Harrisburg International Airport (IATA: MDT),  is located just outside of Harrisburg, in Middletown, you will need to complete the journey to the city by rental car, taxi, bus, or hotel shuttles which are accessible via the Multi-Modal Transportation Facility (MMTF).
Amtrak (HAR) is located at 4th and Chestnut Streets, with frequent trains to Philadelphia and beyond. 1-800-USA-RAIL. Station Hours & Quik-Trak Kiosk Hours: M-F: 4:30AM- 11:59PM, Sa-Su: 6:30AM- 11PM, Ticket Hours: M-F: 6AM- 8:30PM, Saturday: 6:30AM- 7:15PM, Sunday: 6:30AM- 8:30PM.
Harrisburg is served by a rather extensive highway system for a city of its size. Interstate 81, 83 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Interstate 76 all travel through or near the city. The Capital Beltway is comprised of I-81 to the north, I-83 to the east and south and PA-581 to the west of the city. U.S. Routes 22 and 322 also pass through the city and U.S. 11 and 15 pass just to the west.
Capitol Area Transit (CAT), is the regional bus service for greater Harrisburg area. Travelers to Harrisburg from Cumberland and Dauphin Counties can travel via CAT. CAT is also a convenient means of transportation from Harrisburg International Airport (HIA)
Parking - Weekdays, from 8AM-5PM, meter parking is enforced. The typical cost is 15 minutes for 25¢. Parking garages are typically the same rate, $3 for up to 2 hours and then escalating beyond that. Many of the garages are run by the Harrisburg Parking Authority . Park for $5 from 5PM-5AM at River St, Walnut St and Chestnut St garages.
Driving- Generally, roads are congested, especially on the Capital Beltway, during rush hour. The amount of time it would take to cover certain sections on the beltway (especially on I-83 between the York Split and I-81), can easily be tripled, or more. The freeways are far below capacity as they were built in the 1950s. However, a recent road construction project on the York Split (the PA 581/I-83 Jct.) just started and there are studies being done to widen very congested, narrow sections such as I-83. Keep in mind that the congestion peaks are between 6 and 9 AM and 3 and 6 PM on weekdays. Outside of those times, you should be able to get by with minimal (if any) delays.
Harrisburg is a very walkable city, especially the downtown, midtown and uptown sections which are layed out in a simple grid without much change in grade. There are many beautiful walking and biking trails that run along the Susquehanna River. You can also walk or ride your bike across the Walnut St. Bridge to City Island without worrying about safety because it is blocked off to cars.
Harrisburg has been an important location for statewide transportation since selected as the capital of Pennsylvania in 1812. The canal system and subsequent development of railroads, highways and airlines in the early century played a key role in transforming Harrisburg into a commercial and distribution center for Pennsylvania and the East. The city is centrally located 80 miles north of Baltimore, 100 miles west of Philadelphia, and 100 miles north of Washington D.C.
State Capitol Building
The Capitol was designed in the American Renaissance Style by Philadelphia Architect Joseph-Huston (1866-1940), who envisioned the building as a "Palace of Art". Built and furnished at a cost of $13 million, the Capitol features paintings, stained glass and furnishings by some of the best artisans of the day - Extract Out of A Centennial Celebration 1906 - 2006, Pennsylvania General Assembly.
The state capitol of Pennsylvania is a beautiful architectural masterpiece that encompasses many artistic designs and marvels. The capitol building is an Italian Renaissance-style statehouse. It includes collections of art, sculptures and large murals. On the floor of the main hallway are tiles that show Pennsylvania's history, symbols, insects and animals. The capitol dome rises 272 feet, and was modeled after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and it's magnificent staircase looks like one from the Paris Opera. Over 100,000 people per year enjoy a free tour of Harrisburg's Capitol building.
The Gamut Classic Theatre,  located in Strawberry Square, has its own Shakespeare Festival that puts on a few plays each year for a few weeks at a time. Tickets are $25 ($17 for students and seniors), with buy-one-get-one-free discounts on Fridays and "Bring Your Own Price" discounts on Sundays. During the summer, the theatre also puts on a free production of a Shakspeare play in Reservoir Park. In 2008, the play will be "Love's Labor's Lost," June 4-14. The Gamut is also the home of the Popcorn Hat Player's Children's Theatre. Tickets are $6.
