Life of a Transplant: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating Harrisburg - A Community Blog

Savannah Marie searches for the best restaurants, wildlife and attractions that Harrisburg has to offer.

A Transplant's Pennsylvania Travel Guide

Written by Savannah Marie, Community Blogger | Feb 11, 2014 3:24 PM

I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions and I never publicize them! However, this year I decided to embrace the resolution. As a relative newcomer to Harrisburg, I’ve found a lot of fun and interesting things to do in the area and its outskirts. I thought that a perfect resolution would be to make my own travel guide to Pennsylvania. This list is full of places and attractions I’ve heard of,  visited or want to visit. My mind has been wandering lately to summertime, warmth and my happy place. This may or may not be because my heating unit picked the dead of winter to need an upgrade. Either way, if you’re new to the area, you’ll want to read on to find out about some of the must-do and must-see Harrisburg-area attractions that I’ve found. Get ready to have some weekend adventures of your own with the help of my recommendations and this Pennsylvania travel guide.

For the Shopaholic

If you’re a shopaholic like me, you’ll be in heaven when you visit the King of Prussia Mall, located outside of Philadelphia. Believe me, it’s worth the trip. You can easily spend an entire day here or even make a weekend of it. There is more than 400 stores here, including Bloomingdale’s, Tiffany & Co., Clarks and Ethan Allen, to name just a few. There’s also a ton of food options, so you can even have lunch and dinner here. Don’t forget to visit the Guest Service Center for some great discount coupons.

For Car Fanatics

If you’re an auto enthusiast, there are many events and attractions that you’ll want to visit here. The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey brings the history of the automobile to life, featuring more than 150 vehicles from 1895 to present day. AACA also holds many fun events here throughout the year.

If you want to see new vehicles, be sure to attend the Pennsylvania Auto Show, which is held every year at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. Dealers like CJ Pony Parts feature the latest and greatest vehicles for you to learn more about. It’s a great event if you’re looking for a new car or are just looking for a good time!

For the Music-Minded

Head to Philadelphia for a huge variety of concerts throughout the year. From the free summer concert series at Penn’s Landing to major performing artists appearing at the Wells Fargo Center or the electric Factory, there is no shortage of live music here. Plan a weekend in the city to coincide with the concert of your choice.

For History Buffs

Harrisburg and its outskirts are steeped in history, and perhaps no place more so than Gettysburg National Military Park. You can tour the battlefield on foot, by car, by bus or even on horseback. Park rangers are on hand to answer your questions, and you can also find out most everything you need to know at the Visitor’s Center. There are myriad museums, children’s attractions, restaurants and ghost tours here to round out your experience. Don’t forget to visit the National Cemetery and the site of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.


Photo by All rights reserved by nhindian215237

For Sports Enthusiasts

If you love baseball and want to see tomorrow’s stars today, hop in the car and head to Williamsport for the Little League World Series. Every summer Little League teams compete here for the championship title. In addition, you can visit the Little League Museum and store to learn about the history of this competition and take in special events that are held throughout the year. This makes a great outing for the kids!

For Romantics and Nature Lovers

The Pocono Mountains are the ultimate destination for honeymooners (or for a romantic weekend away), for ski enthusiasts and for those who love the outdoors. Take your pick from the myriad resorts or quaint hotels to stay at, and enjoy the scenic beauty, small historic towns and more than 150 lakes in this tourist-friendly area. From museums to restaurants to tours and sightseeing opportunities, you can return time and time again and always find something new.

For Thrill-Seekers

Hersheypark is the ultimate destination for the young and the young-at-heart. This amusement park was originally built by chocolate tycoon Milton Hershey for his factory workers, and has grown over the years to become a major tourist attraction. Not only can you visit during the summer, but you can also enjoy Hersheypark during Hersheypark in the Dark, Christmas Candylane and Springtime in the Park. In fact, I recommend investing in a season pass if you and your children are amusement park fanatics. You can enjoy the fun year-round!

This is just a sampling of what the Harrisburg area has to offer. Enjoy visiting these places, and find your own favorites. You certainly won’t run out of things to do here, and I would know! I’m still discovering lots of fun and interesting places to visit.


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