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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:31 PM
 
61 posts, read 64,606 times
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Hello,

I have lived in the Harrisburg area for less than a year and am wondering if any of Harrisburg's surrounding areas could be comparable to that of the culture in State College? I know each town has its own unique identity, including SC, but I wondered which towns around here would be comparable? From what I've researched it looks like Hershey, Camp Hill/Mechanicsburg, and Carlisle have some similar characteristics. I suppose some items to consider are:


1. Good school district
2. Open-minded/diverse mentality (socially accepting)
3. Lively small businesses and walkability
4. Festivals/events
5. Public hang-outs (the HUB was the major one at PSU)


Thank you!
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:27 PM
 
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1. Cumberland Valley, Camp Hill, or Hershey. You might be into https://circleschool.org/ though.
2. Maybe Harrisburg city.
3. Lancaster.
4. Harrisburg has a number of festivals/events, such as “Kipona” Labor Day Celebration – City Of Harrisburg and the cabin fever special PA Farm Show There are also a lot of big special interest events at the Farm Show complex and the Giant Center/Hershey. The car lover has Welcome to Carlisle Events and https://www.hersheyaaca.org/fallmeet.html and "America's largest RV show" https://www.prvca.org/rv-show/consumer-info
5. There really isn't a see and be seen locale. Possibly the closest thing to a people watching center would be the Walnut Street Bridge. We walked a European visitor around the Capitol Complex on a beautiful weekday evening and saw basically no one.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
628 posts, read 431,826 times
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Probably Camp Hill and surrounding areas are the closest comparison overall I would say. Politically, Harrisburg/Susquehanna Twp/Lower Paxton Twp/Swatara Twp and Lemoyne/Camp Hill/Wormleysburg. School district similarities would be West Shore, East Pennsboro, Cumberland Valley, or Derry Township. Walkability would be either Downtown or Midtown Harrisburg. Some areas of York, PA are also very walkable.

Last edited by g500; 09-21-2017 at 08:32 PM..
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:42 AM
 
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Probably Mechanicsburg.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:38 PM
 
61 posts, read 64,606 times
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Thanks guys! Looks like what I was thinking seems to be the consensus. How safe is downtown Harrisburg (nightlife scene of 2nd street) compared to say, College Avenue in State College? Can you walk down there safely on a weekend night and enjoy the nightlife without having to worry about being mugged etc?
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:10 AM
 
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Mechanicsburg Borough (emphatically not any area in the several townships that share the postal address) has about 2-3 blocks of small businesses and walkability, maybe equating in total to one block of downtown SC. Hummelstown Borough has maybe 1.5 blocks, equating to 1/2 a block of State. Although both are larger and denser, either might be more comparable scene-wise to Boalsburg without the alternate arts festival, or Millheim without the Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks.

Unless you are entering the toy-buying demographic, perhaps: Hummelstown's Toys on the Square, indeed is a more significant destination than Growing Tree that's on the corner of Allen and Beaver.
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:39 PM
 
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Thanks, ki0eh! And in regards to my follow-up question I suppose the latest 2am shooting on 2nd Street the other weekend answers my question about its safety, bummer...I did see today that downtown Hershey (Chocolate Ave/422) will be getting half a dozen new businesses by the end of next summer, so that will increase the walkability for shopping and restaurants there! Seems like based on everyone's answers above my choices are basically between the Camp Hill/Mechanicsburg area or the Hershey/Hummelstown area. Oh the old east shore vs west shore dilemma...Any opinions on which is better and why?
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:58 PM
 
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So I walked around downtown Lancaster for the first time today, and I have to say, I really liked it! It had a lot of cute shops and restaurants, and there seemed to be a large millennial presence walking around in the square. It definitely seemed to have vibrancy and walkability, it reminded me of downtown State College on College Ave and Beaver Ave.
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:22 PM
Status: "Bricks" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Philadelphia
2,034 posts, read 1,140,552 times
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Yea as I have commented before downtown Lancaster is the most vibrant of the 3 places.

With that I highly encourage you to check out Midtown Harrisburg, it is quite vibrant, especially on the Weekends even during the day.

In Midtown Harrisburg you have:
Broad St. Market
Millworks
HMAC
Midtown Scholar
Midtown Cinema
Susquehanna Art Musuem
Along with a few other theaters/restaurants/bars etc.

Midtown is by far the more vibrant place in Harrisburg on weekends/evenings. It is where the young millenial/creative and educated types have been moving and setting up shop for several years.

Also downtown Harrisburg is perfectly safe. I am 28, but best friend is a District Attorney for Dauphin County and is fairly young, and we comment about crime in Harrisburg all the time. Harrisburg crime is very much concentrated in a few select neighborhoods an random violent crime really does not happen. All the crime in large part happens between interelated persons.

I highly encourage you to check out Downtown Harrisburg; there are some fun spots.

Harrisburg Art Association
Whitaker Center
Cork n Fork
Bacco Wine Bar/Pizzeria
Sturges Speakeasy
McGrath's Irish Pub
Home 231
Rubicon

Those are just a few great places. As I said Harrisburg has a bad reputation regionally for crime, but in all cases random crime is not a problem in the city on any major level. So I highly encourage you to explore downtown Harrisburg as well.

You sound younger so I also encourage you to join Harrisburg Young Professionals. They pertake in alot of events in the city. Both Downtown and Midtown. https://hyp.org/


In terms of the suburban region surrounding Harrisburg, I would say Camp Hill and Hershey are the 2 most desirable places. Although both tend to trend towards an older crowd, and Camp Hill is mostly a dry town (although they are permitting a brewery to set up shop) so IMO it affects the vibrancy of the core, and it in general is pretty sleepy area.

With that Midtown Harrisburg is going to be your most vibrant and youthful place 100%.


East Shore v. West Shore.

I think the East Shore stands to be the more forward thinking and progressive/diverse between the 2 and overall the more desirable place. The West Shore immediate areas of Camp Hill/Lemoyne and New Cumberland are great places to live because they are highly accessible to Harrisburg. I find the East Shore to also be more 'cosmopolitan'. In the sense there is a bit of diversity, a fair # of educated, and overall people seem to be more put together I guess is the term to use, I hate to say it but people appearance is just sloppy and it feels more rural than suburban on large swaths of the West Shore (I know I will get alot of **** for saying that, but it is very much a noticeable difference). Where the East Shore is just more put together.

(Although I will say Camp Hill is lovely and if I were to move back that would be a spot I would consider outside the city).

Outside of those CampHill/Lemoyne/New Cumberland, Cumberland County has isolated itself from a regional planning perspective/economic development perspective, and it is really starting to show, as places like Mechanicsburg and Silver Spring TWP. have some major land use planning problems.

Places like Mechanicsburg have been inundated with warehouses and trucking and IMO has totally diminished the quality of life.

Where did you grow up? I grew in Harrisburg (Lower Paxton TWP.) and went to Central Dauphin High School. I have family on both the East and West shores, and know alot about the area. 100% check out Midtown Harrisburg. And do not be scared of Downtown Harrisburg. It is totally fine.

Last edited by rowhomecity; 01-14-2018 at 03:51 PM..
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:46 PM
Status: "Bricks" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Philadelphia
2,034 posts, read 1,140,552 times
Reputation: 2046
Also note in the East v. West shore debate. The West shore loves to 'brag/act' like they are the better off region within the metro. But when you actually compare data, there are more zipcodes of prosperity and larger swaths of prosperity in Dauphin County than Cumberland County. Maybe that is where the whole 'put together' idea comes from. I am not sure.
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