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The HHR at a Glance - Story Ideas

Published: Feb 14, 2013

A quick backgrounder sheet on the Hershey Harrisburg Region in 2013.

Hershey Harrisburg Region at a Glance

The Hershey Harrisburg region is filled with family friendly museums and iconic attractions to world-class dining  and  outdoor  activities.  Celebrating  its  200th  year  as  Pennsylvania’s  State  Capital  in  2012, Harrisburg features a renowned block of restaurants, pubs and night clubs just a short walk from the sprawling and spectacular State Capitol complex and State Museum. Just a few miles away, Hershey provides family fun, rich history and of course, enough chocolate to last a lifetime as “The Sweetest Place on Earth®.”

History and Culture

Rich with art venues, cultural experiences and live entertainment, the Hershey Harrisburg region offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern destinations.

Pennsylvania State Capitol – A National Historic Landmark - Upon its completion in 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated the Pennsylvania State Capitol building and declared it one of the most beautiful buildings of its kind. Architecturally inspired by St. Peters Basilica in Rome, the building hand-crafted Moravian mosaic tile work designed by Henry Chapman Mercer, Renaissance-inspired bronze doors that provide the grand entrance to the Capitol, and the Senate and House of Representative Chambers adorned with marble, murals, gold leaf and stained glass. Free tours of the Capitol building begin every half hour.

The National Civil War Museum - The National Civil War Museum is the only museum in the U.S. that provides equal, bias-free attention to both Union and Confederate history of the Civil War. Opened in 2001 on President Lincoln’s birthday, Feb 12, this beautiful $16 million brick structure sits atop one of the highest vantage points in the city of Harrisburg, the museum showcases 24,000 artifacts, exhibits, documents and photographs valued at over $17 million.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania - The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol Complex, offers over 4 million unique exhibits of artifacts, paintings and animal dioramas with a multi-media planetarium, an interactive Dino Lab, and a hands-on play environment for children. Explore the state’s heritage from the dawn of geologic time, to the Native American experience, colonial and revolutionary beginnings, and a pivotal Civil War battleground through the Commonwealth’s vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania’s story is America’s story.

Hershey Gardens 75th Anniversary - Since its opening in 1937, Hershey Gardens has grown to more than 23-acres of themed gardens poised on the hillside overlooking the entire town of Hershey, complete with a new seasonal butterfly house, an educational Children’s Garden and the M.S. Hershey Tribute Garden, showcasing the newly revitalized M.S. Hershey Rose.

The Hershey Story – The Museum on Chocolate Avenue - For more than 100 years, the word “Hershey” has been synonymous with the Great American Chocolate Bar. Now, The Hershey Story takes visitors on an inspirational journey from the failures to the fortunes of Milton S. Hershey; and explains the entrepreneurial spirit that created an iconic American chocolate company built a hometown for his employees, and left a legacy of The Milton Hershey School, the nation’s biggest and wealthiest boarding school for needy children. There are additional fees for a 45-minute Chocolate Lab class for a hands-on chocolatier experience and the Countries of Origin Chocolate Tasting with samples of warm drinking chocolates from around the world.

Family Friendly Attractions

Whether your thrill of choice is speeding rollercoasters, a grand slam home run or a hat trick, a 3-D chocolate experience or a quick trip through the galaxy, the Hershey Harrisburg region will satisfy your appetite for family fun and adventure.

Hersheypark® - Hersheypark® delights families and guests of any age with more than 65 rides and attractions, including 12 thrilling roller coasters, nine water attractions, 20 kid-friendly rides, and abundance of games and live entertainment. The park season extends beyond summer with special weekends including Springtime In The Park (Mar/Apr); Hersheypark In The Dark (Oct/Nov); and Hersheypark Christmas Candylane (Nov/Dec).

Hershey’s ® Chocolate World ® Attraction - Experience this one-of-a-kind attraction that lets visitors create their own candy bar using real factory equipment, enjoy a free Chocolate Making Tour, witness Hershey’s® Really Big 3-D Show, and experience Hershey’s® Chocolate Tasting Adventure at this family-favorite destination.

