16 Best Things to Do in Harrisburg, PA


Full of fascinating historic websites and necessary cultural landmarks, Pennsylvania’s capital Harrisburg lies in the southeast of the state alongside the Susquehanna River. Although not notably giant, it’s the good measurement for a quiet weekend getaway or metropolis journey with Allentown, Gettysburg and York all mendacity inside driving distance.

Thanks to its strategic setting and the event of its canal and railway system, town performed a job in not simply the Westward Migration and Industrial Revolution however the American Civil War too. This and its choice because the capital in 1812 explains the large variety of historic buildings and museums discovered in city.

In addition to having fun with some enjoyable out of doors actions at City Island, guests can ogle on the beautiful structure of its state capitol. Taking a scenic cruise alongside the river is among the hottest issues to do in Harrisburg in the course of the summer time months. The metropolis can be identified for internet hosting the Pennsylvania Farm Show and Great American Outdoor Show; two of the biggest occasions of their form in the nation.

16. Pennsylvania National Fire Museum

Pennsylvania National Fire Museum

A enjoyable and engaging place to discover, the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum will be discovered in the Olde Uptown a part of Harrisburg. Actually housed in a Victorian-era firehouse, its different assortment contains outdated alarm programs, historic hearth engines and far, rather more apart from.

Dedicated to preserving the state’s hearth combating heritage, it was based again in 1993 with its pretty brick constructing remarkably relationship to 1899. Its innumerable artifacts, displays and photographs all spotlight how individuals used to battle blazes in the previous with a memorial wall commemorating those that served on the hearth station.

As effectively as seeing horse-drawn carriages and classic tools components, you’ll be able to find out about intricate communications programs of years passed by and snap photographs of some shiny fashionable hearth vans.

15. Capital Area Greenbelt

Capital Area Greenbelt

A beautiful means to see extra of town and its environment is to stroll, run, jog or cycle alongside the Capital Area Greenbelt. Its fairly route takes you previous loads of pristine nature spots and parks with quite a few necessary landmarks, monuments and museums additionally that includes.

Stretching twenty miles in complete, the multi-purpose path loops its means fully across the middle of the capital. While some sections meander their means peacefully by means of wild areas or alongside the Susquehanna River, others join up varied neighborhoods and vacationer points of interest.

As you journey alongside the path, you’ll be able to take in the fantastic fauna and flora of the area and examine its historical past from the informative plaques scattered about. You may discover the Reservoir, Riverfront and Wildwood parks or cease by the National Civil War Museum and the implausible Five Senses Garden.

14. Cathedral of Saint Patrick

Cathedral of Saint Patrick

Aside from the stupendous State Capitol Building, certainly one of Harrisburg’s most spectacular edifices is undoubtedly the Cathedral of Saint Patrick. Instantly recognizable from its gigantic inexperienced dome and fetching facade, it truly is a deal with to stroll round with most of downtown’s different essential sights mendacity only a stone’s throw away.

Now acknowledged as a National Historic Landmark, the colossal cathedral was constructed again in 1907 and displays some distinctive Baroque Revival and Renaissance Revival structure. After taking in its towering facade, stained-glass home windows and dramatic dome, it’s effectively value venturing inside to see its equally engaging inside.

Invariably described as awe-inspiring, its mild and ethereal nave and transept are intricately embellished with fantastic artworks, statues of spiritual figures and phenomenal frescoes.

13. Broad Street Market

Broad Street Market

If you need to purchase some recent fruit and veg, scrumptious baked items or just need to expertise the full of life native atmosphere, then make certain to head to Broad Street Market. Located in Midtown, its rows of stands and stalls have all kinds of domestically grown produce, preservatives and ready meals for you to choose up.

One of the oldest repeatedly working farmers markets in the nation, it was established in 1863 as a means to assist feed the hordes of Union troopers primarily based close by. Within its humongous corridor, yow will discover greater than forty distributors promoting every little thing from recent produce and cuts of meat to sandwiches, soups and delicate pretzels.

In addition, there’s additionally an eclectic array of avenue meals from all all over the world to strive with espresso stands and reward stalls additionally dotted about.

12. Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park

Although it lies proper subsequent to downtown, the peaceable and picturesque Riverfront Park feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of town middle. As effectively as providing up putting panoramas of the river and City Island, it has all types of enjoyable out of doors actions for you to take pleasure in.

Running parallel to the glowing Susquehanna River, the lengthy, slender park and its beautiful inexperienced areas was based again in 1912. This was in the course of the nationwide City Beautiful Movement which aimed to introduce extra elegant out of doors areas and structure to city areas.

