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The Best Experiences in Harrisburg, PA

The Best Experiences in Harrisburg, PA

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As the capital city of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg offers a wealth of historical, cultural, and recreational experiences for visitors of all ages. From exploring world-class museums to enjoying the great outdoors along the Susquehanna River, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Here are some of the best experiences to have in Harrisburg.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania

No visit to Harrisburg is complete without exploring the State Museum of Pennsylvania. This impressive museum showcases the rich history, culture, and natural wonders of the Keystone State through its extensive exhibits and collections. Don’t miss the Ecology Hall, which features a massive diorama depicting the diverse ecosystems found across Pennsylvania. The museum also boasts an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils, including the nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Riverfront Park

Stretching along the banks of the Susquehanna River, Riverfront Park is a beautiful oasis in the heart of Harrisburg. This 63-acre park offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including walking and biking trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas. During the summer months, you can catch live music performances at the Kunkel Plaza or rent a pedal boat and explore the river up close.

National Civil War Museum

As one of the largest museums dedicated to the American Civil War, the National Civil War Museum is a must-visit for history buffs. The museum’s extensive collection includes artifacts, weapons, uniforms, and personal belongings from both the Union and Confederate sides. Interactive exhibits and immersive experiences, such as the Gettysburg Cyclorama, bring the stories of the war to life in a captivating way.

Broad Street Market

Established in 1860, the Broad Street Market is one of the oldest continuously operating markets in the United States. This historic market offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the diverse culinary offerings of the region. From fresh produce and baked goods to local specialties and international cuisines, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Be sure to try the famous Pennsylvania Dutch dishes, such as shoofly pie and Lebanon bologna.

Wildwood Park

For those seeking a peaceful escape from the city, Wildwood Park is a true oasis. This 229-acre park features a gorgeous nature center, hiking trails winding through lush forests, and a tranquil lake perfect for fishing or simply enjoying the scenery. The park is also home to the Olewine Nature Center, which offers educational programs and exhibits on the area’s diverse plant and animal life.

Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat Tour

Experience Harrisburg, PA from a unique perspective by embarking on a Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat Tour. These leisurely cruises offer stunning views of the city skyline and the opportunity to learn about the rich history and ecology of the Susquehanna River. Whether you choose a sightseeing tour, a dinner cruise, or a special event, it’s a memorable way to take in the beauty of Harrisburg.


While not technically in Harrisburg, no visit to the area would be complete without a trip to the legendary Hersheypark. This massive amusement park, located in nearby Hershey, offers thrilling roller coasters, family-friendly rides, and plenty of opportunities to indulge in delicious chocolate treats. From the iconic Kisses Fountain to the brand-new Candymonium hypercoaster, Hersheypark is a sweet destination for adventurers of all ages.

With its rich history, vibrant culture, and abundant natural beauty, Harrisburg offers a diverse range of experiences to suit every interest. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking a memorable getaway, this charming city has something special in store for you. Learn more about Fun facts about Harrisburg, PA

Commonly Asked Questions

The top museums to visit in Harrisburg include the State Museum of Pennsylvania, which showcases the state's history, culture, and natural wonders, and the National Civil War Museum, one of the largest museums dedicated to the American Civil War.

Yes, Harrisburg offers several great outdoor experiences, including Riverfront Park along the Susquehanna River, which has walking/biking trails, playgrounds, and boat rentals. Wildwood Park is another scenic outdoor destination with hiking trails, a lake for fishing, and a nature center.

The Broad Street Market is one of the oldest continuously operating markets in the United States, established in 1860. It offers a diverse array of fresh produce, baked goods, local specialties like Pennsylvania Dutch foods, and international cuisines.

Harrisburg hosts several popular events throughout the year, including the Harrisburg Brewers Fest in June, celebrating local craft beer. The Harrisburg Artsfest in May features live music, art exhibits, and vendors. In the fall, don't miss the Harrisburg Marathon and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.

Absolutely! The Broad Street Market is a great place to sample local specialties and international cuisines. For a unique drinking experience, visit some of Harrisburg's craft breweries, like Zeroday Brewing Company or Millworks Brewery. The city also has several wine trails, including the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail, for wine enthusiasts.

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