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.

1 Pennsylvania State Capitol

Pennsylvania State Capitol
Pennsylvania State Capitol jimbowen0306 / photo modified

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.

Address: Room 129, Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120, United States

Official site: www.pacapitol.com

2 State Museum of Pennsylvania

State Museum of Pennsylvania
State Museum of Pennsylvania Mat_the_W / photo modified

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

Official site: http://statemuseumpa.org/

3 City Island

City Island
City Island Eduardo Nogueira / photo modified

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

National Civil War Museum
National Civil War Museum aleahey / photo modified

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

Pride of the Susquehanna
Pride of the Susquehanna Maguis & David / photo modified

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:

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