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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:23 PM
 
12 posts, read 9,264 times
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Harrisburg or Lancaster? Or Berks? I am from Reading Pennsylvania but have been living in Florida for several years now. I have decided to move back for family. My aging parents and sibling live in Berks County. I have some old friends that live there as well. I need to decide if I'm going to move back to Berks County or choose Harrisburg or Lancaster which have much more going on. They appeal to me more but I like being close to family and friends. I am mid 40s and single female. No children. One dog! Currently a student/work from home, in the arts. I am looking for feedback on Harrisburg and Lancaster in particular because I am less familiar with them. Especially Harrisburg. I was there last night for an event and had a wonderful time. If people could explain some of the differences between Harrisburg and Lancaster that would be wonderful. They both seem like nice small cities to me. Not sure if I would rent or buy, not sure if I would be in city or suburbs I could be happy either way. I am looking for lots to do, for example interesting restaurants, live music, festivals, educational activities, the arts, culture, etc. And anything dog friendly would be wonderful. Also enjoy nature and hiking. Will be looking to meet people my age, 30s, 40s, and 50s,. Your basic middle-age type a thing, LOL. If it weren't for my family residing in Berks County it would be a no-brainer. But it is what it is. Thanks so much for any feedback that you might provide.Thanks so much for any feedback that you might provide.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
628 posts, read 427,620 times
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Harrisburg urban area is 4th largest in PA, Lancaster is 5th. Both areas have 450k-500k in population, which may be a big city if you grew up in a small rural town, or a small city if you are from NYC or Philadelphia. They both are on the up and up. Both have immediate suburbs which are 8-10 times the size of their city proper due to PA having strict rules on annexing townships. Harrisburg has some major infrastructure improvements going on right now to widen the Capital Beltway, and Lancaster has a large shopping mall with a Whole Foods Market being constructed right now.

They are relatively similar in true size. Both similar cost of living. Both are relatively conservative areas, but Dauphin County is slightly liberal. Harrisburg has Wildwood Park which has miles of trails, and is dog friendly. Also, there is City Island, Riverfront Park with walking paths, Reservoir Park is really neat too (awesome views). One of my all-time favorites in Harrisburg is Front Street with the view of the Susquehanna River and islands. I'm sure Lancaster has parks and views too, such as all the farm country surrounding it (Lancaster County is a huge agricultural producer). Harrisburg area has Hershey and Lebanon which have nearby large dairy farms.

Just for some demographics, Lancaster has a large Amish and Hispanic population, Harrisburg has a large black population. There is a lot of diversity in both areas. Both have cool downtown areas with good restaurant/bar areas. Someday Harrisburg and Lancaster may become interchangeable since they are so close in proximity (York too), but it may take some more time for them to be considered one metro.

Both are underrated mostly like I said because their city limits are so restrictive only being a few square miles of land, while much of the surrounding urban areas are 150-200 plus square miles. Weather is good here, all 4 seasons, winter is milder than what you would find in the northern tier of PA, or in northern or western PA at higher elevations. I think South Eastern PA (including Philadelphia) has the warmest climate of PA due to its lower elevation. Harrisburg is located immediately after the foot of the Appalachian mountains, after that they start flatten (still some large rolling hills, but definitely not mountains between Harrisburg and York). The future looks pretty good for both. Mostly because they are in the Northeast corridor, offer an urban lifestyle, job opportunities, stability with the state government, and also a lower cost of living than nearby DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

Feel free to ask me any specifics on Harrisburg. I'm not a native but do now live in the area. I just don't know nearly as much about Lancaster, only visited a few times as a kid and now more recently.

Last edited by g500; 11-21-2016 at 05:47 PM..
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:30 AM
 
12 posts, read 9,264 times
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Thank you so much for the reply. This is very helpful information for me. I will have to visit both areas plenty of times, that will help me decide. I'm more familiar with Alan caster and it's a lovely small city. Harrisburg surprised me with how nice it was also. My home town of Reading, at least it has a nice Area of restaurants shops and bars called West Reading that they have been trying to get going for years and it finally is flourishing. So this will be a tough decision for me but I will figure it out eventually. Thank you again for the feedback.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:14 PM
 
Location: South Central Pa.
154 posts, read 97,348 times
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I went to college at Millersville in the late 60's and my first roommate and I hitchhiked to a mall on the other side of Lancaster and bought skateboards. Then we proceeded to ride the skateboards through Lancaster, which was illegal at the time, we didn't know.

My wife works across the road from Wildwood park, it's a really nice place, though I've never walked the whole way around it. Don't walk alone, anywhere.
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:33 PM
 
19 posts, read 19,565 times
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This is a great thread for me to have stumbled upon. I am also considering a move somewhere in the Ohio (Cincy or Columbus), PA, or Charles Town WV area. Harrisburg is a definite area on my list. Like the original poster, I have family in the area who could use some help now, so getting closer (I live in the Midwest now) would be good.