Next to each its pleasant gardens and leafy paths are statues, memorials and public artwork installations with health machines and picnic benches additionally on provide. During the 12 months, Riverfront Park places on lots of the metropolis’s essential festivals and cultural occasions corresponding to MusicFest, Kipona and Pride.

11. FNB Field

FNB Field

If you’re after an thrilling sporting spectacle when in city, then the fabulous FNB Field is unquestionably the place to go. Lying simply throughout Market Street Bridge from the park, the intimate and atmospheric venue lies proper on the middle of City Island.

The residence of the Harrisburg Senators, the small stadium sits on the very same spot the place baseball has now been performed for effectively over a century. Opened in 1987, the gorgeous minor league ballpark is a really family-friendly place to catch a sport with nice sightlines, snack stands and between-innings leisure all assured.

Aside from watching the Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Washington Nationals, locals and vacationers alike could make use of all of the state-of-the-art services that encompass the sector. These embrace not simply volleyball courts and softball fields however marinas, a meals court docket and nature trails too.

10. Fort Hunter Mansion and Park

Fort Hunter Mansion and Park

Just up the Susquehanna River from the middle, is one other of the realm’s fascinating historic sights: the Fort Hunter Mansion and Park. Surrounded by a number of pretty lush grounds and gardens, the historic home museum highlights what life was like for prosperous Americans again in 1725.

Perched atop a bluff overlooking the river, the large property now encompasses round a dozen outdated buildings for guests to discover. Throughout its lengthy historical past, it served as a wartime fort, frontier buying and selling put up and personal residence.

The Victorian-era mansion is residence to implausible furnishings, interval items and interesting displays with costumed actors and knowledgeable guides each serving to clarify extra concerning the epoch. Due to its scenic splendor, many individuals host personal occasions and weddings in its idyllic riverside park.

9. Whitaker Center

Whitaker Center

Back in the middle of city, yow will discover the fantastic Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts. In addition to a number of hands-on actions and experiments, it boasts an IMAX cinema and efficiency theater the place dance, music and science exhibits recurrently happen.

The first complicated of its form in the nation to use science as an entry to the humanities, it was first opened to the general public in 1999. Packed throughout its three flooring are greater than 200 interactive displays specializing in the pure sciences, maths and expertise with thrilling esports areas and STEM design studios additionally included.

Besides watching an academic but entertaining movie in its IMAX, you’ll be able to all the time take pleasure in an opera, ballet or orchestra efficiency in its splendid theater.

8. Appalachian Brewing Company

Appalachian Brewing Company

After the sightseeing, exhibits and sporting occasions, what higher means to loosen up than with a freshly pulled pint on the Appalachian Brewing Company. Located not too removed from the science middle and Capitol Park, it has terrific excursions and tastings for you to take at its atmospheric brewpub.

Actually the primary and solely brewery to open in the capital since prohibition instances, it was based in 1997 and now operates in quite a few cities throughout the state. While its lager room, manufacturing line and bottling flooring occupy an outdated brick constructing that dates to 1890, its restaurant and tasting room will be discovered in a contemporary constructing adjoining it.

While sampling signature brews corresponding to Aero-Head, Outta Focus and Water Gap, friends can take pleasure in scrumptious burgers, tacos and different informal bites in its full of life but laidback bar.

7. Wildwood Park

Wildwood Park

Home to a great deal of beautiful landscapes, surroundings and nature, Wildwood Park lies only a brief distance northeast of Uptown. A very fashionable place to train and immerse your self in nature, its sprawling confines are centered across the giant and beautiful lake of the identical identify.

Winding their means about its wetlands, woods and wild areas are numerous trails and boardwalks for you to hike, cycle or horseback journey alongside. As the park is so quiet and peaceable, it’s the good spot to each birdwatch and see wildlife. All sorts of native species are noticed both out on the reflective lake or hidden away amidst the dense foliage surrounding it.

At its wonderful nature middle, guests can be taught extra concerning the state’s fauna and flora with snakes, turtles, herons and rabbits all usually sighted in the park.

6. Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat

Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat

Another fabulous means to see much more of town and its waterways is to take a soothing cruise on the Pride of the Susquehanna. From the decks of the beautiful outdated paddle-wheel riverboat, you’ll be able to see lots of its essential sights and landmarks and luxuriate in fantastic views over the gorgeous river and its banks.

Although solely launched in 1988, the quaint and colourful boat is designed to appear like a late 1800s-era riverboat, although it has diesel energy propelling it up and down the Susquehanna. As you sit again, loosen up and watch the world go by, the commentary supplies passengers with fascinating data and info on the historical past and nature of the area.

