Harrisburg boasts a rich history and a diverse cultural scene. As the capital city of Pennsylvania, it is home to numerous historical landmarks, such as the Pennsylvania State Capitol and the National Civil War Museum. The city's architecture showcases a blend of classic and modern styles, providing a visually captivating atmosphere.
Living in Harrisburg means having access to a wide range of recreational activities. The city is nestled along the beautiful Susquehanna River, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and scenic walks along its picturesque shores. The Riverfront Park is a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts, hosting various events throughout the year, including festivals, concerts, and fireworks displays.
Harrisburg Area Communities
Situated east of downtown, Allison Hill is a diverse neighborhood with a rich history and a strong sense of community. It offers affordable housing options and is known for its cultural diversity, community gardens, and local businesses. The neighborhood has seen revitalization efforts in recent years, making it an area of potential growth and opportunity.
Harrisburg's vibrant downtown area is the heart of the city. It features a mix of commercial, residential, and entertainment spaces. Downtown offers a lively urban environment with an array of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and nightlife options. It's a great choice for those who enjoy the energy of city living and easy access to amenities.
Located just north of downtown, Midtown is known for its thriving arts and cultural scene. The neighborhood is home to numerous art galleries, theaters, and independent boutiques. Midtown is also recognized for its community events, including the popular 3rd in the Burg, a monthly celebration of the arts. The area features a mix of historic homes, renovated warehouses, and newer developments.
Situated across the river from downtown, Uptown is a neighborhood undergoing revitalization efforts. It offers a mix of residential properties, including historic rowhouses and newer apartment complexes. Uptown is home to the historic Broad Street Market, which has been serving the community since the 1860s, and it provides convenient access to City Island and the State Capitol Complex.
Top Harrisburg School Districts
Finding the right school district for your children has a major impact on their quality of life and path to success. These are the top rated school districts in the Harrisburg Area; if you want to delve deeper into school records and standards for the State of Pennsylvania, NewHomeSource has a guide to all the resources you need to find the right school for your child.
Best Private K-12 school in Harrisburg: Harrisburg Academy
Harrisburg Academy has an A+ rating on Niche.com, and ranks highly for academics, teachers, college prep, and clubs and activities. It has a student-teacher ratio of 6 to 1. According to public data 100% of students of the Harrisburg Academy graduate.
Best public elementary school in Harrisburg: Infinity Charter School
Infinity Charter School has an A+ rating on Niche.com, and ranks highly for academics, teachers, and diversity. It has 256 students in grades K-8 with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. According to state test scores, 67% of students are at least proficient in math and 87% in reading.
Best public high school in Harrisburg: Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School
Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School has an A rating on Niche.com, and ranks highly for administration, teachers, and diversity. It has 192 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 12 to 1. According to state test scores, 75% of students are at least proficient in math and 85% in reading.
Top Employers in Harrisburg
The Government and Hershey's are two of the largest employers in Harrisburg.
Pennsylvania State Government
Harrisburg is the capitol of Pennsylvania, so it makes scene that the state bureaucracy would have a major employment presence here.
Milton S Hershey Medical Center
The Milton S Hershey Medical Center provides a wide range of jobs to people in the healthcare sector, providing a major sector of employment in Harrisburg.
The Hershey Company
Everyone's favorite chocolate company calls Harrisburg home, bringing a wide range of jobs to the people of Harrisburg.
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co
In addition to giving the people of Harrisburg jobs in its corporate headquarter and factories, the Hershey Co. provides employment in its Harrisburg resort.
United Parcel Service
UPS is the fifth largest employer in the Harrisburg Area, allowing people to find employment in the logistics and distribution sector.
Harrisburg Area Museums
The State Museum of Pennsylvania
Located in the heart of Harrisburg, The State Museum offers a comprehensive exploration of Pennsylvania's history, culture, and natural heritage. It features exhibits on topics such as archaeology, geology, Native American history, industrial development, and fine arts. The museum also houses the Planetarium, where visitors can enjoy captivating shows about the cosmos.
Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum
History lovers can have a great day at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. Fall in love with the romance of the sea all over again here. Beautiful architecture, stunning maritime art, and the most delightful model historic ships you have ever seen combine perfectly in this amazing museum.
National Civil War Museum
Situated on a hill overlooking the city, the National Civil War Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and significance of the American Civil War. It provides a balanced and comprehensive perspective on the conflict, showcasing artifacts, documents, and immersive exhibits that shed light on the war's causes, battles, and aftermath.
Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
This interdisciplinary facility combines science, arts, and entertainment. The Harsco Science Center offers hands-on exhibits, interactive displays, and educational programs that explore various scientific concepts. The Sunoco Performance Theater hosts a diverse range of live performances, including concerts, theater productions, and lectures.
Great Parks in the Harrisburg Area
Located along the scenic Susquehanna River, Riverfront Park is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. It features walking and biking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, and stunning river views. The park hosts numerous events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and fireworks displays.
Situated just outside of Harrisburg in nearby Harrisburg Township, Wildwood Park is a tranquil nature preserve spanning over 200 acres. It offers miles of walking trails through wetlands, woodlands, and meadows, providing opportunities for birdwatching, wildlife spotting, and nature photography. The park also features a nature center with educational exhibits and programs.
Accessible via a pedestrian bridge from downtown Harrisburg, City Island is a unique recreational destination. The island features sports facilities, including baseball fields, soccer fields, and a mini-golf course. Visitors can also enjoy a ride on the Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat, explore the beach and swimming area, or indulge in the island's various food concessions.