A big factor is a secure job for my husband. He's in the casino business. He's one of the guys in the suits behind the dealers at the tables. The locations I mentioned us looking into have casinos that seem (on paper) like they could do the trick for us. Maybe...? LOL, but that's something we'll have to look into more.

But WEATHER is a BIG factor, too. We HATE winters, especially the horrid ones we have in the Chicago area.

If anyone could give a bit more on specifics of winter weather around Harrisburg, I'd love to hear. Lots of icy roads in winter? Bitter cold often? Etc.

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Old 12-19-2016, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
628 posts, read 427,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curious.girl View Post
This is a great thread for me to have stumbled upon. I am also considering a move somewhere in the Ohio (Cincy or Columbus), PA, or Charles Town WV area. Harrisburg is a definite area on my list. Like the original poster, I have family in the area who could use some help now, so getting closer (I live in the Midwest now) would be good.

A big factor is a secure job for my husband. He's in the casino business. He's one of the guys in the suits behind the dealers at the tables. The locations I mentioned us looking into have casinos that seem (on paper) like they could do the trick for us. Maybe...? LOL, but that's something we'll have to look into more.

But WEATHER is a BIG factor, too. We HATE winters, especially the horrid ones we have in the Chicago area.

If anyone could give a bit more on specifics of winter weather around Harrisburg, I'd love to hear. Lots of icy roads in winter? Bitter cold often? Etc.

I used to live in northern PA and find the winters much milder in Harrisburg. It is 4-5 degrees warmer on average. The lows arent as low. But we do get some snow. That being said, we are in sort of a "sweet spot", an area that still gets all four seasons, but where winter isn't quite as long and harsh as it is in northern PA, NY state, or New England. Harrisburg definitely feels more Mid-Atlantic being further south and at a lower elevation. Summers are hot and humid. It hasnt snowed here so far this year, but we did get some ice on Saturday that mostly melted and wasnt really an issue.

Last year we got what Id call a 20-year storm, about 2 feet of snow. It was crazy and very abnormal. Other than that we didnt really have any other snow.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:14 PM
 
19 posts, read 19,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g500 View Post
I used to live in northern PA and find the winters much milder in Harrisburg. It is 4-5 degrees warmer on average. The lows arent as low. But we do get some snow. That being said, we are in sort of a "sweet spot", an area that still gets all four seasons, but where winter isn't quite as long and harsh as it is in northern PA, NY state, or New England. Harrisburg definitely feels more Mid-Atlantic being further south and at a lower elevation. Summers are hot and humid. It hasnt snowed here so far this year, but we did get some ice on Saturday that mostly melted and wasnt really an issue.

Last year we got what Id call a 20-year storm, about 2 feet of snow. It was crazy and very abnormal. Other than that we didnt really have any other snow.

Thanks so much for such a quick reply! I do seem to keep hearing that Harrisburg does seem to be in that "sweet spot" for having milder winters overall. That sounds great to me! I can handle some winter weather. Just don't like it being too harsh or for too long. Not crazy about hot and humid, but at least that doesn't affect the safety of commuting to/from work. Unless a giant mosquito flies into your eye while driving with your window down.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
628 posts, read 427,620 times
Reputation: 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious.girl View Post
Thanks so much for such a quick reply! I do seem to keep hearing that Harrisburg does seem to be in that "sweet spot" for having milder winters overall. That sounds great to me! I can handle some winter weather. Just don't like it being too harsh or for too long. Not crazy about hot and humid, but at least that doesn't affect the safety of commuting to/from work. Unless a giant mosquito flies into your eye while driving with your window down.
No problem! Its a pretty nice area offering both urban and rural living options. Winter is even milder in Maryland, but taxes and COL is higher. If you spent your whole life in FL, you might find it cold here. But having spent most like of my life in northern PA, I find it milder here. And yes, summer lasts a bit longer. Btw, speaking of mosquitoes, there are lots of bugs here - especially mayflies (they almost changed the baseball team from the Senators to the Mayflies) due to the river.

Good luck with your search! You might also want to consider York, PA (only a smidgen warmer, low COL, commutable to Harrisburg, Lancaster, and even Baltimore if you were okay with a longer commute).
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:55 PM
 
4,267 posts, read 10,388,879 times
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Harrisburg is considerably more balmy than Davenport, IA, where I moved from. There seems to be more snow but it sticks around less. Much less wind.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:29 PM
 
19 posts, read 19,565 times
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ki0eh...less wind works for me!

g500...can you please tell me what COL stands for? Also, I have never heard of mayflies, but looked them up, and I am now grossed out beyond belief! LOL
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