An American Industry and Commerce Travel Itinerary
Hershey Harrisburg and the Susquehanna River Valley
The Susquehanna River is 464 miles (747 km) long and is the longest river on the US East Coast. With its watershed, it is the 16th-largest river in the United States, and the longest river in the continental United States without commercial boat traffic today. In the Canal Era, navigation improvements were made to enhance the river for barge shipping of bulk goods by water on the Pennsylvania Canal.
Harrisburg, the Capital of Pennsylvania, was inhabited by Native Americans as early as 3000 BC. Known as Peixtin, the area was an important trading post for Native American traders, as trails leading from the Delaware to the Ohio Rivers, and from the Potomac to the Upper Susquehanna intersected there.
Hershey is a year-round, world class travel destination with an amusement park, exclusive resorts and family attractions. In 1906, Milton Hershey opened Hershey Park as a place where his chocolate factory’s workers and their families could relax and be entertained. Surrounded by some of America’s most productive dairy farms, the world’s first modern chocolate factory and model town is a real community.
You should know that Milton Hershey purchased a ticket to travel on Titanic, but was called back to the states early for a business emergency; the famed 2200 mile Appalachian Trail curves through the Hershey Harrisburg Region for 28 miles; Hershey Gardens is 23 acres of trees, flowers and other plants;
Broad Street Market in Harrisburg is the nation’s oldest continually operating market; in Hershey, the streets are lined with Hershey’s Kisses®! Chocolate Avenue’s street lamps are shaped like the famous candies; the Rockville Bridge in Harrisburg is the longest stone masonry arch railroad bridge in the world with 48 arches measuring 70 feet each spanning the Susquehanna River.
City Island is a 63-acre tourism and recreational destination containing archeological treasures of the Susquehannocks and Iroquois tribes which established seasonal settlements here. The island was a stopping off-point for Union soldiers during the Civil War; they crossed over it by way of the Camelback Bridge to defend Harrisburg from the threat of invasion by the Confederate Army. Today, City Island is a tourist destination which is home to numerous businesses including the Harrisburg Senators Baseball Stadium, the City Islanders Soccer Stadium, the Pride of the Susquehanna, Island Breezes Gift Shop, Susquehanna Outfitters, H20 Miniature Golf, City Island Arcade/Batting Cages, City Island Railroad, and the City Island Stables.
Millersburg Borough nestled along the Susquehanna River, is quaint community radiating out from a Victorian Market Square Park featuring a Gazebo dating back to 1891. Millersburg evolved along with the introduction new forms of transportation; travel back to the 17th century and visit the Wiconisco Canal in MYO Park and a restored 1898 passenger rail station on West Center Street. The National Historic Register's Millersburg Ferry System traces its roots to 1817.
Shopping Strawberry Square, located in the heart of downtown Harrisburg, offers an array of service retail, upscale fashion shops, jewelers and other specialty stores. At its food court, you’ll find national and international cuisine offered by a dozen eateries. The Harrisburg Mall is an enclosed regional shopping center located three miles southeast of the city and Colonial Park Mall, located four miles east of downtown, is a single-level, enclosed regional mall. Tanger Outlets in Hershey offer great values.
Local Culture and Heritage
Susquehanna Art Museum is the cultural anchor for the Central Pennsylvania community, providing innovative, relevant and engaging exhibitions and experiences for members and visitors of all ages that excite, inspire, and stimulate life-long learning.
Union Canal Tunnel Park was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1970 and received its recognition as a National Landmark in 1994. Open dawn to dusk for hiking, bird watching, picnics, and recreation.
The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) is the premier facility for historical research on U.S. Army history and is dedicated to "Telling the Army story...one Soldier at a time." The expansive campus includes the Visitor and Education Center, the U.S. Army War College Library, the U.S. Army Military History Institute, and the Army Heritage Trail. Open to the public, key features of the USAHEC include interpretive and interactive exhibits, the research library and archive.
Army Heritage Trail the mile-long outdoor Army Heritage Trail allows visitors to experience history in a new way, through interactive and full-scale military exhibits. Exhibits include a Cobra helicopter, Civil War encampment cabins, WWI trench system and more highlighting the different eras of American military history. The trail is open from dawn to dusk.
Planning Your Trip assumes uniquely local dimensions wherever you go; the activities that you, the visitor – local, or global – select and irrespective of the length of your stay, are unique of the community you are visiting and rooted into the local economy, history and traditions.
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The National Civil War Museum seeks to tell the whole story of this most troubled chapter in American history, focusing on the issues, the people and the lives that were affected. The causes and ramifications of this conflict that divided a Nation are investigated; both Northern and Southern viewpoints are presented; and military as well as civilian perspectives are highlighted.
The State Museum of Pennsylvania presents the State’s heritage from the Earth's beginnings to the present. Archaeological artifacts, decorative arts, fine art galleries and industrial and technological innovations are on exhibit. The Civil War exhibit includes the 1870 painting "The Battle of Gettysburg: Pickett's Charge". Curiosity Connection is a hands-on learning environment for children. Other features: a Planetarium, Mammal Hall, Dino Lab and a restored Marshall's Creek Mastodon Skeleton.
Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War has twelve exhibit galleries featuring artifacts, interactive displays and several films that will further immerse you in the Battle of Gettysburg and the larger context of American history and understanding its relevance in our lives today.
The Amish Village provides an authentic experience, beginning with a guided tour of an Amish farmhouse. Explore a 12-acre village, complete with a one-room schoolhouse, local crafts and treats, blacksmith barn, animals and more.
The Pennsylvania Capitol is a National Historic Landmark and Palace of Art. The dome is a 1/3 replica of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and the grand staircase inside the main rotunda was inspired by the opera house in Paris.
Pride of the Susquehanna River Boat is one of the last remaining authentic paddle-wheel riverboats in America. Since her construction and launch in 1988, "The Pride" has carried almost a million passengers who have enjoyed themed cruises and River School Educational Trips.
Food Wine and Ale
Turkey Hill, located in nearby Lancaster County, features interactive exhibits allowing you to learn about dairy culture, how the company's ice cream and iced tea flavors are selected and created, as well as a chance to create your own virtual ice cream flavor; free tastings!
The Millworks is a local & sustainable restaurant, bar with an outdoor biergarten, art galleries with 23 artist studios, & a live music venue located in the heart of Harrisburg’s Midtown District including the Broad Street Market; Susquehanna Museum of Art; and Midtown Scholar Bookstore.
The Wineries and Breweries of the Hershey Harrisburg Region invite guests to go beyond just tasting the wines. Learn more about the process and walk away with a deeper appreciation of winemaking and Pennsylvania’s agricultural heritage. Experience the rich tastes of each winery’s blends, ciders and specialty collections. The region is also home to many small batch brewers who are following their dreams and creating trendy, welcoming spaces for beer-lovers to appreciate their favorite brews.
The Susquehanna River, lush vineyards and the Appalachian Trail create a setting fit for any adventure and a chance to relax and recharge in the fresh outdoor air. The Hershey Harrisburg Region offers luxurious spa experiences that range from refreshing facials to complete mind and body treatment packages not to mention Hershey’s Signature Chocolate Treatments. And if Golf is your version of therapy and relaxation, we will arrange for game at one of our beautiful local public courses.
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