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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:07 PM
 
14 posts, read 36,446 times
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Hi all, I had posted before that my boyfriend and I are moving from Michigan back to PA (I'm originally from Reading). I'm going to grad school in Philadelphia (I only have to be physically there once a week) and he has a job in Harrisburg. We really had our hearts set on living in Mt. Airy area in Philadelphia but he was just offered this job and can't pass it up. Here is what we are looking for, ideally...
*Diverse neighborhood with a strong, local community feeling. We really enjoy going to local restaurants and businesses and eating all sorts of ethnic/ vegetarian cuisines.
*Access to parks where we can take our dog to play frisbee and fetch off leash.
*Great local music scene (the only music we can see in the town we live in now is a variety of classic rock cover bands- we are really looking forward to being somewhere that offers a little more).
*We would also love to be in a place where we can walk/bike to a lot of places so we wouldn't have to use our cars much outside of commuting.
*Music/art/community festivals and events are a plus.

Does Harrisburg or Lancaster offer these kinds of things or are there any other places in the area that do. Any feedback is MUCH appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:10 PM
 
14 posts, read 36,446 times
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Oh- one more thing! If any of these places don't exactly match what we're looking for any general descriptions about what it is like living in those areas would be great! We may not have time to visit before we have to relocate.
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Center City Philadelphia
1,099 posts, read 4,346,400 times
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Let me just comment on what Harrisburg has to offer...

In terms of a diverse neighborhood with great local restaurants Harrisburg is very strong. Downtown's 2nd street is known locally as "restaurant row".....literally dozens of locally owned restaurants (no chains at all, except dunkin donuts lol). Nearby midtown also has a great restaurant/cafe scene with no chains.

Parks, walking and biking....Harrisburg has a greenbelt walking/biking trail that runs around the entire city limits and is something like 20+ miles long. The riverfront and City Island is very popular for walking and biking. The midtown/downtown area is mostly flat and all grid so it's great for biking to get around and Riverfront Park and Wildwood Lake are great for pleasure.

Music and arts scene...well Lancaster is definetely stronger then Harrisburg when it comes to that. Lancaster has "gallery row" and an awesome First Friday. Harrisburg does have a growing arts and music scene as well, especially with the opening of the Midtown Arts Center (truly an awesome venue). Lancaster has an art school downtown which really helps. Harrisburg has an independent cinema.

Both cities have a ton of festivals in the summer. Harrisburg has the ArtsFest over Memorial Day, American MusicFest over Independence Day and Kipona during Labor Day weekend. Plus, there is a weekly summer concert series in the city's Reservoir Park.

Feel free to ask any more questions!
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Newport, NC
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Try Elizabethtown, a smaller town halfway between Lancaster and Harrisburg. Or try Hershey another town that is pretty much an easy drive to either of those 2 locations.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:50 AM
 
4,268 posts, read 10,659,664 times
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I was unable to find online the leash laws for city parks in either Harrisburg or Lancaster. The Lancaster County Central Park is pretty big and just outside the city limits. The county park ordinance parks: Existing Ordinance #10 in Section 22 is "voice control" not leash.
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Old 06-22-2009, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,106 posts, read 15,293,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellophila! View Post
...he has a job in Harrisburg...Diverse neighborhood with a strong, local community feeling. We really enjoy going to local restaurants and businesses and eating all sorts of ethnic/ vegetarian cuisines.
*Access to parks where we can take our dog to play frisbee and fetch off leash.
*Great local music scene (the only music we can see in the town we live in now is a variety of classic rock cover bands- we are really looking forward to being somewhere that offers a little more).
*We would also love to be in a place where we can walk/bike to a lot of places so we wouldn't have to use our cars much outside of commuting.
*Music/art/community festivals and events are a plus.
A couple of things to consider. Harrisburg and Lancaster are both served by Amtrak's Keystone service which, unlike Michigan Amtrak services, is realtively fast and reliable. It recently underwent a major improvement program and there's talk of another one. Many use it for commuting from Lancaster to Philadelphia (about 70 minutes or so). It could be used for commuting from Lancaster to downtown Harrisburg and your trips to Philadelphia. the station in Harrisburg is downtown, the station in Lancaster is adjacent to a residential neighborhood. OTOH, Lancaster station has parking problems and the neighborhood adjacent to the station doesn't seem popular with noobs (though I could be wrong). Both have fairly vibrant downtowns. I tend to prefer Harrisburg, though I'm not entirely sure why. it may be because I take the train there and downtown is right there. It feels more walkable, I like the riverfront park within easy walking distance of downtown, broad st market, and the streets just seem more active than Lancaster's. You could conceivably live in Harrisburg's midtown neighborhood and walk to work in downtown, walk to the train station for trips to Philly or NYC via Amtrak and you're car would be reserved for use at your leisure (Which should lower your insurance and extend the life of your car). I also tend to like the architecture better in harrisburg.
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Old 06-22-2009, 07:09 PM
 
