About The Capitol City
Set along the east bank of the Susquehanna River, Harrisburg is the capitol city of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is located just under two hours from Philadelphia and three and a half hours from Pittsburgh. The city straddles the line between being an industrialized city and an agricultural Mecca, making is a great place of variety for travelers who want plenty of options during their Pennsylvania getaway. Days here are easily filled with tours of cultural hot spots, shopping, and outdoor activities – it all depends on your mood, making sure you get where you want to go.
The capitol city represents Pennsylvania with pride. Its arts and cultural scene shows visitors just a glimpse of what the whole state has to offer through museums, art centers, political facilities, boat rides, and more. A tour of the capitol city can be as hands on as you want it. Start with a boat ride across the Susquehanna River aboard one of the last remaining paddle-wheel riverboats in the country, then hit the ground running as you tour one of several government buildings in the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex. These include the State Capitol Building, the Governor’s Residence, the Pennsylvania State Archives, and the State Museum of Pennsylvania. From here, you can continue visiting some of the area’s museums, all of which are family-friendly, such as the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum, the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, the National Civil War Museum, and the John Harris & Simon Cameron Mansion. If viewing beautiful works of arts is important to you, this city is a great spot for both local and international visual arts. Some of the top galleries and art centers include the Art Association, Susquehanna Art Museum, and the Midtown Arts Center.
One of the major focal points of the local outdoor landscape is the Susquehanna River, and active visitors can spend hours on the paths along the river, whether biking, jogging, or just strolling along to take in the scenery. The local Parks and Recreation offices ensure that each and every outdoor space is maintained, and a trip to any of them is a treat. Wildwood Park is a great spot, known for its hills and wooded trails, and there are a few covered bridges in the area such as the Esther Furnace and the Fowlersville Covered Bridge that are favored hiking spots not only for their natural beauty but their historic relevance. A few other ways to stay active include playing mini golf, a full 18-holes of golf, or visiting Harrisburg City Island, which is the home of the local baseball team.
At least several times a week you can count on a special event taking place, no matter the time of year you visit. Arts and food festivals are especially popular, as are farm shows and celebrations for each major holiday. Chances are, if you head down by the riverside on the weekend you’ll encounter some kind of special event. Despite being the fifth largest city in the state, it maintains a close-knit feel as a community, and any one of these events will allow you to get a feel for the friendly environment the city promotes. Perhaps the most popular event held here each year is the Pennsylvania Farm Show in the spring, a festival that has been running since 1916.
If you’re looking for a town with a great nighttime entertainment scene, this is the place. You will always have a great time out if you hit the Midtown Arts district, to do a little gallery and bar hopping, and Second Street offers a line of great night spots that typically feature live music or great local DJs spinning all of your favorite music. For something a little more cultured, you’ll also find Theatre Harrisburg and the Gamut Classic Theatre.
From sunup to sun down, whether you want to plan an outdoor adventure a cultural excursion, or both, Pennsylvania’s capitol city is the perfect spot for you to explore while making the most of your bus rental.
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