Harrisburg is “Pennsylvania’s Capital City” and has the elaborate capitol building to prove it. Situated on the Susquehanna River, with the Blue Mountain ridge to the north, the Cumberland Valley to the west, the Lebanon Valley to the east, and two three bodies of water in the city, Harrisburg is a geographically beautiful place to live. As the ninth-largest city in the state, Harrisburg has a total area of 11.4 square miles and population of more than 49,000.
Harrisburg was incorporated in 1791, named for founder John Harris, Sr. In 1812 Harrisburg became the state capital, with the capitol building finished a decade later. Aside from some one-story residential homes on a few blocks of the city, there was not much to see or say for Harrisburg until the Civil War. During the Civil War, the city was a training area for Union troops (Camp Curtin) as well as a major rail center. The Gettysburg Campaign of 1863 was General Robert E. Lees’s second and most successful attempt to take the city – a small battle two miles outside of Harrisburg.
During this time and at the end of the century, steel, iron and the rail yard were the largest industries in the city. The Pennsylvania Railroad was the largest, peaking in 1904 when it would make 100 passenger stops per day. Harrisburg experienced industrial decline from 1920 to 1970, leading to population decline and an economic shift to service-based industries. Until the 1990s, the city’s population declined as residents moved to the suburbs.
Things to Do in Harrisburg:
While Harrisburg may not have a lot of area, that doesn’t in any way suggest that it doesn’t have plenty to do. There are many wonderful things to do in Harrisburg, despite its small size. After renting an apartment in Harrisburg, you’ll be able to visit local attractions, indulge in arts and culture, partake in the outdoor recreation, and dine at popular restaurants.
The attractions in Harrisburg are an eclectic collection of places to visit and explore. The National Civil War Museum is a popular attraction as well as one of the largest museums in the world. Visit the mile-long island, City Island, that is primarily used for sports activities. See amazing live performances and awesome science exhibits at the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts. Get involved in the Civil War lectures and programs hosted by the Camp Cutrin Historical Society.
When it comes to arts and culture in Harrisburg, you’ll find art galleries, performing arts, and many museums. Theatre Harrisburg has been putting on brilliant productions in the city for more than 80 years. Listen to the beautiful sounds of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and the Harrisburg Symphony Youth Orchestra. See a variety of contemporary works of art at the Paper Lion Gallery. Explore a museum unlike any other – the Doll House Museum is a life-sized Victorian doll house that houses a huge collection of dolls and toys.
Soak up the sun with some outdoor recreation in Harrisburg. Wildwood Park is a 200-acre park with a shallow lake and six miles of trails, allowing for fishing, bird watching, running, biking and more. Spend some time at Golf Club at Felicita playing their well-manicured course. Take a trip to Metro Bank Park to see the Harrisburg Senators minor league baseball team in action. Spend quality time with the family at Harrisburg East Campground camping in a tent, RV, or a rustic cabin.
Whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, the restaurants in Harrisburg have what you need. Dine on American cuisine in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere at Dog & Pony. For the best in fine-dining, you have to try Bricco, a gourmet Italian restaurant. Enjoy an Indian meal while overlooking the Susquehanna River at Passage to India. Delicious barbecue is available daily at MoMo’s BBQ & Grill. Gourmet Thai cuisine and fantastic sushi can be found at Bangkok Wok.
What to Consider When Moving to Harrisburg:
All cities have their need-to-know facts. When moving to a Harrisburg apartment, you should know the basic and most important information about the city first. These details include the economy, the neighborhoods, the climate, the school systems, and anything else that could have a positive or negative affect on your life.
Harrisburg has a total of 20 neighborhoods and 10 historic districts. Of these neighborhoods, Center City is the most notable as it is essentially Downtown Harrisburg. This neighborhood is the center for business, government and finance in the city. Center City is also the location of many restaurants, shops, museums, and nightclubs.
Located just east of downtown, Allison Hill is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and is considered a historic district. This neighborhood has many single-family homes, apartments, and small businesses. There are also many events that take place in Allison Hill, such as summer festivals, Jazz Under the Stars, and Shakespeare in the Park. Bellevue Park is also a historic district in Harrisburg – the first planned residential community in the state – which is filled with beautiful mansions.
The Harrisburg School District serves the students in the city. There are two schools in the district that teach ages K-4: Foose and Scott. There are five district schools serving K-8: Ben Franklin, Camp Curtin, Downey, Marshall, and Melrose. The Math and Science Academy and Melrose are the two schools in the district for grades 5-8. For grades 9-12 the two options are Harrisburg High School and Harrisburg High School SciTech Campus. There are also several public charter schools in Harrisburg, as well as many private schools.
Why Harrisburg Apartments Are Hot:
There is so much beauty in and around the city that apartments in Harrisburg are hot by nature. Just the capitol building alone has enough grandeur to fill the whole city; however, the natural beauty of the area rivals even that of the capitol. Whether you are moving to Harrisburg alone or with a family, there are so many things to do and see. Get out and explore all that the city has to offer, such as the variety of attractions, the fresh air of outdoor recreation, the creativity and passion in the fine and performing arts, and of course the delicious dining options. Harrisburg apartments and the city itself welcome you to try everything possible and enjoy it, of course!
Great area attractions include the nearby town of Hershey, home of Hersheypark.
Harrisburg is located along the beautiful Susquehanna River, a popular boating location.
As the capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg is the ninth largest city in the state.
Temple University-Harrisburg, Penn State’s Eastgate Center, and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.
Shopping the oldest continuously-operating farmers market in the US, Broad Street Market, built in 1858.
Beautiful historic sites, such as the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion and Fort Hunter Mansion and Park.