Historic Sites to See in Harrisburg

posted by Melanie S on June 27, 2018

Photo by Abedj on Pixabay

Summer is officially here, and for many people that means time to travel. Big trips to far away destinations are not always in the cards, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun seeing historic sites. The East Coast is full of national historic sites, and a bunch can be found right here in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg is the state capital and is full of historic sites that are waiting for the summer tourists. Here are four historic sites to visit in Central PA.

Capital Building

As Harrisburg is the state capital, a historic tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Capital Building. And it is a sight to behold. President Theodore Roosevelt called it the most handsome building he’d ever seen. The design reflects inspiration from the Renaissance. As it is still a working government building, tours are available but have to be scheduled in advance. However, being able to experience a beautiful historical building like this is worth the effort.

Fort Hunter Mansion and Park

This mansion was built on a bluff overlooking the Susquehanna River. Over the years it has played host to a myriad of historical events. It was used as a fort during the French and Indian War. After the Revolutionary War, Captain Archibald McAllister bought it and made the property into a farm. The farm was so productive it grew into a small village with shops and workshops. It continued to play a part in local history. The park is open every day from 8 am till dusk, and the mansion is open for tours every day except for Mondays.

State Museum of Pennsylvania

Historic tours are never complete without at least one museum. The State Museum of Pennsylvania is a place you can go to see the entire history of Pennsylvania, from prehistoric up to today. It is adjacent to the Capital Building and is a perfect stop before or after your tour there. There is also a large multi-media planetarium. The museum has exhibits for all age groups so it is a perfect destination for anyone. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm.

John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion

This mansion is a special place, as it has seen a great deal of the European up to present history of the area. Initially, it was built by a friend of William Penn’s and the first European immigrant to the area. It switched hands a number of times over the years, even playing host to a women’s college at one point. And in 1976 it was acknowledged as a National Historic Landmark. Finally, it is now the headquarters of The Historical Society of Dauphin County. Tours are offered, and you can even rent out parts of the home for private events.

Pennsylvania has a rich history in this country, and Harrisburg plays a large role in that as well. Touring historic sites can be not only educational but also really fun. As summer continues, consider taking a trip to some of these historic sites. History is always growing, and it’s a great way to remember where we have come from. Happy summer touring!

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