Harrisburg Travel Guide

  • The Senate Chamber
    The Senate Chamber
    by Tom_Fields
  • The State Museum of Pennsylvania
    The State Museum of Pennsylvania
    by Tom_Fields
  • The Pride of the Susquehanna
    The Pride of the Susquehanna
    by Tom_Fields

Harrisburg Highlights

  • Pro
    PA2AKgirl profile photo

    PA2AKgirl says…

     Many more things to do here than in the past, safer and cleaner than before 

  • Con
    Travmad profile photo

    Travmad says…

     Politics, Three mile Island 

  • In a nutshell
    TravelwithSkeet profile photo

    TravelwithSkeet says…

     Love the fresh air and beautiful country side 

Harrisburg Things to Do

  • Pennsylvania Capital

    We took a :30 tour of the beautiful capital building. Our guide was informative, the capital was ornate. We were taken into the main rotunda, with the 272 food high, 52 million pound modeled after St. Peters in Rome. The Carrara marble staircase was inspired by the Paris Opera. We visited the Supreme Court meeting room, Senate Chamber and House...

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  • Susquehana waterfront

    The park and the gardens by the river are a pleasant place to stroll or to ride a bicycle. The several bridges across the river, some of them in use, some other abandoned but left as a volume in the river, help to compose the scenery and enhance the landscape. It was a good complement to our hotel.

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  • The Capitol

    Our guide told us that it was the biggest in USA. I don't care about sizes, in this case not even about prices. But it surely is a magnificent building, that you must see, specially from inside. I read that it was inspired in S. Peter's cathedral, in Vatican. I don't know if it is true, even if the structure really resembles the cathedral,but the...

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  • City Island

    This island lies in the middle of the Susquehanna River, right in front of downtown. Here are a number of attractions: the Commerce Bank ballpark, water golf, a beach (actually concrete), Riverside Village, a small train, and marinas.Also, check out the Pride of the Susquehanna, a tour boat based on the island (I have another tip on that).

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  • Kipona Festival

    Kipona is an Indian word for "sparkling waters". This annual event takes place over Labor Day weekend, on the riverfront in downtown Harrisburg. It goes on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, from about midday until almost midnight. Food booths, arts, crafts, live bands, and children's activities offer something for nearly everyone.

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  • Gotta go to the farm show!

    This was my first time to the Pa. Farm Show I have often heard about it but thought ahh it's not going to be anything I would be interested in. Boy was I wrong. If you are in the area or just want to spend a day or two visiting this huge complex I couldn't encourage you more. There are animal judging and showing in arenas. You can walk through the...

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Harrisburg Hotels

Harrisburg Restaurants

  • Delicious Indian

    My wife and I were staying in the area and had a craving for some Indian food. I googled and found Passage to India. The restaurant was easy to find; right by the River and attached to a hotel. From the outside we weren't impressed but the interior was very nicely decorated. We arrived at their opening time so we were one of two parties of diners...

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  • Natural and Homemade

    For those eating mainly fast food, this must be quite an experience. We are luck to have each day homemade food, and, top luck, Portuguese homemade food. That's why I must confess that the food was OK, gently served, but... not a particularly great lunch. Fernanda loves jam (I don't), and enjoyed also the desert that I didn't taste.

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  • Bayou: New Cajun in town

    This place just opened on 2nd Street. We had a great meal there. The seafood gumbo is dark, rich, and perfectly seasoned. I had a fried catfish "blue-plate special" that was done to perfection. And "Chocolate bread pudding with Jack Daniels sauce" is as good as it sounds.Four of us (two of us had blue-plate specials, all four had appetizers) ate...

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  • A Secret Sunday Soul Food Buffet

    This Sunday-only buffet is run by the local Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and is the place to go for delicious soul food, homemade desserts, great gospel music, and friendly people. It's a part of the community: You will not find it in the phone book or area restaurant guides. Ain't the Internet grand?For some odd historical reasons, this...

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  • A Vietnamese Trio

    According to my friend Becky, the Vietnamese community in Harrisburg came by way of a resettlement facility at nearby Fort Indiantown Gap.Any of these three places can serve up a tasty Vietnamese dish. Keep in mind that, in Vietnamese cuisine, "soup" can be a full meal--often with leftovers for the next day! Being a non-meat-eater, I go for the...

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  • Customer Service not worth the hassle

    Cafe Fresco has been a restaurant that I have frequented on several occasions. I keep returning because I like the atmosphere and menu. That all changed tonight.I took a large group to Cafe Fresco - 16 people in all. The reservation was amended via a phone call during the day, from 15 to 16. When we arrived, the table was set for 15 people. The...

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Harrisburg Nightlife

  • Noma

    Noma (or NOMA:Remixed) is an upscale martini bar along Second Street downtown with loud music and numerous plasma TVs showing psychedelic graphics. We stopped in for a few beers, enjoyed looking at the waitresses and chatted with the bartender. The bar has numerous "nebulizers" called AWOL (not the military's absent without leave, rather "alcohol...

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  • Bourbon Street Saloon

    Not really a saloon and not much like Bourbon Street, the Bourbon Street Saloon is a popular college hangout in the center of the Second Street bar & restaurant area of downtown Harrisburg. It is on the corner surrounded by Molly Brannigan's.Though I didn't eat here, they have a limited selection of inexpensive items,mostly sandwiches. They also...

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  • Molly Brannigans

    Molly Brannigan's is a small chain of Irish pubs with 4 locations in Pennsylvania plus one in Vegas and another in Mesa, AZ. We didn't eat here, but they have a very extensive menu with seafood, steaks, a variety of salads, sandwiches, potato pancakes called boxty, and various Irish specialties. We did have a few pints of Guinness after dinner,...