Midtown Cinema, . A small three screen theater in midtown Harrisburg. They have a great selection of independent films, along with good ice cream, coffee, and teas.
Theatre Harrisburg, . Established in 1926 and one of the oldest community theatres in the country. Plays in the Sunoco Performance Theater at the Whitaker center.
Stage On Herr, . The newest addition to Harrisburg's theater scene. A 3,500 square foot venue with soaring ceilings in a former gym, the space has been renovated and is now home to plays, concerts, comedy, art, parties and more.
Champion Ship Performing Arts Space, 52 Rear Market St Lemoyne, ☎ 717-612-9306. Champion Ship is a DIY, all ages, drug, alcohol, and smoke free performance arts venue located in Lemoyne, PA right outside of Harrisburg the state capital. A great place to see your favorite band, an art show, or flea market. There is also a fully stocked independent record store primarily featuring, Punk, Hardcore, Emo, and Indie Rock CD's and records.edit
Capitol Tours and Welcome Center, East Wing Entrance, ☎ (800) 868-7672 (email@example.com), . 8:30AM-4PM. Advanced reservations are suggested and required for groups of 10 or more. Group size is limited to 80. The tour is about a half hour long, and takes you through some of its most impressive rooms, including Italian in the House Chamber, French in the Senate Chamber and the English in the Governor's Reception Room. These are just a few of the capitol's over 600 rooms. The Welcome Center at the Capitol teaches about Pennsylvania's Government by displaying 18 informative exibits allowing visitors to read, listen, touch, and interact with the displays. FREE. edit
National Civil War Museum, 1 Lincoln Circle, ☎ (717) 260-1861 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: (717) 260-9599), . W-Sa: 10AM-5PM | Sun: 12PM-5PM. The only museum in The United States that portrays the entire story of the American Civil War. Equally balanced presentations are humanistic in nature without bias to Union or Confederate causes. Open 7 days a week April 1 through Labor Day.Adults $8 | Seniors $7 | Students $6 | *Family Pass $30. edit
Whitaker Center / IMAX, 222 Market St, ☎ (717) 214-ARTS (2787) (email@example.com), . The mission of Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is to serve as the center for scientific, artistic, cultural and educational activities to enhance the region's quality of life and economic vitality.edit
Pennsylvania National Fire Museum, 1820 N 4th St, ☎ (717) 232-8915 (fax: (717) 232-8916), . Tu-F: 10AM-4PM | Sat: 10AM-4PM | Sun: 1PM-4PM. The Sights, sounds and history of firefighting come to life at The Pennsylvania National Fire Museum. Housed in the 1899 Victorian firehouse Reily Hose Company No. 10, the museum houses an outstanding collection of artifacts from the hand-drawn equipment of yesterday to the modern tools of today.Adult $5 | Senior $4 | Student $3 | Family $15. edit
Riverfront Park and City Island. Along the banks of the Susquehanna you can enjoy a scenic bike ride, cruise the river on the Pride of the Susquehanna, or rent a canoe, paddleboat, or jet ski to experience all the Susquehanna River has to offer. Riverfront Park is also popular for afternoon lunches and provides an unbeatable view of Harrisburg's July 4th fireworks and Labor Day Weekend's Kipona Celebration, which includes a street festival, chili Cook-Off, boat race, and amusement rides.
City Island, . A unique park that sits in the center of the Susquehanna River, accessible by the east side of the Walnut St. Bridge, and is home to small shops, miniature golf, a restored carousel, train, carriage rides, and the Senators, a minor league baseball team. Home games for the Senators usually start at 6:35PM, and Sundays at 1:05PM, with box seats only costing $8 and general admission $5. The Riverside Village Park offers a variety of food from crab cakes to ice cream and is open daily from 11AM-8PM after May 13th. Water Golf, City Island's 18 hole miniature golf course costs $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for children.
The Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat, 717.234.6500, . Harrisburg’s authentic paddlewheel riverboat is docked on City Island and offers 45 min public cruises throughout the summer for $9 for adults and $4 for children. The Pride also hosts dinner cruises once a week or you may rent the boat for a private party. City Island also gives horse drawn carriage rides that tour the island and can be reserved for special occasions. Or you can choose to tour the island on The General, City Island's Civil War-Era steam train that is located next to the carousel. Harrisburg and City Island also have two working marinas to dock your boat, a sandy beach for swimming, volleyball courts, and a multipurpose grass field for sports and concerts that is available for rent.
