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Best museums in Central Pennsylvania

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Cascade Creatives // Shutterstock

Best museums in Central Pennsylvania

The United States is home to more than 35,000 museums, according to data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. These cultural strongholds run the gamut of natural history, world wars, art, and even children's books.

While some fancy a trip to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. or the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, others like to cozy up in a corner and read the Very Hungry Caterpillar at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Mass. How does one define a museum?

Early museums housed private collections curated by individuals, while today's museums—many of them major tourist attractions—are filled with art, history, science, artifacts, fossils, historical documents, and some curious collections. Along with exhibitions of art, history, and science, Stacker unearthed museums filled with bananas, popcorn, and some very odd stuff.

All across the U.S., visitors can find museums to explore any subject that piques the imagination. A trip to Washington D.C. provides an opportunity to visit a number of iconic museums for free. A visit to Boston means getting to enjoy the Museum of Fine Arts or learn about the Boston Tea Party ships. In California, travelers can tour the International Museum of Bananas before popping by the Wyandot Popcorn Museum in Ohio or The Museum of Bad Art in Massachusetts.

Have you ever checked out the museums in your area? To determine the best museums in Central Pennsylvania, Stacker turned to data from Foursquare (data current as of April 19, 2019). All museums were ranked by Foursquare's algorithm, which predicts the “best” museums based on combined factors of the number of check-ins, rating signals, category matches, tips, and photo trends. Click through this gallery to find out which are the best museums Central Pennsylvania has to offer.

You might also like: Best parks in Central Pennsylvania

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Foursquare

#10. The Amish Farm and House

- Address: 2395 Covered Bridge Drive (Route 30 at Witmer Road), Lancaster
- Foursquare rating: 8.2
- See more on The Amish Farm and House

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Foursquare

#9. The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

- Address: 161 Museum Drive (at Hershey Road), Hershey
- Foursquare rating: 8.3
- See more on The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum
 

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Foursquare

#8. Whitaker Center for Science & Art

- Address: 222 Market St. (at N. Third Street), Harrisburg
- Foursquare rating: 8.6
- See more on Whitaker Center for Science & Art
 

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Foursquare

#7. North Museum of Natural History & Science

- Address: 400 College Ave., Lancaster
- Foursquare rating: 8.2
- See more on North Museum of Natural History & Science
 

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Foursquare

#6. Lancaster Science Factory

- Address: 454 New Holland Ave. (at Plum Street), Lancaster
- Foursquare rating: 8.2
- See more on Lancaster Science Factory
 

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Foursquare

#5. U.S. Army Heritage & Educational Center

- Address: 950 Soldiers Drive (at Army Heritage Drive and I-81), Carlisle
- Foursquare rating: 8.8
- See more on U.S. Army Heritage & Educational Center
 

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Foursquare

#4. State Museum of Pennsylvania

- Address: 300 North St. (at Forster Street), Harrisburg
- Foursquare rating: 8.4
- See more on State Museum of Pennsylvania
 

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Foursquare

#3. Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

- Address: 300 Gap Road, Strasburg
- Foursquare rating: 8.7
- See more on Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
 

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Foursquare

#2. National Civil War Museum

- Address: 1 Lincoln Circle (at Reservoir Park), Harrisburg
- Foursquare rating: 8.5
- See more on National Civil War Museum

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Foursquare

#1. The Hershey Story | Museum on Chocolate Avenue

- Address: 63 W. Chocolate Ave., Hershey
- Foursquare rating: 8.8
- See more on The Hershey Story | Museum on Chocolate Avenue

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