Harrisburg is the capital of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a state in the United States of America.
The city began in 1710 when John Harris built a trading post and later his son started a ferry.
Harrisburg International Airportis located just outside of Harrisburg, in Middletown, you will need to complete the journey to the city by rental car, taxi, bus, or hotel shuttles which are accessible via the Multi-Modal Transportation Facility (MMTF).
Capital City Airportis across the Susquehanna river, in New Cumberland. Similar to the Harrisburg International Airport, you will need to complete the journey to the city by rental car, taxi, bus, or hotel shuttles. This is a general aviation airport with no scheduled flight, so you have to charter or fly your own plane into it.
Amtrak has up to ten daily services from Philadelphia on the Keystone Service, with some services originating in New York City. Also, the once-daily Pennsylvanian between New York and Pittsburgh serves Harrisburg. All trains call at located at 4th and Chestnut Street, which also serves as a hub for local and inter-city buses.
By carHarrisburg is served by a rather extensive highway system for a city of its size. Interstate 81, 83 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Interstate 76 all travel through or near the city. The Capital Beltway is comprised of I-81 to the north, I-83 to the east and south and PA-581 to the west of the city. U.S. Routes 22 and 322 also pass through the city and U.S. 11 and 15 pass just to the west.
By busCapitol Area Transit (CAT) is the regional bus service for the greater Harrisburg area. Travelers to Harrisburg from Cumberland and Dauphin Counties can travel via CAT. CAT is also a convenient means of transportation from Harrisburg International Airport (HIA)
address: Harrisburg Transportation CenterDirect or connecting service from around the country.
address: Harrisburg Transportation CenterService from Sunbury, Williamsport, and Elmira.
address: Harrisburg Mall parking lotService from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and State College.
RabbittransitWeekday RabbitEXPRESS service from York on Route 83N and from Gettysburg on Route 15N.
By footThe Appalachian Trail is just west of the city.
By carParking - Monday through Saturday, from 8AM-7PM, meter parking is enforced. The typical cost is $3 per hour with 15 minutes increments. Parking garages charges around $4 for 30 minutes or less and then escalating beyond that. Garages and metered parking are run by the Harrisburg Parking Authority.
By foot or bikeHarrisburg is a very walkable city, especially the downtown, midtown and uptown sections which are laid out in a simple grid without much change in grade. There are many beautiful walking and biking trails that run along the Susquehanna River. You can also walk or ride your bike across the Walnut St. Bridge to City Island without worrying about safety because it is blocked off to cars.
By busCapital Area Transit provides bus service in and around Harrisburg.
- American Taxi (717) 901-8294.
- Londonderry Limo Harrisburg Limo Service (717) 838-8050.
State Capitol BuildingThe Capitol was designed in the American Renaissance Style by Philadelphia Architect Joseph-Huston (1866-1940), who envisioned the building as a "Palace of Art". Built and furnished at a cost of $13 million, the Capitol features paintings, stained glass and furnishings by some of the best artisans of the day - Extract Out of A Centennial Celebration 1906 - 2006, Pennsylvania General Assembly. The state capitol of Pennsylvania is a beautiful architectural masterpiece that encompasses many artistic designs and marvels. The capitol building is an Italian Renaissance-style statehouse. It includes collections of art, sculptures and large murals. On the floor of the main hallway are tiles that show Pennsylvania's history, symbols, insects and animals. The capitol dome rises 272 feet, and was modeled after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and it's magnificent staircase looks like one from the Paris Opera. Over 100,000 people per year enjoy a free tour of Harrisburg's Capitol building.
The State Museum of Pennsylvaniaphone: +1 717-787-4980address: 300 North St
Walnut Street BridgeThe Walnut Street Bridge is an historic truss bridge connecting the east side of the city to the center of City Island. The bridge is a popular tourist destination even for those not interested in bridges. It has a complex and interesting history. See the Wikipedia article for more information. Because it is so popular, it gets busy frequently. For those looking to tour the bridge, either in part or in full, it is recommended that you do so during the mid morning hours (9 AM-12 PM) on Sunday and Monday. Tuesday-Saturday tend to be busier days as there are more activities on City Island midweek. Pedestrians should walk on the bridge on the steel grid grating section of the deck and bicycles should use the paved concrete side of the deck.
Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Stationaddress: 3 Mile Is, Middletown, PAThe worst commercial nuclear accident in the United States happened here on March 28, 1979, when Reactor #2 suffered a partial meltdown. Look for the historical marker and take some memorable photos before the remaining reactor shuts down in 2019.
The Gamut Classic TheatreLocated in Strawberry Square, has its own Shakespeare Festival that puts on a few plays each year for a few weeks at a time. Tickets are $25 ($17 for students and seniors), with buy-one-get-one-free discounts on Fridays and "Bring Your Own Price" discounts on Sundays. During the summer, the theatre also puts on a free production of a Shakspeare play in Reservoir Park. In 2008, the play will be "Love's Labor's Lost," June 4–14. The Gamut is also the home of the Popcorn Hat Player's Children's Theatre. Tickets are $6.
Midtown CinemaA small three screen theater in midtown Harrisburg. They have a great selection of independent films, along with good ice cream, coffee, and teas.
Theatre HarrisburgEstablished in 1926 and one of the oldest community theatres in the country. Plays in the Sunoco Performance Theater at the Whitaker center.
Stage On HerrThe newest addition to Harrisburg's theater scene. A 3,500 square foot venue with soaring ceilings in a former gym, the space has been renovated and is now home to plays, concerts, comedy, art, parties and more.
Galleries and Art
address: 301 Market StHarrisburg's largest art museum featuring the Doshi Gallery for Contemporary Art.
Harrisburg Midtown Arts Centeraddress: 1110 N 3rd StLarge complex in renovated building home to Stage on Herr, 3rd street Gallery, film office, cafe and spa.
address: 510 N 3rd St
address: 21 N Front St
address: 202 North StA offbeat tattoo parlor and art gallery between downtown and midtown.
phone: +1 717 233-2498address: 608 N 2nd St
Champion Ship Performing Arts Spacephone: +1 717 612-9306address: 52 Rear Market St LemoyneChampion Ship is a DIY, all ages, drug, alcohol, and smoke free performance arts venue located in Lemoyne, PA right outside of Harrisburg the state capital. A great place to see your favorite band, an art show, or flea market. There is also a fully stocked independent record store primarily featuring, Punk, Hardcore, Emo, and Indie Rock CD's and records.
- Appalachian Trail
Capitol Tours and Welcome Centeraddress: East Wing EntranceAdvanced reservations are suggested and required for groups of 10 or more. Group size is limited to 80. The tour is about a half hour long, and takes you through some of its most impressive rooms, including Italian in the House Chamber, French in the Senate Chamber and the English in the Governor's Reception Room. These are just a few of the capitol's over 600 rooms. The Welcome Center at the Capitol teaches about Pennsylvania's Government by displaying 18 informative exhibits allowing visitors to read, listen, touch, and interact with the displays.
phone: +1 717 260-1861address: 1 Lincoln CircleThe only museum in The United States that portrays the entire story of the American Civil War. Equally balanced presentations are humanistic in nature without bias to Union or Confederate causes. Open 7 days a week April 1 through Labor Day.
phone: +1 717 214-ARTSaddress: 222 Market StThe mission of Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is to serve as the center for scientific, artistic, cultural and educational activities to enhance the region's quality of life and economic vitality.
Pennsylvania National Fire Museumphone: +1 717 232-8915address: 1820 N 4th StThe Sights, sounds and history of firefighting come to life at The Pennsylvania National Fire Museum. Housed in the 1899 Victorian firehouse Reily Hose Company No. 10, the museum houses an outstanding collection of artifacts from the hand-drawn equipment of yesterday to the modern tools of today.
- Riverfront Park and City Island. Along the banks of the Susquehanna you can enjoy a scenic bike ride, cruise the river on the Pride of the Susquehanna, or rent a canoe, paddleboat, or jet ski to experience all the Susquehanna River has to offer. Riverfront Park is also popular for afternoon lunches and provides an unbeatable view of Harrisburg's July 4th fireworks and Labor Day Weekend's Kipona Celebration, which includes a street festival, chili Cook-Off, boat race, and amusement rides.
