If you’ve ever moved to a new city before, then you know how involved this process can be. It isn’t just a simple matter of moving to your destination city. There are countless neighborhoods, districts and sub-cultures that grow up around key areas and streets in every town. If you aren’t careful and simply choose an apartment or house at random, you may pick a place to live that isn’t the right fit for you.
How do you go about finding the right neighborhood, then? It’s simple. You do your homework. Ideally, this research will eventually take place on the ground as you scout out streets and neighborhoods to see if they feel right for you. Still, the best place to begin your research is online. Take the time to learn about the cost of living, the variety of restaurants, the crime rates and dozens of other factors before committing to a neighborhood. That way, the odds of you loving your new home become much higher.
Are you currently planning or contemplating a move to our beautiful city of Harrisburg? Let us help you kick-start your research with this guide to the best neighborhoods to live in here in Harrisburg.
Not sure which neighborhood is which? Can’t tell where Downtown ends, and Midtown begins? We’ve got the details to help you figure out exactly where you want to live in Harrisburg.
Camp Hill is a relatively small borough in Harrisburg, located along Route 15, just west of the Susquehanna River. If you’re hungry, check out the Brewhouse Grille for a delicious burger on a Saturday night. There are also fun activities for people of all ages to enjoy, such as Monkey Joe’s for kids and an escape room for all ages called Do You Even Escape?
You also might want to take note of some of these stats:
Not a huge fan of the constant noise and action of the city’s more densely populated neighborhoods? Looking instead for a community where life gives you a little more space to breathe? If so, then you might enjoy beautiful Shipoke. This small slice of Harrisburg is tiny compared to some of the other areas you might be considering, but don’t let that dissuade you.
You’ll find Shipoke bounded by Interstate 83 and Washington Street in the north and south and by Second Street and the Susquehanna River to the east and west, making this a lovely waterfront section of the city.
There isn’t a lot to offer in Shipoke regarding businesses or restaurants. Still, it’s a close walk or car ride to other neighborhoods with easy access to these things. And there are still a few places to get a bite to eat. Enjoy a little Cuban cuisine at Los Tres Cubanos, or spice things up with your favorite Indian dishes at A Passage to India.
Additionally, Shipoke has the closest access to the greenery and trails along the river’s edge and easy access to the Interstate. Wrap all this into the packaging of a cozy and close-knit riverside neighborhood away from the busyness of Downtown, and we think you’ll agree there’s a lot to love about Shipoke.
Here are a few fast facts to take note of:
Across the other side of Interstate 83, you’ll find South Harrisburg. This district is larger than Shipoke and is bounded on various sides by the highway, the Susquehanna River and the Capital Area Greenbelt. Since its size covers much more space than Shipoke, there’s a lot more to enjoy here in terms of restaurants, shopping and things to see and do. On the other hand, it’s also farther away from the center of the city, placing it farther from major cultural, entertainment and tourist destinations.
South Harrisburg is a bit of a mixed bag regarding factors like affordability and crime rate. Some streets and blocks are virtually crime-free with excellent and beautiful homes. Other roads tend to be slightly older and less expensive and have a higher crime rate. Since the neighborhood is large, these high levels of variation exist within close quarters of one another. The general trend here to keep in mind is that the closer you come to the river, the lower the crime rates.
These are some vital statistics to keep in mind when considering South Harrisburg:
Mechanicsburg is a quaint, historic community with a tight-knit way of living. It’s located between Interstates 81 and 83, giving you a convenient, short commute to work. On your days off, you can visit The Oakes Museum of Natural History to learn about local history and grab some treats from Paulus Farm Market.
There are fun activities for people of all ages and interests, including the Williams Grove Speedway and Adventure Park. Mechanicsburg is also racially and ethnically diverse, providing many unique communities for you to get to know.
Here are some stats for you to consider as you look for a place to live in Mechanicsburg:
Middletown is an old borough in Dauphin County that provides residents with a short commute to work. This mid-sized city community is southeast of Harrisburg, along the Susquehanna River. You can find plenty of delicious places to eat, including Brownstone Cafe on North Union Street. If you’re looking for something to do, you can explore the Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey or take a scenic tour on the Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad. Like Mechanicsburg, Middletown is also a racially and ethnically diverse area.
Consider these stats about Middletown to find out if it’s a suitable place for you to live:
If you love living where the streets are hopping, the bars are open and there’s always something to see and do, then Downtown Harrisburg is the place to be. Here, the streets are easily walkable. Driving is an option as well, although if you have a car, you’ll probably park either on the street or in a garage. And if neither option works, you can always take advantage of a Capital Area Transit (CAT) bus to get around.
You won’t find many houses in this neighborhood if you’re looking to buy, but there are plenty of apartments to rent. The primary benefit of living here is the close and immediate access you can enjoy to fantastic restaurants, entertainment venues and cultural attractions. If you like trying a new restaurant every night and keeping up with what’s new at the local bars, then you’ll love what you find here.
Downtown is bordered in the north and south by the Capitol District and Interstate 83, and in the east and west by the Susquehanna River and railway lines. Here are some key facts to know about living Downtown:
This historic, quaint area of Harrisburg is within driving distance from Baltimore, Harrisburg, Hershey, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Besides taking a day trip to these bustling cities, you can also enjoy all that New Cumberland has to offer. Check out the West Shore Farmers Market for some local treats, or walk around Riverfront Park to explore the scenic views. This diverse borough of Cumberland County features residents of different racial and ethnic groups and socioeconomic statuses.