Whitaker Center - The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts was the first-of-its-kind to use science as a gateway to the arts. Take in a Hollywood blockbuster on a larger-than-life IMAX screen, dive into science with three floors of interactive, hands-on exhibits at the Harsco Science Center or experience live concerts, theater and dance performances. Whitaker Center is one of central Pennsylvania’s most engaging entertainment venues.

Antique Auto Museum - Take a drive down memory lane spanning 80 years of automobile history at the three-story Antique Auto Museum that opened in 2003 in Hershey. A journey of discovery and enjoyment for the whole family, visitors can inspect more than 90 vintage cars and buses on display throughout the

71,000 square-foot museum.

City Island -  Harrisburg’s City  Island,  a  63-acre  recreational area surrounded by the Susquehanna River, creates a unique setting for this a ride on a scale version of a Civil War-era steam train, miniature golf, bike and boat rentals, carousel, paddleboats, volleyball courts, batting cages and outdoor food court among other activities. Visit the Metro Bank ballpark at night to cheer on Harrisburg’s Minor League Baseball team, the Harrisburg Senators or the Harrisburg City Islanders Soccer Complex, home to the 2011 United Soccer Leagues Professional (USL-PRO) National Division Champions, the Harrisburg City Islanders.

American Hockey League Hockey: Hershey Bears - Celebrating its 75th season opener in 2012 after being founded as the Hershey

B’ars in 1932, the Hershey Bears® are the AHL’s most storied franchise with a record-setting eleven Calder Cup Championships. The top farm team of the NHL Washington Capitals play at the GIANT Center complex in Hershey from October to April.

A Taste of Hershey Harrisburg

During your visit to central Pennsylvania, you’ll find restaurants and eateries as unique as the people who run them. We may be known for our chocolate, but you’ll never forget your dining experience in Hershey and Harrisburg. With the region’s wide array of vineyards, microbreweries and brewpubs, it’s also easy to find the perfect pairing for your meal. For more restaurants in the Hershey Harrisburg area, visit “Where To Eat” on the Official Hershey Harrisburg Visitors Bureau Web site

Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country - The newest addition to the Pennsylvania wine scene, Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country opened its trail to travelers in spring 2012. Guests are invited to take in the breathtaking views from 12 award-winning, family-owned wineries situated in the heart of the state’s beautiful rolling hills. Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country Signature Events include Sweet Sensations of May (May); Music & Wine Festival (June); Jazz & Wine Festival (Sept); and Fall Festival (Oct).

Tröegs Brewing Company - Since 1997, brothers Chris and John Trogner have been handcrafting world-class beers in central Pennsylvania that combine traditional English brewing techniques with the eclecticism of American brewing. Today, you can a self-guided tour of the new brewery headquarters and gift shop in Hershey and sample their ten delicious selections or the latest experimental offering in their Scratch Beer Series. You can only get a growler filled with this ever-changing offering of test beers in the series at the tasting room, located in the middle of a working production brewery. Private guided tours are available only by reservation for groups of 10 or less.

Appalachian Brewing Company - Appalachian Brewing Company (ABC) is located in a historic three-story brick and heavy timber building in downtown Harrisburg with portions dating back to 1890. ABC is one of the largest microbrewery/brewpubs in the nation and the first brewery in the Pennsylvania State Capital. In addition to great grub from appetizers to steaks and seafood, live music and special events are always on tap.

Second Street's “Restaurant Row” in Harrisburg  - “Restaurant Row” offers an exciting array of restaurants, bistros and pubs along Second Street. Here, among the vibrant city lights and bustling downtown district of Pennsylvania’s Capital City, lives a diverse cross-section of establishments offering their own take on Harrisburg hospitality.

Broad Street Market - The Broad Street Market was founded in 1860, and has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operated market house in the United States. Today, nearly 40 vendors offer locally-grown and organic produce, meats, baked goods, and freshly prepared meals just three blocks north of the Capitol building.

