Are you looking for something fun to do in Harrisburg? There is no shortage of things to see and do in the capital city of Pennsylvania. From historic sites and museums to beautiful parks and gardens, this city has plenty to offer every traveler.
Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or a relaxing stroll through the park, Harrisburg has it all. But with so much to see and experience, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this blog post, I will highlight the 14 top tourist attractions in Harrisburg that are perfect for visitors of all ages.
Things to Do in Harrisburg, PA
1. The State Capitol
If you want to visit one of the top attractions in Harrisburg, then you should definitely head out to The State Capitol Building. This impressive feat of architecture is a must-see for anyone who’s visiting Pennsylvania’s capital city.
This magnificent building, completed in 1906, houses the offices of the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor, as well as the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives. And although it has more than 475 beautiful rooms, my favorite was the Representatives Hall with its marble floor and gorgeous dome. Make sure to take a look at the mural on the ceiling too.
The State Capitol is a beautiful building, and it’s the perfect place to see some of Pennsylvania’s history. The building is impressive and well worth a visit, especially for those interested in architecture or government. I had the opportunity to tour, and it was a wonderful experience. The architecture is stunning, and it’s really interesting to learn about all of the histories behind it. I would highly recommend a visit if you’re able.
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2. State Museum of Pennsylvania
The State Museum of Pennsylvania is the official history museum of Pennsylvania. Located in Harrisburg, the capital city, the museum offers exhibits on Pennsylvania’s natural and cultural heritage.
The museum has collections of archaeology, botany, entomology, geology, history, and zoology. There are also extensive art collections, including folk art, decorative arts, and fine arts. The museum also has a library and archives.
Some of the more popular exhibits at the museum include “Pennsylvania’s Indian Nations,” which tells the story of the state’s Native American peoples. “The Amish Experience,” which showcases the culture and lifestyle of the Amish people. And “Hands-On History,” which allows visitors to explore the past through objects they can touch and pick up.
Visiting the State Museum of Pennsylvania should be one of your top things to do in Harrisburg. It’s a very interesting museum with a wide range of exhibits, perfect for family fun days or even solo visits.
3. Susquehanna Art Museum
The Susquehanna Art Museum is also one of the top tourist attractions in Harrisburg that features exhibits from all over the world. The museum has a permanent collection of more than 3,000 works of art and features both permanent and rotating collections.
The Susquehanna Art Museum has a variety of art on display, including paintings, sculptures, textiles, and mixed media. My favorite exhibit was the one on glass art. There were some really beautiful pieces on display, including a sculpture made out of thousands of glass rods.
There are also hands-on studios for adults and children as well as self-guided tours that invite visitors to explore what interests them most about art and creativity. Children can explore their creativity by making their mosaics or drawings under the supervision of a professional artist. Kids listen to stories, enjoy live music, and put together puzzles.
Visiting this unique museum with a wide-ranging collection is definitely something everyone should do while visiting the Harrisburg area. Personally, I was really impressed with the quality of the exhibits. The museum is small but well-curated, and it’s a great place to spend an afternoon.
4. Visit the National Civil War Museum
Visiting the National Civil War Museum is one of the most popular things to do in Harrisburg. This is museum presents an “untold story” of the American Civil War. The exhibits are enhanced by their authentic backdrop, with no painted backdrops or fake sets. Everything is real and really happened during this tumultuous time in our history.
The museum features more than 21,000 artifacts on display, and it is one of the largest Civil War museums in the country. It tells the story of how civilians and soldiers lived, worked, and died on both sides of the conflict.
Here, you can see original artifacts, large exhibits, and dioramas, as well as a life-sized replica of President Lincoln’s box seat at Ford’s Theater, where he was assassinated by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth. There are also interactive exhibits where you can learn more about things like medical treatment during the Civil War.
This museum has tons of interesting things inside and more than enough information. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who’s into history or is just open-minded.
5. Pennsylvania National Fire Museum
Another top attraction in Harrisburg is the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum. This museum is dedicated to preserving the history of firefighting in America, and it’s a really fascinating place to visit.