Pennsylvania Farm Show, 2300 North Cameron Street, 17110 (Exit 60 of I-81, travel ~1 mi south.), . 9AM-9PM. Usually held about the second full week of January, the Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in America. See Champion Horse Pulling Contests, Sheep-to-Shawl Contest, Square Dance Contest, Arena Carriage Racing, Livestock judging and more. Many Pennsylvania Farm products are on display. Parking is offsite, often for a $5-10 fee. P.S: The best reason to go is the food!Free for most events. edit
Strawberry Square, . A major shopping complex in downtown Harrisburg, that has an open air feel with many food and specialty shops.
The Shops on Third is a little more upscale shopping than Strawberry Square. They include such shops as the famous Sparky and Clarks, as well as other one of a kind boutiques.
Broad Street Market is comprised of two large historic buildings that house an array of foods from Amish produce and meats, to an international deli and cheese shop, to organic and whole foods. Located on Verbeke St and 3rd St.
Midtown Scholar Bookstore and Cafe, 1302 N 3rd St, ☎ (717) 236-1680, . Large bookstore and cafe, also contains largest academic used bookstore between New York and Chicago.edit
During the week, you should have no problem finding a place to eat without much wait, but the weekends (especially in the summer) may require a bit of a wait at the popular restaurants during their prime time dinner crowd.
Neato Burrito, 209 N. 2nd St., ☎ (717) 232-7467. Best mission style burritos outside of California. Has 5 locations around the Harrisburg area.edit
Spice, 201 N 2nd St (Corner of 2nd and Locust), ☎ (717) 441-1556, . Casual yet refined dining downtown.edit
Cragin's Brick Haus Restaurant, 229 N 2nd St, ☎ (717) 233-4287, . The Brick Haus offers authentic German and American cusine including goulasch, sausages, seafood, and steaks.edit
Ceoltas Irish Pub, 310 N 2nd St, ☎ (717) 233-3202 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Ceoltas provides an authentic taste of Ireland. Ceoltas also attracts bands from all around to play at their venue.edit
The Firehouse Restaurant, 606 N 2nd St, ☎ (717) 234-6064 (email@example.com, fax: (717) 234-6155), . 11:30AM-10PM (M-Th) | 11:30AM-11PM (F-Sa) | 4PM-9PM (Sun). The Firehouse is the oldest standing firehouse in Harrisburg. It operated as a firehouse until 1980. It has kept most of the original architecture and made some modifications, including a fire hydrant beer tap.edit
Appalachian Brewing Company, 50 N Cameron St, . 11AM-11PM (Su-Th) | 11AM-12AM (F-Sa). ABC serves fresh innovative cuisine to match their handcrafted ales and lagers. Brewery tours every Saturday at 1PM.edit
Passage To India, 525 South Front St, ☎ (717) 233-1202, . Passage to India serves excellent Indian cuisine, open seven days a week, with a great view of the river while dining.edit
Bricco, Corner of Third and Chestnut Streets, ☎ (717) 724-0222, . Restaurant is run by and for culinary students of the local community college. Gourmet food at a very reasonable price. Also has an outstanding wine list!edit
Alvaro Bread and Pastry Shoppe, 236 Peffer St (Corner of Green and Peffer), ☎ (717) 238-1999, . 8AM-6PM (M-Sa). Authentic fresh made Italian dinners, breads, pastries and desserts. An Olde Uptown neighborhood favorite.$$. edit
Anastacia's Restaurant and Bar, 1535 N 6th St, ☎ (717) 233-2394, . 8AM-2AM. Cozy, great neighborhood spot for authentic Puerto Rican food and daily specials.$$. edit
Breads 'N Spreads, 1419 N 3rd St, ☎ (717) 695-7713. 8AM-4PM. Delicious home made soups, sandwiches and pastries. Daily specials and weekend brunch.$. edit
Broad Street Market, 1233 N 3rd St, ☎ (717) 236-7923, . 7AM-2PM (Wed - limited vendors) 7AM-5PM (Th-F) 7AM-3PM (Sat). Nearly 40 vendors serving up fresh, local organic produce, meats, baked goods and freshly prepared meals.edit
Ciervo's Pizza, 1435 N 2nd St (Corner of 2nd and Reily), ☎ (717) 238-5530. Pizza, subs and sandwiches.$. edit
Mercado's Pizza, 937 N 3rd St (Corner of 3rd and Boas), ☎ (717) 238-2280. Great authentic pizza, a neighborhood favorite$. edit
Nonna's Deli Sioso, 263 Reily St, ☎ (717) 232-6150. 8AM-8PM (M-F) 8AM-3PM (Sat). One of a kind Italian deli and restaurant. Creative menu and very popular lunch spot and BYOB.$$. edit
Uptown Chicago Grill, 2101 N 2nd St, ☎ (717) 233-7487. Uptown Chicago Grill, formerly Da'Pits, is a Chicago-style grill is known for their delicious ribs. Everything is cooked over an open flame.$$. edit
Harrisburg has a small, vibrant night life for those who enjoy good food, good company, and good drinks.