Bricco - Bricco’s unique partnership with the Olewine School of Culinary Arts at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) and the Harrisburg Hotel Corporation make it a must-see restaurant. By perfecting meals with Mediterranean and Italian flavors, primarily utilizing local Pennsylvania produce and Tuscan-style inspirations, Bricco has earned the title of Harrisburg's only DiRoNA, Wine Spectator and Santé magazine award winning restaurant.

Mangia Qui and Suba - Located in the heart of Harrisburg on the corner of North and Third Streets, Mangia Qui is a bright and cheerful restaurant featuring Mediterranean cuisine prepared by Culinary Institute of America chef Qui Qui Musarra. For lighter fare, Suba, its adjoining restaurant upstairs, offers traditional Spanish tapas.

El Sol - Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown and located in the newly expanding area of South 3rd Street, El Sol Mexican Restaurant offers authentic Mexican cuisine at its best. With a focus on dishes that take full advantage of the freshest ingredients, owners Juan and Lisa Garcia specialize in authentic food from Juan's home in the Guadalajara region of Jalisco, Mexico.

Final Cut Steakhouse, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course - A unique dining experience is waiting for you at Final Cut Steakhouse, located within the region’s first and only full-gaming casino and live horse racing venue. Final Cut Steakhouse’s Chef-de-cuisine, Jason Clark, and his staff are privileged to prepare the finest steaks, seafood, chops, and daily culinary menu specials to satisfy any palette.

MO-MO’s BBQ on Market Street - Find more info on web site and talk about the beer selections (bottle and draught), the handcrafted sauces including Momo’s Signature Sweet Caroline’s sauce and local foodies favorite Alabama White sauce. List of awards on site as well. Mention live music, etc. 

Open Spaces

Part of the Appalachian Mountain Region, the Hershey Harrisburg area offers exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities. Whether you’re searching for hiking, boating, kayaking, fishing or sporting events, Hershey Harrisburg is ready to welcome outdoor enthusiasts.

The Appalachian Trail - Looking for a great hike with an even better view? Part of the U.S. National Parks system, the Appalachian Trail spans more than 200 miles of the Hershey Harrisburg region, offering some of the best paths and climbs for both experienced and beginning hikers.

Lake Tobias Wildlife Park - In the heart of central Pennsylvania, Lake Tobias Wildlife Park is home to hundreds of wild and exotic animals which originate from six different continents. Travel more than 150 acres of rolling hills on a guided safari tour, take a walking tour of zoo exhibits or visit the reptile building to enjoy an educational presentation.

Pride of the Susquehanna - The Pride riverboat is an authentic, stern-driven paddle wheeler that eases through the Susquehanna River. Offering many unique cruises, The Pride is a floating classroom, banquet hall, music venue and romantic cruise getaway all in one! Enjoy cocktail hours, sunset dinners, or even dancing the night away while gazing at the beautiful Harrisburg city skyline.

ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park - ZooAmerica is a year-round, 11-acre zoo adjacent to Hersheypark®. This beautiful zoo is home to more than 200 animals from five regions of North America including black bear, bison and mountain lions.

City Island - Across the river from the Capitol Building lies an island of fun for the whole family. Harrisburg’s City Island, a 63-acre recreational area, offers miniature golf, paddleboats, volleyball courts, batting cages and other activities to keep you busy all day long. Climb aboard City Island’s train, “The General,” for a glimpse of all the island’s attractions and enjoy great food and a magnificent view of the river at the RiverSide Village Park. Visitors can get into the action at the Island’s 18-hole water golf course, or by visiting Susquehanna Outfitters for kayak, canoe and bicycle rentals and tours. City Island is also home to the Harrisburg Senators AA baseball team.

Author: Rick Dunlap

Public Relations Director
Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau
3211 North Front Street, Suite 301 A, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Rick's Twitter 
Cell: 717.884.3328

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