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Harrisburg Transportation

  • Getting better...

    Harrisburg has always had traffic problems and mostly because of road construction. For years, it was US 322, but that's finally finished. Then it was the I-83/I-81 interchange. FINALLY, they put an express lane down the median to fix that problem. And a constant nuisance is rt 11/15 around Marysville and Enola. BUT there's a nice way around that...

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  • Bus Ride full of fun

    I went down on a yellow school bus. While on the bus I sat in the back with my friends Clyde, Adam, and Kammy. Clyde and me picked on eachother the whole way down. We went past a farm and smelt some cow manure and I told him he should check his pants. Then he saw a duck and said it was my brother and we both laughed the whole time. Adam said the...

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  • Amtrak train from...

    Amtrak train from Philadelphia(left) will take 1 1/2 hours. On the right, well-preserved GGI locomotive, the former workhorse of the PA RR, designed by Raymond Loewy, 1930

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Harrisburg Shopping

  • Best Harrisburg Photographer

    Shannon and Garrick Dorsett shot our wedding and they are fantastic. They're really fine art photographers and teachers (at HACC), so everything they do in fashion, weddings, or portraits shows that artistic side. If you need a photographer, they're amazing. And look for their names in local exhibits, too. There are a number of galleries in the...

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  • More than just shopping...

    Strawberry Square is definitely a highlight of Harrisburg--perhaps one of the best known things about the city, too. It's a major complex, but not as annoying as a shopping mall. The design of the building is beautiful (and award winning), open with a nice atrium. It's a great place to go and have some coffee (at Sparky and Clarks) or the "famous"...

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  • Cutting-edge local art...and great gifts

    The great Tenth Muse shop on 2nd St. is gone, but there's a new place to get stuff you won't find at the mall: Mantis Collective. This interesting building has hand-made cards and scarves, interesting jewelry, interesting homemade soaps, plus an art gallery.Besides, it's a really interesting building, and where else can buy work from an artist with...

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Harrisburg Local Customs

  • The Amish

    Known worldwide, this particular culture is a landmark of Pennsylvania. Localy, it's easy to see, that their fight to block progress is being lost. Electricity is too powerful even for the Amish. So, halfway from the exclusive dedication to natural resources and the use of technological progress, they keep selling the differences, while...

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  • The FARM show!! :-)

    Now, I have never personally owned any livestock and no one from my family here in PA has either. But we still got off of school when the farm show rolled around! The complex is huge and while the farm show is the biggest event, there are always things going on here...things I never knew about until recently. For example, Pennsylvania has its own...

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  • neighborhoods

    Harrisburg has coalesced from many smaller communities in its growth to become the capital city of Pennsylvania. Some of those small communities have been absorbed into larger neighbors but today there still are a dozen distinct neighborhoods within the big city.These neighborhoods are:Allison Hill... oldest neighborhood that remains; Mount...

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Harrisburg Warnings and Dangers

  • Harrisburg Pennsylvania. Some tourists...

    scared and for no reason at all. You will not face anything when you come to this city. there is nothing to fear make sure you do not have on any nice gear otherwise you will lose an ear. Just kidding. I have happen to live in Harrisburg for sometime no now. I must say That I have not encountered any problems whether I was in the so called "ghetto"...

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  • some places are better than others

    Like any other megatropolis, Harrisburg is a mixed bag when it comes to talking about safety.I looked at the crime reports for the many zipcoded areas in the city and saw some areas that had statistics in the "low crime risk" level and some in the "very high crime risk" level.There are over 200 sex offenders registered for the greater Harrisburg...

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  • Taxis!

    If you take a taxi in Harrisburg, beware. The drivers are awful, wander from lane to lane, hit cars parked in the street, etc. This is from what I saw with my own eyes, and experienced as a passenger.

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Harrisburg Off The Beaten Path

  • Rural USA

    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...

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  • how to be safe

    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...

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  • Harrisburg Bridges

    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...

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Harrisburg Sports & Outdoors

  • PA2AKgirl's Profile Photo
    Where it all happens...

    by PA2AKgirl Written Jun 8, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hey, it's the best we can do here--AA minor league baseball. But, who cares. It's baseball and it's fun to watch. In fact, I might even say that I enjoy this just a little bit better. It's affordable, they have fun themed days, people aren't yelling at the players as much as they do with major league and it's on city island park.
    They play mostly other PA teams and some from New England.
    For the rest of this season, they have about 40 more home games, but you can check out the schedule on their homepage.

    General Admission is only $5.00, box seats are $9.00. They don't win very often, but I'd watch most anything for that price...

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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Harrisburg Favorites

  • Rural America

    The dominating image of USA in Europe is made if skiscrapers, wide roads with big cars. But there's another America, where development keeps present, but the rhythms and social life are more cal and simple. Pennsylvania looks like a huge farm, where the Amish are just a detail

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  • Take a ride on the "Pride of the...

    The Pride of the Susquehanna is a paddlewheel riverboat that offers cruises from April to October. While you can find these in a lot of towns up and down the Susquehanna, this one offers cruises more often (and different types) than the others. The Public Cruises are offered at least three times a day, every day, in the afternoon. The Luncheon...

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  • Full of laughs when it's a school field...

    I really liked the whole trip of Harrisburg. I went with my school, it was a 3hour driver there which was fun because I got to see a lot of cool things and just hang out with my fellow students. My fondest memory would be the bus ride, for three hours I sat on the bus chillin with my fellow students, we joked around talked, just had a lot of fun,...

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