Inside, you’ll find all sorts of exhibits on firefighting, including antique trucks, equipment, and uniforms. They also have a large collection of firefighters’ memorials, which is really moving. And if you’re interested in learning more about fires and how to prevent them, then the museum offers tours and interactive exhibits that are perfect for kids and adults alike.
This is a great place for anyone who wants to learn more about American firefighting history. The exhibits are interesting and well-done, and the museum offers a variety of educational programs. I enjoyed my visit, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in this topic. It’s a fascinating place that provides a lot of information and insight into a vital part of American history.
6. Susquehanna Riverboat Cruise
The Susquehanna Riverboat Cruise is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Harrisburg that you shouldn’t miss. The cruise takes passengers on a relaxing journey up and down the Susquehanna River. And during the trip, you’ll see the beauty of the river and its surroundings while enjoying a narrated history of the area. You’ll also learn about the Native Americans who first inhabited the region, the early settlers, and how Harrisburg developed into the city it is today.
The cruise also features live entertainment, a bar, and a variety of food options. You can choose to sit inside the climate-controlled cabin or outside on the open deck. One of the best things about the Susquehanna Riverboat Cruise is that it offers beautiful views of the river and its many bridges. It’s a great way to see some of Harrisburg’s most famous landmarks, such as the State Capitol Building.
The cruise is a great way to see Harrisburg and the Susquehanna River up close and personal. I would definitely recommend this activity to anyone visiting Harrisburg. It’s a relaxing and informative experience that you won’t want to miss.
7. City Island
City Island is a small, picturesque island located in the middle of the Susquehanna River. It is a 63-acre recreational park popular for fishing, picnicking, and bird watching.
The island is also home to the City Island complex, which offers plenty of activities for visitors. There’s a playground, basketball courts, tennis courts, golf courses, and a walking path. The park is also home to the City Island Amphitheater, which hosts concerts and other events throughout the year. There are also restaurants, skate parks, zip lines, and water activities. There are also some cool sculptures here that I constantly saw people taking photos with them.
City Island is definitely worth a visit, and it’s one of the top tourist attractions in Harrisburg. I enjoyed walking around, eating food, and checking out the sculptures. If you’re looking for something to do in the city, this should be one of your top choices!
8. Appalachian Brewing Company (ABC)
A high-quality traditional regional brewery makes this company one of the famous places in Harrisburg. The Appalachian Brewing Company (ABC) started brewing beer back in 1951 and has been a mainstay of the Harrisburg beer scene. With a constantly rotating selection of beers on tap, here is something for everyone.
ABC is also home to one of the best food menus in Harrisburg, and you can enjoy traditional American dishes with fresh ingredients that are locally sourced. They have plenty of seating inside as well as outside on their patio, which has some pretty views.
I had the pleasure of visiting ABC on a recent trip to Harrisburg, and I was not disappointed. The beers were delicious, and the food was outstanding. So whether you’re a beer lover or not, I think that ABC is worth checking out, as it is among of the best things to do in Harrisburg.
9. Hershey Park
So you want to have a great day of fun and memories with your friends and family? What’s the top place in Harrisburg to go for that? Of course, it is Hershey Park.
You can enjoy over 65 rides, shows, exhibits, games, water rides, thrill rides, food options (including candy), unique shops, restaurants, and much more. Some things to look forward to when visiting this world-famous amusement park are Chocolate World and Hersheypark Stadium.
So if you’re looking for something to do in Harrisburg, Hershey Park is definitely one of the places to visit. Just come out and enjoy all that this world-renowned amusement park has to offer. You are sure to have a great time with your friends or family. Go ahead and take advantage of all the fun things there are to do at Hershey Park.
10. Fort Hunter Mansion and Park
The Fort Hunter Mansion and Park is a historic site that provides a glimpse into the 18th-century life of one of Pennsylvania’s oldest families. You can see how people lived back then, what they ate, their traditions, celebrations and even how they entertained themselves. The museum exhibits furniture and decorative arts from this period.
