Hamburg is a charming borough in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It’s a small town that has a population of roughly 5,000 people as of 2010.
Although a small town, it has an interesting history. Hamburg was a thriving industrial town in the late 1800s. In the early 1900s, farming and transportation industries were at the forefront of development. Manufacturing was booming in the mid-to-late 1900s, and Hamburg was home to a slew of textile mills.
The town is commonly thought to be named after the city of Hamburg in Germany. The town’s founder, Martin Kaercher Sr, was born in Germany in 1718. He emigrated to Berks County in 1738 and purchased a 250-acre tract of land in 1772. Hamburg was officially founded in 1787. The Borough of Hamburg and the surrounding area have strong Germanic roots.
With historical ties to Germany, Hamburg has a strong 19th-century architectural character. This is reflected in the town’s remarkable streets and buildings.
What to Do in Hamburg, PA
The Hamburg region is one of the most scenic in the world. It’s a quaint town that has a population of roughly 5,000 people as of 2010. Hamburg may be small, but you can find many interesting things to do.
The town has miles of nature and hiking trails given its mountainous location. The scenic Schuylkill River borders Hamburg to the west.
Hamburg is intimately connected with nature. The surrounding areas include state forest lands, game lands, and the lands surrounding the Kernsville Dam and the silt basin. Outdoor recreational activities include fishing and boating, picnic areas, concession stands, a visitors’ center, and hiking trails.
Hamburg is nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The Appalachian Trail runs from Georgia to Maine. It is a popular destination for both novice hikers and seasoned veterans. Hiking along this stretch will bring you into contact with dedicated outdoors people attempting to walk the entire length of the trail.
One of the best views on Pennsylvania’s portion of the Appalachian Trail is just outside of Hamburg along the hike. Hikers from all over the world arrive at this point, rejuvenated to complete the second half of their journey.
As an integral part of Americana culture, Hamburg features historical sites dedicated to America’s industrial heritage. Pennsylvania has a long railroading history, and few are as well known today as the Reading Railroad.
When touring this part of Pennsylvania, it’s impossible to pass up the opportunity to learn about one of the early local industries. The first railroads were built in the 1700s, connecting the coasts of The United States in their infancy.
The Reading Railroad Heritage Museum is right in the heart of Hamburg, Pennsylvania. The Reading Company Technical & Historical Society owns and operates this museum, which offers a variety of exciting activities for history buffs and railroad enthusiasts. It is the region’s largest and most influential railroad. The company is also well known due to Monopoly, which includes the railroad as a square in the game.
Just thirty minutes north of Hamburg is the WK & S Railroad, where you can learn more about this quintessential industry. When you ride in one of these train cars, you’ll get picturesque views of forests and rolling hills, as well as lovely looks at the towns of Trexler and Wanamakers. The railroad has served the local community for nearly a century. It has also delighted passengers and tourists with events and regular rides.
Hamburg’s Germanic cultural heritage is reflected in its classical theaters. The Hamburg Strand Theatre is an aesthetical delight and architectural marvel. At an affordable rate, it is among the most culturally satisfying things to do in Pennsylvania.
Fun Things to Do in Hamburg, PA
Hamburg has something for everyone. Whether you’re an art history lover, outdoor adventurer, or food enthusiast, there’s plenty to do. Here are some fun things you can do in Hamburg, Pennsylvania.
Visit the 1787 Brewery
The 1787 Brewery is a local beer and food joint in Hamburg. It was founded in 2018 and takes its name from the date Hamburg was founded – 1787.
The 1787 Brewery is an excellent gathering place for both locals and visitors. It’s a tranquil place to enjoy delicious food and world-class craft beer brewed on-site.
A cozy evening meal at the brewery is a romantic thing for couples to do in PA. With locally sourced ingredients and a friendly customer service attitude, you’ll enjoy every minute of your visit.
Go to the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum
The Reading Railroad Heritage Museum is owned and operated by the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society. It is dedicated to preserving the Reading Railroad’s history and heritage.
The Reading Railroad Museum tells the story of one of the world’s largest corporations, made famous by the board game Monopoly. The museum houses vintage railroad cars and locomotives, as well as photographs, documents, and artifacts from the Reading Railroad.
- Adults: $5.00
- Seniors (65+): $4.00
- Children (5–12 years): $3.00
- Children (under 5): Free
Visit the Gallery of Hamburg
The gallery is among the most popular attractions in Hamburg, PA. Any itinerary should include a visit to the Hamburg Gallery. This one-of-a-kind local artist hangout is casually laid out to avoid the stuffy gallery feel.
The gallery displays a ton of local artistic talent. It features paintings, prints, and photography. Also on display are woodturning, pottery, ceramics, fabric art, metalworking, basket weaving, fused glass, and jewelry.
The Gallery of Hamburg is a seriously cool location for all levels of art enthusiasts, whether you’re a serious art critic or just casually training your artistic eye.
Take a Trip to Cabela’s
Cabela’s is a popular retail store that opened in 2013. Since then, it has shifted into a local landmark and has become an important thing to see in Hamburg. Cabela’s is located in the Tilden Ridge shopping complex and draws millions of visitors each year for outfitting and rigging.
Cabela’s retail store hosts outdoor recreation-related activities and events. If you want to gear up for your hiking, then Cabela’s is a go-to.
Go Hiking at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
The Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a 2,400-acre natural area that was the world’s first refuge for raptors.
If you’re in the mood for a hike, head out to the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Located just outside of town, it’s a great thing to do near Hamburg, PA. It has miles and miles of beautiful trails and breathtaking views.
Depending on the time of year, you might get to witness the Hawk Migration. This draws birdwatchers from all over who wish to see these majestic birds of prey swooping all over the mountains and trails.
See a Show at the Hamburg Strand Theatre
The theatre is a cultural and historical point of interest. It was built in 1799 and was among the first buildings constructed when the town was laid out.
If you’re looking for things to do in PA at night, then catching a screening at the Hamburg Strand Theatre is a brilliant starting place. With tickets averaging at just $10, it’s a cheap thing to do – no need to break the bank!
Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Hamburg, PA
Hamburg is a great place to bring the whole family. It has two hundred years of history, scenic vistas, many outdoor opportunities, and a vibrant town center.
The warmth and traditional feel of Hamburg will fill you with nostalgia for a bygone era. Its quaint feel and welcoming community will make for a calm getaway.
If you’re planning on touring the rest of America after your visit, why not start by checking out some of the best available tours and activities in New York.