- City Island, . A unique park that sits in the center of the Susquehanna River, accessible by the east side of the Walnut St. Bridge, and is home to small shops, miniature golf, a restored carousel, train, carriage rides, and the Senators, a minor league baseball team. Home games for the Senators usually start at 6:35PM, and Sundays at 1:05PM, with box seats only costing $8 and general admission $5. The Riverside Village Park offers a variety of food from crab cakes to ice cream and is open daily from 11AM-8PM after May 13th. Water Golf, City Island's 18 hole miniature golf course costs $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for children.
The Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboatphone: +1 717 234-6500Harrisburg’s authentic paddlewheel riverboat is docked on City Island and offers 45 min public cruises throughout the summer for $9 for adults and $4 for children. The Pride also hosts dinner cruises once a week or you may rent the boat for a private party. City Island also gives horse drawn carriage rides that tour the island and can be reserved for special occasions. Or you can choose to tour the island on The General, City Island's Civil War-Era steam train that is located next to the carousel. Harrisburg and City Island also have two working marinas to dock your boat, a sandy beach for swimming, volleyball courts, and a multipurpose grass field for sports and concerts that is available for rent.
address: 2300 North Cameron Street, 17110Usually held about the second full week of January, the Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in America. See Champion Horse Pulling Contests, Sheep-to-Shawl Contest, Square Dance Contest, Arena Carriage Racing, Livestock judging and more. Many Pennsylvania Farm products are on display. Parking is offsite, often for a $5-10 fee. P.S: The best reason to go is the food!
Festivals and ParadesHarrisburg is known for its many parades and street festivals that take place, especially in the summer time.
American MusicFestRiverfront Park and City Island, Harrisburg's Fourth of July celebration
KiponaRiverfront Park and City Island, a three day festival of food, arts and family fun around Labor day.
Patriot-News ArtsfestRiverfront Park,
Italian Lake Concert SeriesItalian Lake, Sundays throughout the summer.
3rd in the BurgDowntown and midtown, the third Friday of every month Harrisburg's art galleries and shops stay open late and serve entertainment.
Pride Festival of Central PADowntown and Riverfront Park, Central Pennsylvania's LGBT Pride Festival, held the last weekend of July
- Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, offers undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in high technology fields in demand.
- Harrisburg Area Community College, central Pennsylvania's community college with three campuses in the city.
- Temple University Harrisburg, located in the heart of downtown offering graduate and certificate programs.
- Dixon University Center, located in Uptown and is home to an array of undergraduate and graduate programs offered by way of other state universities.
address: 11 N 3rd StA major shopping complex in downtown Harrisburg, that has an open air feel with many food and specialty shops.
The Shops on ThirdA little more upscale shopping than Strawberry Square. They include such shops as the famous Sparky and Clarks, as well as other one of a kind boutiques.
Broad Street Marketaddress: 1233 N 3rd StComprised of two large historic buildings that house an array of foods from Amish produce and meats, to an international deli and cheese shop, to organic and whole foods. Located on Verbeke St and 3rd St.
Midtown Scholar Bookstore and Cafephone: +1 717 236-1680address: 1302 N 3rd StLarge bookstore and cafe, also contains largest academic used bookstore between New York and Chicago.
Restaurant Row and Downtown
Neato Burritophone: +1 717 232-7467address: 209 N. 2nd StBest mission style burritos outside of California. Has 5 locations around the Harrisburg area.
Cragin's Brick Haus Restaurantphone: +1 717 233-4287address: 229 N 2nd StThe Brick Haus offers authentic German and American cuisine including goulasch, sausages, seafood, and steaks.
phone: +1 717 233-3202address: 310 N 2nd StCeoltas provides an authentic taste of Ireland. Ceoltas also attracts bands from all around to play at their venue.
address: 50 N Cameron StABC serves fresh innovative cuisine to match their handcrafted ales and lagers. Brewery tours every Saturday at 1PM.
phone: +1 717 233-1202address: 525 South Front StPassage to India serves excellent Indian cuisine, open seven days a week, with a great view of the river while dining.
phone: +1 717 724-0222address: Corner of Third and Chestnut StreetsRestaurant is run by and for culinary students of the local community college. Gourmet food at a very reasonable price. Also has an outstanding wine list!
Alvaro Bread and Pastry Shoppephone: +1 717 238-1999address: 236 Peffer StAuthentic fresh made Italian dinners, breads, pastries and desserts. An Olde Uptown neighborhood favorite.