Appalachian Brewing Company, 50 North Cameron St., ☎ 717.221.1080, . Local Brewery.edit
Cafe Fresco is the only spot in Harrisburg so far that is completely smoke free. Unlike other bars in downtown Harrisburg, it has a chic modern atmosphere with Asian inspired cuisine that goes along with their extensive wine and drink menu. The music has a laid back lounge feel and on occasion Cafe Fresco has a live jazz band trio that performs in the back corner. The decor matches a sountern California look that gives the place an upscale feel. Level 2 is an upscale lounge and bar above Cafe Fresco that features DJs, drink specials and a small menu.
Molly Brannigans is a small chain of Irish Pubs with 4 other locations in PA besides the one in Harrisburg. They have an impressive menu that includes steaks, seafood, and salads. The happy hour crowd is older from 5-7, but later on the crowd turns younger and a band usually hits the stage, while people dance in front. It has a great authentic Irish feel.
The Red Door is Harrisburg's only wine bar that is situated in the heart of downtown. They feature an array of wines both in varietal and price and a cozy atmosphere for a few friends or a date.
Troegs Brewing Co., 200 E Hersheypark Drive, Hershey PA 17033, ☎ (717) 534-1297, . Local Brewery.edit
Harrisburg's downtown atmosphere dynamically changes throughout the day. During the day, you can explore the coffee shops and quickly prepared meals designed to accommodate the government and downtown workforce. Early evening you can hop between restaurants during their happy hour specials (typically 5-7PM). Stay downtown for dinner and you can enjoy a nice sit-down meal.
Accommodations in the Harrisburg area give you plenty of options at reasonable prices compared to larger metropolitan areas. More expensive hotels are located in closer proximity to Hershey and Baltimore.
Comfort Inn - Harrisburg / Hershey (Harrisburg, PA Hotel), 7744 Linglestown Road, ☎ 717-540-8400, . edit
Comfort Inn Riverfront, 22 S 2nd St, ☎ (717) 233-1611 (fax: (717) 238-2172), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. edit
Crowne Plaza Hotel, 525 South Front St, ☎ (717) 2345021 (fax: (717) 234-6797), . checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. edit
Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Harrisburg (Harrisburg, PA Hotel), 5680 Allentown Boulevard, ☎ 717-657-2200, . edit
Howard Johnson Inn Harrisburg/Hershey, 473 Eisenhower Blvd, ☎ +1 717 564-6300, . edit
Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey, 4650 Lindle Rd, ☎ (717) 564-5511, . Check out the website at edit
TownePlace Suites by Marriott - Harrisburg (Harrisburg, PA Hotel), 450 Friendship Road Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17111, ☎ 717-558-0200, . edit
Wingate Inn Mechanicsburg, 385 Cumberland Parkway, Mechanicsburg, ☎ 717-766-2710, . Offers generously oversized accommodations and upscale amenities, including complimentary deluxe hot breakfast and free high-speed Internet service. edit
Keep in mind that Harrisburg's crime rate is higher than the national average. However, most areas that tourists and out-of-towners frequent are completely safe. Common sense should keep most people out of trouble.
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