The best way to visit this attraction is with an experienced guide who will lead you through the rooms and explain how it all worked before electricity was introduced. The one-hour guided tour at Fort Hunter Mansion is a great way to see all the nooks and crannies of this place, from the kitchen to the dining room to the garret. You’ll surely have a wonderful time exploring history in an old mansion that has been turned into a museum.
Overall, this place is among the top tourist attractions in Harrisburg because it offers a glimpse into Pennsylvania’s history. You can see how people lived hundreds of years ago and learn about the important events that took place in this region.
11. Wildwood Park
Next on the list of top tourist attractions in Harrisburg is Wildwood Park. The park is operated by the City of Harrisburg and features 229 acres of woods, wetlands, and meadows.
You can hike through the 3-mile paved trail that is well-marked and accessible year-round. There is even an elevated boardwalk, so there is no need to get your feet muddy when you have to cross a wet area. If you want something different, they do offer guided hikes throughout the seasons. So check their website or call ahead for suggestions on what adventures to go on when you visit.
The park also features a playground, picnic areas, and a fishing pond. It is a great place to learn about the wildlife in the area. You can see live animals and explore the interactive exhibits. And since I love spending time outdoors, I think that spending time in Wildwood Park is a great way to enjoy nature.
Overall, Wildwood Park has beautiful scenery and various activities that everyone will enjoy. So, whether you want to try out one of the playgrounds or read a book on a bench, there is something for everyone in this spacious park. I spent a couple of hours there and enjoyed every minute.
12. Have Fun at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
If you are looking for things to do in Harrisburg, the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is one of the places to visit. This place is great to visit with family or friends as it is home to a variety of attractions, including an IMAX Theater, the Harsco Science Center, and the Forum.
The IMAX Theater is one of the most popular attractions at Whitaker Center. It features a four-story screen and shows both new releases and classic films. The Harsco Science Center is perfect for visitors of all ages and features exhibits on physics, chemistry, biology, and more. And the Forum is a great place for live performances, lectures, and meetings.
The best part is that Whitaker Center is affordable. So instead of wasting your money on expensive entertainment venues like live shows and plays, save some cash by visiting this place which offers great value.
A science enthusiast will appreciate all that Whitaker Center has to offer. From interactive learning experiences through its learning labs to genuine scientific presentations, there is something for everyone. In addition, the exhibits are fun and educational, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Harrisburg that is worth a visit!
13. Broad Street Market
Visiting the Broad Street Market is one of the top things to do in Harrisburg. From 1860, this market has held a central spot in Harrisburg and housed over 40 produce vendors, grocery stores, butcher shops, bakeries, and more importing goods from around the world. This makes it one of the oldest markets in the country.
The market has been renovated over the years, but it still retains its old-world charm. It’s a great place to get fresh produce, shop for unique gifts, or have a meal. There are several restaurants located in the market, as well as a few food stands.
So if you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, the Broad Street Market is definitely worth a visit. You can find everything from fresh produce to handmade jewelry and crafts. And the best part is that you can find all of this in one place.
14. John Harris and Simon Cameron Mansion
The Victorian-style mansion of John Harris and Simon Cameron was built in the early 1700s. As you walk through the stately home, you’ll get a glimpse into what life was like for wealthy industrialists during that period. You’ll find that everything from the decor to the furnishings is true to the Victorian style.
You can take pictures inside some rooms which have been restored to reflect different settings, while others house an extensive collection of vintage photographs chronicling Central Pennsylvania history. Even if you’re not into history, the John Harris and Simon Cameron Mansion is still a sight to behold and well worth a visit.
Harrisburg is a vibrant city with plenty of history and culture to explore. With this list of the top attractions in Harrisburg, you’ll be sure not to miss out on anything noteworthy. Whether it’s an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life or just some time with your family, these are all great options that will suit any traveler. So it’s up to you which attractions are your favorite.