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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:22 PM
 
267 posts, read 940,301 times
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My wife, I and infant may be transferred to the area and I have a few questions about the area. Right off the bat, I pretty well acknowledge that Harrisburg is a write off, so I am looking at some of the other areas such as the area's around Camp hill, Mechanicsburg and Hershey.

1. Which area has the best public schools? Any area's to avoid?

2. Are there any towns that have nice downtowns? Community events?

3. Though subjective (and I am not trying to start a flame war lol), what in your opinion is the best overall community to live in?

3. If there anywhere you like? If you can you think of anything, than throw it out there! Just trying to listen and take it all in.

Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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1. The standard recommended schools are Cumberland Valley, Camp Hill Borough, and Derry Township (Hershey) but Lower Dauphin seems to rank almost as high. As far as schools to avoid basically the only two are Harrisburg City (City limits only, much less area than the postal address) and Steelton-Highspire.

2. Mechanicsburg Borough has nicer shops in the downtown and its well-known Jubilee Day. Carlisle has no real shopping downtown anymore but several nice restaurants. Camp Hill has a few local shops along Market Street, not really a "downtown" in a classic sense. Hummelstown Borough has some in-town local shops and restaurants as does New Cumberland.

3. Due to PA's tradition of hyper-localism this isn't an area with a clear "best" community. Camp Hill Boro has no school buses, for example, so if you have a notion that you'll make the kid walk to school that might sound great until you find yourself having to drop off and pick up the kid every day in a long line of SUV's. Hershey has a lot of activities but they are scheduled during the daytime so a two-career couple can't participate in 3/4 of what the town has to offer. Cumberland Valley has lots of newer housing units but then to go anywhere you're in traffic snarls or if in the older areas a long way from the high school through all of the traffic snarls.

Honestly, thinking about the sticky post questions at the top of the forum would be a good way of narrowing down the advice so it might be more helpful.
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Old 07-02-2011, 01:14 PM
 
267 posts, read 940,301 times
Reputation: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
1. The standard recommended schools are Cumberland Valley, Camp Hill Borough, and Derry Township (Hershey) but Lower Dauphin seems to rank almost as high. As far as schools to avoid basically the only two are Harrisburg City (City limits only, much less area than the postal address) and Steelton-Highspire.

2. Mechanicsburg Borough has nicer shops in the downtown and its well-known Jubilee Day. Carlisle has no real shopping downtown anymore but several nice restaurants. Camp Hill has a few local shops along Market Street, not really a "downtown" in a classic sense. Hummelstown Borough has some in-town local shops and restaurants as does New Cumberland.

3. Due to PA's tradition of hyper-localism this isn't an area with a clear "best" community. Camp Hill Boro has no school buses, for example, so if you have a notion that you'll make the kid walk to school that might sound great until you find yourself having to drop off and pick up the kid every day in a long line of SUV's. Hershey has a lot of activities but they are scheduled during the daytime so a two-career couple can't participate in 3/4 of what the town has to offer. Cumberland Valley has lots of newer housing units but then to go anywhere you're in traffic snarls or if in the older areas a long way from the high school through all of the traffic snarls.

Honestly, thinking about the sticky post questions at the top of the forum would be a good way of narrowing down the advice so it might be more helpful.

Thanks for the advice. I did see the questions BTW, but it was after I posted the above.

Yes, Hyperlocal is the word I was looking for to describe all the small boroughs!

We currently live in Myrtle Beach SC, but are not from the south.
We would be looking to buy around the $200 K range and if we go my wife would be working in Camp Hill. So we have one infant at the moment and a high energy dog. A place with a yard would be our preference or with somewhere nearby he could exercise in water and land. Walking distance to a downtown would be a secondary priority. Would want to stay fairly close to Harrisburg, but Mechanicsburg would be as far out as I would want to be.

What would the commute be like to Camp Hill from Hershey or Mechanicsburg?
Is traffic bad in a particular direction or area?

I am dying to check this area out and do my own exploring, but this gives me some focus.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Downtown Harrisburg
1,434 posts, read 3,555,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NS_Highlander View Post
What would the commute be like to Camp Hill from Hershey or Mechanicsburg? Is traffic bad in a particular direction or area?
From Camp Hill to Hershey, your most sensible choices to get across the river would be I-83 or I-81. If you have the choice, I-81 might be a hair better during rush hour. Of course, this really depends on which route you and your office are closest to. 322 and 422 are generally heavily congested during business hours. Using the PA Turnpike (I-76) to 283 might help you avoid some congestion, but will definitely add time, distance, and cost.

Rush hour is typically 7-9am and 4-6pm. Most of the morning traffic is heading into downtown Harrisburg in the morning, so once you pass the Second St exit, traffic will start to ease up. During evening rush hour, the opposite is true; traffic will start to back up around this exit. Major choke points are the 83 / 581 interchange, the 83 / 81 interchange, and the Eisenhower Interchange (83 / 322).

If she's working in Camp Hill, a move to Hershey would not be wise. Whatever benefits you see from living in Hershey will probably not be enough to offset the increased congestion and complexity of her commute to Camp Hill.

If I had to move to the west shore today, I'd probably look around the downtown Mechanicsburg / Silver Spring Township area. The stretch of Carlisle Pike just west of 114 (the vicinity of CV schools) is slated for commercial development within the next few years.
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