the end of the day, you can go “home” to your relaxing cabin retreat and unwind.

Taking a vacation is about so much more than having a fun experience. Travel is one of the best ways to improve mental health because sometimes you need to physically remove yourself from daily life in order to let go mentally. Taking a step back in time and connecting with nature in these beautiful Pennsylvania spots will give you a fresh perspective and clear your head so you can return to “real” life healthier and happier.


Photo credit: Pixabay