Anastacia's Restaurant and Barphone: +1 717 233-2394address: 1535 N 6th StCozy, great neighborhood spot for authentic Puerto Rican food and daily specials.
Breads 'N Spreadsphone: +1 717 695-7713address: 1419 N 3rd StDelicious home made soups, sandwiches and pastries. Daily specials and weekend brunch.
phone: +1 717 236-7923address: 1233 N 3rd StNearly 40 vendors serving up fresh, local organic produce, meats, baked goods and freshly prepared meals.
phone: +1 717 695-9449address: 1004 N 3rd StCozy coffee shop with great assortment of specialty coffees, teas and pastries
Ciervo's Pizzaphone: +1 717 238-5530address: 1435 N 2nd StPizza, subs and sandwiches.
Mercado's Pizzaphone: +1 717 238-2280address: 937 N 3rd StGreat authentic pizza, a neighborhood favorite
Nonna's Deli Siosophone: +1 717 232-6150address: 263 Reily StOne of a kind Italian deli and restaurant. Creative menu and very popular lunch spot and BYOB.
Uptown Chicago Grillphone: +1 717 233-7487address: 2101 N 2nd StUptown Chicago Grill, formerly Da'Pits, is a Chicago-style grill is known for their delicious ribs. Everything is cooked over an open flame.
phone: +1 717 221-1080address: 50 North Cameron StLocal Brewery.
- Cafe Fresco is the only spot in Harrisburg so far that is completely smoke free. Unlike other bars in downtown Harrisburg, it has a chic modern atmosphere with Asian inspired cuisine that goes along with their extensive wine and drink menu. The music has a laid back lounge feel and on occasion Cafe Fresco has a live jazz band trio that performs in the back corner. The decor matches a sountern California look that gives the place an upscale feel. Level 2 is an upscale lounge and bar above Cafe Fresco that features DJs, drink specials and a small menu.
- Molly Brannigans is a small chain of Irish Pubs with 4 other locations in PA besides the one in Harrisburg. They have an impressive menu that includes steaks, seafood, and salads. The happy hour crowd is older from 5-7, but later on the crowd turns younger and a band usually hits the stage, while people dance in front. It has a great authentic Irish feel.
- The Red Door is Harrisburg's only wine bar that is situated in the heart of downtown. They feature an array of wines both in varietal and price and a cozy atmosphere for a few friends or a date.
phone: +1 717 232-1297address: 800 Paxton St., 17104Local Brewery.
Harrisburg's downtown atmosphere dynamically changes throughout the day. During the day, you can explore the coffee shops and quickly prepared meals designed to accommodate the government and downtown workforce. Early evening you can hop between restaurants during their happy hour specials (typically 5-7PM). Stay downtown for dinner and you can enjoy a nice sit-down meal.
phone: +1 717-774-8910address: 200 Commerce Dr
Comfort Inn - Harrisburg / Hersheyphone: +1 717 540-8400address: 5680 Allentown Blvd
Howard Johnson Inn Harrisburg/Hersheyphone: +1 717 564-6300address: 473 Eisenhower Blvd
TownePlace Suites by Marriott - Harrisburgphone: +1 717 558-0200address: 450 Friendship Rd
phone: +1 717 766-2710address: 385 Cumberland Parkway, MechanicsburgOffers generously oversized accommodations and upscale amenities, including complimentary deluxe hot breakfast and free high-speed Internet service.
phone: +1 717 558-9500address: 765 Eisenhower Blvd
phone: +1 717 233-1611address: 525 South Front St
phone: +1 717 234-5021address: 23 S 2nd St
phone: +1 717 233-6000address: 1 N 2nd St
phone: +1 717 564-5511address: 4650 Lindle Rd
Harrisburg is within range of Three Mile Island nuclear reactor. If you hear a siren, turn your radio on.
Nearby destinations suitable for day trips include:
- Allentown — Explore Pennsylvania's third-largest city, with an amusement park and casino action.
- Carlisle — Explore classic car country.
- Gettysburg — Explore Civil War country.
- Hershey — Explore chocolate country.
- Lancaster — Explore Amish country.
- York — Explore Central PA country.