Harrisburg is a fantastic city to settle down in, but if you’re new to the area, it can be hard to know where to start — do you prefer a bustling cityscape or a more sedate suburban setting? No matter your preferences, we’ve pulled together a guide of the biggest Harrisburg neighborhoods to help make your choice a little bit easier.
For a quiet, close-knit neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, the Shipoke neighborhood is a great choice. This cozy little neighborhood sits right on the river, making it just short of idyllic. You’re not trapped in the suburbs, though — you can easily access both the Greenbelt and the highway to get you where you need to go.
There aren’t a ton of businesses in the area, which adds to the charm of the neighborhood, but you’re not left without any options. Enjoy some good Cuban food at Los Tres Cubanos or some spicy Indian cuisine at A Passage to India.
If you prefer a busy, constantly bustling neighborhood, head to downtown Harrisburg where the city is always moving. If you have a car, you’ll probably be parking it on the street or in a parking garage. If you don’t have a car, you can still get around easily — just hop on a CAT (Capital Area Transit) bus and take advantage of the city’s great public transportation system.
This is where all of the capitol buildings are as well, since Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania. You can visit the state museum, the capitol building and the state archives. Everything you need is also within walking distance — gyms, art galleries, museums, theaters and shopping are all centralized.
Downtown is one of the best places to find amazing restaurants and bars. It’s home to places like the Federal Taphouse, McGrath’s Pub and El Sol Mexican Restaurant — just to name a few!
The neighborhood of City Island is a quiet place to visit, but it’s a great choice nonetheless. It’s home to the Harrisburg Senators, the baseball team, and the City Islanders. You can enjoy a baseball game on the weekends or after work, play in the arcade or even head right out on the river with paddleboards or kayaks rented from Susquehanna Outfitters.
If you need to park, there is both a lot and a parking garage available for your use.
If you’re not keen on the busy life in downtown, midtown might be the neighborhood for you. You can easily walk to either uptown or downtown, while living in the middle of Harrisburg’s cultural scene. You’re within walking distance of the Midtown Cinema, Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center and the Susquehanna Art Museum.
Midtown is also home to fantastic restaurants for every taste — visit The Millworks, Yellow Bird, Zeroday Brewing and the Jackson House, or find something else that better meets your taste.
You can also check out the vendors that set up to sell their wares in the Broad Street Market — make sure you stop by frequently because the vendors do change periodically. If you’re a fan of the written word, visit Midtown Scholar, a new and used book store that is sure to have something to keep you entertained.
When it comes to a city that has it all, Harrisburg is a Pennsylvania jewel. Whether you’re looking for the busy downtown life, the cultural center that is Midtown or a quiet neighborhood like Shipoke, Harrisburg has just about anything you could want. Take some time to explore each neighborhood to see which one is going to be the best fit for you.