Here are some stats to consider:
If you’re in Downtown Harrisburg, turn east and head to the top of the bluff overlooking the busy streets. The neighborhood you’ll find here is known as Allison Hill, or the Hill for short. Rental costs here are some of the lowest in the city, but this doesn’t come without a price. Crime rates here are higher than usual, and many of the streets, homes and businesses show prominent signs of age and wear.
If a very tight budget is your number one concern, then Allison Hill may be a place worth looking for a great deal. If you’re looking to move with a family to a beautiful and walkable neighborhood, however, then you might want to skip Allison Hill.
Some fast facts for Allison Hill are as follows:
It wouldn’t be a discussion of Harrisburg without a nod to our very own City Island, one of the most unique districts on our list. You won’t find places to live on City Island, but you will find plenty of terrific places to visit. This island is home to Harrisburg’s Minor League Baseball team, the Harrisburg Senators. You can watch them play here in their home stadium on warm summer nights. There’s also a mini-golf course, plenty of beautiful walking paths and even services for renting kayaks or paddle boats to take out on the river.
Getting to City Island couldn’t be easier. Either drive across the Market Street bridge and park in the spacious lot or walk across the walking bridge to make the short trip on foot. Either way, there’s always something exciting to see here on our own City Island.
The Capitol District often is lumped in with the rest of Downtown, as it’s barely large enough to consider on its own. Nevertheless, it has many distinctive characteristics that separate it from the Downtown area as a whole, which is why we’ll look at it on its own merits today.
As you might expect from the name, the Capitol District includes the areas surrounding the Capitol Building, State Museum and State Archives. This neighborhood is historic and offers beautiful architecture, high-quality restaurants and excellent walkability. Most parking will be limited to street spots, but these are plentiful. Crime levels are low to medium, and the area is often busy with everyone from city residents to tourists viewing the Capitol buildings.
While this area isn’t too residential, there are still many apartments here. Your reward for choosing this neighborhood to live in is that there’s always something going on. There’s always someone around if you’re looking for company.
Here are your facts for the Capitol District:
Looking for a bit more peace and quiet than you’ll find Downtown, but still want to be close to things like shopping, restaurants and attractions? We recommend Midtown. This is Harrisburg’s burgeoning hipster neighborhood that represents the very best of casual and laid-back city life, as well as the beating heart of the city’s arts and culture scene. A couple of the best examples of this thriving arts scene are the Midtown Cinema and the Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center, both within easy walking distance of most Midtown addresses.
If you’re worried that Midtown might be too far away for the days you do want to head Downtown, don’t be. One of the benefits of Harrisburg’s small size is that it’s only a short walk or drive from one neighborhood to the other. You can easily be from the center of Downtown to a casual Midtown park in just five minutes.
Still, the distance is far enough to let you feel like you’ve escaped from the bustle for a breath of fresh air. And with a mix of houses and apartments to choose from, there are living options for everyone.
If you value an excellent restaurant above all else, then you’ll be more than satisfied with Midtown’s offerings. Enjoy spots like Yellow Bird Café, The Millworks and Zeroday Brewing, as well as the dozens of independent vendors who sell their wares inside in the Broad Street Market every weekend. And of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Midtown is also home to Midtown Scholar, one of the largest academic new and used bookstores in the country.
Here are your key facts for Midtown:
Moving up the river in order, we start with Downtown, located by the Interstate. Past the Capitol District, we come to Midtown. Furthest of all up the river, we arrive at last to Uptown. Since it’s the most recently developed neighborhood, Uptown lacks some of the historical interest you’ll find in the other areas. Still, it makes up for this deficit by boasting some of the largest and most beautiful homes in the city, with property values here topping most other neighborhoods.
The potential downside of these high prices is that they may be out of the price range of many prospective buyers and renters. However, if you look closely, you’ll find smaller and more inexpensive gems, so don’t give up if you have your heart set on Uptown.
Additionally, Uptown is packed with plenty to do in terms of shopping centers and restaurants. The area is a bit less walkable than the more tightly packed Downtown and Midtown areas. However, there are still enough well-lit sidewalks and regions to help you walk to various places if you choose.
Take note of these factors as you consider the Uptown area:
With a little extra information about the many neighborhoods that make up the city of Harrisburg, your first step is to narrow these choices down to the community that seems like the perfect fit for you. And with so many varied options to choose from, we think it’s safe to say that Harrisburg has it all. From the cultural center of Midtown to the bustling business center of Downtown and everything you’ll find in between, there’s a neighborhood to suit every lifestyle.
Think about your top priorities, your ideal location and where you see yourself spending the next few years or longer. If you’ve decided renting is best for you, take the time to evaluate the questions outlined in this guide:
Once you’ve chosen a neighborhood, your next step is to find the perfect home within that area. And for all your apartment-hunting needs, we’d like to recommend our beautiful rental communities here at Triple Crown Corporation. Our communities are scattered across both the West and East Shores of the Harrisburg area. You’ll also find our rentals in Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, Middletown and New Cumberland. With over a dozen communities in all, it’s never been easier to find your perfect home.
Our rental communities enjoy amenities such as finished basements, wood-burning fireplaces, free fitness center access, free pool memberships and even private home entrances. We also offer appliances, so you don’t have to transport your own, and many of our communities even welcome your four-legged friends as well.
Are you ready to find your best rental fit here at Triple Crown? Get started browsing our rental communities today.