Reading, PA is the county seat of Berks County and the fifth-largest city in Pennsylvania. This means there are plenty of attractions to see in the area, whether you’re here for business or pleasure. You’ll find everything from car racing to history to sports to roller coasters to keep you busy. Consider these attractions as you plan your trip to Reading.
- Knoebels Amusement Park
If free admission, free parking and $3 thrill rides sound like fun, head to Knoebels Amusement Park (pronounced kuh-NO-buls) in Elysburg, America’s largest free amusement park. Your kids will love you! This park in the Susquehanna River Valley is ranked by the Travel Channel just below Ohio’s Cedar Point as one of the nation’s Top 10 Amusement Parks.
Knoebels has 55 rides, including everything from a haunted mansion to water rides to world-class roller coasters. There’s also an old-fashioned carousel and 20 rides to keep the little ones entertained. If you simply want to enjoy the 200-acre park, there are plenty of shade trees and a 900,000-gallon spring-fed pool to cool you off. The food here is great too; they’re well-known for their delicious French fries, pierogies, potato cakes, bison burgers, gator bites and other more tame selections, such as pizza.
The Cabela’s in Hamburg is Pennsylvania’s first Cabela’s, and what a retail showroom it has at 250,000 square feet! If you can’t find the hunting, fishing or other outdoor equipment you need for your next adventure here, it probably doesn’t exist. Outfitters are on hand to answer your questions and there are plenty of wildlife displays that are fun and educational for adults and kids alike. There’s a bait shop, ATV shop and shooting gallery. If you’re hungry, grab a wild-game sandwich in Cabela’s restaurant or a piece of their famous fudge.
- The Pagoda
On top of Reading’s Mount Penn, you’ll find the Pagoda, one of the city’s most recognizable and popular attractions. Visitors are guaranteed an unforgettable view of Reading and the surrounding valley from this landmark, built in 1906 by William A. Witman, Sr., who originally planned to make it a resort. The building stands 7 stories tall. At the top, you can view the famous Japanese temple bell Witman purchase in 1907 and had shipped to him via the Suez Canal. Enjoy the view from the grounds on any day of the year. The Pagoda itself and the Pagoda Café are open on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Maple Grove Raceway
Every weekend between April and November, enjoy NHRA Drag Racing and other specialized automotive events at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, just outside Reading. From nostalgia racing and Top Fuel dragsters to Street Bike races and Street Legal Grudge racing, the track has something to offer for every racing enthusiast. A fixture in Berks County for nearly 55 years, Maple Grove is one of the only total concrete quarter mile tracks in the east. If you’re in Reading in October, make it a point to catch the top stars of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing race at the NHRA Nationals here.
As Reading, PA attractions go, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Search the calendar of events for more activities at Pennsylvania’s Americana Region website or pay us a visit inside the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in historic downtown Reading to get more information about what to do in Reading.