Harrisburg was our best opportunity to a quick approach to the rural USA. Though particularly influenced by the detail of the Amish cultural difference, it was nice to see the pace and simplicity in a agricultural area where the respect for traditions didn't keep the men from achieving high levels of efficiency and quality.
More than a restaurant with a souvenirs shop, Stoltzfuss was a farm where work was on, despite the clouds of tourists seeking around.
Information is one of the best ways to remain safe in an unfamiliar city.
Harrisburg has a crime risk factor much higher than an average American city.
That is nothing to fear, just a suggestion that you need to be cautious.
Lock car doors, use the latch-chain on the motel door, put valuables in the motel safe, keep your money in a moneybelt and out of sight, act like a local not a tourist, don't go to unfamiliar places alone or late at night. You can ask the desk staff at the motel if there are any areas of town that you might want to avoid.
Harrisburg stats: annual data:
10 murders, 35 rapes, 320 robberies, 750 assaults/burglaries, 2000 thefts.
Harrisburg is uniquelly resplendent with bridges. And each one is a bit different.
Here are some that we found. You may want to prowl the Susquehanna area to find a few more.
The Rockville Bridge (railroad) was built three times over the last 200 years and each construction was different (wooden, then steel on stone, then all stone). It is presently the world's longest stone bridge spanning a river. (2005).
Walnut Street Bridge (foot traffic) was destroyed in 1996 flood. all metal bridge with wood planking. It's lacy structure was rebuilt and is nicely lighted at night to give a great pic.
Mulberry Street Bridge, with its tall "legs" and graceful arches. Concrete structure originally built in 1910 and refurbished in 1957.
John Harris Bridge (I-83) (called South Bridge)
George Wade Bridge (I-81)
Reading Railroad Bridge
The city of Baltimore is only a 45 minute drive from Harrisburg and is pretty much a straight shot down interstate 83 south.
Here you can access Camden Yards for the lousy Orioles (coming from a Yankee fan), Inner Harbor is always worth a visit wether you like it or not but there's no denying that Baltimore's aquarium is one of the best, definitely worth a visit.
All else fails they have a 3 story barnes and noble to kill sometime in, and once you've found your book you can order it from your local privately owned bookstore at home.
Gettysburg is only a 35 minute drive from harrisburg and provides much more excitement than the actual civil war museum in the capital city.
You know how crazy the mid 1800's were and this is one of the locations where a lot of it went down. The small town caters to visitors and guided tours are pretty easy to find.
Don't have a specific person of tour to recommend but a visit is well worth it, and with a local college in the area, there are plenty of affordable eateries.
The site includes battlefield tours and well furnished museums.
83 South right out of the city brings right smack into routes 15S and 581. Stay on Rt. 15S all the way to Gettysburg.
Forrester street to the harvey taylor bridge also runs into 15S.
Farmers Market: the Farmers Martket is a small building on the way to Harrisburg that we stopped at on the way because 25 girls had to use the bathroom, The farmer Market has bathrooms, shops to by some food, and a cute little girf shop.