Location: York Pa
7 posts, read 29,419 times
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York PA-------
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
160 posts, read 593,377 times
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Lancaster, Pa., keeps a close eye on itself


Lancaster, Pa., keeps a close eye on itself - Los Angeles Times

Lovely...
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:20 PM
 
717 posts, read 2,653,208 times
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We lived in Mechanicsburg (West Shore of Harrisburg for 10 years) and spent 1 year on the east side of Harrisburg out by Linglestown. At the time we were in Linglestown area we liked it just fine, but DH job was between Mechanicsburg and Carlisle. We moved to Mechanicsburg and loved it there. DH then took a job based in Lancaster--he drove it every day for several years--and fortunately,was able to come back to Mechanicsburg.

We spent a lot of time going to Lancaster looking--trying to decide whether to move over there or not. We loved doing all of the Amish stuff, taking covered bridge drives, Lititz, Strasburg, Bird-In-Hand, and visiting other charming towns; but for some reason, just didn't ever decide to move over there. Lancaster is nice in that it's a super easy drive to Phily and there are some lovely areas and developments--but we liked Harrisburg better. We enjoyed sitting a the base of the mountains, enjoyed the Susquehanna River, enjoyed the Harrisburg skyline over Lancaster, and enojoyed being close to Hershey Park.

I was a crafter and did craftshows--mostly in the Lancaster, York, Harrisburg area for almost all of the year. The only time I couldn't find shows to do was late December thru early February. Otherwise, I was doing 1, if not 2 shows a weekend. So you should almost always be able to find something going on. We really miss all of the apple festivals in the fall. New Cumberland and Biglerville are nice to go to for the apple festivals if you like that sort of thing--Biglerville is really nice-with lots going on. York fair and State Farm Show at Harrisburg are nice. So is the Home & Garden Show in Harrisburg. I guess I should say we moved to Florida in 2001--so I don't know if these events still go on--but I would hope so.

You are also not a far drive from New York City, Baltimore, and Washington DC, etc. You already know how close Philly is. I used to drive over to Philly to get my candle wax. Turnpike is an easy drive from Harrisburg.

Anyway, we loved living up there. Prefer Harrisburg to live over Lancaster or York.

I have 4 kids (now ages 15-22)and all 6 of us liked PA. I think most of us would go back if we wanted that long of winters.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Center City Philadelphia
1,099 posts, read 4,346,400 times
Reputation: 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by BackToTheCityMouse View Post
Lancaster, Pa., keeps a close eye on itself


Lancaster, Pa., keeps a close eye on itself - Los Angeles Times

Lovely...
One thing that really impressed me about downtown Lancaster was the retail. Every street was just lined with shops and stores...I wish we had more of that in Harrisburg. I think the tourists keep them alive however...ironically Harrisburg's streets are always more crowded and vibrant looking. Harrisburg has the restaurants and Lancaster has the shopping.
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