Living in Harrisburg
Harrisburg provides an excellent quality of life. The cost of living is relatively affordable compared to larger metropolitan areas, and the city offers a range of housing options to suit different preferences and budgets. The community is welcoming and diverse, creating a strong sense of belonging.
The city's central location within the state allows for easy access to other major cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Additionally, Harrisburg is situated near breathtaking natural landscapes, including the Appalachian Mountains and picturesque state parks, providing endless opportunities for outdoor adventures and exploration.
Harrisburg Housing Trends
With a great blend of hip downtown neighborhoods and family-friendly suburbs, there are many housing options depending on the kind of lifestyle you are looking for.
Housing costs are rising over time, but there are still a variety of options depending on your price point, as there are many suburbs and cities surrounding Savannah.
Median Home Price: $210,000
The median home price in Harrisburg is lower than the national median home price, making it a wonderful place to settle down, if you're a first time homebuyer, or an experienced home shopper looking for the perfect retirement destination
Amazing Harrisburg Restaurants
Don't worry, there are so many great restaurants in Harrisburg, you won't be tempted to eat the giant butter sculptures.
This cozy neighborhood eatery focuses on seasonal and locally inspired dishes. Home 231 offers a menu that emphasizes fresh ingredients, including salads, sandwiches, and creative entrees. The restaurant also has a welcoming atmosphere and outdoor seating.
Ad Lib Craft Kitchen & Bar
Ad Lib is known for its upscale casual dining and innovative dishes. Their menu highlights American cuisine with a modern twist, using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Ad Lib also has an extensive drink menu featuring craft cocktails and a carefully curated wine list.
If you're looking for authentic Italian cuisine, Mangia Qui is a must-visit. This charming restaurant offers a menu inspired by traditional Italian dishes, prepared with fresh ingredients and a creative touch. From pasta and risotto to antipasti and homemade desserts, Mangia Qui delivers an authentic taste of Italy.
Rubicon is a modern American restaurant known for its delicious steaks, seafood, and seasonal dishes. The restaurant emphasizes high-quality ingredients and expertly prepared meals. Rubicon also offers an extensive wine list and a cozy atmosphere for a memorable dining experience.
Zeroday Brewing Co. & Midtown Tavern
Zeroday Brewing Co. combines a craft brewery with a cozy tavern. Enjoy a variety of handcrafted beers on tap, along with a menu featuring elevated pub fare. Their rotating selection of beers and creative food options make it a favorite spot for beer enthusiasts and food lovers.
Great Attractions for Harrisburg Stay-cations
Fort Hunter Mansion and Park
While not strictly a museum, Fort Hunter Mansion and Park provides a unique historical experience. The mansion, dating back to the 18th century, showcases period furnishings and exhibits about the site's history. The park surrounding the mansion offers walking trails, gardens, and scenic views of the Susquehanna River.
Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area
Located north of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, Boyd Big Tree Preserve is a natural sanctuary spanning over 1,000 acres. It offers hiking trails that wind through forests and meadows, showcasing an impressive array of trees, including some of the largest trees in Pennsylvania. The preserve is a great place for nature lovers, birdwatchers, and those seeking solitude in a serene natural setting.
Located in a repurposed industrial building, Millworks offers a unique dining experience. The restaurant features a farm-to-table menu using locally sourced ingredients, accompanied by an on-site brewery and art galleries showcasing the work of local artists.
Pennsylvania State Capitol
Take a tour of the magnificent Pennsylvania State Capitol building, known for its stunning architecture, beautiful rotunda, and elaborate interior. Learn about the state's history and government while marveling at the grandeur of the Capitol.
Harrisburg has a great mix of unique local shops and big-name stores, often found side by side in shopping areas. There’s plenty of opportunity to shop ‘til you drop in this city.
Broad Street Market
Experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of the historic Broad Street Market, one of the oldest continuously operating farmers' markets in the United States. Sample local delicacies, browse the fresh produce and crafts, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.
Midtown Scholar Bookstore
This renowned independent bookstore is a haven for book lovers. Located in the vibrant Midtown neighborhood, Midtown Scholar offers a vast collection of new, used, and rare books across various genres. The store also hosts literary events, author signings, and community gatherings.
Yellow Bird Cafe
Located in the historic Olde Uptown neighborhood, Yellow Bird Cafe is a charming boutique that offers a curated collection of gifts, home décor, and handmade goods. From artisanal candles and unique accessories to locally crafted artwork, the shop showcases the talent and creativity of local artisans.
Places of Worship
Harrisburg has numerous places of worship that represent a wide range of faiths and religions.
Market Square Presbyterian Church
Market Square Presbyterian Church is a warm and welcoming Presbyterian congregation that meets in a stunning historic church.
Kesher Israel Congregation
Kesher Israel Congregation is an Orthodox congregation located in Uptown. This welcoming community was founded in 1902.
Islamic Center Masjid Al Sabereen
The Islamic Center Masjid Al Sabereen of Harrsiburg offers a clean and convenient place for the Muslims of Harrisburg to worship.
After graduating in 2016 from The University of Texas with a degree in English, Sanda Brown became a content writer for the BDX with a focus on website copy and content marketing.
At the BDX, Sanda helps write and edit articles on NewHomeSource.com, writes website copy for builders, and manages a team of freelancers that work on additional content needs.