Aside from its common 45-minute-long cruises, the Pride of the Susquehanna has fun-themed occasions like homicide thriller dinners, music nights and particular sundown journeys for locals and vacationers to check out.

5. State Museum of Pennsylvania

State Museum of Pennsylvania

If you need to be taught all concerning the commonwealth’s historical past, tradition and nature, then the very good State Museum of Pennsylvania actually is a must-visit. Set proper subsequent to the hovering State Capitol Building, it has a myriad of fantastic artifacts, displays and archaeological findings for guests to peruse.

Impressively sufficient, the museum homes greater than two million objects and specimens related to Pennsylvania’s previous. Alongside its well-done dioramas and shows, you’ll be able to due to this fact see every little thing from flint arrowheads and classic automobiles to large mastodon skeletons, Civil War weapons and Native American artifacts.

Numerous fantastic work and historic photographs additionally function with standout sights together with its good planetarium and a big life-size Village Square streetscape you’ll be able to truly enter and discover.

4. City Island


Lying proper in the middle of the speeding Susquehanna River is the mile-long City Island that gives up a great deal of engaging points of interest and actions. Connected to both financial institution by the Market Street Bridge, it is among the essential locations in Harrisburg to both loosen up and unwind or take pleasure in some thrilling out of doors actions and leisure.

Once inhabited by the Iroquois and Susquehanna tribes, it was later used as a base by Union troops in the course of the American Civil War. Since these early days, numerous enjoying fields, courts and batting cages have sprung up with town’s Senators additionally enjoying their video games at FNB Field.

On prime of all its riverside trails and sports activities services, there’s an arcade, commentary deck and small, sandy seashore for residents and out-of-towners alike to take pleasure in. You may take horse-drawn carriage rides, hop aboard its small-scale steam prepare and take a cruise aboard the Pride of the Susquehanna.

3. Pennsylvania State Capitol

Pennsylvania State Capitol

Often thought of probably the most putting State Capitols in the nation, Pennsylvania’s will be discovered proper in the center of Harrisburg. Sometimes referred to because the ‘Palace of Art’ due to all its sculptures, murals and stained-glass home windows, it displays some beautiful Beaux-Arts structure.

Since 1812, town has been residence to the state’s seat of presidency with the present capitol relationship to 1906. While a big, grand staircase leads up to its entrance, a lofty dome modeled on that of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome presides over its colossal complicated.

Inside is simply as awe-inspiring as its 4 flooring and 475 rooms are adorned with unimaginable artworks and mosaics that depict well-known figures, occasions and industries from Pennsylvania’s historical past. On excursions, educated guides will train you extra concerning the constructing and level out fantastic options adorning its outstanding rotunda and ginormous authorities chambers.

2. National Civil War Museum

National Civil War Museum

Sometimes mentioned to be the one institute in the nation to inform your entire story of the battle, the National Civil War Museum lies in Reservoir Park. Its galleries current a balanced, unbiased have a look at each the Union and Confederate trigger with each occasion, the aftermath and even sure people examined in minute element.

Only established in 2001, its innumerable artifacts and displays occupy a two-storey brick constructing proper in the middle of the park. While some sections deal with slavery and the primary pictures fired at Fort Sumter, later components have a look at how geography and topography affected troop actions. Particularly fascinating shows embrace these on why troopers determined to struggle for both aspect and ladies’s roles in the battle.

Its giant assortment of unique artifacts additionally contains private possessions of necessary generals and outdated uniforms and weapons utilized by frequent troopers. Photos and movie clips additionally assist carry the Civil War to life and clarify in nice depth the ins and outs of one of many States’ most necessary conflicts.

1. Hershey Park

Hershey Park

While Harrisburg is well-known for its wealth of historic websites and cultural landmarks, many individuals additionally go to Hershey Park when in the capital. One of the most well-liked points of interest in Pennsylvania, the enjoyable and family-friendly theme park has all types of exhilarating rides and rollercoasters for younger and outdated to take pleasure in.

Located simply twenty minutes drive from downtown, it was arrange by Milton S. Hershey in 1906 as a leisure park for the staff of his chocolate manufacturing facility. It now has about seventy thrilling points of interest to try with themed areas together with Pioneer Frontier, Kissing Tower Hill and The Boardwalk.

It additionally has a beautiful water park and zoo to discover with firework shows, stay music and parades all recurrently happening. Just exterior is Hershey’s Chocolate World the place you’ll be able to strive a number of tasty chocolate and sweet with loads of outlets and eating places dotted concerning the distinctive, chocolate-themed resort vacation spot.

Map of Things to Do in Harrisburg, PA

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