5 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Harrisburg
Harrisburg is the capitol of Pennsylvania. It's a small, picturesque community lying on the banks of the Susquehanna River. Many of its original eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings remain intact as is Harrisburg's small town feel.
Until Chernobyl, Harrisburg, the state capital, situated in south-eastern Pennsylvania, had the dubious honour of being the scene of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Three Mile Island power station on the Susquehanna River. Features of interest in the town are the State Capitol and the informative State Museum.
See also: Where to Stay in Harrisburg
1 Pennsylvania State Capitol
The Capitol is an Italian Renaissance building covering two acres and containing more than 600 rooms. It was dedicated in 1906, an event that was attended by President Theodore Roosevelt. The highlight is the 272-foot dome, the design of which was based on St Peter's Basilica in Rome. The building also features bronze doors, murals, stained glass windows and a marble staircase based on one in the Paris Grand Opera House.
2 State Museum of Pennsylvania
The State Museum of Pennsylvania features Civil War artifacts as well as archaeological and geological items, paintings, decorative arts, animal dioramas and industrial exhibits. The museum is also home to a planetarium where visitors can learn more about the stars and planets. The extensive permanent collection is displayed in changing exhibits.
Address: 300 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0024, United States
3 City Island
City Island is an island park in the middle of the Susquehanna River. It is most well known for being the home of the Senators baseball team. There are numerous attractions within the park and lots of areas for sports and recreation. Some of the highlights include batting cages, nature trails, jogging tracks, and a bathing beach, all of which are particularly inviting during the summer months. The river provides an opportunity for canoeing or kayaking, with rentals available in the area.
4 National Civil War Museum
This museum provides a comprehensive look at the Civil War from various perspectives. On display are artifacts, including weapons and equipment, and memorabilia of major players in the war, from General Robert E. Lee to unknown soldiers. Exhibits are presented on a rotating basis.
Address: One Lincoln Circle, Harrisburg, PA 17103, United States
5 Pride of the Susquehanna
From spring until late fall the Pride of the Susquehanna plies the waters of the Susquehanna River. This authentic paddlewheeler offers narrated tours on the history of Harrisburg. There are a variety of cruises from a 45 minute sightseeing cruise, to a dinner cruise, music cruise, or even a theme cruise depending on the season. Cruises depart from City Island.
Address: Box 910, Harrisburg, PA 17108-0910, United States
Where to Stay in Harrisburg for Sightseeing
We recommend these highly-rated hotels in Harrisburg with easy access to the city's top attractions:
- Hilton Harrisburg: mid-range pricing, near Pennsylvania State Capitol, river views, modern decor, indoor lap pool.
- Homewood Suites Harrisburg East: 3-star hotel, free breakfast and parking, putting green, basketball court, indoor pool.
- Best Western Premier The Central Hotel & Conference Center: affordable rates, beautiful lobby, heated pool, comfortable beds.
- Sleep Inn & Suites: budget hotel, clean rooms, free breakfast, fitness center.